Tennessee takes a break from travelling this week as they return to Knoxville for their midweek home opener against Cincinnati. The Vols are coming off of a huge weekend at the plate, where they scored 51 runs in their three games at the Grand Canyon Classic. That has helped propel the Vols to 5th in the NCAA in scoring with a 12 runs per game average.
The Vols opened last weekend against the home team and jumped on Grand Canyon early when Vincent Jackson hit a 3 run homer in the 1st. They extended the lead, eventually taking an 18-1 lead in the 4th (helped by a grand slam for Jordan Rodgers). GCU struck back in the bottom half of the frame, plating 7 additional runs to cut the lead to 18-8. The Vols responded with 7 more of their own to end the game with the 25-8 victory, the largest single game run total for the Vols since 2010 against Georgia.
Game two against Saint Mary's saw the Vols jump ahead in the first again, with Rodgers and Tyler Schultz each driving in a runner. Nick Senzel added an RBI single in the 5th to go along with Rodgers' sac fly to push to lead to 4-0. Saint Mary's finally got on the board in the 7th, when Will Neely gave up a two run homer. Derek Lance reached on an error in the 8th that scored one, and Chris Hall rebuilt the 4 run lead on an RBI single. Jon Lipinski recorded the save in the 9th after allowing an RBI single and a walk to bring the tying runner to the plate in a 6-3 game. Zach Warren was outstanding in his start, with 3 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts in his 6 innings.
Sunday's game against Central Michigan again saw UT take the early lead, with Senzel hitting a 2 RBI double and Rodgers getting an RBI ground out for the 3-0 lead in the 1st. The Vols tacked on 6 in the second before building a 20-0 lead by the 7th. CMU broke up the shutout in the 9th, scoring on an error on a fielder's choice.
17 different Vols had an at bat during the weekend and 11 made an appearance on the mound.
Tennessee leads the all-time series against Cincinnati 16-5, and have won 12 straight dating back to 1976. The only meeting during Dave Serrano's tenure was a 7-0 victory last season in Knoxville.
Cincinnati opened this season at LSU for a three game series and at the Bulldog Invitational at Georgia. The Bearcats lost the opening game at LSU on a walk off in the 12th inning before being swept the rest of the weekend. They dropped games against Western Kentucky, Georgia (in 10 innings), and South Alabama in Athens. Cincinnati was picked to finish last in the AAC in the preseason coaches poll.
This weekend the Vols will return to the road as they travel to the Keith LeClair Classic at Eastern Carolina against ECU, Maryland, and Southeastern Louisiana.
Tennessee Volunteers (5-1) vs Cincinnati Bearcats (0-6)
Date: Wednesday March 2, 2016
First Pitch: 4 p.m. ET at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, Knoxville, TN
Live Audio: UTSports
Live Stats: GameTracker
Probable Starting Pitchers: UT RHP Daniel Vasquez (0-0, 18.00 ERA) vs UC LHP Cam Alldred (0-0, 13.50 ERA)
Players to Keep an Eye on:
|UT||RHP||Jon Lipinski||3.38||1.12||2||.222||0-0 (2)|