Vitello's Vols out to 9-0 start

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Freshman Camden Sewell made his first-career start on the mound for Tennessee on Wednesday night and did not disappoint as the Vols won their ninth straight game to open the season with a 2-0 shutout victory over Middle Tennessee at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Despite a season-high 12 hits, the Big Orange were only able to plate a pair of runs in the game, however, that would be all they needed with Sewell and company on the hill.

Sewell was nearly flawless, allowing just one hit and two walks in six shutout innings. The Cleveland, Tenn., native also added five strikeouts in the outing en route to earning his first-career win.

Sophomore newcomer Alerick Soularie got the start as the designated hitter and finished with a career-best three hits on the day. Evan Russell and Jay Charleston drove in Tennessee's two runs with an RBI groundout in the first inning and a RBI single in the seventh, respectively.

The Vols used four relievers to pitch the final three innings and none of them allowed a base runner. Redshirt sophomore lefty Redmond Walsh shut the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his second save of the year.

Darrell Freeman Jr., had the only hit of the game for the Blue Raiders, reaching on an infield single in the top of the fifth inning.

Starting pitcher Zach Keenan was the hard-luck loser after having a great performance in his own right. The sophomore right hander gave up just one run and one walk while scattering eight hits in six innings of work.

NOTABLE
SEWELL SHINES IN FIRST-CAREER START: True freshman Camden Sewell continued UT's string of dominant pitching performances with an absolute gem on Wednesday. The right hander from nearby Cleveland, Tenn., gave up just one hit, an infield single, while tossing six scoreless innings in his first-career start.

CAREER DAY FOR SOULARIE: While the Vols were only able to scratch out two runs on Wednesday, they did record a season high in hits with 12, three of which came off the bat of sophomore Alerick Soularie. His 3-for-4 performance led all Tennessee hitters and was a career high for the Houston, Texas native.

SHUTOUT NO. 6 FOR VOLS: With Wednesday's win over the Blue Raiders, the Vols recorded their sixth shutout of season, surpassing their total from the past two years combined. Tennessee's six shutouts are the most in a single season since the 2005 team, which featured first-round draft pick Luke Hochevar, shut out six opponents on their way to a College World Series appearance.

UP NEXT: Tennessee will hit the road for the first time this season as the Vols travel south to Pensacola, Florida this weekend for the Diamond Cox Invitational at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The Big Orange will take on Louisiana Monroe (Friday – 3 p.m. ET), North Florida (Saturday – 4 p.m. ET) and Western Kentucky (Sunday – noon ET).