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Five Takeaways: Tennessee baseball ends the 2024 regular season breaking the record books

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With the regular season title on the line, the Tennessee Volunteers took destiny into their own hands with a clean sweep of South Carolina to wrap up the 2024 campaign.

Kentucky’s loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday allowed the Diamond Vols to secure the SEC title honors, setting them up as the No. 1 seed for the SEC Tournament. 2024 was a season filled with multiple record breaking moments, an offense that in most games could not be contained and a solid pitching staff that held many opponents to single-digit scores. 

Here are five things of note from the final regular season series of the year. 

CMo makes Tennessee history…again

SEC Triple Crown candidate Christian Moore continues to smash Vol Baseball records. On Thursday, Moore hit not one, but two home runs, giving him 26 on the season. The previous team record for single-season home runs was 24, set by Sonny Cortez in 1998. This multi-blast game was Moore’s fourth of the year. He sent one more over the fence on Friday to end the year with 27 home runs. 

Causey continues to shine in relief role 

After some early season struggles as a starter on the mound, AJ Causey was moved to the bullpen and has dazzled for Tennessee ever since. Entering Thursday’s game in relief, Causey struck out eight and only surrendered two runs, earning his 10th win of the season. He is only the fourth pitcher to record 10 wins under Coach Tony Vitello. 

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Adding on to the record books 

Blake Burke’s Friday night grand slam was his second of the season and Tennessee’s 11th of the year. The previous team high for grand slams in a season was seven, set in 1998. This record was already broken back in early April. With Burke’s Friday base-clearing blast, Tennessee set a new SEC grand slam record, eclipsing the 1998 LSU squad who hit 10. 

Success in the Vitello-era 

Tennessee’s 2024 SEC Championship is their second in the last three seasons, all under Tony Vitello’s leadership. Before Vitello, you need to go back almost 30 years for the last SEC title, won in 1995. The Vols finished the current season 22-8 in SEC play, giving Coach Vitello 20 or more SEC wins in three of the last four years. And not surprisingly, the last time that happened was also over 30 years ago, when Coach Rod Delmonico accomplished the same feat. 

No. 1 without a doubt

Tennessee finished the year at the top of almost all major SEC offensive categories. The Vols ended the regular season as the top hitting team in the SEC, recording an overall .316 batting average. They also led the SEC with the most hits, runs, home runs, doubles, RBIs and slugging percentage.  

Next up 

The SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. begins next week. The Vols have earned a bye and will play the winner of 8-seed Vanderbilt and 9-seed Florida on Wednesday afternoon. Tennessee took two out of three from the Gators and the Commodores this season. 

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