Tennessee, the nation’s #1 ranked team and top seed in the NCAA Tournament, saw its incredible season end disappointingly Sunday with a 7-3 loss to Notre Dame in game 3 of one of three. Super Zone series at the Vols’ home in Knoxville.
The victory saw the Fighting Irish win the series, 2-1, and advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
Tennessee is leading, 3-1, with one in the seventh and starting pitcher Chase Burns appears to be flying. But then Carter Putz made a ground rules double – and after Jack Zyska showed up in the second game, David LaManna hit a two-run homer to draw it, 3-3. Jack Brannigan followed immediately with another homer, with hits to the back that made the fight against Ireland 4-3 and eliminated Burns from the game.
Making matters suddenly worse for the Vols, Notre Dame added three more runs in the next inning to get out of reach. The big hits of that inning were a double in two from Putz, who then scored a goal from Zyska. Both visits have two excellent points.
Seth Stephenson led a relatively quiet day for the Tennessee lineup with two hits, including a brace and two RBIs. Luc Lipcius, who scored twice in Saturday’s 12-4 Game 2 win for Tennessee, added another homer solo.
Burns suffered a defeat on the field despite throwing a great game until trouble in the seventh inning. He missed only five shots and went only one while hitting five out of 6.2 innings. But two homecoming in season seven cost him dearly as he dropped four earned runs overall.
Tennessee’s season has come to an end after spending most of its time as the nation’s top-ranked team and winning the SEC Regular Season and SEC Championship. The Vols finished with a 57-9 record. Notre Dame (40-15) advances to the College World Series and the winner’s first match in the East Carolina-Texas Super Area will be played the following Sunday in Greenville, North Carolina.