KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Drew Gilbert hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth and No. 3 overall seed Tennessee escaped with a 9-8 win over Wright State on the opening night of the Knoxville Regional on Friday.
Redmond Walsh (5-1) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Volunteers (46-16), who advanced to face the regional No. 3 seed Liberty in the early game on Saturday.
The Raiders (35-12) brought on All Horizon League First Team pitcher Austin Cline (8-2) with and 8-5 lead and runners on second and third with one out. Cline, typically a starter, walked Jake Rucker to load the bases before Gilbert knocked it out of right field on a 0-1 pitch.
Wright State, the regional No. 4 seed, will face No. 2 seed Duke in a loser-out game.
Tennessee’s Max Ferguson, Luc Lipcius and Connor Pavolony hit home runs. Lipcius’ RBI double in the third inning was the only run not scored by a home run in the game.
Horizon League Player of the Year Quincy Hamilton hit a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to give the Raiders a 7-5 lead. Tyler Black hit home runs in the first and fourth innings and Alex Alders hit home runs in the fifth and eighth innings for Wright State.
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