Tennessee’s 2022 season is on the line. The No. 1 national seed Volunteers fell to Notre Dame 8-6 in Game 1 of the Knoxville Super Regional. If UT can win Game 2, it would play in a decisive Game 3 for a spot in the College World Series. Another Super Regional loss, though, and Tennessee’s season is over.

Notre Dame scored its 8 runs on 4 home runs, 1 each in the first 4 innings of play. It was 8-1 Irish before the Vols started to chip away at the 7-run deficit, their largest of the year.

Trey Lipscomb made it 8-2 with a solo home run in the bottom of the 4th inning. Jorel Ortega cut it to 8-3 with another solo shot in the 6th inning. Lipscomb came through again with a 2-RBI double in the 7th inning, trimming the deficit to 8-5. Jordan Beck hit a solo homer in the 9th to get it down to a 2-run game (8-6), but the Vols were unable to continue the rally.

UT starter Blade Tidwell, the game’s losing pitcher, was tagged for 5 earned runs after giving up 7 hits in 3 innings. The Vols used 5 pitchers on the night.

Notre Dame starter Austin Temple went only 3 innings (3 H, 2 ER). Reliever Alex Rao picked up the win, going 3.2 innings, allowing 3 earned runs and 2 hits.

Tennessee will play Game 2 without starting outfielder Drew Gilbert, who was ejected in the 5th inning for arguing a strike call. UT pitching coach Frank Anderson, who was also tossed, is reportedly facing a multi-game suspension.

The Vols are looking to be part of a small club of No. 1 overall national seeds to drop Game 1 of Super Regionals and still make it to the College World Series.