KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The ball was flying all over Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Friday night, so it only made sense for the game to come to an end with one final home run, the ninth of the night. Drew Gilbert blasted Tennessee's seventh walk-off win of the year into the record book with a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning, his second walk-off home run of the year, to beat No. 4 seed Wright State 9-8 to open the Knoxville Regional.
Tennessee trailed early after a first-inning two run homer from Wright State bounced off the glove of right fielder Jordan Beck. Tennessee found the scoreboard with a Luc Lipcius solo shot in the bottom of the second, but added four more runs in the bottom of the third, including home runs from Connor Pavolony and Max Ferguson.
Wright State responded with a home run in the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings to take the lead against the No. 1 seed Vols. Quincy Hamilton's three-run homer in the top of the seventh is what put the Raiders in front.
Drew Gilbert, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, put the Vols back on top.
There will be two games on Saturday in the Knoxville Regional, No. 2 seed Duke and No. 4 seed Wright State will play at noon in an elimination game. No. 1 seed Tennessee will play No. 3 seed Liberty at 6 p.m.
A postgame recap from head coach Tony Vitello and players Drew Gilbert and Connor Pavolony is available below: