CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – No. 23 Tennessee got off to a rough start in its NCAA Regional opener, falling 6-1 to Liberty on Friday night at Boshamer Stadium.
Due to a three-hour weather delay in the first game of the afternoon between North Carolina and UNC-Wilmington, the Vols game against Liberty did not start until 10 p.m., after originally being slated to begin at 7 p.m.
The Flames struggled on the mound during the early season meeting between the two programs, but Mason Meyer kept the UT bats quiet during the second contest. Meyer tossed 7.0 innings and allowed just one run on three hits before giving way to the bullpen to close out the game.
Tennessee starter Garrett Stallings did not have his best stuff, but still managed to throw 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on 10 hits. Stallings struck out three batters on the night as well but dropped to 8-5 on the season after picking up the loss.
The Vols’ usually surehanded defense had a tough night as well, committing three errors that resulted in three unearned runs for Liberty.
The Flames opened the scoring with a two-run home run to right field by Jonathon Embry in the top of the first. Tyler Galazin doubled off the wall to bring in Logan Mathieu and extend Liberty’s advantage to three runs going into the fourth.
The Big Orange struggled offensively through the first three innings with junior Justin Ammons recording the Vols’ lone hit in that span with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first. Ammons saw his first action since sustaining an injury in the second game of the Ole Miss series on May 17.
After Liberty added two more runs in the top of the seventh to make it a 6-0 game, Evan Russell finally got the Vols on the board with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the inning to break up the shutout. Russell finished the night 2-for-4 and was the only UT player with multiple hits in the game.
On the other hand, Liberty had four players record multi-hit performances, led by Brandon Rohrer, who finished the night 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI. Meyer improved to 6-4 on the year with the win.
UP NEXT: Tennessee will need to win to keep its season alive tomorrow afternoon against UNC-Wilmington. The game will begin at 12:06 p.m. and be streamed on ESPN3 and the ESPN App. Fans can also listen live as John Wilkerson call the action for the Vol Radio Network (FM 99.1/AM 990).