ROUND ROCK, TX— Tony Vitello and the University of Tennessee stunned Texas Tech — who is ranked as the top team in the nation by two polling organizations, and 6th in the nation by D1 Baseball — tonight by a score of 6-2.
THE FINAL OUT!
— Tennessee Baseball (@Vol_Baseball) February 22, 2020
For the Volunteers, it was a monumental reśume building win, as they proved that they were capable of competing with the top teams in the College Baseball world in front of a very large audience at the Round Rock Classic — which features the University of Houston and Stanford this season, in addition to the Volunteers and Red Raiders.
The Vols had an excellent game at the batter’s box, nailing three home runs over the fence in their win over the top-ranked Red Raiders. Zach Daniels hit an inside-the-park home run in the first inning to give Tennessee an early 1-0 lead, followed by a dinger to left field hit by Jordan Beck, and then Jake Rucker finished things off with an absolute moonshot which ended up putting the Vols up by a score of 4-1.
Chad Dallas started the game at the mound for the Big Orange, and finished with a career-high 8 strikeouts, being taken out at the end of the 5th inning. Tennessee then turned to Sean Hunley out of the bullpen to seal the upset for the Volunteers.
The Volunteers were able to shutout Texas Tech in every inning of the game except for the third and the forth, where they allowed one run in each, accounting for the Red Raiders’ only two runs of the game.
The significance of this game is obvious. For the last few seasons, Tennessee was viewed as a team that was loaded with potential but was still visibly a few seasons away from being a contender. Tonight, the Vols put on full display that they are now ready to compete with anyone in the nation, and if they can continue to build off of this momentum, in addition to continuing to hit balls deep over the fence like they are right now, they could turn into a legitimate contender for the SEC Eastern Division.
Tennessee improved to 5-0 on the season, and their next game will come against Houston — who just pulled off a victory over top-25 ranked Stanford — tomorrow at 2:00ET, while the highly ranked Red Raiders will look to recover against Stanford at 6:00ET on Day Two of the Round Rock Classic. The Vols will then have their shot at Stanford on Sunday at 11:00ET, while Texas Tech will meet Houston to conclude the event at 3:00ET.