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What to know about the Tennessee Diamond Vols’ first Super Regional opponent

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With their 12-3 rout of Southern Miss on Sunday, Tennessee moves along to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Baseball Championship. The Vols’ bats were unstoppable once again, highlighted by catcher Cal Stark’s two home run, four RBI day. Stark’s second bomb was Tennessee’s 159th homer of the year, breaking the single-season team record set in 2022. 

Outfielder Dylan Dreiling was chosen as Most Outstanding Player of the Knoxville Regional. Dreiling went 7-13 in the series, scoring five runs and launching two homers. Five other Volunteers were named to the All-Regional team: Stark, Christian Moore, Billy Amick, Hunter Ensley and AJ Causey. 

The Vols’ will host Evansville Purple Aces in this weekend’s best-of-three series. Evansville upset #16 East Carolina in the Greenville Regional, moving on to their first ever Super Regional. This is only the ninth time a #4 seed has advanced to a Super Regional. Here are a few things to note about the Vols’ next opponent. 

The 2024 Aces are breaking records of their own 

Evansville’s 17-11 take down of Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday broke the program record for runs scored in a NCAA tournament. Evansville has won 38 games this season, ranking them sixth in team history. They have also set the single season record for doubles, home runs and runs scored this year.  

They can hit the long ball

On Monday, infielder Kip Fougerousse hit his fourth home run of the regional and 21st of the season, which tied the Aces program record. On Saturday, the Aces had an explosive seven-run fifth inning that saw a grand slam hit by Brent Widder and a two-run shot by Cal McGinnis. 

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Young pitcher, veteran arm

Evansville secured a win in game 1 of the regional, also versus East Carolina, thanks to the strong arm of freshman left-hander Kenton Deverman. Deverman pitched an impressive eight innings, only surrendering three hits while striking out four. 

Bottom line: The Purple Aces may be the NCAA Regional Cinderella story, but they will be facing the number one team in college baseball on their home field. Will Evansville be able to go toe to toe with a powerhouse like Tennessee? We will find out this weekend. 

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