TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - An eight-run uprising by Alabama in the bottom of the first spelled doom for Tennessee (10-9, 1-2) which dropped a 15-1 decision in the series finale against the Crimson Tide (11-9, 2-1) on Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
"That first inning was a backbreaker, obviously," UT head coach Dave Serrano said. "If we get something stopped in that first inning, I think we had a chance to win this game because it wasn't like we were being baffled at the plate. I thought we had some good swings and, offensively, we swung the bats well but we were playing catch-up all day and it is hard to do that.
"We are still searching [for an identity] and have a long way to go. We are still searching for a lot of things. I'm at the front of the ship and I'm not pointing blame at anyone. We have a lot of things to fix, from the top all the way down."
Tennessee actually got on the scoreboard first, using a leadoff single by Will Maddox, Jeff Moberg's team-leading sixth sac bunt of the season and an RBI base knock by Scott Price to take a 1-0 lead just three batters into the game.
Alabama responded with force immediately, however, sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring eight runs in the home half of the first inning. In all, the Tide had five hits and took advantage of three hit batters and a walk by the UT pitching staff during the frame.
From there, the Vols were held off the scoreboard over the final eight innings while Alabama continued to extend its lead throughout the afternoon.
Maddox, Taylor Smart and Vincent Jackson all had two-hit performances in the loss as the Vols dropped their first series to Alabama since 2010.
Freshman Andy Cox (1-2) suffered the loss for Tennessee while Spencer Turnbull (1-1) claimed the win for Alabama with seven innings of one-run ball.
The Big Orange will return to Rocky Top next week, opening a five-game homestand with a 6 p.m. showdown against Western Carolina on Wednesday. UT will then host SEC newcomer Missouri for a three-game set over the weekend.