Drew Gilbert of Volunteers has been released and may be suspended for the upcoming elimination match against Notre Dame

Drew Gilbert of Volunteers has been released and may be suspended for the upcoming elimination match against Notre Dame

Drew Gilbert, one of Tennessee’s greatest players and a top outfield prospect in Major League Baseball’s 2017 amateur draught, will be suspended for Saturday’s super regional game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish after being ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct toward an umpire on Friday night. (The Sports’s Joe Rexrode confirmed this with the university’s athletic department.)

Gilbert, 21, is required to miss Saturday’s game based on the NCAA’s rules about ejections, and that could prove to be a pivotal development as a loss on Friday would put the Volunteers in a win-or-go-home situation on Saturday. (The super regionals are a best-of-three series.) The winner of this series will advance to play the winner of the Texas-East Carolina series.

Gilbert was ejected with the Volunteers trailing the Fighting Irish 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning. He was hit by a 1-0 fastball that appeared to miss the zone low but was declared a strike by the umpire. Gilbert showed his displeasure by approaching the umpire and uttering what appeared to be a profane remark. Here’s the rest of the story.

It should be noted that the Volunteers finished the regular season ranked by D1Baseball as the best team in the country thanks to a 49-7 record. No other team ranked in the top 25 finished the season with fewer than 10 losses. They were also deemed the top overall seed in the tournament by the NCAA selection committee.

Playing without Gilbert certainly won’t help Tennessee’s chances of staving off elimination. In 56 regular season contests, he amassed a .373/.466/.694 slash line with 11 home runs, 25 doubles-plus-triples and four stolen bases. He also walked one more time (33) than he struck out (32) despite playing in the Southeastern Conference.

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