KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP)Liam Spence led off the game with a home run and hit another in the second inning, and No. 3 overall seed Tennessee beat No. 3 regional seed Liberty 9-3 on Saturday in the winners bracket game of the double elimination Knoxville Regional.
Liberty and second-seeded Duke will play in an elimination game on Sunday. The Volunteers (47-16) await the winner for a chance to clinch the region Sunday night. The Flames (40-15), who beat Duke 11-6 in their Friday opener, would need to beat Duke and Tennessee Sunday to force a Monday final with the Volunteers.
Tennessee set an NCAA Tournament program record with five home runs, all in the first three innings, to build a 7-0 lead. Drew Gilbert, who hit a walk-off grand slam in the Volunteers’ Friday night win, added a solo home run in the third. Luc Lipcius hit home runs in the second and third innings.
Tennessee starter Blade Tidwell (9-3) gave up four hits and three runs, none earned, in 5 2/3 innings. Camden Sewell got his second save of the season.
Liberty starter Dylan Cumming (4-3) gave up all five of Tennessee’s home runs and left the game after 2 2/3 innings.
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