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See What Tennessee Players Said About The Vols Clinching A College World Series Berth

Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball clinched its third trip to the College World Series in four years on Sunday night when the Vols defeated Evansville 12-1 in game three of the Knoxville Super Regional.

Both left-handed pitcher Zander Sechrist and designated hitter Dalton Bargo turned in impressive performances in the win. Sechrist allowed just one unearned run in 6.1 innings pitched while striking out six batters. Bargo went two-of-four at the plate with a pair of home runs.

Here’s what each said following Tennessee baseball’s College World Series clinching victory.

More From RTI: Zander Sechrist’s Finest Moment Yet Sends Tennessee Back To Omaha

Zander Sechrist

On why he was so successful Sunday night

“Just building off and getting momentum from the last outings. Obviously, going back to Vanderbilt and Florida and not being able to get out of the second or third and assessing and adjusting on pitches. I noticed that I wasn’t cutting the ball as much and wasn’t throwing it with conviction as Coach Vitello likes to say it. Overall, just looking back at different outings, my body language and presence. Putting multiple outings together and comparing them.”

On what him and Kirby Connell said to each other when they each exited the field

“We just said, “I love you brother.” We’ve been through hell and back, thick and thin. That man will be at my wedding, my funeral. He’ll be there. ‘I’m always a call away,’ as he likes to put it. That relationship will never die. I can’t thank him enough.”

On the emotions after closing out the fourth inning

“Going in before that, I thought I had a couple of pitches that were there, which is okay. I’m just competing out there. Luckily enough, I didn’t get ahead of myself. I was relaxed and I was able to get the guy out. That fired me up. Bases loaded with two outs, and putting a zero on the board is something a pitcher will like.”

On the crowd tonight and how that affected him

“I think this was one of the loudest crowds I’ve ever been a part of since I’ve been here. The Drew Gilbert walk-off homer was either first or second. We had Gourmet Market this morning, and we were joking if we played this game in Neyland Stadium could we sell it out. Some people were like no, we would only get 20,000. Some people were like, yeah, we could sell it out. Some people were like, I don’t know Jim, like 90,000. But overall the crowd was great, and I’m so glad that even when we gave up a run in the first, the energy was still there. Then (Christian Moore) leads off the second half with a homer. I go back out there, basically zero-zero. I put up a zero, then we score four in the bottom of the second. It was unreal.”

On whether we knew what was at stake for today’s game and what he did during the delay

“AJ Russell told me, him and Hunter Ensley lived together and they made a quote that was pretty funny. They said, ‘Does Zander know what’s going on, or is he too goofy and just not know what’s going on at all?’ That’s fine with me. It felt like a packed-out Tuesday to be honest, just because I’ve pitched so many Tuesdays. The only difference was that NCAA Baseball was everywhere. Went on a little Clash of Clans and then a little Subway Surfers. I took my cleats off and treated them like skates. You know, take your skates off. Just kinda chilled and waited for my next task.

Dalton Bargo

On what it means to him getting to go back to Omaha

“It means everything to me. Ever since I was six years old, I’ve been going to games. It’s been a dream of mine to go since I was a little kid. Being a part of a team and being one of the reasons we are going back to Omaha is everything I could ever ask for. I’m just thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given and made the most of them.”

On whether Sunday night lived up to his expectations from when he transferred to Tennessee

“It’s everything that I expected. This is why I made the decision that I did, and why I came here is to win and get back home. That is exactly what we did, and I expect nothing less. We still have a couple more weeks of baseball to play, and it’s time to bring home a natty.”

On what it was like to watch Zander Sechrist pitch

“It was another Zander (Sechrist) outing. There’s nothing like it. He’s going to compete every inning, every pitch, and that’s exactly what he did. He knows how to pitch. He knows this game. He knows what works for him. He takes advantage of it, and it showed tonight. I expect nothing less out of him, and he’s one of the best arms we have. There was a reason why he was starting today. He didn’t disappoint by any means.”

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