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Vols road to the College World Series falls short, Tennessee loses to Notre Dame in NCAA Super Regional

The Vols' historic season came to an end on Sunday in a game three, winner-take-all matchup with Notre Dame.
Credit: Tennessee Athletics/@Vol_Baseball

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Despite losing only nine games all season, Tennessee baseball's historic road to the College World Series fell short on Sunday. 

Back-to-back home runs propelled Notre Dame over top-ranked Tennessee in the seventh inning. The Irish won game three of the Knoxville Super Regional, 7-3.

Things started fast for Tennessee. 

In the bottom of the first inning, Luc Lipcius made program history. The graduate senior hit his 40th career home run to set the all-time career home run record at Tennessee. On Saturday, Evan Russell and Lipcius tied the program record at 39 career home runs. 

RELATED: VFL Todd Helton congratulates Evan Russell, Luc Lipcius for breaking his career home run record at Tennessee

Lipcius' homer gave the Vols an early 1-0 lead over Notre Dame. 

In the top of the second, Notre Dame's David LaManna evened the score, grounding out to Cortland Lawson and scoring Jack Zyska. 

It was a back-and-forth battle through two innings. In the bottom of the second, with runners on first and second for Tennessee, Notre Dame went to its bullpen. Alex Rao replaced starter, Liam Simon. 

Simon went 1.2 innings pitched, giving up one run, striking out two batters and walking three. In Rao's first batter faced, junior Seth Stephenson singled to left field and scored Jorel Ortega from second base. That gave the Vols a 2-1 lead. 

Tennessee and Stephenson answered again in the bottom of the fifth. Stephenson doubled down the left-field line, bringing home Cortland Lawson. Tennessee took a 3-1 lead after five innings. 

The Vols held the Irish from scoring any more runs until the top of the seventh inning. Notre Dame's LaManna hit a two-run home run to right field, scoring Carter Putz. That tied the game at 3-3. 

Notre Dame took its first lead of the game in the top of the seventh as the Irish hit back-to-back home runs. Jack Brannigan homered to left-center field to give the Irish a 4-3 lead. 

That ended Tennessee starting pitcher Chase Burn's outing. Burns went 6.2 innings pitched, striking out five batters, walking only one, and giving up four runs and five hits. 

Senior right-handed pitcher Camden Sewell came out of the bullpen for Burns. He went 0.2 innings in the top of the seventh and eighth. After getting runners on first and second, Vols head coach Tony Vitello went to Kirby Connell in the bullpen. 

With two outs, Carter Putz doubled to deep center field, scoring two. That gave the Irish a 6-3 lead. The following batter, Jack Zyska singled to left field and scored Putz. Notre Dame extended its lead to 7-3. 

Tennessee wasn't able to execute any offense in the bottom of the eighth and ninth inning. The Vols' season comes to an end one win shy of back-to-back trips to the College World Series. 

UT won 59 games and lost only nine games this season. The 2022 season will go down in the record books as one of the best team performances in college baseball history. 

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