The inclement weather was a nuisance. The schedule changes became complicated. The waiting caused frustration.
But despite the countless alterations to Tennessee's opening weekend itinerary, a negative word was difficult to find amid any postgame dialogue as the Vols finished off a three-game sweep of Purdue with a convincing 8-2 win Monday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
A Sunday doubleheader kicked off the series — and the season — with the Vols winning the opener 3-0 and cruising in the nightcap, 20-2.
"It was a good weekend for many reasons," head coach Dave Serrano said. "The sweep is always good. Got a lot of guys in, got to get a lot of position players in. A lot of pitchers got their feet wet for the first time."
Snowy conditions — both in Knoxville and the Midwest — ultimately changed the 2014 season-opening series from a weekend set to a Sunday-Monday affair. Once the Vols (3-0) finally took the field, though, the delay hardly seemed to matter.
In the three games combined, Serrano's squad allowed just 15 hits, posted a 1.33 team ERA and hit .388 as a whole.
"Longtime coming," said right fielder Scott Price, who finished the series with a .455 average and six RBI. "It took us a couple extra days to finally get out here, but 3-0 — no matter who you're playing or what level of competition — is always a good way to start."
In Game One, the pitching staff stifled the Purdue offense all afternoon, limiting the Boilermakers (0-3) to just six total base runners and only one hit.
Freshman Hunter Martin, senior Nick Williams (1-0) and sophomore Drake Owenby combined for the shutout in the opener as the trio didn't allow a Boilermaker into scoring position after the second inning.
Williams, who was originally scheduled to start this weekend, was particularly dominant in relief, tossing five no-hit innings with two strikeouts.
"Whenever Hunter was going to quit throwing, I had the ball," Williams said on Sunday. "I was getting a lot of first pitch swings, so that was the big thing that was working for me, being able to establish a strike first pitch and them swinging at it."
With the Purdue bats in-check, UT needed just a sliver of offense and found such in the third inning. A pair of Farragut High School alums jump-started the attack as freshman Nick Senzel's RBI double brought home shortstop A.J. Simcox for the first run of the season.
David Houser followed with a run-scoring single, and the Vols suddenly had a two-run cushion, more than enough to support the strong work of the UT hurlers. Serrano's squad would tack on an insurance run in the seventh as sophomore outfielder Christin Stewart's first hit of the season brought home Price.
"The first game was a well-pitched game," Serrano said, "and we scrapped out enough runs off their starting pitcher."
No scrapping was needed however in the nightcap.
What was supposed to be a contest that centered primarily on the debut of highly-touted freshman hurler Kyle Serrano, soon turned into a well-lit stage for the UT lumber.
The Vols scored more than three times in four different frames, batted around in two separate innings and produced their highest run total since May 8, 2010 (25 runs at Georgia).
"We're a tough offense," Dave Serrano said. "I had to deal with it all fall and in the winter before we started.
"We're going to make some teams pay. Good pitching is always going to shut down good hitting a lot, but we're going to make some teams pay if they can't keep running arms out there."
Stewart (4-for-5, five RBI) and Houser (3-for-4, four RBI) led the offensive charge in the nightcap, providing more than sufficient help for the first-year pitcher.
In five innings of work, Kyle Serrano (1-0) gave up just two runs on four hits while striking out two and walking three.
As for the final grade?
"Not good enough," Kyle Serrano said after Sunday's games. "I definitely got to throw more strikes. I got to keep my emotions under control. I warmed up really good just when I went out there had a little too much adrenaline in me.
"But it was definitely nice to get that first one out of the way."
A highly-anticipated pitching debut was also the theme of the series finale as sophomore Andrew Lee made his first collegiate start Monday afternoon.
The Morristown, Tenn., native, who hadn't pitched since high school because of Tommy John surgery, was effective in his UT debut, surrendering only four hits and one walk in five innings of work.
When asked if the extended rehab process and unexpected waiting was all worth it in the end, Lee (1-0) was rather definitive.
"Most definitely," Lee said with a smile. "I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything. Just being on that mound, being able to play with those guys, you can beat it. You realize when you're gone for that long that every game is a blessing."
The UT bats again provided the early thump as a seven-run second inning severed any Boilermaker hopes of salvaging Game Three.
"I think we have a lot of confidence in our offense that one through nine we're just as good as really anyone in the country," Price said. "We've got speed. We've got power. We've got all the tools this year to have a very, very successful offense."