Tennessee baseball continues SEC domination, wins SEC Championship

Tennessee Volunteers catcher Cal Stark (10), catcher Cannon Peebles (5), and infielder Christian
Tennessee Volunteers catcher Cal Stark (10), catcher Cannon Peebles (5), and infielder Christian / Randy Sartin/Special To The News

Tennessee baseball completed its sweep against South Carolina with a 4-1 win on Saturday. With the win in the season finale, the Vols improved to 46-10 on the year and a 22-8 record in the Southeastern Conference. 

The Vols did what they do best in the SEC Finale. They were explosive at the plate, and the pitching staff shut down SC throughout the series. The Vols outscored South Carolina 21-7 en route to the sweep and ninth straight SEC series win. 

It was pure domination from the Vols throughout the SEC. The Vols won two out of three in all but one SEC series, including against Kentucky, which was just enough to help the Vols battle to win the SEC Championship. 

Kentucky also finished with a 22-8 record in SEC play, but Tennessee holds the upper hand with a 2-1 record against the Cats, although they will share the SEC regular season title. The Vols also earned the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament as a result. 

This marks the second time in three years Tennessee will claim an SEC Championship in baseball and the third time in four years the Vols have won an SEC East Championship. Tony Vitello has completely changed the baseball program, and the team is reaping the rewards of being champions again. 

When Vitello arrived in Knoxville, the state of Tennessee was all Vanderbilt's, but the BaseVols stopped at nothing to secure the state's bragging rights and the conference. Vanderbilt was the dominant baseball team, but Tennessee is 8-1 against Vandy over the last three seasons, and Vitello has almost matched the Vols' SEC Championships in that same time span. 

Tennessee will now spend the next few days preparing for the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama. The Vols will still have to put on a solid showing next week, but they are in a great spot to earn the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for an opportunity to head back to Omaha.