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Cinderella can play ball – Evansville Living Magazine

Cinderella can play ball – Evansville Living Magazine

For a few days in June, the University of Evansville was the darling of college baseball. The Aces upset No. 1 Tennessee, 10-8, in the second game of the Knoxville Super Regional on June 8. It was the first time in NCAA Tournament history that a regional No. 4 seed defeated the No. 1 overall seed.

UE earned the nickname “America’s Team” because it was by far the smallest school to reach that year’s Super Regional round.

“This is the most incredible experience I’ve ever had,” said UE coach Wes Carroll. For the May/June 2024 issue of Evansville Living, he talked about hosting the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, which UE also won for the second time in program history. “The fact that we captured the imagination of the country and were called ‘America’s Team’ is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been a part of.”

The next day, the Volunteers eliminated UE 12-1 in the Super Regional championship game to secure the final College World Series victory. It seemed that UE, and especially its pitching staff, had run out of steam.

But it’s been an unprecedented ride for the Aces. They won an NCAA regional championship for the first time after capturing the MVC tournament title as hosts at Braun Stadium-German American Bank Field. At the end of June, the Aces were ranked No. 23 in the USA Today Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

Evansville loses 11 seniors, including Mark Shallenberger, who is a third-team American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-American and was nominated in a vote of college head coaches. The ABCA also named Carroll the Midwest Regional Coach of the Year on June 25.

“We have a good number of impact players back,” Carroll said. “We want to (build on this year’s success and) recruit the right players that fit our core culture. We want to compete for the Missouri Valley Conference title year in and year out.”