KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 15 Tennessee pulled out a 6-5 win in walk-off fashion against Indiana State in Sunday’s series finale at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Vols (7-2) were able regroup after giving up a three-run lead in the eighth inning and won it in the bottom of the 11th when Luc Lipcius scored on a throwing error by Sycamores’ third baseman Diego Gines, his second error of the inning.
Seven UT players registered a hit on Sunday, led by Jordan Beck’s two-hit performance. The sophomore outfielder also drove in another run with a single in the first inning to increase his team RBI lead to 12.
Senior right hander Jackson Leath made his first start of the year but had to leave the game after just three batters with an apparent leg injury. Fellow senior Sean Hunley took over for Leath and put forth another outstanding performance in relief.
The Mount Juliet, Tennessee, native retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced and the only hitter to reach base in that stretch was because of an error. Hunley ended up going 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on just two hits while striking out six.
Redshirt senior closer Redmond Walsh earned his second win of the year after 4.2 solid innings of relief. The Louisville, Tennessee, native had five strikeouts and all three runs he gave up were unearned.
After a tough day at the plate on Saturday, the Vols came out swinging on Sunday and wasted no time jumping out to an early lead, plating three runs on four hits in the first inning. Each of UT’s first four batters singled to start the game with Pete Derkay and Beck each driving in a run with their base hits.
A clutch two-out double by Max Ferguson drove in two more runs for the Vols in the fifth to extend their lead to 5-0. The Sycamores answered back with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth on a home run from Josue Urdaneta.
Indiana State took advantage of a critical throwing error by UT with two outs in the top of the eighth. After the error, a walk, a double and a single in consecutive at-bats brought in three unearned runs to tie the game at five.
Neither team was able to score in the ninth or 10th before the Vols were finally able to break through and end the game in the 11th , despite not recording a hit in the inning. Lipcius walked to start the frame and advanced to third on Gines’ first error of the inning, a throw that sailed over the first baseman’s head following a sac bunt by Liam Spence.
After an intentional walk to Derkay, Jake Rucker hit a hard ground ball to third base, which Gines fielded cleanly, but a rushed throw pulled catcher Grant Magill off of home plate, allowing Lipcius to score the game-winning run.
Tennessee will have a couple of days off before a home midweek matchup against Dayton on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live on WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app.
HUNLEY & WALSH SOLID OUT OF PEN: Seniors Sean Hunley and Redmond Walsh had their normal solid performances in relief on Sunday to help lead the Vols to a much-need victory after dropping both games of Saturday’s doubleheader. The duo combined for 11 strikeouts and walked just two batters in 10.1 innings pitched.
VOLS WALK IT OFF: Tennessee’s walk-off win on Sunday was it’s first since a 2-1 victory over Alabama on March 25, 2018 in Game 1 of a doubleheader that was limited to just seven innings.
EXTRA-INNING SUCCESS: With Sunday’s win, the Vols improved to 2-0 in extra innings this season and have won three straight extra-inning games dating back to 2019. UT defeated Georgia Southern 7-3 im 12 innings last Sunday and earned a 6-5 win in 10 innings against Liberty on June 2, 2019 in the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional.