Tennessee edges Liberty 6-5 in 10-inning thriller
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Jake Rucker singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning after Tennessee escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth as the Volunteers edged Liberty 6-5 in an NCAA regional elimination game Sunday.
The second-seeded Vols (40-20) next face top-seeded North Carolina. A North Carolina victory would send the Tar Heels to a super regional. A Tennessee triumph would force a rematch to determine which team advances.
Rucker’s two-out single to left off Evan Brabrand (4-3) scored Evan Russell from third. Russell had moved from first to third when Ricky Martinez reached on a throwing error by Liberty shortstop Cam Locklear that kept Tennessee’s rally alive.
Liberty (43-21) tied the game in the bottom of the ninth when Logan Mathieu was hit by a pitch from Redmond Walsh (2-2) with the bases loaded and nobody out. But the Flames couldn’t get the winning run home. After Will Wagner lined to first, Walsh got Locklear to hit into a double play.