WATCH: Blake Burke’s Epic Bat Flip Will Make Your Day

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There is only one word to describe the moment when Blake Burke launched a 401-foot home run to right field in the ninth inning on Saturday night… Epic.

The home run itself was a towering moonshot deep into the pitch-black Alabama night-time sky. As soon as the ball connected with the bat, everyone in the ballpark knew that it was long gone out of the park.

After following through the swing, Burke popped one of the most epic bat flips in Tennessee history as he put the nail into Kentucky’s SEC Tournament hopes.

Tennessee/Kentucky: Late Game Offensive Explosion Sends Tennessee To SEC Tournament Title Game

To follow along with the trend of recent “Star Wars” television releases, Burke looked as though he went full-on Jedi Knight to force push that bat as it flew through the air down the first-base line.

ESPN play-by-play analyst Tom Hart delivered a dynamite call for the home run as it sailed into the thick treeline behind the right-field bullpen: “Wake up squirrels, you’ve got a visitor!”

While the moment wasn’t exactly the same, Blake Burke’s home run was somewhat reminiscent of Drew Gilbert’s walk-off grand slam in the 2021 Knoxville Regional. Both left-handed hitters, late in the game, sending no doubt towering shots into the night sky that go so far that simply you lose track of the baseball.

At this point in the evolution of baseball, whether it’s fully agreed upon or not, bat flips and celebrations are part of the game of baseball. Too much of anything can be bad, which is why you don’t see bat flips in the second inning for routine singles in the gap. But when a rare moment happens, such as a comeback walk-off or 400+ foot home run, players should absolutely have the ability to celebrate and enjoy the moment with the bat flip. When a pitcher strikes a batter out, the infielders often sling the ball all over the field before it returns to the pitcher. So what’s wrong with a bat flip on a home run? Players should celebrate accomplishments.

And it certainly looks like Blake Burke enjoyed every moment of that hit.

In just 78 at-bats this season, Burke has 12 home runs, which is good for sixth on Tennessee’s team. To put that number into perspective, all five players above Burke have at least 169 at-bats this season. Burke’s season rate of hitting one home run per every 6.5 trips to the plate is nothing short of impressive.

After defeating Kentucky in the SEC Tournament semi-finals on Saturday night, Tennessee will now face Florida in the SEC Tournament finals on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.