Sports

College World Series: SEC On Top

Omaha belongs to the Southeastern Conference …

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The 2024 Men’s College World Series (CWS) baseball tournament began last Friday (June 14, 2024) with four SEC and four ACC teams competing in Omaha, Nebraska for a chance to win the national title. Previously, this outlet noted how South Carolina and Clemson baseball fans might be torn on which teams to pull for – as both programs failed to make it to Omaha again.

For those cheering on the SEC, the conference dominated the first part of the tournament – a pair of double elimination brackets featuring four teams apiece.

The last teams standing? The top-ranked Tennessee Volunteers and Texas A&M Aggies.

No.1 Tennessee entered the tournament with the best odds out of any team (+250) and is enjoying a 3-0 record so far in Omaha. The Volunteers bested the Florida State Seminoles 12-11 in their first game, the North Carolina Tarheels 6-1 in their second game and Florida State 7-2 once again in their third game – eliminating the Seminoles from the championship tournament.

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The SEC went a perfect 5-0 against the ACC in the CWS – with the ACC’s only victories coming against other ACC teams and the SEC’s only losses coming against conference opponents.

Prior to North Carolina and Florida State getting bounced, NC State and Virginia were previously eliminated.

In what has now become an SEC vs. SEC tournament, Texas A&M (also 3-0 so far) secured its spot in the championship series for the first time in history after besting the Florida Gators 3-2 in game four, the Kentucky Wildcats 5-1 in game eight, and conquering Florida 6-0 once again in the final game of the

Despite being the only team in the CWS to not host the regionals this year, the Gators were on a high heading into their second matchup with the Aggies – as they previously dominated (and eliminated) the Wildcats earlier the same day by a 15-4 margin.

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(Texas A&M Athletics)

Although remaining a strong contender throughout the tournament, Florida fell flat against Texas A&M – becoming the only team in the tournament (so far) to be shut out. Aggies’ pitcher Justin Lamkin hurled five scoreless innings – striking out nine Gator hitters while issuing only one walk and surrendering just three hits. Reliever Josh Stewart added four punch outs in two scoreless innings to help seal the win and put the Aggies in the CWS finals for the first time ever.

“Great ball game, I thought we played really, really well,” Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle in a postgame press conference. “Excited to get some rest and excited to get to play for a national title.”

Although neither team has lost a game in Omaha this year, Tennessee remains favored to win its first national title over the Aggies this weekend. The Volunteers were runners-up in the 1951 CWS.

The best-of-three championship series begins this Saturday (June 22, 2024) at 7:30 p.m. EDT at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on ESPN.

This is the second consecutive all-SEC final and the third in the last four years. SEC teams have won the last three championships and five of the last six. The last non-SEC team to win a championship was Oregon State in 2018. While the SEC is on a roll of late, the conference still trails the Pac-12 in all-time championships. SEC teams have won 15 championships compared to the Pac-12’s eighteen titles.

Here’s the schedule for this weekend’s finals …

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June 22, 2024

June 23, 2024

June 24, 2024

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Erin Parrott (Provided)

Erin Parrott is a Greenville, S.C. native who graduated from J. L. Mann High School in 2021. She is currently a rising senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in broadcast journalism. Got feedback or a tip for Erin? Email her here.

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1 comment

Cuck-a-Doodle-Doo June 21, 2024 at 9:07 am

Cheering for a team because they’re in the same conference seems like cheering for your wife’s boyfriend.

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