KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - No. 6 Tennessee pulled out a 3-2 victory in walk-off fashion on Tuesday night against in-state foe Tennessee Tech at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
With the game knotted at two in the bottom of the ninth, Max Ferguson delivered a walk-off RBI single to right field, scoring Jordan Beck from second. The hit was the only one of the night for Ferguson, who also drew a walk and made a couple of fine defensive plays at second base.
A strong group effort on the mound also played a major part in UT's win, as six different pitchers saw action for the Big Orange. Sean Hunley got the win the improve to 6-2 on the year after allowing just one hit and racking up four strikeouts in two innings of work.
Jason Rackers got the start for the Vols and was solid in his longest outing of the year, allowing just one unearned run on one hit in 3.1 innings pitched.
Drew Gilbert also saw time on the mound and gave Tennessee two shutout innings in the middle of the game, giving up just one hit while striking out a pair.
The Golden Eagles jumped out to a quick lead with a run in the top of the first. UT responded immediately, tying the game with an RBI single by Gilbert in the bottom of the first to tie the game at one. Both sides had opportunities to break the 1-1 tie, but neither team was able to capitalize until the Vols took a 2-1 lead on a no-doubt home run to left field by Beck in the sixth.
Tennessee Tech (12-17) was able to pull even with a run in the top of the eighth. It looked as if Tennessee was going to escape a jam, but a two-out single by Cody Littlejohn scored Brett Roberts from third to tie the game at two.
After Hunley retired the side in order in the top of the ninth, Beck drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning to start UT's rally. After a sacrifice bunt by Christian Scott and an intentional walk to Liam Spence, Ferguson lined a 1-2 pitch into right field. The throw from right fielder Theo Bryant IV was off line, allowing Beck to avoid the tag and slide into home safely to give the Vols the win.
WALK IT OFF: Tuesday night's win marked the fifth walk-off victory for Tennessee this season. The Vols have also posted walk-off wins over Indiana State (Feb. 28), ETSU (March 16) and LSU (March 27 and March 28) this season.
BECK BLAST: Jordan Beck hit his seventh home run of the season to put the Vols ahead 2-1 in the sixth inning on Tuesday. The Hazel Green, Alabama, native now owns sole possession of second place on the team in home runs this season, trailing Evan Russell, who leads the team with 10.
Next up for Tennessee (30-8) is a road trip to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies this weekend. First pitch for Friday's series opener is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.