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Watch: The two home runs that kept Tennessee's national title hopes alive vs. Texas A&M

IMG_3593by:Grant Ramey06/23/24


Volquest Answers Your Tennessee Football, Baseball & Recruiting Questions In The June 20 Mailbag

No. 1 Tennessee was running out of opportunities. The Vols were 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position and down 1-0 against No. 3 Texas A&M Sunday afternoon at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha.

It was the top of the seventh inning and everything was on the line in Game 2 of the College World Series. Tennessee was facing elimination, backs against the wall after dropping Game 1 in the best-of-three championship series Saturday night, 9-5. 

It took one swing of the bat to change it all. It took a second swing to give the Vols all the momentum they needed to keep their season alive and force a do-or-die Game 3 against the Aggies on Monday (7 p.m. Eastern Time, ESPN).

Dylan Dreiling hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to put Tennessee up 2-1 and Cal Stark, the No. 9 hitter, added another two-run shot in the eighth to make it a 4-1 lead. Both home runs came with two outs.

Christian Moore walked to start the seventh, before Dreiling homered over the bullpen in right field. Freshman Dean Curley singled with one out in the eighth before Stark homered to left. 

The Vols were facing elimination for the first time in Omaha and for the second time this postseason. Evansville won 10-8 in Game 2 of the Knoxville Super Regional, forcing a Game 3 that Tennessee won 12-1 a day later.

The run in the College World Series started with a 12-11 walk-off win over Florida State on June 14, rallying from down three runs in the ninth inning to win it. 

The Vols beat North Carolina 6-1 two days later and beat FSU again, this time 7-2, on Wednesday to advance to the national championship for the first time since 1951.

Tennessee also dropped its first game in the SEC Tournament’s double-elimination format, losing 13-4 to Vanderbilt, before bouncing back with four straight wins to win the conference tournament championship. The run started with a 7-4 win over Texas A&M.

“We are not in a spot we haven’t been before,” Tennessee outfielder Dalton Bargo told Volquest Saturday night. “We are just going to have to bounce back tomorrow. Just show up and do it again tomorrow. Early game – it’s our ‘Vol Special.’ We feel more prepared. We didn’t play our best tonight and we are going to come out with a different fire tomorrow and force game three.”

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