Vols open the season and Serrano era with 7-1 win over NIU

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee baseball program opened its 103rd season - and first under head coach Dave Serrano - with a 7-1 win over Northern Illinois on Friday evening in front of a UT home-opener record 2,812 fans at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

"I've been in a lot of openers as a head coach," Serrano said. "This is my eighth one and my third on at a different program. I was most excited about this one. I just told the players in there, a lot of it had to do with them. They've had to overcome some of their tough times. For how much they've bought in to what we're trying to do here, this was special. This win was special for them. This isn't just about me. This is for them and what we're trying to do each and every day to become a better team."

Senior Chris Pierce hit a three-run homerun and freshman Jared Allen contributed an RBI double, while three Vol pitchers combined to allow just one run.

Junior Drew Steckenrider recorded the win with four shutout innings to open the contest, and also registered a homerun in the eighth inning to cap the scoring.

Serrano is the 14th head coach at Tennessee to win his first game in Orange and White.

The Vols (1-0) and Huskies (0-1) will complete their three-game series with a doubleheader Saturday, beginning at noon ET.

Final Stats

FINALLindsey Nelson Stadium // Knoxville, Tenn.N. Illinois 1(0-1)Tennessee 7(1-0) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H EN. Illinois 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 -- 1 5 0Tennessee 2 0 0 0 1 3 0 1 x -- 7 7 0W: D. Steckenrider (1-0)S: NoneL: T. Barry (0-1) PITCHINGTennesseeIPHRERBBSOD. Steckenrider (W, 1-0)4.020012R. Kidd3.021132C. Stevens1.010020N. IllinoisIPHRERBBSOT. Barry (L, 0-1)6.056634M. Grindstaff1.010010E. Anderson1.011100BATTING LEADERSTennesseeABRHRBIBBHRC. Pierce411401D. Steckenrider322101BATTING LEADERSN. IllinoisABRHRBIBBHRA. Jones300110» BOX SCOREKNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee baseball program opened its 103rd season - and first under head coach Dave Serrano - with a 7-1 win over Northern Illinois on Friday evening in front of a UT home-opener record 2,812 fans at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

"I've been in a lot of openers as a head coach," Serrano said. "This is my eighth one and my third on at a different program. I was most excited about this one. I just told the players in there, a lot of it had to do with them. They've had to overcome some of their tough times. For how much they've bought in to what we're trying to do here, this was special. This win was special for them. This isn't just about me. This is for them and what we're trying to do each and every day to become a better team."

Senior Chris Pierce hit a three-run homerun and freshman Jared Allen contributed an RBI double, while three Vol pitchers combined to allow just one run.

Junior Drew Steckenrider recorded the win with four shutout innings to open the contest, and also registered a homerun in the eighth inning to cap the scoring.

Serrano is the 14th head coach at Tennessee to win his first game in Orange and White.

The Vols (1-0) and Huskies (0-1) will complete their three-game series with a doubleheader Saturday, beginning at noon ET.


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