Ryan Flaherty hit a three-run homer in the first inning and 22nd-ranked Vanderbilt never looked back in an 8-5 win over Tennessee on Friday in Knoxville.
VU starting pitcher Mike Minor (5-3) picked up the win, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out five in 8.2 innings of work. He took a shutout into the eighth inning as the 'Dores cruised to an 8-0 lead.
UT proceeded to score five runs in the final two innings to cut the gap to 8-5. Brett Jacobson relieved Minor with two outs in the ninth and was able to retire pinch-hitter Shawn Griffin to earn his third save of the year.
David Macias led the Vanderbilt offense, going 4-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and three RBI. Steven Liddle also had two doubles and an RBI.
The Commodores (32-13, 12-9 SEC) and Vols (25-21, 11-11) will play the second game of the three game set Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on FSN.
Redshirt freshman right-hander Caleb Cotham (6-3, 3.77 ERA) will pitch for Vanderbilt, while UT will counter with freshman left-hander Bryan Morgado (6-2, 3.20 ERA).
Sunday's series finale is set for 1 p.m.