KNOXVILLE, Tenn. –  The University of Evansville baseball team will open up Knoxville Super Regional Round play of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon, as the Purple Aces will take on #1 Tennessee in the first game of the best-of-three Super Regional series.  First-pitch is set for 2 p.m. central time and Friday’s game can be heard live in the Tri-State area on 107.1 FM-WJPS and seen live nationally on ESPN2.
Friday’s game will mark the second time in program history in which UE will face the nation’s top team in the NCAA Tournament.  Evansville also faced #1 Arizona State in its first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament game in 1988, a game which the Purple Aces won 1-0 behind Andy Benes’ complete-game shutout.  Now, UE will face a different kind of top overall seed, as Tennessee enters Friday’s match-up leading the country in home runs with 159, while boasting a nation’s best 53-11 overall record.
Evansville will bring a 38-24 overall record into Friday’s Super Regional opener.  The Purple Aces went 3-1 last weekend to win the Greenville (N.C.) Regional, including posting a pair of victories over #16 national seed East Carolina to clinch UE’s first-ever regional title.  Senior DH Kip Fougerousse earned Greenville Regional Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors after hitting home runs in all four games to run his season total to a school-record tying 21 home runs.  Fougerousse has homered in six-straight games and in eight out of nine games overall, while Evansville currently ranks second in the NCAA Tournament with 10 post-season home runs.
Tennessee advanced to the Super Regional round by sweeping the Knoxville (TN) Regional with wins over Northern Kentucky (9-3), Indiana (12-6) and Southern Miss (12-3).  The Volunteers launched an NCAA Tournament-best 12 home runs on their way to a three-game regional sweep.  Tennessee and Evansville currently rank as the number one and number two teams in terms of home runs in the NCAA Tournament.
Evansville will turn to freshman LHP Kenton Deverman (9-1, 3.81 ERA) to start Friday’s Super Regional opener.  Deverman beat #16 East Carolina, 4-1, last Friday behind 8.0 solid innings of three-hit baseball.  Tennessee will start graduate LHP Chris Stamos (3-0, 3.60 ERA).  Stamos typically is used in an “opener” situation, as he has not thrown more than 3.1 innings in a contest this season.
The full schedule for the three-game, best-of-three series is as follows:
Friday, June 7:  2 PM central (ESPN2)
Saturday, June 8:  10 AM central (ESPN2)
Sunday, June 9:  5 PM central (If Necessary – ESPNU)
The winner of the Knoxville Super Regional will advance on to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.


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