Monday July 15th, 2024 2:04PM

Sechrist leads Vols to 1st-ever national title

By AccessWDUN Staff

OMAHA, Neb. — Zander Sechrist closed out his college career and pitched himself and Tennessee into the record books on Monday night.

The senior southpaw and former Flowery Branch standout tossed 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one run as the Volunteers held off Texas A&M 6-5 in the third and deciding game of the two teams’ College World Series finale. Tennessee rallied to win the series 2-1 after dropping the series opener on Saturday.

It was the first-ever title for Tennessee, with Sechrist winning a pair of games in Omaha after also winning a deciding Game 3 in their win over Evansville in the Super Regional.

Sechrist was solid once again on Monday, scattering six hits and a walk and twice was able to get out of jams. In the third he surrendered a run on an RBI single and later was lifted in the sixth with a 3-1 lead after 88 pitches following one-out singles from Hayden Schott and Jackson Appel.

But Nate Snead came on in relief and retired the next two batters to get out of the mess and maintain a lead for the Vols. 

Tennessee took a quick lead in the first on a home run from Christian Moore. The Aggies tied it up in the third on a RBI hit from Gavin Grahovac but the Vols reclaimed the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third. Tennessee blew it open in the seventh.

Dylan Dreiling smashed a two-run home run and then Kavares Tears later followed with a RBI double to push the lead to 6-1.

The Aggies did not go away, however, battering the Tennessee bullpen over the final two innings. TAMU scored twice in the eighth and then twice more in the ninth to pull within 6-5. But Aaron Combs was able to secure the Vols’ first-ever baseball national championship, striking out Ted Burton to end the game with a runner at second base.

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