Vols set starting pitcher for CWS final

Vols set starting pitcher for CWS final

Vols set starting pitcher for CWS final

Tennessee baseball will stick with its pitching rotation in the College World Series final.

The Vols will start left-handed pitcher Chris Stamos against Texas A&M on Saturday in the first game of the CWS final series, Vols coach Tony Vitello said Friday.

“We’re back to where we started and don’t see a need to do anything uniquely different, other than just go with what our gut is for that present inning to put ourselves in a decent position,” Vitello said.

The No. 1 Vols (58-12) and No. 3 Aggies (52-13) play Game 1 on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a best-of-three series.

Chris Stamos will start for Tennessee baseball vs Texas A&M

Stamos has been the go-to Game 1 arm for Tennessee since mid-April when the Vols shuffled the pitching plan into its current iteration. The Vols stuck with Stamos as the opener against Florida State in their first game in the CWS on June 13. Stamos transferred to Tennessee from Cal in July.

The senior pitcher is 3-0 with a 4.26 ERA. He has thrown 31⅔ innings in 21 appearances with 10 starts.

“There’s no script before the game,” Vitello said. “But we kind of vibe things out. Sometimes, that makes sense. Sometimes, it doesn’t.”

Stamos typically throws the first couple innings as an opener before the Vols turn to AJ Causey, who has been a star pitcher in long relief. Causey’s 13 wins are the most in a season for a Tennessee pitcher since Luke Hochevar had 15 in 2005. Causey is 13-3 with a 4.21 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 87⅔ innings. He ranks second in innings behind junior Drew Beam, who has 98⅓ innings.

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Tennessee typically starts Beam in Game 2 and senior Zander Sechrist in Game 3.

Who will Texas A&M start against Tennessee in the College World Series final Game 1?

Texas A&M will start its ace, Ryan Prager, Aggies coach Jim Schlossnagle said Friday. The left-hander pitcher is 9-1 with a 2.88 ERA. He has 118 strikeouts in 93⅔ innings.

Prager started the SEC Tournament against Tennessee but threw a short outing by design. He allowed one run on three hits with two walks in 2⅓ innings.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.