Tennessee baseball obliterated the competition this weekend at the Grand Canyon Classic, winning each of its three games and outscoring the opponents 51-12.
The series was highlighted by superb hitting, led by 2B Jeff Moberg, 3B Nick Senzel and OF Vincent Jackson. The Tennessee trio combined to hit for a .590 batting average, recording 23 hits on 39 at bats.
Jackson, the cleanup hitter, continues to flex his muscles with some new found power at the plate. In his first three years on Rocky Top, Jackson hit four home runs in 390 at bats. This season, Jackson has three home runs in 19 at bats, including two over the weekend in Phoenix.
Third-baseman Nick Senzel caught fire against Grand Canyon in game one, and the momentum continued throughout the series. The preseason All-American went 5-7 with six RBIs against the Antelopes, and went on to hit for 12 total RBIs in the three-game set. The Tennessee third-baseman leaves Phoenix with an eye-popping .481 batting average.
Leadoff hitter and second-baseman Jeff Moberg has been Tennessee’s most valuable player in this young season. The senior from California only hit .167 last year on nine starts, but this season has been an extraordinary contrast. The infielder is hitting for a .556 average after six starts at second base, tallying four doubles, five RBIs and three stolen bases.
While the bats stole the headlines over the weekend, Tennessee had solid starting pitching as well. Senior ace Andy Cox was sufficient for Tennessee’s lopsided win over Grand Canyon. Cox gave up five runs in 3.1 innings pitched. His pitch count rose rapidly early in the game, and he left the game with 82 pitches in the fourth inning. Former Farragut pitcher Eric Freeman got the win in relief, giving up no runs on three hits in 4.1 innings.
Sophomore starting pitcher Zach Warren was stellar in his outing against Saint Mary’s, allowing just three hits in six innings pitched. The New Jersey native did not give up a run and struck out seven in the win, lowering his season ERA to 0.90.
Hunter Martin started in place of Kyle Serrano against Central Michigan. Serrano was resting a tired arm, and Martin did not disappoint in his second appearance of the season. Martin allowed three hits in four shutout innings, and made quick work of the Chippewas, throwing just 57 pitches.
Wednesday, Tennessee will host Cincinnati at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in its first home game of the season. The Bearcats are 0-6 so far this season. They were swept by No. 7 LSU to start the season, and were later beaten by Western Kentucky, Georgia and South Alabama as well. Cincinnati was 15-41 last season. First pitch is at 4 p.m. ET.