2024 Shriners Children's College Showdown

Oklahoma Baseball Recap: Sooners Defeat Tennessee At College Showdown

Oklahoma Baseball Recap: Sooners Defeat Tennessee At College Showdown

The second day of the 2024 Shriners Children’s College Showdown in Texas ended with some fireworks, as Oklahoma topped Tennessee 5-1 in 10 innings.

Feb 18, 2024 by Matt Cannizzaro
Oklahoma Baseball Recap: Sooners Defeat Tennessee At College Showdown

After nine innings of well-pitched baseball filled with defensive gems for both teams, Oklahoma used a four-run 10th inning to secure the first win of its 2024 season, a 5-1 victory over No. 9-ranked Tennessee to wrap up the second day of competition at the Shriners Children’s College Showdown in Arlington, Texas.

A pair of one-out walks by Tennessee’s Aaron Combs put the go-ahead run on second base, and Oklahoma took advantage.

John Spikerman delivered a double off the glove of Tennessee left fielder Dylan Dreiling, and freshman Jaxon Willits scored for the 2-1 Sooner advantage. 

The Sooners sent nine batters to the plate in the 10th inning and got insurance runs from Easton Carmichael and Rocco Garza-Gongora, who each had RBI singles before the inning concluded. 

Carmichael, a sophomore, had a team-best three hits in the game and scored twice. He first crossed the plate on the Garza-Gongora single that opened the game’s scoring in the top of the fourth inning. 

Tennessee answered in the bottom half of the fourth inning with a 430-foot solo home run from Dreiling.

The teams then played five consecutive innings of scoreless baseball that featured top-tier pitching, multiple diving catches in the outfield, bang-bang plays at the plate – even a 1-6 triple play by Tennessee to end the top half of the seventh inning.

It was the first triple play by the Volunteers since 1997 and started with relief pitcher Chris Stamos diving after a bunt attempt by Willits. 

Oklahoma finished the game with 10 hits and seven runners left on base, while Tennessee was held to seven hits and left 11 runners on base.

Saturday’s game to wrap up the second of three days of competition at the 2024 Shriners Children’s College Showdown was the fourth meeting in history between Oklahoma and Tennessee, and the Sooners now hold a 3-1 advantage in the series.

They battled for the first time in the final of the Men’s College World Series in 1951, with Oklahoma winning for the first of its two national championships.

They met again in 2008, a 2-0 victory for the Sooners, and Tennessee finally got on the board at the Shriners event in Houston in 2022, winning 8-0.

Brendan Girton, a transfer from Texas Tech, made his Oklahoma debut Saturday extra memorable with nine strikeouts, including eight consecutive to start the game, but he only lasted four innings. 

He struggled with control and walked three Volunteers. In all, he threw 88 pitches and was responsible for three hits, three walks and a run – the fourth-inning home run to Dreiling. 

Girton threw 88 pitches in the short outing and was responsible for three hits and one run, which was the fourth-inning home run to Dreiling.

Kyson Witherspoon (4 1/3) and Ryan Lambert (1 2/3) also saw time on the mound for Oklahoma, with Lambert picking up the win. The Sooners now are 10-5 all-time at Globe Life Field, the home of the recent World Series-winning Texas Rangers.

Three Volunteers accounted for six of Tennessee’s seven hits, tallying two apiece, while six pitchers took the mound in the loss.

Combs, who pitched 2 1/3 innings, was credited with the loss. The team’s ace, junior right-hander Drew Beam, started the game and went 5 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and one run, while striking out two Sooners.

Oklahoma and Tennessee both will return to action at Globe Life Field on Sunday for the final day of the 2024 Shriners Children’s College Showdown.

Oklahoma will take on Nebraska on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, and Tennessee will close out the 2024 event against Baylor at 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Sooners started the event with a 4-2 loss to Oregon on Friday afternoon, and Tennessee opened the year with a 6-2 victory over Texas Tech.

Oklahoma is looking to improve on its 32-28 record from a year ago and earn its way into the NCAA Tournament for the 41st time. 

The six-team Shriners event is the first action of two exciting weeks of college baseball at Globe Life Field, home of the recent World Series-winning Texas Rangers. It 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).

Tennessee is coming off a terrific 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.

Follow the action live, as FloBaseball provides news and notes from every game at the 2024 Shriners Children’s College Showdown.

Oklahoma Baseball 5, Tennessee Baseball 1

Box Score


Oklahoma Baseball Closes The Door On Tennessee 

Oklahoma nearly turned a double play to end the game, but Billy Amick was able to beat out the throw to first base.

Tennessee slugger Dylan Dreiling, who homered earlier in the game, heads to the plate with two outs and the runner on first base.

Dreiling grounds out to end the game. Oklahoma wins in 10 innings, 5-1.

Oklahoma Baseball Pulls Ahead In 10th Inning Against Tennessee, OU Leads 5-1

A pair of one-out walks by Tennessee's Aaron Combs put the go-ahead run on second base, and Oklahoma took advantage, as John Spikerman delivered with a double to left center field, scoring Jaxon Willits for the 2-1 advantage. The ball nicked the top of outfielder Dylan Dreiling's glove. 

Combs leaves the game with Jackson Nicklaus on third base and Spikerman at second and just one out.

Freshman left-hander Matt Dallas comes on to pitch for Tennessee. 

A Bryce Madron grounder to first base is fired home to catch Nicklaus for the second out.

Dallas leaves the game after the lefty-lefty matchup with Madron. Freshman right-hander Derek Schaefer comes on to pitch for Tennessee. 

Easton Carmichael delivers again for Oklahoma, poking an RBI base hit to right field to score Spikerman. It's Carmichael's third hit of the night. Oklahoma leads 3-1.

Freshman Isaiah Lane walks to load the bases with two outs.

Rocco Garza-Gongora delivers again, this time with a two-run base hit to left field. Madron and Carmichael score. Oklahoma leads 5-1 with two outs and runners on first and second.

OU sends nine batters to the plate in the inning. Kendall Pettis strikes out to end the inning.

Tennessee Baseball And Oklahoma Going To Extra Innings Tied At 1-1

A one-out walk of sophomore Reese Chapman put the winning run on base, and he advanced to second base when Oklahoma's Kyson Witherspoon walked Bradke Lohry.

That was all the OU coaching staff needed to see, as Witherspoon's Division I debut neared 80 pitches. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and no runs, but he's responsible for the potential winning run on second base.

Ryan Lambert, a junior right-hander who transferred from Missouri State in the offseason, comes on to pitch for the Sooners with the game on the line. 

Redshirt junior Hunter Ensley goes down on strikes for the second out. 

Junior Blake Burke pops out to end the ninth inning.

This one is going to extra innings!

Oklahoma Silenced By Tennessee In Top Of Ninth Inning At Globe Life Field

The top of the ninth inning had everything - a new catcher for Tennessee, two strikeouts, a walk, a pinch runner and a groundout to end the inning, leaving the Oklahoma runner on base.

Tennessee's 7-8-9 batters are coming up in the bottom of the ninth inning with a chance to win the game.

Oklahoma Baseball Able To Halt Tennessee Momentum In Bottom Of Eighth Inning

After two quick outs, Tennessee's Dylan Dreiling walks to get the go-ahead run on board for the Volunteers.

A low pitch from Kyson Witherspoon somehow bounces back to the pitcher's mound, allowing Witherspoon to throw out Dreiling, who was attempting to steal second base.

Inning ends. Game tied 1-1 heading into the ninth inning. 

Tennessee Pitching Change Helps Hold Off Oklahoma

Redshirt junior Aaron Combs comes on to pitch for Tennessee, replacing Chris Stamos, who pitched to two batters in the seventh inning.

Combs shuts down Oklahoma in order, with help from Tennessee's speedy outfield. 

Tennessee Comes Within Inches Of Go-Ahead Home Run

A very long foul ball by Christian Moore could've changed the Tennessee-Oklahoma game in the seventh inning, but instead of a two-run home run, Moore ended up striking out to end any threat.

The game is tied 1-1 heading into the eighth inning.

Watch Tennessee Baseball's Triple Play

Check out this memorable play by the Tennessee Volunteers against Oklahoma:

Tennessee Baseball Turns Triple Play To End Top Half Of Seventh Inning

Tennessee makes a pitching change with no outs and a runner on first base. Marcus Phillips leaves the game, and graduate left-hander Chris Stamos takes the mound for the Volunteers.

Stamos came on mid-batter, and walks the batter to put runners on first and second with no outs.

Jaxon Willits attempts to bunt with both runners in motion, but Stamos catches it on the fly. He fires it to second base, and Tennessee is able to complete a 1-6 triple play to end the threat and the inning.

Dreiling Drills Double For Tennessee, Gets Stranded

The Volunteers were on the verge of their first lead of the game, thanks to a one-out double by Dylan Dreiling, but he was stranded on second base when the inning ended. He was the seventh runner stranded by Tennessee in the game.

Oklahoma Scoreless In Sixth Inning Against Tennessee

John Spikerman starts OU's half of the inning with a base hit and steals second base. He's then thrown out trying to steal third.

Immediately after, Easton Carmichael gets his second hit of the evening and advances to second base on a bobble by the center fielder.

The two-out hit was enough to end the night for Tennessee start Drew Beam, who gave up seven hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out two Sooners and didn't walk anyone.

Sophomore Marcus Phillips comes on to pitch for the Volunteers and gets out of the jam. He hit a batter and struck out the next, reaching 97 mph.

Tennessee Threatens, Falls Short In Bottom Of Fifth Inning Against Oklahoma Baseball

Tennessee's Christian Moore rips a two-out double to left field, and it's mishandled by Kendall Pettis, allowing Moore to advance to third base, where he'd end up stranded. 

Moore is the sixth Volunteer to be left on base against Oklahoma. 

Sooners Retired In Order By Tennessee Baseball

There's nothing happening for Oklahoma in the top of the fifth inning against Tennessee. Three up, three down. The game is tied at 1-1.

Kyson Witherspoon, a sophomore right-hander, comes on to pitch in place of Brendan Girton.

Witherspoon's twin brother, Malachi, pitched Friday against Oregon.

Tennessee's Dylan Dreiling CRUSHED This Home Run Against Oklahoma

Watch as Dylan Dreiling ties the game with this fourth-inning blast:

Tennessee Baseball Answers Against Oklahoma In Bottom Of Fourth Inning

Sophomore outfielder Dylan Dreiling had the answer for Tennessee in the bottom of the fourth inning against Oklahoma, as he blasted a leadoff home run to tie the game at 1-1.

Dreiling rocketed it more than 430 feet and over the bullpen in right center.

It was the first real mistake by OU's Brendan Girton, who has nine strikeouts on the night but has thrown 88 pitches.

Oklahoma Baseball Breaks Through Against Tennessee

Easton Carmichael opens the fourth inning with a double to left field, and he scores on a base hit up the middle by Rocco Garza-Gongora two batters later. Oklahoma leads 1-0.

Garza-Gongora steals second base. The throw got there in time, but the tagged was missed. Or was it? After a review, Garza-Gongora is called out, and the inning ends.

Oklahoma Shuts Down Tennessee Baseball In Bottom Of Third Inning

Oklahoma's Brendan Girton opened the game with eight consecutive strikeouts, while the final out of the third innings was a diving catch by left fielder Kendall Pettis to save an extra-base hit.

Oklahoma Baseball Threatens, But Tennessee Pitching And Defense End Third-Inning Threat

Tennessee ace Drew Beam was hit hard by Oklahoma in the top of the third inning, including singles by Scott Mudler and Jackson Nicklaus. 

Mudler was able to advance to third on Nicklaus' knock, but he was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice, after John Spikerman ripped a shot down the first base line.

Beam is able to pitch his way out of the inning. The score remains 0-0.

Oklahoma's Girton Mowing Down Tennessee Hitters

Though he gave up another hit and walked another batter, Oklahoma's Brendan Girton has six strikeouts through two innings against Tennessee. 

Girton has thrown 58 pitches, 33 of which were strikes. He has given up two hits and walked three.

Tennessee Baseball Holds Oklahoma In Second Inning

Senior Kendall Pettis broke through for Oklahoma's first hit off Tennessee starter Drew Beam, but he was picked off first base to end the inning. 

Oklahoma Baseball Escapes Bases-Loaded Jam Against Tennessee

Junior right-hander Brendan Girton is on the mound for Oklahoma, and despite giving up a single and a pair of walks, he struck out three Volunteers to keep Tennessee at bay in the opening inning. 

The downside? Girton threw 37 pitches in the inning. 

Volunteers Retire Oklahoma Baseball In Order To Start Game In Arlington

Tennessee pitcher Drew Beam retired the Oklahoma Sooners in order to start their battle at Globe Life Field.

Tennessee Baseball And Oklahoma Underway At Globe Life Field

Tennessee and Oklahoma are underway in the final game of Day 2 at the 2024 Shriners Children's College Showdown.

Tennessee is the home team, and ace Drew Beam is on the mound for the Volunteers.

Tennessee Lineup For Matchup With Oklahoma

See who's playing for Tennessee against the Sooners:

Oklahoma Lineup For Meeting With Tennessee Baseball

Check out who's starting for the Sooners on Saturday night:

When Is The Oklahoma Baseball Vs. Tennessee Game?

Oklahoma will take on Tennessee at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

How To Watch The Oklahoma Vs. Tennessee 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.

Oklahoma Baseball On Opening Day

Since 1962, Oklahoma is 41-22 on Opening Day, and with the loss to Oregon on Friday, the Sooners are 11-5 to start their most recent 16 seasons. 

Tennessee Baseball In The Lone Star State

In three visits to Texas under Tony Vitello’s leadership, Tennessee is 8-2 overall, including a 2-1 mark in the Shriners Children’s College Showdown in Houston in 2022 and Friday night’s win over Texas Tech at the 2024 edition of the event.

When on the big stage in professional stadiums, the Volunteers are 10-3 under Vitello.

Oklahoma Baseball Against Tennessee

Despite being relatively close geographically, Oklahoma and Tennessee have only met three times on the baseball diamond. The Sooners lead the series 2-1.

The first meeting between the two schools was historic, as OU defeated Tennessee in the final of the 1951 Men’s College World Series to earn the Sooners the first of their two national championships (1951, 1994). 

They met again in 2008, with Oklahoma winning 2-0.

Their most recent battle was in 2022, and the Volunteers were dominant, winning 8-0 during the Shriners Children’s College Showdown, which was held in Houston that year.

Another Look At Tennessee’s “AJ Show” In Friday’s Win Over Texas Tech

AJ Russell and AJ Causey combined for 17 strikeouts to help Tennessee past Texas Tech in their season-opening game Friday in Arlington, Texas. Take a look:

What Teams Are Playing In the 2024 College Baseball Showdown And Kubota College Baseball Series?

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.

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