March 9, 2012
Posted eight shutout innings, striking out a career-high 10 to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Godley struck out a career high 10 batters, becoming the first UT pitcher to do so since
With a succesful suicide squeeze in the eighth inning, Tennessee has now scored 19 different ways this season.
Zack Godley and Nick Williams combined to throw first-pitch strikes to 23 of the 33 batters that they faced en route to UT's first shutout of the season.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee junior right-hander Zack Godley turned in a masterful performance on the mound and sophomore Ethan Bennett broke a scoreless tie in the seventh with a mammoth home run as the Volunteers opened their weekend series against UL Monroe with a 4-0 shutou on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
In the first Friday night start of his career, Godley twirled a career-high eight shutout innings, yielding just three hits and striking out a personal best 10 to improve to 3-0 on the season.
The Bamberg, S.C., native threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of the 30 batters that he faced and allowed just one ULM runner to reach third base as he became the first UT hurler to record 10 punchouts since Steven Gruver did so against Canisius on Feb. 25, 2011.
"That was a really good game by Zack Godley tonight," UT Head Coach Dave Serrano said. "He continues to get better each and every outing. The only reason he didn't go out in the ninth is because he was at 113 pitches on my calculator and I didn't want to push the envelope because we have guys down in the bullpen that can finish the job.
"The secret to success in pitching is first-pitch strikes and then, when you get count leverage, to stretch the zone. That is what he has been doing. The biggest thing that Zack has changed is the fact that he is under control now. He knows what he is doing and he is actually pitching. It is fun to call a game for him because he can do three or four things to a hitter to keep them off balance. He is establishing his fastball, his change, his breaking ball and he is doing it with his fastball on both sides of the plate. That makes it easy to be successful out there."
Sophomore Nick Williams came on to strike out the side in the ninth and close out the three-hit shutout, UT's first of the season.
Matching Godley pitch-for-pitch through the first seven innings was Warhawk starter Randy Zeigler who struck out 11 while allowing two runs, one earned, on just four hits and three walks.
"(Zeigler) was good," Serrano said. "We knew coming into this weekend series that we were going to face a Friday lefthander that was going to be really good and he didn't disappoint. It's good to come out with a win when you see an opponent like that on the mound on Friday night."
UT finally touched up Zeigler when Bennett caught up to a first-pitch fastball from him with two outs in the seventh and launched it well over "The Porch" in left for the first run of the game.
The Big Orange then broke the contest open against the ULM bullpen in the eighth, scoring three runs without the benefit of even a single hit. The Vols took advantage of a leadoff walk and back-to-back errors to plate their second run of the day before a sacrifice fly by Drew Steckenrider and a successful suicide squeeze by Chris Fritts gave UT a 4-0 lead.
Tennessee improved to 10-3 on the season with the victory and will go for the series victory against ULM, which fell to 9-6, at on Saturday at 4 p.m. Junior right-hander Nick Blount (2-1, 4.08) will get the start for the Vols, while the Warhawks will counter with righty Andrew Richardson (0-1, 3.06).