Tennessee’s 2023 SEC Baseball Tournament stay was a short one. The Volunteers were bounced in the single-elimination bracket this afternoon by Texas A&M, failing to advance to the double-elimination portion of the week.
Seth Halvorsen got the start on the mound for Tennessee, his first of the entire season. He would breeze through the first two innings, but Halvorsen found trouble after that.
Texas A&M found the scoreboard in the top of the third, plating Hunter Haas on a fielder’s choice. They would add another in the top of the fourth, as Jordan Thompson singled, stole second, advanced to third on a balk, and finally scored. Austin Bost did the damage, singling up the middle.
Halvorson’s day was done after four innings. He struck out six, walked three and surrendered two earned runs.
The Tennessee bats were silenced by A&M starter Troy Wansing, who got off to a great start on the mound. The Volunteers had no answers at the plate, and even their hard hit balls were finding A&M gloves. As it turns out, that was the case all day long.
Jace Laviolette put another one on the board in the top of the sixth, sending a solo shot over the right center wall off of Camden Sewell. The Aggies held a 3-0, and it was getting late — and rainy.
Tennessee couldn’t get anything going in the seventh, and back to back line-outs doomed their efforts in the eighth. Through eight innings, Wansing had given up just one hit and had walked none.
Just as the ninth inning started, the skies opened up. Rain would delay the ending to this one for well over two hours. Eventually, Zander Sechrist would get the remaining two outs to send us to the bottom of the ninth, where Tennessee would have one final chance to get something going.
It didn’t happen. Christian Scott popped up, Cal Stark went down swinging, and Maui Ahuna grounded out.
Final score: Texas A&M 3, Tennessee 0. The Vols finished with just one hit on the afternoon. The Aggies will advance to face Arkansas tomorrow.
With the loss, Tennessee’s chances of hosting a regional are pretty much gone. The Volunteers will watch from home for the rest of the week, awaiting the NCAA selection show on Monday.