KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Garrett Stallings turned in an incredible performance on the mound to lead Tennessee to a 3-0 win over No. 2 Georgia on Friday night to secure its first series win over a top-five opponent since taking two of three versus No. 4 Vanderbilt in April of 2016.
Stallings threw his first career complete-game shutout to lead the Volunteers to their NCAA-leading eighth shutout of the year. The junior right-hander scattered five hits and allowed just one walk while striking out five in the second complete game of his career.
COLLEGE BASEBALL RANKINGS: UCLA puts stamp on No. 1 spot
Justin Ammons drove in two of UT's three runs with a pair of sacrifice flies in the fourth and sixth innings while Alerick Soularie recorded his fifth three-hit game of the year by finishing the night 3-for-4. No UGA player had more than one hit on the night.
After getting just one hit over the first three innings off of Bulldogs' starter C.J. Smith, the Vols were about to scratch across a run in the fourth to open the scoring. Andre Lipcius led off with a walk and moved to third on a double by Soularie to put the Vols in prime scoring position. Ammons drove in Lipcius one batter later with the first of his two sac flies to put UT ahead 1-0.
The Big Orange extended their lead to three with a two-run sixth inning. Zach Daniels doubled off the wall to start the inning and scored on a single to left by Lipcius to make it 2-0. Ammons drove in his second run of the night with another sacrifice fly to plate Lipcius and put the Vols ahead by three.
That would be plenty of run support for Stallings, who retired the final seven batters of the game to lock up his team-leading sixth victory of the season. Smith was stuck with his second loss of the season after allowing all three runs in five innings of work.
STALLINGS STELLAR IN COMPLETE-GAME SHUTOUT: Junior right hander Garrett Stallings had the best outing of his Tennessee career on Friday night, tossing his first complete-game shutout. The Virginia native was on cruise control throughout the majority of the game, keeping hitters off balance with his wide array of pitches. Stallings record 10 one-pitch outs and five two-pitch outs in the game and did not allow a single runner to reach third base.
SO MANY SHUTOUTS: The Orange and White recorded their eighth shutout on Friday night, which is tops in the NCAA. It was also their second straight shutout to open the series, marking the first time the Vols have shut out an SEC opponent in back-to-back games since blanking South Carolina (8-0) and Georgia (11-0) in the SEC Eastern Division Tournament on May 19 and May 20, 1995.
It is also just the second time in program history that UT has recorded consecutive shutouts in an SEC series. The first time was April 14-15, 1967 at Kentucky with wins of 7-0 and 2-0.
UP NEXT: The Vols go for the series sweep tomorrow at 3 p.m. prior to the Chevrolet Orange and White game at 6 p.m. at Neyland Stadium. The game will be streamed online via SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app. Fans can also listen live as John Wilkerson and Vince Ferrara call the action for the Vol Radio Network (FM 99.1/AM 990).