The prime seeds have often fallen over the years. In 1999, Miami became the final No. 1 to win the championship. Since then, three No. 2s and three No. 3s have won. Ten times, teams outside the prime eight have won. That means that a group that is not historically dominant has won more times than Tennessee. In other words, if Tennessee has historically dominant baseball energy, it should win.
Despite being the defending CWS champions, both NC. State and Vanderbilt are still in the running for the National Championship. The former won the CWS last year while the latter missed it in 2016 due to the pandemic. The winner of the series will face either Texas or Mississippi State in the best-of-three final. Both teams are missing several key players from their starting positions. They had only 13 players available for this game and several players had already entered the COVID-19 protocol. Coaches from both programs were frustrated after being questioned about their players’ vaccination status.
The Seminoles’ pitching was near perfect in their opening game against Vanderbilt, but their defense struggled to keep up. A passed ball, an error and another passed ball led to an unearned run. After that, the next batter singled home a Wolfpack baserunner. However, the Seminoles’ offense did not give up.
The College World Series has just begun, but two teams loom large in the NCAA Tournament. Florida, which won the SEC regular season championship, has been focused on defense this season. Their last five losses in Omaha were by one run, and none of those games featured more than five runs on the scoreboard. Florida has been the best defensive team in the nation this year, and a loss would mean a series loss for the Hurricanes.
The Trojans won the regional series with a 2-1 victory over Louisville, but it didn’t have to be that way. Vanderbilt’s bullpen has been underused since the regional round, but its offense is among the best in the country. And even though the Cardinals’ starting pitcher Luke Scott was dominant against Vanderbilt last week, the Commodores’ offense is far more dangerous.
There is a long history between Tennessee and the College World Series, dating back to 1955. The Vols, who have advanced to the College World Series five times, are expected to make their sixth appearance in this summer’s tournament. After finishing the regular season as the top team in the nation, they have been ranked for almost two months. Head coach Tony Vitello guided the Vols to the College World Series last year, but this will be their first time making it back-to-back. If they win their first game, it would be a program milestone that could not be repeated for many years.
The odds for Tennessee to win the College World Series in 2022 are not as high as the odds for the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Stanley Cup three times this year, but they’re still quite reasonable. For example, if Tennessee wins the NCAA tournament three times, the odds for this would be like the chances of the Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup three times in a row. In addition to that, the College World Series is the first major college baseball tournament held outside the United States.