NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Illinois held off a late rally by Georgia Tech and the Yellow Jackets brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning but could not complete the comeback as the Illini won the opener of the NCAA Nashville Regional, 6-4, Friday afternoon in Nashville, Tenn.
Daniel Palka was 3-for-5 with a triple, an RBI, scored twice and also pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief for the second-seeded Jackets, who slipped to 34-26 and drop to the losers’ bracket in the Nashville Regional. Tech faces the loser of Friday night’s Vanderbilt/East Tennessee State game in an elimination game at 3 p.m. ET Saturday. Illinois, the third-seed, improved to 35-18.
“I really want to credit Illinois,” said head coach Danny Hall. “Offensively, I thought we hit some balls awfully hard, but right at them. We just couldn’t quite get that two-out hit. They really just limited us to one run at a time. I thought we did a good job of getting back into the game, but couldn’t quite crack the code.”
Vanderbilt 9 East Tennessee State 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt started its NCAA Tournament appearance with a bang Friday as the Commodores defeated East Tennessee State, 9-1, to advance to the winner’s bracket of the Nashville Regional.
Vanderbilt scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back behind a strong pitching outing by Kevin Ziomek, who picked up the win.
East Tennessee State Recap