Tennessee’s Hunter Ensley makes acrobatic slide to score clutch run in College World Series

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Tennessee’s Hunter Ensley makes acrobatic slide to score clutch run in College World Series

The Tennessee Volunteers won the Men’s College World Series against Texas A&M on Monday night, 6-5, and a play at the plate appeared to be the difference-maker in the end.

Kavares Tears doubled to deep right center field in the bottom of the seventh inning. Baserunner Hunter Ensley came around to score and made an acrobatic move to avoid the tag attempt made by Aggies catcher Jackson Appel.

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Tennessee’s Hunter Ensley, #9, slides safely to home past Texas A&M’s Jackson Appel, #20, during game three of the NCAA College World Series finals between Tennessee and Texas A&M at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Appel caught the throw at the plate well before Ensley was even close to scoring. However, the Volunteers baserunner shifted to his left as he dove for home and Appel, somehow, missed him.

The slide quickly went viral, and it turned out to be a huge play.

While Ensley’s run pushed the Vols’ lead to 6-1, Tennessee allowed four runs between the eighth and ninth innings to add some extra pressure onto their shoulders as they closed out the win.

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Hunter Ensley makes a play

Hunter Ensley, #9 of the Tennessee Volunteers, slides safely past Jackson Appel, #20 of the Texas A&M Aggies, to score a run during game three of the Division I Men’s Baseball Championship held at Charles Schwab Field on June 24, 2024 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Tyler Schank/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Tennessee pitcher Aaron Combs struck out infielder Ted Burton to end the game and the celebration began.

“(I) peeked in, saw that it stayed in. It took a really good bounce right to (Jace) LaViolette. When I saw that I knew I had to get on my horse,” Ensley said of the slide, via Knox News. “Dean (Curley) was pretty much telling me outside, outside, outside. And the throw actually ended up carrying the guy to the outside.

“Just natural instinct trying to make a play right there and get back on the inside part of the bag. And just was able to avoid the tag right there, and ended up being a pretty big run.”

Hunter Ensley celebrates

Hunter Ensley, #9 of the Tennessee Volunteers, reacts after scoring a run against the Tennessee Volunteers during game three of the Division I Men’s Baseball Championship held at Charles Schwab Field on June 24, 2024 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Tyler Schank/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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Tennessee completed the win in Game 3. It is the program’s first College World Series title.

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