Tennessee was in need of a steady hand in defensive support, and Will Maddox stuck one out right away.
The second baseman's smooth, gloveless grab in the first inning was exactly the kind of help the Vols were looking for after a shaky couple games in the field, and it didn't take long for plenty of company to come along and chip in as well.
Starting with Maddox, UT was flashy when it needed to be and solid the rest of the time on Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, playing error-free baseball to complement an opportunistic offense and effective pitching to complete a sweep of Seton Hall with an easy 10-2 win.
"I was fired up by (Maddox)," UT starting pitcher Nick Blount said. "I had to stay on the field and give him a high-five before I got off.
"I mean, all of a sudden he comes flying out of nowhere to make a play. That's awesome."
Blount actually increased the degree of difficulty on the early play by deflecting the chopper up the middle, and to actually make the effort count for something, Maddox also had to rely on Drew Steckenrider to dig his throw out of the dirt at first base.
But that combined effort helped set the bar for the Vols (7-0), who seemed intent on trying to top each other with athletic plays on the heels of a three-game stretch that included 11 errors.
Zach Luther showed off his arm after charging a slow-rolling ball down the line at third base, gunning down a runner to end the fourth inning.
Chris Fritts tracked down a deep drive to center field with a diving snag to end the sixth inning.
After doing some fine work on the infield, Steckenrider later moved to the outfield and did the same thing there with a sprinting play near the wall to corral a drive that could have gone for extra bases for the Pirates (2-5).
And with the Vols stringing together hits during a four-run first inning, stout defense and Blount's economic pitching were all they needed to continue the second-best start in school history.
"I think this was our best game of the year, to be honest, and I'm very proud of them for that," UT coach Dave Serrano said. "We made some incredible plays, and the tone was set by Nick Blount. He came out and looked like he had really good stuff early.
"He was in command ... I was very happy with the defense, but he set the tone for that."
Blount certainly kept his teammates busy, walking just one batter and inducing 13 ground balls for outs before leaving with a comfortable lead after six innings.
Fritts helped bring the outing to an end with his offer to the highlight reel, which provided a nice bookend for Blount after Maddox helped bail him out in the first.
"I just had to try to make a play," Maddox said. "That was my only way to make a play was to bare-hand it, and Steckenrider made an unbelievable play at first to pick it.
"We really worked hard the last couple days. We weren't making plays before for our pitcher, and we really wanted to go out there and make a statement. I feel like we did that."