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Tennessee baseball moves up in updated NCAA Tournament projections after sweep of Vandy

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Tennessee baseball moves up in updated NCAA Tournament projections after sweep of Vandy

Tennessee baseball’s sweep of Vanderbilt over the weekend helped the Vols move up one seed line in NCAA Tournament projections this week. Both Baseball America and moved Tennessee up from a No. 3 seed to a No. 2 seed after the three wins over Vandy. 

Tennessee (27-14, 8-10 SEC), which hosts Mississippi State for a three-game weekend series starting Thursday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, was a No. 2 seed in Indiana’s regional in Bloomington according to both outlets.

D1Baseball had Indiana as the No. 12 overall seed, matched up against Wright State while Tennessee had a rematch with No. 3-seed Notre Dame. Baseball America has Indiana as the No. 15 overall seed with Wright State as the No. 4 seed and the Vols matched up against No. 3 Louisville.

Tennessee was a No. 3 seed in both projections last week, before the Vols had a walk-off 4-3 win in 12 innings Friday night against Vanderbilt, then a 17-1 win in seven innings on Saturday and a 10-5 win on Sunday. The run continued Tuesday with a 19-1 win over Bellarmine in Knoxville.

Vols have won seven straight games against Vanderbilt after weekend sweep

“The thing I’m encouraged by,” Tennessee coach Tony Vitello said Tuesday night after the win over Bellarmine, “is they’ve kind of started to create some trends. We were talking about that after the game on Sunday, so my confidence lies in the fact that if they kind of continue down the path they are, of the team bonding thing or chemistry or environment — everything that goes under that umbrella. 

“Then, I will feel much more confident in the dugout, so that’s kind of where my focus is. Them maintaining the attitude and the energy that they’ve had. It’s a little different. It’s a quirky group, fun. But when they’re more relaxed and kind of playing their game, not trying to be pleasers, then it’s a group that makes me feel good about our chances.”

The sweep of Vandy was Tennessee’s first SEC series win since March 24-26, when the Vols swept Texas A&M at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. 

Missouri swept Tennessee in Columbia to start the SEC schedule. The Vols bounced back with the sweep of the Aggies but dropped two of the next three at No. 1 LSU and at home against No. 3 Florida and at No. 5 Arkansas.

Up Next: Tennessee vs. Mississippi State, Thursday, 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network

After hosting Mississippi State this weekend, Tennessee goes to Georgia (May 7-9), hosts Kentucky (May 12-14) and goes to South Carolina (May 18-20). The Vols have midweek games left against Bellarmine (April 25), Wofford (May 2), Austin Peay (May 9) and Belmont (May 16).

Tennessee won a program-record 57 games last season, won the SEC Tournament championship in Hoover, Ala., and was the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, beating Alabama State, Campbell and Georgia Tech in the Knoxville Regional. The Vols had their season ended in a three-game Super Regional series against Notre Dame at home, though.

In 2021, Tennessee beat Wright State and Liberty in the Knoxville regional then swept LSU in the Super Regional round to advance to the College World Series. The Vols lost their first two games in Omaha, against Virginia and Texas, and were eliminated. 

Tennessee in 2019 beat UNC Wilmington, split two games with Liberty and then saw its season end in a loss to North Carolina in the Chapel Hill Regional. 

The post Tennessee baseball moves up in updated NCAA Tournament projections after sweep of Vandy appeared first on On3.

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