2024 Shriners Children's College Showdown

Tennessee Defeats Texas Tech Baseball 6-2 At Shriners Children's Showdown

Tennessee Defeats Texas Tech Baseball 6-2 At Shriners Children's Showdown

Tennessee opened its 2024 season with a 6-2 win over Texas Tech on Friday at the Shriners Children’s College Showdown in Arlington, Texas.

Feb 17, 2024 by Matt Cannizzaro
Tennessee Defeats Texas Tech Baseball 6-2 At Shriners Children's Showdown

A solid pitching tandem and two explosive innings offensively helped the Tennessee baseball team open its 2024 season with a 6-2 win over Texas Tech in the Friday nightcap of the Shriners Children’s College Showdown in Arlington, Texas.

Sophomore right-hander AJ Russell got the start for Tennessee (1-0), and he was spectacular early, striking out 10 Red Raiders in four innings, while giving up just one hit. 

When Russell got into trouble in the fifth, which resulted in the two Texas Tech (0-1) runs, junior right-hander AJ Causey was brought in to take over, and his performance nearly was identical to Russell’s effort.

Causey did give up the two-run triple to Texas Tech freshman TJ Pompey that scored the two Red Raiders’ runs, but he was able to settle in from there and tallied seven strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. 

The Tennessee tandem faced 31 batters and combined to throw 94 pitches. They struck out 17, surrendered five hits and walked one in the victory. Causey got the win Friday, as Russell didn’t make it the required five innings. 

The Volunteers scored their six runs across two innings, plating three in the fourth and three more in the eighth.

Junior Billy Amick, a transfer from Clemson, broke open the scoring for Tennessee with his first home run in a Volunteer uniform, a two-run blast that hit the inside portion of the foul pole in right field. Cannon Peebles had started the inning with a base hit.

As Causey continued to get things done for Tennessee on the mound, the Volunteers took advantage of control issues from Texas Tech sophomore Jacob Rogers.

Rogers walked three batters to load the based in the eighth inning, and a sacrifice fly, wild pitch and two-out single allowed Amick, Dylan Dreiling and Kavares Tears to score for Tennessee. 

Texas Tech sent seven pitchers to the mound in the defeat, with starter Kyle Robinson taking the loss. The Red Raiders were tagged for eight hits and the six runs, while walking five, hitting one batter and striking out 10. 

Next up for Tennessee at the 2024 Shriners Children’s College Showdown is a meeting with Oklahoma on Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern. The Volunteers will finish the event against Baylor on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. EST.

On Saturday at 4 p.m. Eastern, Texas Tech will face Nebraska. The Red Raiders will end their event against Oregon on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST.

The 2024 Shriners Children's College Showdown is the fourth edition of the event and helped kick off the new college baseball season. The event includes six championship-caliber teams from four conferences that aren't wasting any time testing themselves in the new campaign.

The standout programs are taking over Globe Life Field, the home of the recent World Series-winning Texas Rangers, and it's just the start of multiple weeks of college baseball in the venue.

Tennessee is coming off a spectacular 2023 season that saw the Volunteers turn in a 44-22 record, while making their second trip to the Men’s College World Series in three seasons. That feat is even more amazing, given the strength of the Southeastern Conference and the fact that the two teams that ended up battling for the national title – LSU and Florida – also hail from the SEC.

It was LSU that ended Tennessee’s season, and now many months later, the Volunteers probably are going to take it out on the teams in Arlington. 

Friday's game was the third meeting between Tennessee and Texas Tech, with each team winning one of the previous two matchups. Texas Tech got the best of the Volunteers in 2008 (7-3), and Tennessee returned the favor in 2020 when Texas Tech was the No. 1 team in the nation, winning 6-2.

Texas Tech is playing in the Shriners Children’s College Showdown for the third time and coming off a 41-23 season that also ended at the hands of one of the national finalists in 2023 – Florida. 

The Red Raiders fell to the Gators on consecutive days, 7-1 and 6-0, to see their season come to a close in the Gainesville Regional. Texas Tech was looking to reach the CWS for the fifth time in the last 10 years, with the most recent trip coming in 2019.

Coming into the 2024 meeting, Tennessee is ranked No. 8 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, while Texas Tech landed in the No. 22 spot. 

The Shriners event will be followed by the Kubota College Baseball Series, which includes Mid-Week Games (Feb. 20-21), Weekend 2 (Feb. 23-25) and Weekend 3 (March 1-3).

After the Shriners Children’s College Showdown, Texas Tech will remain in town for the Mid-Week Games, where the Red Raiders will face UT Arlington (Feb. 20) and Oregon State (Feb. 21). They will be joined by Oklahoma State and Abilene Christian. 

Follow the rest of the Shriners Children's College Showdown live, as FloBaseball provides news and notes from all of the games over the weekend at Globe Life Field.

Tennessee Baseball Defeats Texas Tech At Shriners Children's College Showdown, 6-2

Box Score

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Tennessee Baseball's AJ Causey Closes Out Win Over Texas Tech

AJ Causey entered the game when starter AJ Russell got in trouble for Tennessee.

In 4 2/3 innings, Causey surrendered two hits and no runs, while striking out seven. 

Tennessee wins 6-2 over No. 21 Texas Tech.

Russell had 10 strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings, with three hits and the two earned runs. 

They combined for the 17 strikeouts and only one walk, while throwing a total of 94 pitches. 

Tennessee Baseball Does Not Add To Lead Against Texas Tech

Thanks to some great defense, including a diving catch from right fielder Austin Green, Texas Tech is able to keep Tennessee from scoring in the top of the ninth inning. 

Tennessee Baseball's AJ Causey Holds Off Texas Tech In Eighth Inning

Tennessee's AJ Causey has been solid in relief, and he shuts down Texas Tech in the eighth inning.

In 3 2/3 innings, Causey has allowed just two hits and has struck out five Red Raiders. 

Tennessee Volunteers Pull Away From Texas Tech In Eighth Inning

Sophomore right-hander Jacob Rogers comes in to pitch for Texas Tech and walks the first two batters he sees, and three in the inning, to load the bases. 

Billy Amick scores from third on a sacrifice fly from Bradke Lohry. Tennessee leads 4-2. 

A wild pitch from Rogers scores Dylan Dreiling from third. Tennessee leads 5-2.

Hunter Ensley, Tennessee's leadoff hitter, singles to left field with two outs to score Kavares Tears from second base. Tennessee leads 6-2.

That's all Texas Tech needed to see from Rogers, who leaves the game with two outs and a runner on first base. Junior right-hander Hudson Parker comes in for the Red Raiders. He's the seventh pitcher of the night for Texas Tech.

Parker ends the inning with a strikeout. 

Tennessee Double Play Turns Away Texas Tech In Seventh Inning

Texas Tech's Damian Bravo lined out to Tennessee pitcher AJ Causey, and he doubles off Owen Washburn at first base.

Tennessee leads 3-2 heading into the eighth inning. 

Tennessee Baseball Up And Down In Seventh

Nothing is happening for Tennessee in the seventh. 

Texas Tech coming up. Volunteers leading 3-2.

Heart Of Texas Tech Batting Order Shut Down

Tennessee's AJ Causey retires Texas Tech's 2-3-4 hitters in order for a quiet sixth inning in Arlington. 

Tennessee leads 3-2.

Texas Tech Escapes Bases-Loaded Jam Against Tennessee

Texas Tech goes back to the bullpen to start the sixth inning against Tennessee. It's the Red Raiders' fourth pitcher of the night - junior left-hander Brendan Lysik.

Billy Amick, who homered in the fourth inning, opens the inning with a single. Sophomore Dylan Dreiling follows with a double down the third base line.

Lysik leaves the game with no outs and runners on second and third. Senior right-hander Josh Sanders comes on to pitch for Texas Tech. 

Sanders hits Dalton Bargo to load the bases, still with no outs.

Sanders gets back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout to end the inning unscathed. Tennessee leads 3-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

Rewind: Check out the Billy Amick Home Run That Opened The Scoring In The Tennessee-Texas Tech Game

Billy Amick homered for Tennessee in the top of the fourth inning against Texas Tech.

Texas Tech Baseball Battles Back Against Tennessee With Fifth-Inning Triple

A leadoff walk for Texas Tech and a base hit from Owen Washburn forced a meeting on the mound for Tennessee, as AJ Russell is threatened for the first time in the game.

Damian Bravo pops one into the right-field corner, which causes some chaos on the bases because it was hard to tell if it was fair or foul. The result was a base-running out.

As it all gets sorted out, Russell leaves the game for Tennessee. Junior right-hander AJ Causey takes the mound with one out and runners on second and third base. 

Russell gave up three hits in 4 1/3, while striking out 10 Red Raiders. 

Freshman TJ Pompey makes Tennessee pay, as his first hit as a Red Raider is a two-run triple. Volunteers still leading 3-2. Both runs are charged to Russell. 

Pompey gets stranded on third, as Causey ends the inning with a strikeout. 

Texas Tech led the Big 12 in triples in 2023 with 19. 

Fifth Inning Uneventful For Tennessee Baseball Against Texas Tech 

Texas Tech makes another pitching change, this time going to senior right-hander Isaiah Rhodes, a transfer from Southern Mississippi. 

Bridges leaves the game after facing just two batters, both of whom he struck out. 

Rhodes quietly ends the top of the fifth inning.

Tennessee's AJ Russell Continues To Mow Down Red Raiders

Through four innings, Tennessee's AJ Russell has surrendered just one hit, while striking out 10 Red Raiders. He has thrown 58 total pitches, 43 for strikes. 

Tennessee leads 3-0 heading into top of the fifth inning at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Tennessee Baseball Breaks Open Scoring Against Texas Tech With Fourth-Inning Home Run

Tennessee's leadoff man got on base again, this time via base hit by sophomore catcher Cannon Peebles.

Billy Amick follows Peebles with an opposite-field blast that hit the right-field foul pole, just a few feet up. The home run gives Tennessee a 2-0 lead with no outs in the top of the fourth inning. 

Tennessee's speed helped avoid a double play that would've ended the inning. 

Kavares Tears, who reached on the play, stole second and comes around to score when a play on a Bradke Lohry grounder pulls Gavin Kash off first base. 

Tennessee takes the lead (3-0), and that ends the day for Texas Tech starter Kyle Robinson after 83 pitches.

Senior left-hander Derek Bridges comes in with two outs and a runner on first. Bridges ends the inning with a strikeout.

Texas Tech Quiet In Third Inning Against Tennessee

Tennessee hurler AJ Russell has retired seven consecutive Red Raiders. 

Russell has eight strikeouts through three innings, with the only other out being a fly out to center field. 

Tennessee Held Scoreless By Solid Texas Tech Defense

Texas Tech's Austin Green robbed Christian Moore of his second hit of the game, making an acrobatic catch at the wall to end any Tennessee threat in the third inning. 

The Volunteers leave one runner on again (reached on a walk). They've left three on in the game.

AJ Russell Dominant For Tennessee Early Against Texas Tech

Tennessee starter AJ Russell has faced seven Red Raiders in two innings, and he's struck out six. 

No score, as Tennessee comes up for the top of the third inning.

Tennessee Shut Down In Top Of Second Inning Against Texas Tech

Tennessee got another two-out base hit, this time from junior Robin Villeneuve, but nothing more materialized.

Kyle Robinson ends the inning with a strikeout, his third in two innings. 

Texas Tech's Kevin Bazzell Off To Hot Start

All-Big 12 in 2023, Kevin Bazzell kicked off the 2024 season with a single and a stolen base - but he was stranded there.

Tennessee's AJ Russell shut down the Tech offense, striking out three Red Raiders in the bottom of the first inning at Globe Life Field. 

Tennessee Scoreless In Top Of First Inning Against Texas Tech

Tennessee's Christian Moore picked up an opening-inning hit against Texas Tech, but the Volunteers didn't get anything going. Two strikeouts and a fielder's choice ended the inning.

Kyle Robinson Takes Mound For Texas Tech Baseball

Junior right-hander Kyle Robinson gets the start for Texas Tech against Tennessee. 

Robinson becomes the first Red Raider to start back-to-back Opening-Day games since 2017-2018. He did not get a decision in Texas Tech's 8-4 win over Gonzaga in 2023.

Tennessee Vs. Texas Tech Baseball Is Underway

First pitch: 7:02 p.m. Central.

Texas Tech is the home team, Tennessee is at the plate first.

When Is The Tennessee Vs. Texas Tech Baseball Game?

Tennessee will take on Texas Tech at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Friday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

How To Watch The Tennessee Vs. Texas Tech Baseball Game

Watch the 2024 Shriners Children’s College Showdown on FloBaseball and the FloSports app.

Replays, highlights and breaking news from the event will be on both platforms

FloBaseball will be streaming several NCAA Division I college baseball tournaments, including the 2024 Sanderson Ford College Classic and the 2024 Kubota College Baseball Series.

Details On Tennessee Starter AJ Russell Ahead Of Texas Tech Game

Texas Tech Standouts

Among the 55 players in college baseball who made it to the watch list for the 2024 Golden Spikes Award are Texas Tech's catcher/infielder Kevin Bazzell and first baseman Gavin Kash.

Bazzell is a third-year sophomore and a top-5 catcher across all of college baseball. 

Kash is a junior and entering his second season with the Red Raiders. Last year, he batted .327 and led the Big 12 in home runs (26) and RBIs (84). 

Read more about the Texas Tech Red Raiders HERE.

Tennessee Starting Lineup For Feb. 16 Meeting With Texas Tech

What Teams Are Playing In the 2024 College Baseball Series In Arlington, Texas?

Here are the teams: 

  • University of Oklahoma
  • Texas Tech University
  • Baylor University
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Arkansas
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Michigan
  • Oregon State University 
  • TCU 
  • Texas A&M
  • University of Southern California 
  • Arizona State University

2024 Shriners Children’s College Showdown Schedule

All times Eastern

Friday, Feb. 16 

  • Noon. – Nebraska vs. Baylor 
  • 4 p.m. – Oregon vs. Oklahoma 
  • 8 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Texas Tech

Saturday, Feb. 17 

  • Noon – Baylor vs. Oregon 
  • 4 p.m. – Texas Tech vs. Nebraska 
  • 8 p.m. – Oklahoma vs. Tennessee

Sunday, Feb. 18 

  • 11:30 a.m. – Nebraska vs. Oklahoma 
  • 3:30 p.m. – Oregon vs. Texas Tech 
  • 7:30 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Baylor

2024 Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 2 Schedule 

All times Eastern

Friday, Feb. 23 

  • 4 p.m. – Michigan vs. Oklahoma State 
  • 8 p.m. – Oregon State vs. Arkansas

Saturday, Feb. 24 

  • 4 p.m. – Michigan vs. Oregon State 
  • 8 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Oklahoma State

Sunday, Feb. 25 

  • 2 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Michigan 
  • 6 p.m. – Oklahoma State vs. Oregon State

2024 Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 3 Schedule 

All times Eastern

Friday, March 1 

  • 3 p.m. – USC vs. TCU 
  • 7 p.m. – Arizona State vs. Texas A&M

Saturday, March 2 

  • 3 p.m. – Texas A&M vs. USC 
  • 7 p.m. – TCU vs. Arizona State

Sunday, March 3 

  • 12 p.m. – Arizona State vs. Texas A&M 
  • 4 p.m. – USC vs. TCU

FloBaseball Archived Footage

Video footage from past seasons is archived and stored in a video library for FloBaseball subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscriptions.

College Baseball Rankings 2024: Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll

  1. Wake Forest, 751, 15
  2. LSU, 731, 11
  3. Florida, 727, 5
  4. Arkansas, 672, 0
  5. TCU, 643, 0
  6. Vanderbilt, 576, 0
  7. Oregon State, 543, 0
  8. Tennessee, 529, 0
  9. Clemson, 484, 0
  10. Texas A&M, 468, 0
  11. Virginia, 431, 0
  12. East Carolina, 391, 0
  13. Texas, 381, 0
  14. Duke, 351, 0
  15. North Carolina, 342, 0
  16. North Carolina State, 289, 0
  17. Alabama, 197, 0
  18. UC Santa Barbara, 187, 0
  19. Coastal Carolina, 187, 0
  20. Iowa, 186, 0
  21. South Carolina, 169, 0
  22. Texas Tech, 157, 0
  23. Stanford, 121, 0
  24. UCLA, 80, 0
  25. Northeastern, 71, 0

Others Receiving Votes: Kansas State 65; UC Irvine 51; Oregon 42; Oklahoma State 41; Auburn 35; Southern Miss 21; Dallas Baptist 21; Troy 19; Ole Miss 16; Florida State 13; UNCW 12; Arizona 10; Oral Roberts 9; Indiana State 8; Connecticut 7; USC 6; Georgia 6; Campbell 6; Kentucky 5; West Virginia 4; Indiana 4; Georgia Tech 4; Maryland 3; Hawaii 3.

FloBaseball Takes A Look At Texas Tech Baseball

Tennessee Baseball In The Lone Star State

In three visits to Texas under Tony Vitello’s leadership, Tennessee is 7-2 overall, including a 2-1 mark in the Shriners Children’s College Showdown in Houston in 2022. 

When on the big stage in professional stadiums, the Volunteers are 9-3 under Vitello. 

Texas Tech At Globe Life Field

Being just a few hours from the Dallas-Fort Worth area has allowed Texas Tech to make frequent trips from Lubbock. 

Unfortunately, the Red Raiders haven’t done as well as they would’ve hoped in those visits, posting a 4-9 record in the home stadium of the Texas Rangers.

Texas Tech is 1-5 at Globe Life Field in the Shriners Children’s College Showdown, though four of those five losses came against ranked opponents. 

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