Volunteers win Clemson regional

Published 3:15 pm Monday, June 5, 2023

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Tennessee wrapped up an undefeated weekend at the NCAA Clemson Regional with a 9-2 victory over Charlotte to secure a spot in the NCAA Super Regionals for the third straight year.

The Volunteers extended their record streak of NCAA regional victories to nine in a row with Sunday’s win, having swept their regional in each of the last three seasons. This weekend’s regional championship marked the first for UT away from Knoxville (previously 0-for-4).

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Christian Moore continued to his impressive play in this weekend’s regional with another huge day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a pair of no-doubt home runs, three runs and four RBIs.

Griffin Merritt also had two hits, including a double, and scored three runs while Zane Denton hit his third long ball of the weekend to cap UT’s three-run fourth inning, blasting a solo shot to center field to put the Vols ahead 4-0.

Tennessee got some more dominant pitching performances to keep Charlotte’s power-hitting offense in check. The trio of Drew Beam, Camden Sewell and AJ Russell combined for 15 strikeouts while holding the 49ers to just two runs.

Beam came out firing on the mound, allowing just one hit and two base runners through the first four innings. The sophomore right hander earned his eighth victory of the year, tying a career high with 10 strikeouts while giving up two runs on four hits and no walks in six innings of work.

After Charlotte cut the deficit to two following an RBI double by Cam Fisher in the top of the sixth, UT responded with five runs over the next three innings to put the game on ice.

Austin Knight and Jack Dragum drove in the only two runs of the game for Charlotte (36-28), who defeated No. 4 Clemson earlier in the afternoon to advance to the regional final.

The Vols had four players named to the all-regional team, led by Moore, who was also named the regional’s Most Valuable Player. Andrew Lindsey (SP), Denton (3B) and Merritt (DH/Utility) joined Moore on the all-regional team. Moore and Denton were unanimous selections.

Tennessee (41-19) will play in its third consecutive NCAA Super Regional and fifth overall next weekend at a site to be determined. The Vols will take on either Southern Miss or Penn, who played Monday in the finals of the Auburn Regional.