In just his fourth year on the job, really his third given what happened in 2020, Tony Vitello was able to take Tennessee baseball to the College World Series. That appearance was just the fifth for the Vols in program history and the first in 16 years. Despite the quick exit, it signals an exciting future with such an energetic coach who can excite the fan base.
Already, Vitello has coached one of the greatest teams in school history. However, where does it rank among those greats? In this post, we’re going to break that down by ranking every team from UT that has managed to reach the College World Series.
Our ranking won’t just take into account how far a team went in the CWS, although that will be a factor. Regular season and other postseason accomplishments have to count as well, though, as we’re ranking the teams in the totality, not just what they did in Omaha, Neb. over two weekends. This is our ranking of all five Tennessee baseball teams to ever reach the College World Series.
46-21; CWS 8th place
Back when this team reached the College World Series, it didn’t seem like being eliminated was a big deal. The Vols had one of the youngest teams in the SEC at the time, including standout freshman catcher J. P. Arencibia and star pitcher Luke Hochevar. With those two driving the train, UT got on a shocking roll in the middle of the season.
That momentum ended with a second-place SEC East finish, and the Vols got to a top seed in an NCAA Regional. They went undefeated in their regional and Super Regional, easily making their way to the College World Series.
Then, once they got to Nebraska, they fell apart, losing to the Florida Gators and Arizona State Sun Devils immediately. To be fair, they were the lower seed in both games. Losing both, not winning a championship and not being a top eight national seed in the tournament makes this the worst CWS team in Tennessee baseball history, but given its youth, it was among the most exciting.