The voice of Tennessee baseball talks Omaha

Omaha Bound: The Race for a Ring

John Wilkerson. (Photo: WATE)

OMAHA, Neb. (WATE) — The Tennessee baseball team is still looking for their first win in the College World Series since 2001. The Voice of Tennessee baseball games on the Vol network John Wilkerson was there for that one. In fact, he’s been with Tennessee since the mid-’90s.

We sat down with him to talk about this year’s trip to Omaha.

“This is the goal that every team has, to finish your season at the College World Series,” John Wilkerson said. “The fact that Tennessee hadn’t done it since 2005 makes it even more special.”

The Tennessee fanbase has shown up here in Omaha loud and proud; starting with Sunday’s send-off from the team hotel.

“I don’t think there’s any question, the Tennessee fan base is starved for a winning team and this is exactly that,” John Wilkerson said.

‘Hello Win Column’ — where did that come from?

“I grew up listening to as many different play-by-play guys as I could on the radio,” John Wilkerson said. “It was a gentleman named Mark Holtz who called Texas Rangers games. He used to say ‘Hello Win Column.’ The impact he had on me in how I call a game, how I see a game and how I hope to present it over the radio, I started sliding in ‘Hello Win Column’ in the late 2000s. It’s been my tribute to him each time that happens, so I always smile when I get to say it because I also know he’s smiling somewhere.”

While the Vols are in the consolation bracket, Wilkerson says he has no doubt Tennessee will fight to the end.

“They have the opportunity to bounce back the thing is you’re doing it against the one team in this field that’s seeded higher than you are in Texas,” John Wilkerson said. “You know you’re playing another great team and it’s just going to come down to as Tony Vitello says who plays the best once they say play ball. Blade Tidwell is going for the Big Orange and I like their chances. I think he’s been outstanding for Tennessee and this lineup once again is going o fight to their last out. They will be the road team so we’ll see how it plays out for them. Tennessee will indeed give its all with the opportunity to stay longer here in Omaha.”

Tennessee and Texas – the two highest seeds remaining here in Omaha in an elimination game. The first pitch in Tuesday’s matchup is set for 2 p.m.

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