RHP - 6-3 - 245
Weekly Stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, .182 Opp. BA
Season Stats: 3-4, 3.26 ERA, 11 G, 9 GS, 2 CG, 2 SHO, 66.1 IP, 60 H, 31 R, 24 ER, 22 BB, 60 K, .241 Opp. BA
Notes: Senior Zack Godley punctuated Tennessee's series victory at No. 13 Kentucky with an exclamation mark on Sunday, firing a six-hit shutout in a 5-0 triumph. The win clinched the series for the Vols, their first on the road over a top-15 team since 2010. Godley is now the only pitcher in the SEC with two complete-game shutouts to his name, having also blanked Missouri on March 22.
In the win over the Wildcats, Godley struck out eight, walked just two and scattered six hits while stranding nine UK baserunners. He got stronger as the game went on, eventually retiring the final eight batters he faced, including three on strikeouts, to finish off the series-clinching shutout.
The whitewashing marked the first time in 129 games that the Wildcats had been held scoreless, dating back to a 4-0 loss at Alabama on March 25, 2011. Tennessee's last shutout over Kentucky came exactly 10 years before that on March 25, 2001, when Patrick Hicklen went the distance, allowing five hits in a 6-0 UT triumph.
Godley has been UK's nemesis the last two years, having also handed then-No. 2 Kentucky its first loss of the 2012 campaign, snapping its 22-game win streak to open the season. In two career starts against the Wildcats, Godley has allowed just one run on nine hits in 17.0 innings, striking out 12 in the process.
The Bamberg, S.C., native is tied for the league lead with 66.1 innings pitched and tied for third with 60 strikeouts on the year. Sunday's win improved his record to 3-4 this season and lowered his ERA to 3.26. Opponents are hitting just .241 off of him and he is averaging over seven innings in his nine starts.
OF/DH - 6-0 - 205
Weekly Stats: .545/.727/.667, 11 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 4 RBIs, 4 BB, 2 K, 2-2 SB-ATT
Season Stats: .299/.437/.408, 87 AB, 18 R, 26 H, 5 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 14 RBIs, 11 BB, 5 HBP, 18 K, 3-6 SB-ATT
Notes: Freshman Christin Stewart bookended a strong week with a pair of multi-hit performances while leading the Vols with a .545 batting average over four games. He also led UT with five runs scored, four RBIs, four walks and two stolen bases on the week.
After helping the Vols finish the season sweep of ETSU on Tuesday in Johnson City by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk in a 4-3 victory, the left-handed hitting Stewart went 4-for-7 in three games against Kentucky despite the fact that the Wildcats started a southpaw in all three contests. Although not in the starting lineup in the series opener on Friday, the Lawrenceville, Ga., native still made his presence felt with a pinch-hit double high off the old scoreboard in right field at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
He followed that up with a two-run single and a pair of walks in the Orange and White's 10-9 win on Saturday that evened the weekend series. In Sunday's finale, he hit in the three-hole for UT with Scott Price sidelined with a muscle strain. He would deliver, going 2-for-3 with a single, a double, two runs scored, a walk and two RBIs. His two-run double in the sixth inning proved to be the eventual game-winner in the series-clinching victory as it got the scoring started in a 5-0 game.
For the year, Stewart has upped his average to just one point under the .300 mark, while his .437 slugging percentage and eight extra-base hits both rank behind only Price for the team lead.
Tennessee Weekly Notes
Tennessee hit the road this week and found some much-needed success, going 3-1, including an impressive series victory over No. 13 Kentucky.
After edging ETSU, 4-3, in Johnson City on Tuesday, the Orange and White dropped a tough one on Friday in Lexington, letting a late lead slip away in a 5-4 defeat. The Big Orange bounced right back though with a heart-stopping, 10-9, triumph on Saturday before getting a six-hit shutout from Zack Godley
to blank UK, 5-0, in the series finale on Sunday.
The series win over the Wildcats was UT's first over a top-15 team on the road since it took two games from then-No. 11 Ole Miss in Oxford, April 2-4, 2010. It was also the Vols' first series win on the road over any team since it swept a doubleheader at Alabama on April 16, 2011.
"We'll never [completely] figure it out, but we are starting to figure it out," UT head coach Dave Serrano
said. "I'm seeing a young team start to become a team, pull for all the right things and appreciate all the right things.
"We are still going to make our mistakes, everybody does, but, boy, as a head coach and a coaching staff we are really proud of what we accomplished. This is a baby step in the direction that I want this place to go."
In Saturday's contest against the Wildcats, Tennessee took a five-run lead into the bottom of the ninth inning only to see UK get a grand slam to cut that advantage to one and promptly load the bases once again. The Vols turned to infielder-turned-outfielder-turned pitcher Jeff Moberg
to get the game's final out in his collegiate debut on the mound. The win snapped an eight-game skid in SEC contests for UT.
Tennessee kept the momentum going in its favor on Sunday, riding the right arm of Godley to a 5-0 victory as he handed Kentucky its first shutout loss in 129 games, dating back to March 25, 2011. Ironically, Tennessee's last shutout over the Wildcats came exactly 10 years before that on March 25, 2001, when Patrick Hicklen
went the distance in a five-hit whitewashing which UT won, 6-0.
With his six-hit, eight-strikeout performance on Sunday, Godley becomes the only SEC pitcher to have thrown two complete-game shutouts this season. He first accomplished the feat on March 22 against Missouri and is now tied for the league lead with 66.1 innings pitched this season and is tied for third with 60 strikeouts.
"That's why we call him `The Bull,'" Serrano said. "He is a bull. He went 130 pitches and he might have been better in the seventh, eighth and ninth than he was in the first, second and third. What he figured out was to just stay within himself, not try to overthrow, just flip that curveball in there and throw strike one. It was a really simple plan once we got the lead and he stuck to the plan. I could not be more proud of him and the whole team."
Offensively, four different UT players had doubles and Christin Stewart
and Pierce Bily
each had a pair of hits and two RBIs in Sunday's victory.
Stewart and Bily finished as UT's top two hitters for the week, batting at clips of .545 and .533, respectively. Both players were also 2-for-2 on the basepaths for the week and combined to score nine of the team's 23 runs in the four games.
Tennessee will next be in action at 6 p.m. on Tuesday when it revives the Hokie-Smokey Classic against Virginia Tech at Pioneer Park in Greeneville, Tenn. Following that, the Vols will host Ole Miss, April 19-21, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Game times are set for 6 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday with the series finale scheduled to air on ESPNU.
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