Tennessee may not have expected to find itself in a Game 3 Super Regional game against Evansville, but the Vols were not bothered by the pressure Sunday night.

Facing the Aces in a do-or-die, winner-take-all showdown to reach the College World Series, Tennessee surrendered an unearned run in the top of the 1st inning. After that, it was all about the Vols in what developed into a historic slugfest for the program.

By the time the 5th inning concluded, Tennessee had carved out a 12-1 lead with all the drama in this one evaporating early. Evansville’s pitching staff ultimately ran out of steam against Tennessee’s elite offense in Knoxville.

Now, the Vols will punch their return ticket to the CWS after reaching Omaha a season ago. The Vols are still in search of their first-ever national title and their first trip to the CWS Finals since 1951.

Here are the key takeaways from Sunday’s emphatic win to get to Omaha:

Historic slugfest for the Vols

From the 1st-5th innings, Tennessee would hit 7 home runs while building a 12-1 lead in the elimination game. That power surge included Christian Moore opening Tennessee’s first inning with a bullet to left, the first of 2 home runs for Moore on the evening.

Dalton Bargo would also hit 2 home runs in the game as the Vols set the program’s record for home runs in a single postseason game. (The previous record of 6 came in a 2021 game against LSU.)

Blake Burke, though he did not hit a home run, also contributed to the slugfest with 3 doubles. Altogether, that gave Tennessee 10 extra-base hits in the clincher.

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Zander Sechrist paves the way on the mound

Though the offense was the highlight of the game, Zander Sechrist was an equally important part of Tennessee’s Game 3 story. After surrendering an unearned 1 in the top of the 1st, Sechrist was lights out the rest of the way.

He was able to cover 6.1 innings without allowing an earned run with 6 strikeouts, 6 hits allowed and no walks. After covering 4.2 innings in the regional round, Sechrist delivered a picture-perfect outing to solidify the Super Regional win and gear up for the CWS at the same time.

2nd SEC team to reach Omaha

Tennessee is the 2nd SEC team so far to punch a ticket to the CWS, joining Florida after the Gators swept Clemson in a dramatic extra-innings thriller Sunday afternoon. However, the Vols and Gators are likely to have some additional SEC company in Omaha.

Georgia and NC State will play a winner-take-all Game 3 on Monday while Kentucky and Texas A&M currently lead their Super Regionals 1-0. The Wildcats and Aggies are in action Sunday night with a shot to advance but will be back on Monday if needed.