It was a cold day at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, and sophomore left-hander James Adkins kept the Morehead State bats as cool as the weather, limiting the Eagles to just three hits as the eighth-ranked Volunteer baseball team defeated the Eagles 3-0 in the first game of a doubleheader Friday.
Adkins struck out seven batters in his eight innings to improve to 3-0 on the season, and junior closer Sean Watson pitched a perfect ninth to collect his fourth save in as many tries.
Morehead State starter Shane Lucci pitched well, giving up one run on six hits in seven innings pitched but ultimately took the loss to drop to 0-1 on the season.
The Vols first got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when freshman shortstop Tony Delmonico drove home Ryan Jones with an RBI single.
Delmonico scored in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Brian Van Kirk. The Vols scored their third and final run in the ninth when senior second baseman Michael Rivera doubled home catcher J.P. Arencibia.
Tennessee pitching dominated the second game as well. Freshman pitcher Josh Lindblom struck out 13 batters and gave up just one hit in eight innings as the Vols took the second game from Morehead State 9-0.
Lindblom retired the first 11 Eagles he faced while the Vols dominated Morehead State pitching, collecting 10 hits, five walks and two hit batsmen.
Freshman outfielder Jarred Frazier put the Vols on the scoreboard by driving home Van Kirk in the second inning with a single to pick up his first career RBI.
J.P. Arencibia hit his first home run of the year in the fifth inning to push the lead to 3-0.
Eagles reliever Tyler Hess walked two Vols and hit two more in the bottom of the sixth inning. Arencibia took one for the team with the bases loaded, bringing in Michael Rivera to make the score 5-0.
Sophomore Julio Borbon gave UT an extra insurance run in the eighth inning with an RBI groundout that plated Frazier. Then after being hit by a pitch, Delmonico scored from first base when Arencibia sent an RBI double to the left-field corner to bring the Tennessee lead to seven runs.
As the bottom of the eighth wore on, a Morehead State error brought in a run, and an RBI fielder’s choice by Rivera stretched Tennessee’s lead to 9-0.
Junior Craig Cobb came in to close out the game in the ninth inning for the Vols.
The series finale Sunday was canceled due to inclement weather. The Vols travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., next weekend to take on Georgia Tech, Coastal Carolina and VCU.