For a second time this season, the Tennessee Baseball team had to wait patiently on the umpire’s call before the walk-off celebration could begin.
With one out and two men on base in the bottom of the ninth, Max Ferguson pulled a line drive into shallow left field, sending Jordan Beck around third base and headed towards home. Beck dodged the tag from the catcher, slid, and tagged home plate for the winning score.
But… Not so fast.
The umpires would review the play as they checked the potential winning run. The Tennessee team and the home crowd at Lindsey-Nelson stadium could only wait in anticipation. Luckily, no one had to wait too long, as the umpires quickly convened on the field to deliver the final call. Safe.
On Tuesday night, No. 6 Tennessee (30-8, 10-5 SEC) defeated Tennessee Tech (12-17, 6-9 OVC) by a score of 3-2. Ferguson was credited with the game-winning RBI.
Tennessee certainly gets style points for their ending. The team swarmed Ferguson in the outfield after the call, as a long five days for Tennessee had finally come to an end.
The Vols emotional and intense series against Vanderbilt didn’t end in a series victory, but Tennessee showed that it can muster the firepower to compete with the nation’s best teams.
But, even with the weekend series not going as planned, Tennessee still put together a full game of baseball to regain a little momentum heading out of their quick homestand. And, a finish with such excitement builds a little confidence along the way, as well.
Tennessee’s Game Recap
Tennessee Tech was off to a hot start right out of the gates on Tuesday. RHP Jason Rackers gave up an unearned run in the top of the first after first baseman Golston Gillespie put the ball in play. But the Vols weren’t far behind.
Ferguson, Beck, and Drew Gibert each had an RBI on the day.
Gilbert got Tennessee on the scoreboard first, as the designated hitter singled up the middle in the bottom of the first. This led to Logan Steenstra scoring from second base, after he reached first on a hit-by-pitch and advanced to second on a wild throw.
Then, in the bottom of the sixth inning, Tennessee would put the next run of the game on the board. Jordan Beck cranked a home run high into deep left field with no outs and no men on to give Tennessee the advantage.
The Golden Eagles put a run on the board on the top of the eighth on an RBI single. Then, the door would swing wide open for Ferguson to show off his skill as he walked it off for Tennessee in the ninth.
As the starting pitcher, Rackers had a quick evening, but Tennessee’s staff as a whole did a nice job. Although, giving up the tying run in the eighth inning is always going to be tough.
Rackers gave up one hit and one unearned run in his 3.1 innings pitched for Tennessee. He also struck out four and walked one.
Tennessee pitched six different pitchers on Tuesday, as none of them saw more than 14 batters in the game. And after his shutout inning to send Tennessee into the bottom of the ninth inning, closer/reliever Sean Hunley received the credit for the win.
After a draining weekend series against a bitter rival and a nine-inning midweek showdown, the Vols will deservingly have a little bit of downtime until their next game.
The Vols will pack their bags and head to College Station, TX for a weekend series with the Texas A&M Aggies. The first game will be Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network +.
All Photos Courtesy of Tennessee Athletics Communications