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Two veterans returning to Tennessee baseball for 2022

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Nice to have these guys back.

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Saul Young/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Evan Russell announced that he would be returning to Tennessee baseball as a ‘super-senior’ next season, now a pair of his teammates have done the same. Reliever Redmond Walsh and first basemen Luc Lipcius will return for another season, Tennessee coach Tony Vitello said this week during his media availability.

“Redmond is 100% in,” Vitello said Wednesday, confirming the left-handed pitcher’s status for 2022.

“Luc is 100% in academically,” Vitello continued. “Put everything in order. He’s already prepping things. Redmond will certainly be a leader but Evan Russell and Luc Lipcius— I’ve already kind of teased them a little bit— every little competition we have or the fall World Series they’ll be two different teams and split up. We’ll see who the better ‘captain’ is.”

Both players, along with Russell, are taking advantage of the NCAA’s free season of eligibility following the COVID-19 year. Bringing back that leadership as Tennessee sees plenty of roster turnover is a big deal for a program that continues to build.

Last season, Lipcius hit .240 with 15 homeruns. He added 42 RBIs, appearing in 67 games.

Walsh posted a 5-1 record as a reliever in 2021, tossing 39.1 innings and posting a 2.52 ERA. The Tennessee native appeared in 28 games and posted 40 strikeouts. With Sean Hunley moving on to the pros, Walsh will be a key piece of the Tennessee bullpen.