Tennessee baseball fell in its season opener against Arizona 3-1 on the opening night of the Desert Invitational. The Vols scored in a run in the game’s opening frame before their bats went cold the rest of the night in the pitcher friendly ballpark.
Ace Chase Dollander was rocky early in the game, struggling with his command in a one-run first inning before allowing a solo homer to open the second inning. From there, the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Year found his groove, retiring the next nine batters and allowing just one more hit in the 4.2 inning outing.
“He got into a rhythm and showed who he is,” Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello said. “I think the exciting thing is Do(llander) knows he can throw a little bit better.”
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Seth Halvorsen relieved him and was brilliant in his Tennessee debut. The Missouri transfer got in a groove early after missing the entire 2022 season with an injury and allowed one run in three innings pitched.
“Just great to get him out there and for him to do as well as he did was phenomenal,” Vitello said. “I think if we played a little better defense he maybe gets through the game and finishes it. But maybe gave him a couple more opportunities offensively to wear them down a little bit. He’s only been built up to go four innings for us and that’s about what he did.”
Vitello touched on those defensive shortcomings, the offense’s slow start and more.