Irish stun top-seeded Vols to advance to CWS

Irish stun top-seeded Vols to advance to CWS


‘Upset of the year in college baseball’ Notre Dame eliminates Tennessee (1: 05)

Notre Dame rushes the field and celebrates after upsetting top-seeded Tennessee to advance to the College World Series. (1: 05)

5: 14 PM ET

  • ESPN News Services

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Freshman Jack Findlay threw five shutout innings in relief, and back-to-back home runs by catcher David LaManna and Jack Brannigan in the seventh sparked Notre Dame to a stunning 7-3 victory over No. 1 overall seed Tennessee in Sunday’s Knoxville Super Regional championship game.

Notre Dame (40-15) will be making just its third College World Series appearance. The Fighting Irish’s other trips came in 1957 and 2002.

Also advancing to the College World Series on Sunday was Oklahoma, which rolled to an 11-2 victory over No. Blacksburg Super Regional winner, Virginia Tech is the fourth overall seed.

Findlay (6-2) worked out of a jam after entering the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with nobody out, a run in and a runner on second, trailing 3-1. From there, Findlay kept the Volunteers under control, allowing only one and two walks while striking out four. He concluded the game with a double-play.

Findlay’s efforts on the mound gave Notre Dame the opportunity to rally.

Carter Putz doubled off Volunteers starter Chase Burns (8-2) with one out in the top of the seventh and scored on LaManna’s two-out shot to right field to tie the game at 3-3. Brannigan’s go-ahead homer was to left-center on a pitch of 1-2.

Findlay retired the side in order and Notre Dame added three big insurance runs in the eighth.

Camden Sewell hit Brooks Coetzee with a pitch to open the inning. Coetzee moved to second on Spencer Myers’ sacrifice ball. Ryan Cole reached first base and Coetzee was held by Trey Lipscomb’s throwing error. Sewell was replaced by Kirby Connell and the runners advanced via Jared Miller’s sac bunt. Jack Zyska scored Putz with a single to end the scoring. All three runs were unearned.

Luc Lipcius homered in the first to give the Vols a 1-0 lead. LeManna tied the score with a RBI groundout to end the second. Tennessee led 3-1 with a Seth Stephenson RBI single in the bottom of an inning and a run scoring double in the fifth.

Notre Dame head coach Link Jarrett touted Tennessee as “the best No. The super regional will feature the No. 1 team in college sports this year, as well as the No. Instead, for the first time in 20 years, it’s the Irish who will be playing in the CWS.

Tennessee (57-9) was trying for its second straight berth in the CWS and sixth overall. On Friday, Notre Dame defeated the Volunteers 8-6. Tennessee won the second game 12-4. The Volunteers were the national leaders in home runs and earned runs average when they entered super regional play. Tennessee entered the game 49-0 when leading after six innings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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