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LIVE Updates, Score, Notes: No. 1 Tennessee Baseball vs. No. 4 North Carolina in the College World Series

Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

SCORE: Tennessee 6, North Carolina 1 | FINAL (Vols 2-0 in Omaha)

***SCROLL DOWN FOR LIVE AT-BAT BY AT-BAT FEED***

Top-ranked Tennessee baseball (56-12, 22-8 SEC) is set to battle No. 4 seed North Carolina (48-14, 22-8 ACC) Sunday night in Omaha, Nebraska in the College World Series.

First pitch at Charles Schwab Field is set for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Tennessee enters Sunday’s matchup coming off an exhilarating 12-11 walk-off win over Florida State Friday night. The Vols posted four ninth-inning runs to complete the comeback, as Dylan Dreiling ended the game with a walk-off double.

Christian Moore was the MVP of the game, hitting for the cycle in just six innings while finishing the game with five hits on six at-bats (home run, two doubles, triple, single). Moore was also instrumental in the ninth-inning rally as well, smacking a two-out double to put the tying run – himself – at second base. Blake Burke, Billy Amick and Dreiling all followed up with crucial hits themselves to win the game.

RECAP: Tennessee Defeats Florida State With Four-Run Ninth Inning Rally
INSTANT REACTION: Tennessee Baseball WALKS IT OFF Against Florida State
WALK-OFF: WATCH Dylan Dreiling Walk It Off Against Florida State in College World Series

North Carolina is also coming off a walk-off win, as a Vance Honeycutt two-out base-hit in the bottom of the ninth gave the Tar Heels a 3-2 win over Virginia in the first game on Friday. Honeycutt has been a walk-off king for the Heels so far this postseason, as he also crushed a walk-off homer to beat West Virginia in game one of the Chapel Hill Super Regional.

If the Vols lose to UNC, they will face Florida State on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET in an elimination game. If Tennessee wins, the Vols will be in good position to make the CWS Finals. The winner of FSU vs. UNC on Tuesday would play the Vols Wednesday and would have to beat them again on Thursday to advance to the CWS Finals. Tennessee hasn’t lost back-to-back games since the Alabama series. It would have to again in order to not reach the final series this weekend.

Tennessee is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years. The Vols swept through the Knoxville Regional and won two of three games against Evansville in the Knoxville Super Regional.

North Carolina is the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels were the ACC’s best team this season posting a 22-8 league record. The regular season ACC champions went 1-1 in the ACC Tournament, with their run coming to an end against Chase Burns and Wake Forest.

Since, UNC won three of four games in the Chapel Hill Regional, beating LSU in two of three games and LIU in its first game of the regional. North Carolina then swept West Virginia 2-0 in the Chapel Hill super.

JELLO SHOT RACE: Tennessee Fans Continue to Dominate CWS Jello Shot Challenge
LISTEN: Vol Network’s John Wilkerson Calls Tennessee Baseball’s Walk Off Against Florida State

Tennessee entered the NCAA Tournament coming off an SEC Tournament championship victory, its second tournament title in three years.

While UNC didn’t go deep in the ACC Tournament, the Tar Heels own multiple impressive series wins this season, including sweeps over Wake Forest, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Louisville. UNC’s series losses this season came against fellow Omaha teams Virginia and NC State and regional host East Carolina.

SCOUTING REPORT: A Quick Look At North Carolina
TRANSCRIPT: Everything Tennessee HC Tony Vitello Said After The Vols Walked Off Florida State

For all of RTI’s baseball coverage so far this season, including the RTI staff’s prediction for Tennessee vs. FSU, click here.

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

More From RTI: Tennessee Baseball vs. North Carolina In College World Series: How To Watch, Complete Preview
VIDEO: WATCH: Tony Vitello, Tennessee Players React to Thrilling Win Over Florida State in the College World Series
Injury Note

Sophomore RHP AJ Russell is shut down for the remainder of the season and thus is inactive for the College World Series. Russell underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday to repair his UCL. However, Russell is with the team in Omaha.

PITCHING: Analyzing Tennessee And North Carolina’s Pitching Situation Ahead Of College World Series Matchup

Tennessee is the betting favorite to win the College World Series, and rightfully so, as the Vols have been the best team all year. Friday night’s win was massive for Tennessee to advance in the winner’s bracket. A win against North Carolina would put Tennessee as the overwhelming favorite to win Bracket 1 and advance to the CWS Finals.

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

Starting Lineups

TENNESSEE STARTING NINE: 

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 Reese Chapman (L)

C Cal Stark (R)

Lineup Notes:
  • Reese Chapman gets the DH nod after Dalton Bargo handled DH duties Friday against Florida State.
    • Bargo went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts Friday against the Seminoles.
  • Other 8 starters the same as it’s been.

NORTH CAROLINA STARTING NINE: 

CF Vance Honeycutt (R)

LF Casey Cook (L)

1B Parks Harber (R)

RF Anthony Donofrio (L)

3B Gavin Gallaher (R)

C Luke Stevenson (L)

DH Jackson Van De Brake (R)

2B Alex Madera (L)

SS Colby Wilkerson (S)

Pitching Matchup:

Vols Jr. RHP Drew Beam (8-2, 4.44 ERA, 17 app., 17 starts, 2 CG, 93.1 IP, 96 H, 56 R, 46 ER, 23 BB, 85 K, 30 XBH, .263 opp. batting avg., 1.28 WHIP)

vs.

Tar Heels Jr. LHP Shea Sprague (3-1, 4.00 ERA 16 app., 14 starts, 74.1 IP, 75 H, 38 R, 33 ER, 16 BB, 64 K, 25 XBH, .264 opp. batting avg., 1.22 WHIP)

Pitching notes:
  • Beam continues to pitch in a game two setting. Expect to see Kirby Connell and potentially Nate Snead or AJ Causey out of the bullpen today.
  • Sprague has been one of the main weekend arms for UNC this season. The day in which he has pitched has varied but he’s been a staple to the weekend rotation.
    • Sprague’s numbers won’t blow you away, as he’s more of a pitch-to-contact guy, but he’s solid. Similar year to Drew Beam, but has only thrown 100+ pitches once. Seems like 85-95 is his range.
Uniforms

Tennessee: Dark Mode

North Carolina: Light blue tops, white bottoms, white caps


*NOTES*

  • There is NO Run-Rule in NCAA Tournament play.
  • Tennessee is the HOME team. Both teams were the home team on Friday, and Tennessee is the home team today because it is the higher seed, breaking the tie.

GAME THREAD

1st Inning: 

T1

Vance Honeycutt fouls off the first pitch at 7:08 p.m. ET.

-Vance Honeycutt strikes out looking on three pitches.

-Casey Cook strikes out swinging.

-Parks Harber grounds out to 2B.

Tennessee CHALLENGED the initial ruling of safe via a Christian Moore throwing error, and the call was OVERTURNED.

  • Great stretch by Blake Burke. Throw was not good from CMo.

END OF TOP HALF

B1

-Christian Moore grounds out to SS.

  • Fantastic play by UNC SS Colby Wilkerson. Great effort to dive and stop it from going into the outfield (especially on a ball that was 115 mph off the bat). Then fires a bullet to first while on the ground to complete the play.

-Blake Burke strikes out swinging.

-Billy Amick strikes out swinging.

  • SWORD

END OF BOTTOM HALF

Score: Vols 0, Tar Heels 0

2nd Inning: 

T2

-Anthony Donofrio flies out to the warning track in CF.

  • Ensley CRASHED into the wall as he was in a full sprint to get to the ball. Heck of a play that rival’s Wilkerson for best defensive play early in this one. Got right up after the hard hit and pounded his chest.

-Gavin Gallaher flies out to CF.

-Luke Stevenson grounds out to 2B.

END OF TOP HALF

B2

-Dylan Dreiling works a leadoff walk.

-Hunter Ensley lines out to 3B.

Ensley just walked with Trainer Jeff Wood back to the locker room.

-Kavares Tears grounds out to SS. Dreiling advances to second.

-Dean Curley flies out to RF.

END OF BOTTOM HALF

Score: Vols 0, Tar Heels 0

3rd Inning: 

T3

Ensley returned to the dugout after Curley flew out and will stay in the game.

-Jackson Van De Brake fouls out to 3B.

-Alex Madera grounds out to SS.

-Colby Wilkerson strikes out swinging on three pitches.

  • 9 up, 9 down for Beam. Only 5 pitches that inning. 21 for the game. Averaging 7 per inning.

END OF TOP HALF

B3

-Reese Chapman flies out to RF.

-Cal Stark strikes out swinging on three pitches.

-Christian Moore flies out to CF.

END OF BOTTOM HALF

Score: Vols 0, Tar Heels 0

4th Inning: 

T4

-Vance Honeycutt grounds out to P on a bunt.

-Casey Cook strikes out swinging.

-Parks Harber drops a single into RF.

  • Blooped it into no man’s land.

-Anthony Donofrio strikes out swinging after a battle with Beam.

  • Beam was down in the count 3-0 and worked his way back. Impressive strikeout.

END OF TOP HALF

B4

-Blake Burke deposits a single into shallow left field.

  • First hit of the day for Tennessee.

-Billy Amick strikes out looking.

-Dylan Dreiling works a walk.

-Hunter Ensley strikes out swinging after a long battle with Sprague.

-Kavares Tears smokes a three-run homer into the right-field bullpen.

  • 20th HR of the season for Tears.
  • 389 feet. Big moment for Tears to hit his 20th homer. Crushed that 2-0 pitch.

-Dean Curley strikes out looking.

END OF BOTTOM HALF

Score: Vols 3, Tar Heels 0

5th Inning: 

T5

*Colby Backus to CF for Hunter Ensley*

  • Ensley exits the game after hitting the wall hard earlier in the game. Dealing with a leg injury per Tony Vitello in the in-game TV interview.
  • Chris Stamos brought a chair out for Ensley to sit on in the dugout. Ensley was grabbing his right hamstring while very gingerly walking to sit down in the chair.

-Gavin Gallaher grounds out to 3B.

-Luke Stevenson works a walk.

-Jackson Van De Brake works a walk after a battle with Beam.

-Alex Madera strikes out looking.

-Colby Wilkerson strikes out swinging.

  • Huge back-to-back Ks for Beam as things were starting to get away from him.

END OF TOP HALF

B5

-Reese Chapman crushes a leadoff solo homer to RF.

  • No doubter. 411 feet. 113 mph.
  • Chapman’s 7th HR of the season.

*Pitching change: RHP Matthew Matthijs (12-4, 3.65 ERA) on to pitch for Sprague*

Umpire change shortly delays the game. Home plate umpire apparently may be dealing with a concussion so the alternate umpire will enter the game.

17-minute delay is now over.

-Cal Stark strikes out swinging on three pitches.

-Christian Moore slaps a bloop single into right field.

-Blake Burke flies out to deep centerfield.

Moore steals second.

-Billy Amick flies out to RF.

END OF BOTTOM HALF

Score: Vols 4, Tar Heels 0

6th Inning: 

T6

Drew Beam comes back out after not having thrown a pitch in the game for 32 minutes. Was staying warm in the Tennessee bullpen, though.

-Vance Honeycutt smokes a leadoff solo homer to left-center.

-Casey Cook sends a single to right field.

Trainer Jeff Wood came out to briefly check on Drew Beam. Seemed to be a possible hangnail or something with his thumb.

-Parks Harber singles to 3B.

  • Should be ruled an error on Amick. Grounder wasn’t hit that hard and Amick booted it. But it was hit hard enough to be ruled a single, I suppose.

*Pitching change: Sr. LHP Kirby Connell (4-1, 4.09 ERA) on to pitch for Beam*

-Anthony Donofrio reaches on a fielder’s choice to 2B as Harber is out at second, 4-6. Cook advances to third.

Donofrio caught stealing 1-3-6.

-Gavin Gallaher strikes out swinging.

END OF TOP HALF

B6

-Dylan Dreiling flies out to CF.

-Colby Backus issued a four-pitch walk.

*Pitching change: Sr. RHP Ben Peterson (3-2, 4.97 ERA) on to pitch for Matthijs*

Backus advanced to second on a wild pitch.

-Kavares Tears strikes out looking.

-Dean Curley knocks an RBI single up the middle to score Backus.

Curley caught stealing at second, 2-6.

Tennessee CHALLENGED the call, and the ruling was CONFIRMED.

END OF BOTTOM HALF

Score: Vols 5, Tar Heels 1

7th Inning: 

T7

-Luke Stevenson strikes out swinging.

-Jackson Van De Brake flies out to RF.

-Alex Madera legs out an infield single to SS.

-Colby Wilkerson flies out to RF.

END OF TOP HALF

B7

-Reese Chapman works a walk.

*Pitching change: So. RHP Cameron Padgett (1-0, 4.91 ERA) on to pitch for Peterson*

-Cal Stark strikes out swinging after a long battle.

-Christian Moore grounds into a 6-4-3 double play.

END OF BOTTOM HALF

Score: Vols 5, Tar Heels 1

8th Inning: 

T8

*Pitching change: So. RHP Nate Snead (10-2, 3.23 ERA) on to pitch for Connell*

-Vance Honeycutt works a leadoff walk.

-Casey Cook grounds into a 6-3 double play.

-Parks Harber lines out to SS.

END OF TOP HALF

B8

-Blake Burke strikes out swinging.

  • Strike three called on a check swing. Didn’t get the call that time, but he definitely didn’t go this time around.

-Billy Amick is walked on four pitches.

-Dylan Dreiling singles through the right side. Amick advances to second.

*Pitching change: Sr. RHP Connor Bovair (1-0, 3.71 ERA) on to pitch for Padgett)

-Colby Backus strikes out looking.

-Kavares Tears ropes an RBI double down the RF line to score Amick. Dreiling advances to third.

-Dean Curley flies out to LF.

END OF BOTTOM HALF

Score: Vols 6, Tar Heels 1

9th Inning: 

T9

-Anthony Donofrio grounds out to 2B.

  • Great job by Christian Moore to field it and fire the throw but even better job by Blake Burke to make the stretch. Extended back and to the right to make the scoop. Sick play.

UNC CHALLENGED the call, and the call was CONFIRMED.

-Gavin Gallaher pops up to SS.

-Luke Stevenson works a walk.

-Jackson Van De Brake lines out to CF.

END OF TOP HALF

Score: Vols 6, Tar Heels 1

END OF GAME

FINAL: Tennessee Vols 6, North Carolina Tar Heels 1

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