Hunley, Vols close out Liberty

Sean Hunley, a senior from Mt. Juliet, fires a pitch during his 32/3-inning stint Sunday night as he earned his eighth save of the season.

KNOXVILLE — Drew Gilbert homered for the third straight game and No. 3 overall seed Tennessee beat No. 3 regional seed Liberty 3-1 in the Knoxville Regional final on Sunday night.

The Volunteers (48-16) beat Liberty twice during the regional and advanced to their first Super Regional since 2005 when Wilson Central Hall of Famer James Adkins was on the hill for Ut. They will host a best-of-three series next weekend against the Eugene Regional’s Oregon-LSU winner, which was to be decided Monday.

Gilbert’s two-run home run in the fifth inning made it 3-0 for Tennessee. He was named the Most Outstanding Player for the regional with his walk-off grand slam in a 9-8 win against Wright State on Friday night helping the Vols avoid a difficult path through the losers bracket.

Tennessee starter Will Heflin (3-3) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Mt. Juliet’s Sean Hunley took it from there, allowing one hit for his eighth save of the season.

Fraser Ellard (0-1) got the loss for the Flames (41-16).

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