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Evansville HC Wes Carroll: Lindsey Nelson Stadium ‘Suffocating’ In Super Regional Opener

Photo By Ian Cox/Tennessee Athletics

The 3 p.m. local time first pitch on a work day had little impact. Neither did the fact that top-seeded Tennessee was hosting four-seed Evansville. The crowd at Lindsey Nelson Stadium showed out and made its presence felt in the Vols’ 11-6 super regional opening win over Evansville on Friday afternoon.

“It was suffocating, the crowd. The atmosphere was challenging,” Evansville coach Wes Carroll said postgame.

It wasn’t an attendance record at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. That, for the time, being still belongs to last weekend’s Knoxville Regional matchup against Northern Kentucky. But there were 6,195 fans and they made their presence felt from the start.

While Evansville doesn’t get a steady dose of big game SEC crowds, they did play at East Carolina three times last weekend and the Pirates’ Clark-LeClair stadium in considered one of the hardest places to play in the sport.

But Carroll still believed that the atmosphere at Lindsey Nelson Stadium affected his team, at least in the early going.

“It was definitely different,” Carroll said. “I don’t feel like we’re as loose as what I wanted to be. I don’t feel like our dugout was excited and engaged, and we discussed that after the game.”

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Evansville did a good job shaking off any early game jitters. The Purple Aces scored two runs in the second inning to take the lead and scored three runs in the fifth inning to tie the game.

But for every punch Evansville threw, Tennessee has the answer. The Vols scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to reclaim the lead and three more runs in the seventh inning to all but put the opener a way.

With the win, Tennessee is one victory away from returning to the College World Series for the second consecutive year and for the third time in four years. Carroll is confident in his team’s ability to bounce back and play loose in game two of the series.

“What I do know is that tomorrow, we are going to come to the yard extremely loose and let it fly,” Carroll said.

First pitch at Lindsey Nelson Stadium is at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday morning.

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One Response

  1. Well I hope the Aces are really loose but I
    don’t much think being really loose will
    stop the Vols!! GBO

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