NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee had nothing but goose eggs on its side of the scoreboad for seven innings versus Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday afternoon.
That all changed quickly and abruptly in the top of the eighth as a five-spot brought the Volunteers back and they ran away from there to a 9-3 win.
Tennessee (22-18, 6-14 Southeastern Conference) evened the weekend series at a game apiece with the Commodores (26-17, 10-10).
Commodores right-hander Kyle Wright retired the first 10 batters in order and didn't surrender a base hit until third baseman Jordan Rodgers singled with one down in the Tennessee half of the seventh.
The Big Orange got things going in a hurry in the eighth as catcher Pete Derkay walked, left fielder Matt Walrden got plunked and pinch hitter Will Heflin singled.
After a strikeout, second baseman Jeff Moberg singled in a run. Following a fielder's choice off the bat of Justin Ammons, Rodgers jumped ship with a long grand slam over the left-field wall to put the Vols up by two.
"Wright is a tough pitcher, he's a great pitcher," Rodgers told InsideTennessee. "You've just got to take what you can get in that situation. Teammates did a great job of getting on base leading up to that at-bat, and I was just looking for something up."
In the ninth, Tennessee sent eight batters to the plate, scoring four more times with a two-run single by Moberg highlighting things.
Garrett Stallings (3-1) earned the victory, going 7 1/3 innings with three strikeouts against six hits and three walks allowed. Just one of the three runs he surrendered was earned. Fellow freshman righty Zach Linginfelter twirled 1 2/3 of hitless relief for his first collegiate save.
Wright (2-5) gave up four runs on three hits and two walks with six Ks.
The series finale at Hawkins Field is Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Tennessee will start left-hander Zach Warren against Vanderbilt righty Chandler Day.
For more on Saturday's win for the Vols, click play on the video interviews below.