July 18, 2024

WHAT A BAD NEWS: The results have totally changed” Tennessee 2010 and 2023 Tragidy is here again if this continues….

Regardless of the sport, I have experienced as a Tennessee fan the feeling that the biggest and most important moments of the program are when horrible things go wrong. And why does it feel that way, do you know? Because during the most important and significant times for the school, horrible things have consistently happened. That is the Vol fan’s way of life. Make it to the 2010 and 2023 Elite Eight? Approach only a little bit. Reach Omaha? The opposing hitters’ bats did not calm down, but the Vols’ did. And in football, well, yeah. With a few notable exceptions, books have been written about the disasters there this century.

Therefore, it’s not the fault of any Vol fan to feel like it’s “here we go again” on Sunday afternoon. After all, the Vols underperformed in the opening game of the championship series, falling behind 9-2 at one point and finishing 9-5, following what truly seemed to be Tennessee’s year. The Vols were unable to generate enough quality contact until it was too late, the defense let up, and the pitching was unable to get past a bat.

with then on Sunday, Texas A&M started off the bottom of the first with a single home run to go up 1-0. And then Tennessee couldn’t stop Texas A&M burner Chris Cortez with his 100+ mph fastball. After 99 pitches, the Vols had no runs and not much momentum to change that.

Until they did. With one out in the top of the seventh, Dylan Dreiling saw a fastball grooved right there middle-up, and he clubbed it over the bullpen in right field for a 2-1 lead. The script was flipped. The Vols would add on two more when Cal Stark bludgeoned a curveball over the bullpen in left field. Aaron Combs was brilliant in relief of Beam, who allowed just one run himself over 4.1 innings. Nate Snead closed the door in a pressure-filled ninth for the save.

However, the Vols have already done that several times in Omaha. They have performed well when under extreme strain and have held up in those instances. Losing your first game in Omaha is like having a pass to get home quickly. The Vols lost to Florida State 9–4, and it seemed like they were going that way. But then there was a return fit for the ages. It was the Vols’ final out, their final opportunity. They too did not flinch. They started their run to the championship series with a 12-11 victory in their first game, which will go down as one of the best in the tournament’s recent history.

And facing adversity again – a Texas A&M staff that has been absolutely filthy in Omaha – with their season on the line, the Vols once again kept their nerve and delivered in the clutch on Sunday. I mean, that’s just not something you see from Tennessee athletics in clutch situations anytime recently.

I don’t know who wins on Monday night. Either team is good enough to pull it off, and it should be a battle. But what I know about Tennessee that gives me comfort going into it is that the moment isn’t too big for them. That if a clutch pitch or clutch at bat is needed, players are going to relish the moment, not shrink from it.

That’s just a championship mentality. We’ll see on Monday if the Vols can secure the trophy to match it.

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