The crew chief of the Tennessee-Notre Dame Super Regional opener has offered an explanation for UT outfielder Drew Gilbert’s ejection.

Gilbert was tossed during the middle of a 5th inning at-bat after arguing a strike call on a 1-0 pitch. The ejection means Gilbert is also suspended for Saturday’s Game 2 of the best-of-3 series. Umpire crew chief Billy Van Raaphorst spoke to NCAA Baseball Knoxville Super Regional pool reporter Mike Wilson of the Knoxville News Sentinel after the game:

“Tennessee #1 Drew Gilbert argued several pitches during the top of the second inning, steaming in from centerfield. To begin the next inning I talked to the player between innings, warning him to direct his comments only to his team, not our crew or the other team. He said O.K. and that he just gets excited.

“During the fifth inning following strike one, Tennessee batter Gilbert yelled an expletive, followed by another expletive as he walked out of the box and was subsequently ejected.”

After the game, Tennessee coach Tony Vitello was asked about Gilbert’s absence for Game 2.

“You have to have a different guy in the 4-hole,” Vitello told reporters after the game. “I don’t know necessarily who it will be, but we’ve had other guys in that spot. Drew went through a phase during the year with a little bit of hamstring stuff and also we’ve mixed guys in and out of the lineup early in the year, not this deep. We’ll see. The guy we put in for him (Jared Dickey) is a guy just like Drew that if I’m going down, I want to go down with that guy.”