KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee baseball was on everyone's mind Friday night. Notre Dame gave the Vols a good fight but ultimately lost the game, 8-6.
UT fans packed Lindsey Nelson, selling out the stadium. Outside the stadium, there was also a large turnout too. Fans without tickets still got the game-time experience and tell WBIR how it's great to be a Tennessee Vol.
"I'm here for every sport that Tennessee plays," UT fan Ben Shepard said.
"My name's Brent and I'm a super fan of the VFL," UT fan Brent Anderson said.
Young and old -- Vol fans show up for yet another suspenseful game. Whether it's dancing, face paintings or just kicking back in a lawn chair, these fans find unique ways to cheer on their favorite sports team. Kristin Castle brought her young daughter Piper Martinez to her first UT encounter.
"She's never been to anything UT so this is her first experience," Castle said.
For Piper, getting the famous Smokie painted on her face was the cherry on top of her first-ever Vol sporting event.
"Smokie!" she said.
"We got to do the whole deal," Castle said.
Brent Anderson is no stranger to the Vols. He dances as a way to show school spirit and as a way to bring folks together.
"I have the rhythm inside my soul. I'm here to cheer on the Vols tonight," Anderson said. "It's the best way to bring home that championship here to Knoxville."
The Vols play the Fighting Irish again Saturday in a best-of-three series to see who goes to the College World Series.
Ben Shepard is from just outside Nashville but has been a Tennessee fan since he was born. He said he's excited to be able to cheer on baseball this long this season.
"I said I can't miss this, I had to stop by and check it out," Shepard said. "It's incredible to have good teams in football, basketball and now baseball is just rocking. It just keeps the year going."
He says a season like this is what being a fan is all about.
"Rooting for the baseball team," he said, "is fun because it allows a unique way to cheer on the boys."
"Football, stadiums too big. Basketball, it's different but in baseball, you can see the field, still, hang out behind the right field and enjoy the game," Shepard said.
As mentioned before, it's best two out of three and the Vols will face off against Notre Dame Saturday at Lindsay Nelson Stadium at 2 p.m. The watch party will kick off again tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.
The watch party will be located in the green space just beyond the outfield wall down the right-field line of Lindsey Nelson Stadium between the GF1 and GF2 parking lots. CLICK HERE (PDF) for a map showing the location.
This weekend's watch party will feature a live big-screen game broadcast, tailgate games, a pep rally with the Tennessee Spirit Squads, DJ Sterl the Pearl, food trucks, face painting, a VolShop merchandise stand and more.
Admission is free. Chairs, blankets, etc. will be permitted. Coolers, glass bottles and glass containers are prohibited.
Fans attending the Big Orange Watch Party are encouraged to park for free in the G-7 Garage located at 2401 Volunteer Blvd. and walk down Volunteer Boulevard to Todd Helton Drive to access the watch party.
Additional parking will be located in lots GF5 – GF9 located on Fraternity Park Drive, which are located off of Volunteer Boulevard. Fans parking on Fraternity Park Drive may use the sidewalk between Sigma Phi Epsilon and Pi Kappa Phi to access the watch party.