OMAHA, Neb. – No. 3 Tennessee generated early offense, but could not keep pace with No. 2 Texas Tuesday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park, falling 8-4 and concluding its season.
The Vols finish their record-setting season with a 50-18 overall record, an SEC Eastern Division title and the fifth trip to the College World Series in program history.
Liam Spence, Jordan Beck and Pete Derkay recorded two hits each on the day for Tennessee, while Jake Rucker, Drew Gilbert and Connor Pavolony had one hit apiece.
Blade Tidwell started on the mound for Tennessee, giving up two hits and striking out three in three innings of action. Sean Hunley was credited with the loss, giving up Texas’ three fourth-inning runs.
After being shutout in its opener in Omaha on Sunday, Tennessee wasted little time getting on the scoreboard and took an early lead Tuesday.
A leadoff single from Gilbert got the Vols’ two-run second inning started, as a double from Beck and an RBI groundout from Derkay drove in runs and gave Tennessee a 2-0 lead.
After Texas responded in the bottom of the inning with a three-run home run from Eric Kennedy and added another run in the third to take a 4-2 lead, Tennessee evened the score with a pair of RBI singles from Pavolony and Spence.
The Longhorns took control in the fourth, countering with a three-run inning that included a dramatic, close play at home plate to extend their lead to 7-4. A score off of a wild pitch in the sixth inning brought the final tally to 8-4.
HISTORIC SEASON: Tennessee wraps up a 2021 season that is statistically one of the best in program history:
- For just the third time in program history, the Vols reached 50 wins (1994, 1995)
- For the first time since 1995, Tennessee won the SEC Eastern Division championship
- The Vols made it to the College World Series for the fifth time in program history (1951, 1995, 2001, 2005)
DERKAY GOES OUT A RECORD HOLDER: Playing his 229th and final game in a Tennessee uniform, Pete Derkay had multiple hits for the second straight game in Omaha. Derkay concludes his career in orange and white as the program’s all-time leader in games played.