Diamond Vols bats hot in first full week of 2018 season

Tennessee hosts NC Greensboro at home • photo by Dan Harralson

Tennessee started the first full week of the season with a mid-week game against in-state foe Lipscomb.

Freshman Zach Daniels had his first-career hit, a grand slam in the third inning. The home run was Tennessee’s second consecutive game with a grand slam after Andre Lipcius hit one in Sunday’s series finale against Maryland. The Vols surpassed their grand slam total from last season in Tuesday night’s 8-5 win.

Freshman right-hander Sean Hunley made his first-career start against Lipscomb, pitching 3.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and struck out two. Freshman lefty Garrett Crochet earned his first-career win after striking out three in 3.2 innings.

Tennessee also played host to a weekend series against UNC Greensboro.

On Friday night, Tennessee relief pitcher Will Heflin earned his first-career win, pitching three scoreless innings. Benito Santiago’s two-run double in the bottom of the seventh helped lead Tennessee to a 3-2 comeback victory as Chase Wallace recorded his first save on the season.

In Game 2 of the series, the Vols had 18 hits in their 11-4 win over UNC Greensboro. Every player in UT’s starting lineup had at least one hit and the one-through-four hitters combined to go 10-for-18 and had six RBIs.

The Vols were unable to sweep UNC Greensboro, losing on Sunday 3-2. Will Neely started the Sunday game, giving up just one run on three hits while striking out four in five innings of work.

But the Vols could not take advantage of Neely’s pitching performance with a sluggish offensive outing. Tennessee left nine runners on base and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

The Vols will play mid-week home games against Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday and Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday. Then the Vols will play in the Tri-Star Classic at Smokies Park against East Tennessee State, Memphis and Middle Tennessee State next weekend.

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