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HomeSportsTennessee BaseballBaseball: Top-ranked Vols wrap up SEC championship with sweep of South Carolina

Baseball: Top-ranked Vols wrap up SEC championship with sweep of South Carolina

Tennessee completed a sweep of South Carolina on Saturday. Coupled with a Kentucky loss to Vanderbilt, that lifted the Vols to an SEC championship and the conference's No. 1 seed.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  |  Top-ranked Tennessee used a three-run fifth inning to power itself to a 4-1 win over No. 23 South Carolina at Lindsey Nelson Stadium Saturday afternoon, completing a series sweep over the Gamecocks and locking up the fifth SEC regular season championship in program history.

The Vols finished off the weekend series against South Carolina in front of a sold-out crowd, and had already won its ninth consecutive series in conference play since losing a series to Alabama early in the season.

Tennessee closed out the regular season with a 46-10 record, including a 22-8 mark in SEC play.

The Vols shared the SEC championship with Kentucky, but earned the top seed in the conference tournament by virtue of winning a series in Lexington earlier in the spring. UT will have a double bye in the double-elimination tournament, as it looks for its fifth conference tournament championship. The Vols will play at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Hoover, Ala.

Under Tony Vitello, Tennessee has now won the regular season SEC championship in two of the last three seasons, and at least a share of the SEC Eastern Division title three of the last four years.

Tennessee has been nothing if not solid since taking over the top spot in the major college baseball polls earlier this season. A strong showing in Hoover will likely lock up the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for the Vols. However, that might not be great news, considering the much-ballyhooed “top seed curse.” The top seed has not reached the College World Series championship in 24 years. In 2022, Tennessee was the No. 1 seed and didn’t even make it to Omaha.

Miami was the last team to win the College World Series as the top seed, in 1999.

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In Saturday’s game, Tennessee got RBIs from Blake Burke, Billy Amick, Dylan Dreiling and Kavares Tears, while Zander Sechrist picked up the win on the mound, his second of the season.

It was a relatively quiet game by Vols’ stud Christian Moore, who went just one of four and scored a run. Moore, who was recently projected by one mock draft to be selected in the first round by the New York Yankees, finishes the regular season as the SEC’s home run leader, batting average leader and RBI leader in conference play, though Georgia’s Charlie Condon tied him in the RBI category. Despite the brow-raising statline, there has been little chatter about Moore being a candidate for the SEC’s Player of the Year award; most assume that Condon will take that honor.

Moore set Tennessee’s single-season homerun record with his 26th homer of the year in the Vols’ series-opening win over the Gamecocks on Thursday.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  |  Top-ranked Tennessee used a three-run fifth inning to power itself to a 4-1 win over No. 23 South Carolina at Lindsey Nelson Stadium Saturday afternoon, completing a series sweep over the Gamecocks and locking up the fifth SEC regular season championship in program history.

The Vols finished off the weekend series against South Carolina in front of a sold-out crowd, and had already won its ninth consecutive series in conference play since losing a series to Alabama early in the season.

Tennessee closed out the regular season with a 46-10 record, including a 22-8 mark in SEC play.

The Vols shared the SEC championship with Kentucky, but earned the top seed in the conference tournament by virtue of winning a series in Lexington earlier in the spring. UT will have a double bye in the double-elimination tournament, as it looks for its fifth conference tournament championship. The Vols will play at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Hoover, Ala.

Under Tony Vitello, Tennessee has now won the regular season SEC championship in two of the last three seasons, and at least a share of the SEC Eastern Division title three of the last four years.

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Tennessee has been nothing if not solid since taking over the top spot in the major college baseball polls earlier this season. A strong showing in Hoover will likely lock up the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for the Vols. However, that might not be great news, considering the much-ballyhooed “top seed curse.” The top seed has not reached the College World Series championship in 24 years. In 2022, Tennessee was the No. 1 seed and didn’t even make it to Omaha.

Miami was the last team to win the College World Series as the top seed, in 1999.

In Saturday’s game, Tennessee got RBIs from Blake Burke, Billy Amick, Dylan Dreiling and Kavares Tears, while Zander Sechrist picked up the win on the mound, his second of the season.

It was a relatively quiet game by Vols’ stud Christian Moore, who went just one of four and scored a run. Moore, who was recently projected by one mock draft to be selected in the first round by the New York Yankees, finishes the regular season as the SEC’s home run leader, batting average leader and RBI leader in conference play, though Georgia’s Charlie Condon tied him in the RBI category. Despite the brow-raising statline, there has been little chatter about Moore being a candidate for the SEC’s Player of the Year award; most assume that Condon will take that honor.

Moore set Tennessee’s single-season homerun record with his 26th homer of the year in the Vols’ series-opening win over the Gamecocks on Thursday.

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