BREAKING NEWS: Aces Outlast #1 Tennessee, 10-8, To Even Super Regional Series

0

Aces Outlast #1 Tennessee, 10-8, To Even Super Regional Series

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. –  The University of Evansville baseball team exploded for 10 runs in the middle three innings on Saturday, and then senior reliever Shane Harris worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the ninth inning, as the Purple Aces took down the #1 national seed Tennessee Volunteers, 10-8, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  With the victory, Evansville evens the best-of-three Super Regional series with the Volunteers and forces the “if necessary” game on Sunday night in Knoxville.

“I am beyond proud of the fight and determination that our team showed today in the middle innings to help us get this win,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll.  “We got down early, but we had multiple guys step up and make plays today, be it at the plate, on the mound, or in the field to help us get this win.  I couldn’t be more proud of the team that I am right now.”

Tennessee jumped out early against UE, launching three solo home runs in the first inning and adding a fourth run in the second inning to grab an early 4-0 lead.  Senior reliever Jakob Meyer (4-4), though, came on to get out of a bases-loaded situation in the second inning, and kept Tennessee scoreless in the third and fourth innings to keep the score at 4-0.

Evansville would get on the board with three runs in the fourth inning on an RBI ground out by graduate third baseman Brent Widder, and a two-run home run off the scoreboard in right-center field by junior second baseman Cal McGinnis.

After UT would answer back with a run of its own in the top of the fifth inning to extend the lead to 5-3, UE responded again to grab a lead it would never lose in the bottom half of the frame.  Graduate catcher Brendan Hord started the rally with a lead-off single, and then after a pair of infield outs, senior outfielder Kip Fougerousse had an RBI single to score senior shortstop Simon Scherry to cut the UT lead to 5-4.

After a pitching change, graduate first baseman Chase Hug doubled to put two men in scoring position with two outs.  Widder then delivered an RBI single on a 98 mile-per-hour pay-off pitch from Tennessee reliever Nate Snead to tie the game at 5-5.  McGinnis then followed with an RBI single down the right field line to give UE a 6-5 advantage.

Sophomore reliever Max Hansmann then worked around a pair of walks to post a scoreless sixth inning, and UE exploded for four more runs in the sixth inning to extend its lead.  Hord launched a towering two-run home run down the left field line that just snuck inside the foul pole to give UE an 8-5 lead.  Fougerousse then belted a two-run home run to left-center field for his fifth home run of the NCAA Tournament and 22nd home run of the season to give UE a 10-5 advantage.  With that home run, Fougerousse set a new single-season home run record at UE, while also grabbing the individual home run lead of the NCAA Tournament.

Senior reliever Nick Smith would work scoreless seventh and eighth innings, before the Volunteers would rally for three runs to trim UE’s lead to 10-8 in the ninth inning.  Harris would get Tennessee slugger Christian Moore to fly out to right field with the bases loaded though to end the threat and notch his fifth save of the season.

Fougerousse led UE by going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI, as he not only set UE’s single-season home run record on Saturday but also broke UE’s single-season hits record, as he now has 94 hits on the season.  McGinnis went 2-for-4 with his second home run of the Super Regional and three RBI, while Hord, Hug and junior designated hitter Evan Waggoner all had two hits as well.

With the victory, Evansville improved to 39-25 overall, while Tennessee fell to 54-12 with the loss.  The three-game Super Regional series will conclude on Sunday night at 6 p.m. eastern/5 p.m. Central time with the “if necessary game.”  Sunday’s game can be heard live in the Tri-State area on 107.1 FM-WJPS and seen live nationally on ESPNU. The winner of Sunday’s contest will advance on to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska beginning next weekend.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here