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