Vols Are National Champs; Hang On To Beat Aggies, 6-5

  • Monday, June 24, 2024

In a heart-stopper, the Tennessee Vols hung on to survive a late Texas A&M surge to win, 6-5, and secure the national championship.

Tennessee is the first top-ranked team to go all the way since Miami.

Dylan Dreiling was again a hero - hitting a towering home run into the bullpen to put Tennessee up 5-1 after the Vols had been clinging to a 3-1 advantage.

Hunter Ensley was a hero -somehow pulling off a Houdini slide to elude the Aggie catcher to make it 6-1.

The Vols got a leadoff homer from Christian Moore. A Dreiling sacrifice fly brought in Blake Burke, and Dean Curley knocked in Ensley.

The Aggies got on the board when speedy, 5'7" Travis Chestnut got a bunt hit and stole his way to third. A single then brought him in.

Texas A&M went to Evan Aschenbeck, one of the premier relievers in the country, early. He took over in the bottom of the sixth.

But Dreiling was able to connect on him, and Kavares Tears hit one to the wall that led to the Ensley heroics at the plate. Then Texas A&M strung together two runs on two singles and a double, pulling to a 6-3 deficit in the eighth. Kirby Connell came in to put out the fire.

Aaron Combs was called on for the ninth, and he gave up a double and a single, but he struck out powerful Jace LaViolette. Both Aggie runners came around to make the count, 6-5.

But Combs fanned Hayden Schott and Ted Burton, two of the top Texas A&M batters, to send Vol fans into delirium at Charles Schwab Stadium in Omaha.

Among those leading the cheers were Peyton Manning and coaches Rick Barnes and Josh Heupel.

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