KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee Baseball put themselves in the position to punch their ticket to Omaha on Sunday, defeating LSU 4-2 in game one of the Knoxville Super Regional Saturday evening.
Tennessee’s ace Chad Dallas dazzled in the Super Regional Opener. Dallas went six innings pitched, allowing just five hits and two runs while setting a new career-high in strikeouts punching out 12 Tigers.
With the rain coming down hard at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in the second, and the game forging on, LSU capitalized on mother nature’s fortune as Cade Doughty sent a pitch over the wall in the right-field giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Vols went without a hit in the first two innings, Jordan Beck delivered their first in the bottom of the third. Beck’s lead-off double to left centerfield ignited UT’s offense, as designated hitter Pete Derkay advanced Beck to third on a groundout to third and Connor Pavolony follow suit bringing Beck home on an RBI groundout to short.
LSU started the top of the 5th with a pair of base runners after Drew Bianco singled up the middle and Cade Beloso was hit by a pitch. With no outs, Bianco attempted to steal third. Tennessee catcher Connor Pavolony’s throw to pick-off Bianco at third sailed well above Jake Rucker’s head and Bianco was waved home to give the Tigers a 2-1 advantage.
Tennessee found their offense again in the sixth. After Max Ferguson was walked, Jake Rucker sent a ball deep to the pocket of left field sending Ferguson to third and himself to second with one out. Drew Gilbert then reached when Tiger’s third baseman Cade Doughty couldn’t make his mind on a fielders choice first attempting to tag out Rucker before feeding the ball to first.
Max Ferguson would score amid the confusion tying the game at 2-all. The bases were loaded when Luc Lipcius stepped up to the dish, after Evan Russell was walked, Lipcius hit a slow-grounder to second scoring Rucker to giving Tennessee a 3-2 lead. Jordan Beck afforded the Vols an insurance run before the sixth was over singling to right field scoring Gilbert. After six complete Tennessee took a 4-2 lead.
UP NEXT: Tennessee will face LSU Sunday at 3 P.M. EST in Game 2 of the Super Regional. That game will air on ESPN2.