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Chase Burns' dominant relief outing carries Vols to a 6-4 win over Stanford in College World Series

Tennessee Stanford Baseball
Posted at 4:56 PM, Jun 19, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Chase Burns pitched six shutout innings in relief of Chase Dollander, Tennessee manufactured two runs to break a tie in the seventh, and the Volunteers knocked Stanford out of the College World Series with a 6-4 victory Monday.

Tennessee (44-21) ended a six-game CWS losing streak dating to 2001 and plays Tuesday against the loser of the Monday night game between No. 1 national seed Wake Forest and No. 5 LSU.

Stanford (44-20) went 0-2 at the CWS for a second straight year.

Burns (5-3) turned in another dominant relief performance, mixing his slider with a fastball he ran up to 102 mph while striking out nine and limiting the Cardinal to two hits. In four tournament appearances, he has allowed one run and struck out 22 in 16 innings.

The Vols took the lead in the seventh when Griffin Merritt drew a leadoff walk from Matt Scott (5-5), reached third on Blake Burke's double and scored on Denton's grounder to short. Burke made it a two-run game when he came home on Brandt Pancer's wild pitch.

Quinn Mathews, who made national headlines for throwing 156 pitches in super-regional win over Texas on June 11, held the Volunteers scoreless until they batted around on him in the fifth inning and forced his departure.

Hunter Ensley’s sacrifice fly, Jared Dickey’s base hit up the middle and Christian Moore’s two-run single tied it 4-all. Mathews left with the bases loaded after having thrown 89 pitches and allowing 10 hits.

Dollander lasted only three innings, matching his shortest outing of the season. The projected first-round draft pick gave up two runs in the first inning and two in the third, allowed four hits, walked two and struck out two.

The wind was blowing in, making conditions unfavorable for two teams that use the home run to generate much of their offense.

Tennessee’s Maui Ahuna attempted to score on a fly to left in the first inning but was easily thrown out at home by shallow-playing Alberto Rios.

The Vols tried Rios again in the fifth, sending Denton home on a fly that was a bit deeper. Rios’ throw was off line, and Denton was able to slide in ahead of Malcolm Moore’s tag.

Stanford asked for video reviews of the call at the plate and to see if Denton left third before the catch. The play stood, and the Vols continued their onslaught against Mathews.

It was the third time in six NCAA Tournament wins that the Vols came from behind. They've wiped out four-run deficits twice when facing elimination. After losing their super regional opener at Southern Mississippi, they were down 4-0 after three innings in Game 2 and rallied to win 8-4.

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