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LOOK: Hunter Ensley, Vols starting lineup vs. Texas A&M in Game 1 of CWS Finals

On3 imageby:Eric Cain06/22/24


Tennessee Baseball Hunter Ensley Previews The College World Series Finals

OMAHA, Neb. — For the second-straight game in the College World Series, junior Hunter Ensley will serve as Tennessee’s designated hitter as the Vols take on Texas A&M Saturday evening at 7:30 pm eastern time in game one of the Finals series from Charels Schwab Field.

Ensley was removed from Sunday’s 6-1 win over North Carolina after running full speed into the left-centerfield wall while making an incredible catch. He remained in the game for a few innings before being removed with a three-run lead heading to the fifth inning.

The junior was 1-for-4 as the club’s designated hitter during Tennessee’s 7-2 win over Florida State on Wednesday, driving in a first inning run.

The lineup for Tennessee in its College World Series Finals Game 1 against Texas A&M Saturday night is the normal five at the top with Christian Moore (2B), Blake Burke (1B), Billy Amick (3B) and Dylan Dreiling (LF). Ensley is at designated hitter is followed by Kavares Tears (CF) in sixth and Dean Curley in seventh. Reese Chapman (RF) and Cal Stark (C) round out the starting nine for the Volunteers in the contest.

This is the same starting lineup the Vols used against Florida State on Wednesday.

“I feel a lot better. Feeling better every single day,” Ensley told Volquest on Friday. “Feeling better today than yesterday and feeling better yesterday than the day before. So, I expect to be out in centerfield tomorrow. Don’t take my word for it – for that, I’m not the one who makes the lineup. But, that’s going to be a conversation I have with him [Tony Vitello] and yeah, I expect to be full-go tomorrow.”

Tony Vitello reiterated on Friday that the afternoon practice session would be telling.

“Today will have a lot to do with it. Maybe a quick blurb for you afterwards on how he looks,” Vitello said. “I think he could go out there. It’s just a matter of match-ups and we feel good about our depth, too. There’s other guys who can play the outfield and play in different spots.

“We don’t want to push it, but at the same time he’s our guy. We want him in the lineup in some capacity. But I think there’s a lot of time between now and first pitch tomorrow. So hopefully that will benefit him.”

During the 90-minute workout, Ensley could be seen shagging fly balls in the outfield and running the bases with his teammates. From the naked eye, there didn’t appear to be any major limitations for the most part, but it was not the most physical workout either. Kavares Tears did take some time in centerfield as well while Ensley stood back to watch his teammates take some batting practice.

Tennessee and Texas A&M both are competing for the first national championship in program history. The Vols are back in the College World Series Finals for the first time since 1951 and for only the second time in program history.

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