KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Early offensive firepower and solid pitching across the board led Tennessee past Charlotte Tuesday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, 8-2.
Tennessee (4-0) got a home run from Jake Rucker in the first inning and a bases-clearing double from Zach Daniels in the second, scoring a combined four runs in its opening two frames.
Overall, the Vols recorded 10 hits, led by Daniels and Rucker with three and two, respectively.
Rucker's homer, his second of the season, drove home Max Ferguson after he led off the game with a double to right field. Ferguson – joined by Liam Spence – scored again on Daniels' double in the second inning after reaching on a fielder's choice.
Charlotte (1-3) briefly threatened in the third inning with a pair of runs – one on an RBI single from Carson Johnson and the other driven in on a sacrifice fly by David McCabe – but were shut down the rest of the way by the Vols' pitching staff.
Making his second career start, sophomore right hander Elijah Pleasants got the win after five innings of work. Pleasants struck out three batters and walked none, while giving up two runs (one earned). After Pleasants exited, Sean Hunley, Will Mabrey, Christian Delashmit and Redmond Walsh threw one inning apiece for Tennessee, combining to surrender just one hit and strike out six batters.
Charlotte's Trae Starnes was credited with the loss after giving up six earned runs on six hits in 3.2 innings of work.
The Vols added one run in both the third and fourth innings to extend their lead to 6-2, the latter on a solo home run from Daniels that cleared the center field batter's eye.
Tennessee hits the road for its next three games, heading to Round Rock, Texas for the Round Rock Classic. The Vols will play three games, beginning with a matchup against No.1 Texas Tech on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.