Vols Baseball Team Opens Season With 8-4 Win Over Memphis at Chattanooga’s AT&T Field
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — In the Friday night opener of their 2016 season at AT&T Field, the Tennessee Volunteers jumped out to an early, five-run lead over Memphis and held on to take an 8-4 victory in Game 1 of the three-game series.
On the mound, left-handed starter Andy Cox went 4.0 innings, allowing just one run on three hits with four strikeouts to earn the win. The start marked the first for Cox since the 2015 SEC Tournament (May 19) and with the win, Cox now moves to an 11-6 career record as a senior for the Vols.
Right-hander Eric Freeman entered the game in the fifth, making his second career appearance with the Big Orange, and allowed two runs over 3.0 innings of work. Freshman and Knoxville native Will Neely then made his Tennessee debut in the eighth and fanned three of the nine batters he faced.
The Vols used a gritty style of offense to push across six runs in the first two innings, highlighted by a four-run second frame. The team also took advantage of four walks and two defensive miscues by the Tigers to secure a five-run lead over the next three innings. Memphis chipped away at the Vols’ lead, plating three runs over the seventh and eighth innings, but the Vols’ pitching staff and defense settled in to retire six of the last nine batters before they reached base.
Senior second baseman Jeff Moberg (1-for-2, 3 R) led Tennessee’s scoring efforts, reaching base safely via two walks and a hit-by-pitch and managing to score on all three chances. Freshman designated hitter Daniel Neal recorded multiple hits in his collegiate debut, going 2-for-4 on the night, while senior center fielder Derek Lance went 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.