Five Tennessee relief pitchers combined to allow one run in 7 1/3 innings in 12-3 victory over Arkansas State on Wednesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Scott Price had three of UT’s 14 hits. Christin Stewart had a single, a two-run home run and walked twice. A.J. Simcox added two hits.
The Vols (19-26, 6-16 SEC) travel to Fayetteville for a three-game series starting Friday against No. 14 Arkansas (32-16, 15-8).
“I told the team, winning is always fun,” UT coach Dave Serrano said in a school release. “We’ve had them few and far between. It was a good confidence builder for our team, we took it to Arkansas State. That’s a good confidence builder heading into this weekend.
“We know that we have challenges ahead of us this weekend, but this is good for our confidence, especially before a long trip to Fayetteville tonight. It will be exciting to go into that atmosphere, play in front of that many people and we know what we have to do. We have to play good baseball, and we have our work cut out for us.”
Arkansas State (24-25) scored two runs in the first inning against Matt Esparza. The freshman was making his first start since Feb. 26 against East Tennessee State.
Aaron Quillen (2-3) replaced Esparza in the second inning and struck out three and allowed just one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Eric Martin added two shutout innings and Drake Owenby and Andy Cox followed with 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and eighth, respectively.
Trevor Bettencourt struck out the side in the ninth.