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Vols end Mainieri’s run, reach Omaha for 1st time since 2005

June 13, 2021 GMT
LSU head coach Paul Mainieri looks on during an NCAA college baseball super regional game against Tennessee Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
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LSU head coach Paul Mainieri looks on during an NCAA college baseball super regional game against Tennessee Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
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LSU head coach Paul Mainieri looks on during an NCAA college baseball super regional game against Tennessee Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jake Rucker hit two home runs in Game 2 of the Nashville Super Regional, and No. 3 national seed Tennessee advanced to the College World Series with a 15-6 win over LSU, concluding the career of Tigers coach Paul Mainieri on Sunday.

The Volunteers (50-16) will make their fifth CWS appearance and first since 2005. They set program records for runs in a super regional game and home runs (six) in an NCAA Tournament game.

Mainieri had been the nation’s winningest active coach and finished seventh all-time with 1,505 wins. He won a national championship and made six CWS appearances in a combined 39 seasons at St. Thomas, Air Force, Notre Dame and LSU.

Mainieri announced his retirement before the Eugene Regional and the Tigers (38-25) were on the verge of a season-ending loss for most of the weekend after losing the opener 4-0 to Gonzaga on June 4. They rallied with four straight elimination game wins to take the region.

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Blade Tidwell (10-3) struck out seven in seven innings for Tennessee. Jordan Beck, Connor Pavolony, Evan Russell and Drew Gilbert each hit a home run.

Dylan Crews hit a pair of home runs for the Tigers. Starter Landon Marceaux (7-7) went three innings and got the loss.

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More NCAA baseball tournament coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-world-series