May 22, 2024 - Sports

Tennessee and Vanderbilt baseball push for NCAA tournament

Tennessee pitcher Drew Beam on the mound last month.

Tennessee pitcher Drew Beam on the mound last month. Photo: Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tennessee and Vanderbilt baseball teams entered the postseason at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Why it matters: With the SEC tournament underway, it's go-time for the two powerhouse programs. After Vanderbilt won its opening round game, the in-state rivals will meet in the SEC tournament Wednesday.

  • Tennessee finished the regular season 46-10 overall, including 22-8 in the mighty SEC. Vanderbilt entered the conference tourney with a record of 35-20 overall and 13-17 in SEC games.

State of play: The Volunteers are surging and seem poised for a run to the College World Series, while the Commodores are in a dogfight to extend their streak of 17 consecutive NCAA tournament regionals appearances.

Between the lines: Just 64 teams qualify for the NCAA tournament, which puts into perspective the magnitude of Vanderbilt's run of appearances, which is college baseball's longest current streak.

  • According to a projection of the 64-team field by the college baseball publication D1 Baseball, Vanderbilt is predicted to be one of the "final four" at-large teams to reach the tournament.
  • D1 Baseball pegged the Volunteers to earn the No. 2 overall seed.

The latest: Vanderbilt improved its NCAA tournament resume with a 6-3 win over Florida on Tuesday.

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