Tennessee was on the brink of elimination Saturday, but were able to pull out a 10-3 win over UNC-Wilmington.
Friday night was a rough one for the Vols as they were manhandled by Liberty and lost 6-1. The Flames came out of the gates hot and didn’t let the bats die down all game. The Friday night loss threatened the end of Tennessee’s season.
Tennessee didn’t take kindly to the possibility of returning to Knoxville without winning at least one game. The Vols took their first lead of the NCAA tournament in the first inning and never looked back routing the Seahawks 10-3 to win their first NCAA tournament game since 2005.
Ricky Martinez led the Vols on offense with two RBIs and two runs scored. Camden Sewell was the starter and gave up one run on four hits in 4.2 innings. Garrett Crochet took over in his first appearance since taking a line drive to the jaw in the last series of the regular season. Freshman catcher Conor Pavolony also hit a grand slam which was the third Tennessee grand slam in NCAA tournament history and the first since 2001.
Unlike last night, the Vols came out ready to go in their second game of the tournament. The bats led the way, but the stellar pitching throughout the game allowed the Vols to play relaxed down the stretch. UNC-Wilmington committed multiple errors throughout the game, and the Vols took advantage of every one of them.
An impressive all-around outing for the Vols gives fans a chance to kick their Saturday night off on the right foot. Now Tennessee will wait on the final score from the Liberty-UNC game. The Vols will face the loser of that matchup in another elimination game. If Tennessee can win their next elimination game on Sunday, they will advance to the Regional Championship game later Sunday night.