Garrett Stallings made sure Tennessee’s offense didn’t need to do too much on Saturday, as he allowed just one run in a complete game effort to lead the Vols to a 2-1 win over Memphis in the Tri-Star Classic.
Stallings took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, when he finally surrendered a single up the middle. He gave up just one run on three hits, five strikeouts and one walk in his nine innings of work.
“Warming up today, I really felt ready to pitch after that loss yesterday,” Stallings said. “I felt good with all my pitches and I was able to keep them off their feet a little bit and hit a lot of ground balls.”
“(Stallings) is a rock because he’ll throw strikes, but he’s also a rock because his presence is really good and we challenge our pitchers to not match that performance... but match that effort,” Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello said.
The complete game was the first for Tennessee since Hunter Martin pitched all nine innings in a 5-0 loss to Missouri on May 18, 2017.
“I think it’s just another step up for me. Just keep striving to get better and keep trusting my team and get my team back on the right page,” Stallings said.
Tennessee opened the scoring with an RBI single from Pete Derkay in the third inning. Doubles from Wyatt Stapp and Zach Daniels on back-to-back pitches in the sixth gave Tennessee its second run of the game.
Memphis scored its lone run on a solo homer from Colton Neel in the eighth inning that just cleared the right field wall and glanced off the glove of Justin Ammons.
“It tipped off the top string and the wall kind of brought me back. It was going to be a tough play,” Ammons said.
Tennessee will conclude the Tri-Star Classic on Sunday when it takes on MTSU at 4 p.m.