Lead photo credit and press release: Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – For the seventh time in program history, the Tennessee Volunteers are headed to Omaha, Nebraska for the Men’s College World Series.

The top-ranked Vols routed Evansville, 12-1, in Sunday night’s decisive game three of the Knoxville Super Regional to punch their ticket to Omaha for the third time in four years. This marks Tennessee’s first back-to-back trips to the College World Series in program history.

UT got an incredible pitching performance from senior Zander Sechrist, who allowed just one unearned run over 6.1 innings while striking out six batters in his final start at Lindsey Nelson Stadium before leaving to a standing ovation from the Tennessee faithful with one out in the seventh inning.

Sechrist had plenty of run support en route to his fourth victory of the season, as the Big Orange tied a single-game program record with seven home runs on the night, led by Christian Moore and Omaha native Dalton Bargo, who had two apiece.

After the Purple Aces (39-26) opened the scoring with an unearned run in the top of the first, Moore wasted no time evening the score with a rocket over the porches in left field and it was all Vols from that point forward. Moore hit his second long ball and 32nd of the year in UT’s four-run fourth inning and also scored three runs in the game.

Blake Burke also had a big night at the plate, posting a new career-high with four hits, three of which were doubles.

Joining in on the home run parade was Billy Amick (two-run HR in the fourth), Dean Curley (solo HR in second), and Cal Stark (three-run HR in fifth).

While the bats were scorching hot, Tennessee’s bullpen was equally as impressive following Sechrist’s incredible start. The Vols’ relievers didn’t allow a single hit over the final 2.2 innings as Nate SneadDylan LoyKirby Connell and Marcus Phillips all recorded at least one out.

Cal McGinnis and Ty Rumsey both had a pair of hits for Evansville while Brett Widder drove in the Aces lone run with a two-out single in the top of the first inning. Starting pitcher Kevin Reed lasted just 1.1 innings and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks to fall to 5-3 on the year.

UP NEXT: Tennessee (55-12) will take on No. 8 national seed Florida State in its opening game at the College World Series on either Friday or Saturday. Official game times for Friday and Saturday’s game will be announced in the coming days.

STAT OF THE GAME: Seven of UT’s 12 total hits on Sunday night left the yard and its seven round trippers were its most even in an NCAA Tournament game, surpassing the six the Vols hit in their 2021 super regional win over LSU on June 13. Sunday marked the sixth time this year that the Big Orange have hit six or more homers in a game.