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Recounting Tennessee’s College World Series appearances

A look back.

Beginning tonight at 7:00 pm, Tennessee will play host to the LSU Tigers, a team they beat three consecutive times during the regular season, and commence Knoxville’s super regional. Standing in the way of the Volunteers and a date with Omaha is a familiar foe. But Tennessee has been here before, even if it’s been nearly two decades.


The super regional format is fairly new, so when the Volunteers made it to the College World Series in 1995, they didn’t have to advance through a super regional; instead, they had to advance through a regular ‘ole regional to make it to the CWS.

Included in that lot of six teams was Oklahoma State, Cal, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, and The Citadel. Advancing with a sterling 4-0 record was Tennessee, who happened to be hosting the regional.

Rod Delmonico’s Volunteers finished the season with a 54-16 (22-8) record, which stands as their highest win total to date.

In the CWS, the Vols drew Clemson in game one, knocking off the Tigers, 3-1. Afterwards, an 11-1 thumping at the hands of Cal State Fullerton put Tennessee in a bind. They would face elimination against Stanford in the tournament’s 10th game, securing a win — and another shot at the title — by a 6-2 count. Sent to turn them away were those previously mentioned Titans, and they did just that, trouncing the Vols 11-0 in their second matchup. Fullerton went on to beat USC in the final, winning the national championship.

1995 was also Todd Helton’s final year as a Vol.


That year’s Tennessee team went 48-20 (18-12). Although they would find a way to make it to the CWS, the Volunteers were quickly bounced out of play in the SEC tournament, losing consecutive games to Ole Miss and Florida, ending their conference championship bid prematurely.

The second seed in their regional, Tennessee’s 3-1 record scooted them past opponents Wake Forest, MTSU, and Tennessee Tech, leading them to the Kinston super regional to face East Carolina. In quick succession, Tennessee’s 13-10 and 6-3 wins over the Pirates netted them a spot in the CWS.

Tennessee pulled off quite a run to put themselves in contention to play in the tournament’s final. After getting their doors blown off by Miami, 21-3, the Vols regained their composure to take down Georgia, 19-2, then USC, 10-2. They put them into a second matchup with a potent Hurricanes team — the eventual champions. While their showing was better in game two, they still fell, 12-6.


In what would be their final supers appearance until 2021, Tennessee’s Knoxville regional proved to be a cake walk, going 3-0. That regional included Winthrop, Wichita State, and Austin Peay; it catapulted them to the Atlanta super regional. In Atlanta, Tennessee drew Georgia Tech. Game one’s 3-2 final offered a compelling matchup between the two clubs, but the Vols barely batted an eye in game two, pounding the Yellow Jackets 13-3.

Tennessee’s game one opponent was a familiar rival, the Florida Gators. After losing 6-4, the Vols braced for an elimination game against Arizona State; they would lose, 4-2.

Included on that year’s iteration of the Vols were future notable major leaguers Luke Hochevar, Chase Headley, and JP Arencibia.

Since regional play began, Tennessee has been involved on six other occasions, with the most recent occurrence coming in 2019, when the Volunteers finished second in the Chapel Hill regional, going 2-2. North Carolina would advance to the supers from their regional.

Now Tennessee has found itself back in the super regionals, the first time since 2005. This is also the first time Knoxville has hosted the super regional, which should give Tennessee an extra jolt of energy. As mentioned, LSU is the only thing stopping Tennessee baseball from returning to the most revered site in the sport. If Tennessee finds a way to bounce the Tigers, things will get very interesting in Omaha.