KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Led by a two-home run night by senior Vincent Jackson, the Diamond Vols overpowered the UNC Asheville Bulldogs in an 11-0 shutout final on Wednesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Jackson (2-for-3, 4 RBI) posted a career night for the Big Orange, blasting a solo homer in the fifth and becoming the first Vol since 2010 to record an inside-the-park home run with a fly ball to left field in the sixth.
Senior Chris Hall (2-for-4, RBI) provided the Volunteers with a one-run lead in the first, reaching on a stand-up double and stealing third to score on a throwing error by UNC Asheville's catcher Lucas Owens.
UT's bats sparked again in the third as the Vols plated three runs before the Bulldogs recorded an out in the frame. Back-to-back singles by Max Bartlett (1-for-3) and Derek Lance (3-for-4, RBI) put two runners on for Benito Santiago (2-for-3, RBI), who roped an RBI-single into right field. Lance went on to score via throwing error on UNC Asheville before Hall doubled again to right field, making it a 4-0 ballgame. A sacrifice fly by the designated hitter Jackson brought the Vols to a 5-0 lead entering the fourth.
Tennessee pushed one run across in the fourth before Jackson crushed a solo home run over the right field wall in the fifth, furthering UT's lead to 7-0.
With a runner on base in the sixth, Jackson's heroics continued as a collision in left field allowed his deep fly ball to land. His quick jump out of the box created the chance for Jackson to come around and score on an inside-the-park home run to put UT ahead 10-0.
The Vols went on to score one run after the sixth and play lockdown defense against the Bulldogs, turning three double plays in the contest.
In his second career start for the Big Orange, freshman Alex Harper-Cook (1-0) went 4.0 scoreless innings, holding the Bulldogs to just two hits while striking out a career-high five batters in the outing.
Fellow freshmen Will Neely and Daniel Vasquez combined to toss 3.0 scoreless innings in relief of Harper-Cook before righty Quint Robinson was called upon in the eighth. Robinson threw 1.0 inning before closer Jon Lipinski retired three of his five batters faced in the ninth and preserved the shutout win.