Stats/Story: No. 3 Vols Soar Past Dayton in Series Opener, 12-2

Box Score (PDF)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The bats stayed hot and the power arms were on full display as No. 3 Tennessee opened its first home weekend series of the year with a dominant 12-2 victory over Dayton on a cool Friday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The Volunteers (4-2) erased an early 2-0 deficit by scoring in each of the first four innings to take a 9-2 lead, including a five-spot in the bottom of the third, and never looked back.

UT finished the game with 12 hits from eight different players and were aided by five Dayton (0-4) errors. Leadoff man Jared Dickey set the tone with a 3-for-4 performance that included three runs scored, a homer and three RBIs.

Zane Denton and Griffin Merritt also had productive days at the dish with two hits apiece. Denton drove in a pair of runs while Merritt scored twice and hit his first home run in a Tennessee uniform.

The pitching staff was also lights out, racking up 20 strikeouts while issuing just a single walk and allowing only five hits.

Other than allowing a two-out homer in the top of the first, junior pitcher Chase Dollander was dominant in his second start of the season, finishing with 12 strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work to pick up his first win of the year. His 12 punchouts were tied for his most as a Vol and one off a career high.

Freshman right hander AJ Russell picked right up where Dollander left off, striking out the first five batters he faced. The Franklin, Tennessee, native did not give up a hit or a walk in 2.1 shutout innings of relief before making way for Aaron Combs, who struck out the side in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Freshman infielder Jake Kendro capped the night with a pinch-hit solo home run – the first of his collegiate career – in the bottom of the eighth that was originally called foul before being overturned by replay.

Marcos Pujols was a bright spot for the Flyers, going 2-for-2 with a run scored and a two-run homer in the first inning to open the scoring.

Game two of the weekend series between the Vols and Flyers is slated for Saturday at 2 p.m. Fans can watch the game live on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app or listen live via and the Tennessee Athletics Gameday App.

-UT Athletics


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