May 17, 2012
"This wasn't about effort tonight, it was about a team that we were outmanned by," UT head coach Dave Serrano said. "Nothing against our kids, they are our kids and we love them and go to war with them every day. It's just like raising kids, you get very frustrated with them at times, but tonight is not a night like that. Tonight we got beat by a better team and it is pretty evident we are a little outmanned in some areas. That will change with time. You look across the field and they have a ton of great athletes, guys that have power, guys that can throw strikes and pitch. They were the better team but we will have another chance tomorrow."
Morgan and Maddox accounted for all five of Tennessee's baserunners on the evening, with Maddox reaching on a single, an error and getting hit by a pitch and Morgan getting a base-hit and walking once. Morgan's single extended his hitting streak to a career-long 12 games.
On the mound, Zajac struck out two and yielded one run on five hits over 6.1 innings after coming on in relief for sophomore starter Dalton Saberhagen who suffered his third loss of the year.
"Brandon did a great job," Serrano said. "Obviously, Brandon has been very inconsistent. He has a lot of high-ceiling ability but he has been very inconsistent for us and that is one of the reasons why it has been a coach's decision not to pitch him very much. He still had some walks in there. I told him to be very proud of what he did, but there is still room for improvement. He really put a Band-Aid on a cut that could have been wide open and could have gotten really ugly."
The Razorbacks came out of the gates swinging, belting four solo home runs in the first three innings en route to grabbing a commanding 7-0 advantage.
Zajac came out of the bullpen to hold Arkansas in check and off the scoreboard until the eighth inning, but the Tennessee offense continued to be stymied by Baxendale.
UT's best scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the fourth as Maddox reached on a throwing error by the shortstop to lead off the frame before moving to third on consecutive groundouts. That would be as far as he would get though as Baxendale buckled down, getting a strikeout to end the threat.
The Vols finally got a hit on the board two innings later as Maddox punched a single through the left side of the infield and moved to second on a wild pitch before a flyball to right brought the stanza to a close.
The Razorbacks finally struck against Zajac in the eighth, getting a two-out RBI double by Derrick Bleeker who had already hit two home runs earlier in the contest.
Trailing 8-0, Tennessee got two runners on in the bottom of the ninth against Arkansas' Tyler Wright as Maddox was hit by a pitch and Morgan drew a two-out walk, but the Razorback reliever got a strikeout to close out the contest.
The second game of the series is set for a 6 p.m. start on Friday evening with sophomore Nick Williams (3-4, 3.61) getting the ball for the Vols and Ryne Stanek (6-3, 2.99) taking the mound for the Razorbacks.