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Men’s College World Series Finals: Tennessee holds on to beat Texas A&M and claim first national title

Men's College World Series Finals: Tennessee holds on to beat Texas A&M and claim first national title

Tennessee closed out the College World Series with back-to-back wins over the Aggies to win the national championshp. (Steven Branscombe/USA Today)

Though it nearly slipped away in the final innings, Tennessee baseball has finally won its national championship.

The Volunteers held on late Monday night in Omaha, Nebraska, to officially close out the Men’s College World Series and win their first-ever national title. The Vols beat Texas A&M 6-5 in Game 3 of the series at Charles Schwab Field, which marked their second straight win and completed their title run.

They are now the first No. 1 seed to win the tournament since Miami did so in 1999, which was when the current format was first introduced.

After forcing the deciding game with a late rally of their own on Sunday night, the Volunteers surged ahead early in Game 3.

Christian Moore kicked things off with a solo shot over the left field wall in the first inning in what was his sixth leadoff home run of the season.

Texas A&M rallied back in the third after Gavin Grahovac responded with a perfect RBI single into left field. Tennessee, however, punched back with a Dylan Dreiling sacrifice fly and a Dean Curley RBI single in the bottom of the inning to jump ahead again right away.

The Aggies had great opportunities to take the lead in both the sixth and seventh innings, but they left two runners stranded in each inning after Tennessee brought in relief pitcher Nate Snead. He successfully got them out of both innings unscathed, which set up Dreiling’s two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh.

That shot suddenly put Tennessee up by four.

Dreiling, who was named the Men's College World Series most outstanding player, hit a home run in every single game in Omaha.

Tennessee added another before the end of the inning, too, after Kavares Tears hit a deep shot off the right field wall that just barely allowed Hunter Ensley to score after a ridiculous move at home. Ensley just narrowly made it around the tag at the plate, and the run stood after a Texas A&M challenge.

The Aggies finally rallied in the last two innings, but it just came too late. They put up two in the eighth and then two more in the ninth — after Jackson Appel hit an RBI single and then later made it home on a wild pitch with two outs. But Aaron Combs successfully finished out the ninth and sealed the one-run win.

The Aggies, who entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed and were also searching for their first championship, looked like they were on their way to pulling off the series sweep on Sunday. After Texas A&M rolled to a 9-5 win in Game 1 of the series on Saturday, the Aggies carried a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning of Sunday’s Game 2. That’s when Tennessee’s bats finally came alive.

The Vols erupted behind a pair of two-run homers from Dreiling and Cal Stark late to push them to the 4-1 win and force Monday’s Game 3. Dreiling’s home run actually marked the first time that Texas A&M, which was undefeated in the tournament up until that point, had trailed in a game in Omaha.

That was enough to spark Monday’s dominant win and sends the Vols back to Knoxville with a trophy.

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