Once again, the top overall seed has failed to win the College World Series. This time around, perhaps one of the greatest college baseball teams in history to not win it all didn’t even make it to Omaha. Thanks in part to three runs in each the seventh and eighth innings, Notre Dame has stunned Tennessee 7-3 and eliminated them. Notre Dame punches its ticket to the College World Series at Omaha after taking two of three from the Volunteers at the Knoxville Super Regional.
The Super Regionals are best-of-three series, so the Notre Dame victory on Friday put Tennessee’s backs against the wall. The Vols responded with a 12-4 win Saturday and then had a 3-1 lead Sunday through six innings.
Notre Dame would tie it up with a two-run shot by David LaManna. Jack Brannigan followed with a solo home run to give the Fighting Irish the lead for good. Notre Dame tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth with a two-RBI double from Carter Putz being the big blow.
This is just the third trip to the College World Series for Notre Dame, as they previously made it in 1957 and 2002.
The big story here is, of course, Tennessee being eliminated. The Volunteers finish the season 57-9. The game Sunday was only their fifth loss at home, compared to 38 wins. They went 4-0 to win the SEC tournament and then went 3-0 in their Knoxville regional, outscoring opponents 31-13 in those three games.
Overall, the curse of the top seed continues. The current college baseball tournament format was implemented in 1999. That year, the top overall seed was Miami and they won it all. No top overall seed since has won the championship as Tennessee being bounced continues the trend.
The 2022 College World Series begins Thursday at Omaha. Eight winners of Super Regionals will be playing a in a double-elimination format until there are two teams left standing for a best-of-three championship starting June 25.