Sports

College World Series: Tennessee Finally Gets A Ring

Meanwhile, Texas A&M loses its head coach …

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For the first time in program history, the Tennessee Volunteers won the College World Series (CWS) after besting the Texas A&M Aggies in three games in Omaha, Nebraska.

Previously, this outlet noted the odds of all eight teams that advanced to the tournament – granting fans of the University of South Carolina and Clemson the opportunity to cheer for their respective conferences, the SEC and ACC.

Much to the dismay of ACC fans, its teams were eliminated prior to the championship series – with the Vols dominating the Florida State Seminoles 7-2 in their elimination game. No SEC team lost a single game to an ACC opponent in Omaha this year, cementing the conference as the king of college baseball.

In the all-SEC final – the second in a row and third in the last four years – Texas A&M secured a 9-5 win over Tennessee in the first game but suffered a 4-1 loss in the second game. That set up a winner-take-all showdown on Monday night.

Vols’ second baseman Christian Moore got things started with a home run in the bottom of the first inning, but the Aggies quickly tied the game in the top of the third. Tennessee answered with a two-run bottom of the third to retake the lead – and then tacked on three additional runs in the seventh including a two-run blast from sophomore left fielder Dylan Dreiling.

The game appeared to be over with the Vols leading 6-1 heading into the eighth inning – but that’s when the Aggies’ bats warmed up. After notching a pair of runs in the eighth inning, Texas A&M scored two more in the ninth thanks to an RBI single from catcher Jackson Appel – who then rounded the bases himself thanks to a fielder’s interference call followed by a balk and then a wild pitch from Tennessee hurler Aaron Combs.

With two outs and the tying run at the plate, Combs redeemed himself by striking out first baseman Ted Burton to end the game – giving the Volunteers a 6-5 victory and their first-ever title.

“Very surreal, hard to center yourself which is a good thing,” said Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello. “It clearly could’ve been either team’s trophy tonight.”

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Former Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle (Texas A&M Athletics)

Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle might not agree. Less than 24 hours after the Aggies lost their chance to win the program’s first national championship, Schlossnagle is reportedly leaving Texas A&M to coach the Texas Longhorns – who will now join Texas A&M in the SEC.

The news broke after Schlossnagle chided a reporter for asking him about taking a “specific job opening.”

“I left my family to be the coach at Texas A&M. I took the job at Texas A&M to never take another job again, and that hasn’t changed in my mind,” Schlossnagle said. “That’s unfair to talk about something like that. I understand you gotta ask the question, but I gave up a big part of my life to come take this job, and I’ve poured every ounce of my soul in this job, and I’ve given this job every single ounce I can possibly give it. Write that.”

SEC teams have now won the last five championships in a row and six of the last seven. 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 16 championships compared to the Pac-12’s eighteen titles.

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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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