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LIVE Updates, Score, Notes: No. 1 Tennessee Baseball vs. Southern Miss Knoxville Regional Final

Zander Sechrist and Cal Stark celebrate Tennessee Baseball’s win over Georgia // Photo via UT Athletics

SCORE: Tennessee 12, Southern Miss 3 | FINAL (Vols SWEEP the Knoxville Regional 3-0)


Top-ranked Tennessee baseball (52-11, 22-8 SEC) is set to battle Southern Miss (43-19, 20-10 Sun Belt) Sunday in the NCAA Knoxville Regional Final. The game serves as Tennessee’s third and Southern Miss’ fourth game in the NCAA Tournament.

First pitch in Lindsey Nelson Stadium is at 6:00 p.m. ET on SEC Network.

Tennessee is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years. The Vols are hosting 4-seed Northern Kentucky, 3-seed Indiana and 2-seed Southern Miss in the Knoxville Regional this weekend.

Southern Miss is a 2-seed that has an elite pitching staff and an average offense. While the Golden Eagles’ staff is really good, their top starters are already burnt for the weekend. They will be relying on some of their top remaining bullpen arms (JB Middleton, Chandler Best) to try and force a Monday matchup against the Vols.

Tennessee is coming into Sunday night’s matchups coming off back-to-back wins on Friday and Saturday in the regional. Southern Miss has gone 2-1 so far this weekend, losing to Indiana on Friday before winning back-to-back elimination games against Northern Kentucky on Saturday and Indiana on Sunday afternoon.

For recaps of both of Tennessee’s wins so far in the regional, click the links below.

RECAP: Early Offensive Explosion, Andrew Behnke Push Tennessee Past Indiana in Knoxville Regional
RECAP: Vols Use Elite AJ Causey Outing to Beat Northern Kentucky

Tennessee enters the NCAA Tournament matchup coming off an SEC Tournament championship victory on Sunday against LSU to achieve its second tournament title in three years. The Vols went 4-1 in Hoover after losing to Vanderbilt by nine runs in their first game. Tennessee followed up its lone Hoover loss with wins over Texas A&M and Mississippi State along with a revenge win over Vanderbilt and a win over LSU in the tournament championship game.

Tennessee’s SEC Tournament title was enough to give them the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, which was announced Monday.

Southern Miss enters the NCAA Tournament coming off a Sun Belt Tournament championship. The Golden Eagles haven’t been as good as they were in 2023 this season, but they’re still very talented and will be a tough out for Tennessee. Of course, Sunday night’s matchup marks the second year in a row the two teams have met in the postseason.

Tennessee beat Southern Miss in two of three games last year in the Hattiesburg Super Regional.

PITCHING: What Tennessee’s Bullpen Looks Like After Aaron Combs Was Used vs. Indiana
TRANSCRIPT: Tony Vitello, Dean Curley, Andrew Behnke Talk NCAA Regional Win Over Indiana

The Golden Eagles will be eliminated from the NCAA Tournament with a loss to Tennessee on Sunday night, and the Vols would move on to hosting a Super Regional. If Southern Miss wins, the two will battle again on Monday in an elimination game.

For all of RTI’s baseball coverage so far this season, including an INSTANT reaction video following Tennessee’s win over Indiana, click here.

For the latest RTI Press Pass baseball podcast, click here.

More From RTI: Tennessee Baseball vs. Southern Miss In NCAA Tournament: How To Watch, What To Know
VIDEO: Tony Vitello, Andrew Behnke, Dean Curley Recap NCAA Tournament Win Over Indiana
Injury Note

Sophomore RHP AJ Russell is NOT on the ACTIVE roster this weekend. Russell made his return in Hoover after a near two-month absence. Russell pitched 2.0 innings in the SEC Tournament across two appearances. In his second appearance in the SEC Tournament championship against LSU, Russell threw just 13 pitches in the first inning as an opener.

Afterward, Russell was seen on the broadcast getting checked out by trainer Jeff Wood in the dugout. In the days after his outing, Russell has felt some soreness. While he is INACTIVE for this weekend, Tony Vitello said Russell is not necessarily out for the remainder of the season, though Vitello’s update wasn’t too promising.

THREAD: Tennessee Baseball vs. Indiana LIVE Thread

Lineups, pitching matchup and additional pre-game notes are below, followed by the LIVE at-bat by at-bat game thread.

Starting Lineups


2B Christian Moore (R)

1B Blake Burke (L)

3B Billy Amick (R)

LF Dylan Dreiling (L)

CF Hunter Ensley (R)

RF Kavares Tears (L)

SS Dean Curley (R)

DH Dalton Bargo (L)

C Cal Stark (R)

Lineup Notes:
  • Bargo gets the DH nod over Cannon Peebles, Reese Chapman and others. Chapman started Friday and Saturday. Did well Friday but went 0-5 with 4 K in Saturday’s game
  • Other 8 starters and the order the same as its been.


CF Dalton McIntyre (L)

SS Ozzie Pratt (L)

RF Slade Wilks (L)

LF Davis Gillespie (R)

2B Nick Monistere (R)

1B Matthew Russo (L)

DH Braden Luke (L)

C Lawson Odom (R)

3B Gabe Broadus (R)

Pitching Matchup:

Vols Sr. LHP Zander Sechrist (3-1, 3.90 ERA, 16 app., 15 starts, 55.1 IP, 55 H, 24 R, 24 ER, 11 BB, 57 K, 13 XBH, .262 opp. batting avg., 1.19 WHIP)


Golden Eagles So. RHP JB Middleton (2-1, 4.50 ERA, 23 app., 1 start, 2 SV, 34.0 IP, 27 H, 20 R, 17 ER, 21 BB, 41 K, 13 XBH, .218 opp. batting avg., 1.41 WHIP)

Pitching notes:
  • Sechrist continues to start in day three of a series setting. Expect Nate Snead and Kirby Connell to get innings out of the bullpen.
  • Middleton has been among Southern Miss’ top bullpen arms this season.
    • This is Middleton’s second start of the season and first appearance of the weekend.
    • Middleton’s longest outing this season is 3.0 innings against Ole Miss. The most pitches he’s thrown is 55 against Nicholls State.
    • Has had two really bad outing this season (at Louisiana – 4 ER in 0.1 innings, vs. Alabama – 3 ER in 0.0 innings)
      • Middleton hasn’t had another outing in which he’s given up more than 2 ER.

Tennessee: Sunday Creams

Southern Miss: Yellow tops, grey bottoms, black caps


  • There is NO Run-Rule in NCAA Tournament play.
  • Tennessee is the AWAY team because the Vols have been the away team less than Southern Miss so far in the regional (1 time to 2 times).


1st Inning: 


-Christian Moore strikes out swinging.

-Blake Burke works a walk.

-Billy Amick grounds into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.



-Dalton McIntyre grounds out to P.

-Ozzie Pratt flies out to the warning track in RF.

-Slade Wilks lines out to 2B.

  • Tremendous catch by Christian Moore. Ball was a laser. Moore went up and got it in shallow right field, continuing his great defensive play at second base this weekend.


Score: Vols 0, Golden Eagles 0

2nd Inning: 


-Dylan Dreiling drills a double to deep left field.

-Hunter Ensley knocks an RBI single up the middle to score Dreiling.

Ensley caught stealing second, 2-6.

-Kavares Tears lines out to 2B.

  • Second baseman was playing pretty far back and it worked. Bullet right to him.

-Dean Curley rips a single to LF.

-Dalton Bargo flies out to the warning track in CF.



-Davis Gillespie flies out to RF.

-Nick Monistere strikes out looking.

-Matthew Russo lines out to LF.


Score: Vols 1, Golden Eagles 0

3rd Inning: 


-Cal Stark works a leadoff walk.

-Christian Moore strikes out swinging.

-Blake Burke lines out to deep CF.

  • Nice play by Dalton McIntyre to spring to the back wall and catch it.

-Billy Amick strikes out swinging.

  • Tough inning for Tennessee with Stark getting on then 1-2-3 going down in order.



-Braden Luke grounds out to 2B.

  • Nice charge by CMo.

-Lawson Odom works a walk after a long battle.

  • First baserunner for Southern Miss today.

-Gabe Broadus lays down a bunt single to P. Odom advances to second.

  • Throw was potentially on time but Burke didn’t complete the catch. Might have been safe anyway.

Tennessee CHALLENGED that there was baserunner interference. Call STANDS as called – safe.

-Dalton McIntyre reaches on a fielder’s choice to 1B. Broadus advances to second and third on a throwing error by Blake Burke, as Burke’s throw to try and get Broadus out at second hit Broadus in the back. Odom scored on Burke’s error.

-Ozzie Pratt strikes out looking on three pitches.

-Slade Wilks pops up to SS in shallow LF.


Score: Vols 1, Golden Eagles 1

4th Inning: 


-Dylan Dreiling strikes out swinging.

  • Longest outing of the season for Middleton.

-Hunter Ensley works a walk.

-Kavares Tears works a walk. Ensley advances to second.

Southern Miss calls a mound meeting.

*Pitching change: Jr. LHP Chandler Best (3-0, 4.05 ERA) on to pitch for Middleton*

-Dean Curley fouls out to deep LF.

-Dalton Bargo strikes out swinging to strand a pair.



-Davis Gillespie singles to P.

Zander Sechrist took a 105 mph comebacker off the outside of his left knee. LNS is completely silent as he is on the ground in pain. Trainer Jeff Wood is checking on him.

  • Zander is now up and moving around and throwing warm-up pitches. Loud ovation from the fans in LNS. He will stay in the game.

-Nick Monistere strikes out swinging.

-Matthew Russo grounds into a 6-3 double play.


Score: Vols 1, Golden Eagles 1

5th Inning: 


-Cal Stark crushes a solo homer to left center.

  • First pitch of the AB. No doubter. 8th HR of the season for Stark.
  • 105 mph, 420 feet. Mashed. Pitch was at his feet, but he got all of it. Left-fielder barely moved.

-Christian Moore grounds out to 2B.

-Blake Burke grounds out to 2B.

-Billy Amick strikes out swinging.



-Braden Luke grounds out to 2B.

  • Another great play by Christian Moore at second base. A big development for the Tennessee defense this postseason has been Moore’s improved defensive play. Was great in Hoover, too.

-Lawson Odom reaches on a fielding error by 3B.

  • One-hopper ricocheted off of Amick’s glove. Great defensive play followed by an ugly one for Tennessee.

-Gabe Broadus works a walk. Odom advances to second.

-Dalton McIntyre reaches on a fielder’s choice to SS. Broadus advanes to second. Odom out via runner’s interference as McIntyre’s line drive hit him.

  • Runners on first and second with two outs.

-Ozzie Pratt smokes a two-run double to right-center.

-Slade Wilks intentionally walked.

*Pitching change: So. RHP Nate Snead (8-2, 3.26 ERA) on to pitch for Sechrist*

-Davis Gillespie grounds into a 5u fielder’s choice as Pratt is out at third.


Score: Vols 2, Golden Eagles 3

6th Inning: 


-Dylan Dreiling works a walk.

-Hunter Ensley ropes a double through the left side. Dreiling advances to third.

-Kavares Tears cranks a three-run homer to right-center.

  • No doubter. Blasted just left of the videoboard.
  • 18th HR for Tears this season and it’s a big one.
  • 104 mph, 388 feet.

*Pitching change: Fr. RHP Josh Och (0-0, 1.23 ERA) on to pitch for Best*

-Dean Curley HBP.

*Bradke Lohry pinch-hitting for Dalton Bargo*

-Bradke Lohry HBP. Curley advances to second.

Runners advance on a wild pitch.

-Cal Stark strikes out swinging.

-Christian Moore chops an RBI groundout to P unassisted. Curley scores. Lohry advances to third.

-Blake Burke works a walk after a long battle with Och.

-Billy Amick flies out to the warning track in centerfield.

  • Nearly a three-run bomb. Stranded a pair.



-Nick Monistere strikes out swinging.

-Matthew Russo grounds out to SS.

-Braden Luke grounds out to 2B.

  • Quick and easy 1-2-3 inning for Snead.


Score: Vols 6, Golden Eagles 3

7th Inning: 


-Dylan Dreiling hammers a solo homer to left-center.

  • 2nd HR of the weekend for Dreiling. 19th of the season.
  • 101 mph, 405 feet.
  • 157th HR for Tennessee this season. One behind the program record of 158 in 2022.

-Hunter Ensley grounds out to 2B.

-Kavares Tears works a walk.

*Pitching change: Jr. LHP Ben Riley-Flowers (2-1, 8.64 ERA) on to pitch for Och*

Tears advances to second on a balk.

-Dean Curley smokes a two-run homer to RF.

  • Curley originally flew out to right, but the pitcher balked on the pitch. So Tears advanced and Curley’s at-bat continued, resulting in a homer.
  • 97 mph, 355 feet. 11th HR for Curley this season.

-Bradke Lohry strikes out looking.

-Cal Stark pops up to 2B in right field.



-Lawson Odom flies out to RF.

-Gabe Broadus flies out to RF.

-Dalton McIntyre is walked.

-Ozzie Pratt flies out to deep CF.


Score: Vols 9, Golden Eagles 3

8th Inning: 


-Christian Moore works a leadoff walk.

-Blake Burke smacks a single to centerfield.

*Pitching change: Jr. RHP Landen Payne (0-1, 10.29 ERA) on to pitch for Flowers*

-Billy Amick lines out to 2B.

-Dylan Dreiling flies out to CF.

  • Hard-hit ball.

-Hunter Ensley out at first 6-4.



-Slade Wilks singles to center field.

-Davis Gillespie singles to second base. Wilks advances to second.

-Nick Monistere strikes out swinging.

-Matthew Russo grounds into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.

  • Another tremendous play by Christian Moore at second base. Caught the toss from Curley, tagged second, then fired to first to complete the double play.
  • What a weekend he’s having defensively.


Score: Vols 9, Golden Eagles 3

9th Inning: 


*Pitching change: Fr. RHP Drake Meeks (0-0, 27.00 ERA) on to pitch for Payne*

-Kavares Tears works a leadoff walk.

-Dean Curley strikes out swinging.

*Cannon Peebles pinch-hitting for Bradke Lohry*

-Cannon Peebles HBP.

Runners advance on a wild pitch.

  • Call of Peebles being safe at second was reviewed and STOOD.

-Cal Stark destroys a three-run homer to left-center.

  • Stark is on a HEATER. Three home runs in the last two days. 9th HR of the season for Stark.
  • 103 mph, 434 feet.

-Christian Moore is walked on four pitches.

*Pitching change: So. LHP Chase Adams (2-0, 5.50 ERA) on to pitch for Meeks*

-Blake Burke strikes out swinging.

-Billy Amick works a walk. Moore advances to second.

*Charlie Taylor pinch-hitting for Dylan Dreiling*

*Ariel Antigua pinch-running for Billy Amick*

-Charlie Taylor strikes out swinging.



*Antigua to SS*

*Colby Backus to LF for Charlie Taylor*

*Curley to 3B*

*Nolan Tucker pinch-hitting for Braden Luke*

-Tucker strikes out swinging.

*Brady Faust pinch-hitting for Lawson Odom*

-Brady Faust works a walk.

*Seth Smith pinch-hitting for Gabe Broadus*

-Seth Smith flies out to deep LF.

-Dalton McIntyre singles up the middle. Faust advances to second.

-Ozzie Pratt grounds out to 2B.


Score: Vols 12, Golden Eagles 3


FINAL: Tennessee Vols 12, Southern Miss Golden Eagles 3 – Vols SWEEP the Knoxville Regional 3-0

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