Tennessee baseball rallies in ninth to bury Georgia Tech, move to super regional

Mike Wilson
Knoxville News Sentinel

Jordan Beck raised his right arm in celebration and started hollering.

The Tennessee baseball outfielder was barely past first base, but he had done it — and so had the Vols.

The Vols bent for eight innings against Georgia Tech. They answered the call in their biggest gut-check moment of the season — and then some. No. 1 Tennessee (55-7) scored six ninth-inning runs to break through and bury the No. 3 Yellow Jackets (36-24) 9-6 on Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium to reach a super regional for the second straight season.

Beck had the game-tying hit, mashing a fastball on a low line to center field. Georgia Tech's Colin Hall misplayed it, running in before the ball soared over his head and bounced to the wall to score Kyle Booker. Trey Lipscomb was hit by a pitch two batters later to give UT the lead as it blitzed Georgia Tech in the final inning.

UT will face Notre Dame (38-14), the winner of the Statesboro Regional, in the super regional starting Friday or Saturday.

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How the ninth inning unfolded

Jared Dickey pinch-hit for Seth Stephenson to open the ninth inning. He hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle for a single.

Booker pinch-ran for Dickey and beat a play to second after Luc Lipcius hit a chopper. He was ruled out but the play was overturned after review.

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Beck stung a liner toward center. The ball sailed over Hall and to the wall, scoring Booker and putting two in scoring position. Georgia Tech intentionally walked Drew Gilbert. Lipscomb was hit by a pitch, putting UT ahead 5-4 and the Vols poured it on the Yellow Jackets.

Moore had a pinch-hit single for the second straight game, scoring a pair. Evan Russell followed with another single, pushing UT ahead 8-4.

Cortland Lawson smacked a sacrifice fly for the final run and the five-run margin.

Will Mabrey was a star

For the second straight game, Tennessee got a valiant relief effort from a lefty.

Will Mabrey starred Sunday after Kirby Connell was fantastic Saturday against Campbell. Mabrey came in during the fourth inning with one out. He retired two straight and kept pitching well.

He threw 3⅔ innings, striking out five and scattering five hits. 

Mabrey pitched out of a critical seventh-inning moment with runners on second and third with one out. He got back-to-back fly outs to end the inning.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at michael.wilson@knoxnews.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.