TIFTON -- Chris Howell and the Tennessee Volunteers baseball team are only two wins away from getting a chance to play in the College World Series.
But it will not be easy for Howell, a Fitzgerald native and a former Tiftarea Academy Panther baseball standout, and his Volunteer teammates. To earn a chance to play for the national championship, Tennessee must get past the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a best-of-3 Super Regional this weekend in Atlanta.
Tech (45-17) will host Tennessee (44-19) in the series set to begin Friday at 4 p.m. The second game will be at 1 p.m. Saturday and the third game, if necessary, will be Sunday at 6 p.m.
"We are ready for the Super Regional," Howell said in a telephone interview from Knoxville Tuesday.
Howell added, "I am having a good time. I am getting a chance to go home and play for a chance to go to the College World Series."
A senior, Howell is 1-4 on the year with a 5.50 ERA. In 21 appearances and 36 innings pitched, he has struck out 37 and walked 15. He leads the Vols with four saves on the year.
"I am pitching all right. I have had a good year," said Howell.
After having pitched at Pensacola Junior College for two seasons, Howell was 1-0 with a save and a 3.48 ERA as a junior at Tennessee.
Howell signed with Pensacola after a strong career at Tiftarea Academy. He had a 21-12 overall career record with a 1.87 ERA his senior season.
"I do my best to keep up with them (Tiftarea Academy). I was disappointed that they lost in the state championship (the past two seasons)," Howell said of his alma mater. "I was happy for my boy (Tiftarea pitcher), Justin Collins. I know he had a big season last year."
While he was excited about his alma mater doing well, Howell is focused on his current squad.
"This is something I will never forget. I feel like we have a good chance to go to Omaha (where the College World Series is played)," Howell said. "I am getting ready to go out with a bang."
Besides his on-field accomplishments, Howell is also doing well in the classroom.
"I am happy as can be. I am going to graduate in the fall with a degree in sports management. I would like to become a pitching coach eventually," the former Panther said.
Friday's game between Georgia Tech and Tennessee will be broadcast on ESPN2.
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Joseph "Scott" Lindsey, 56, of the West Berrien Community passed away Saturday, November 21, 2020, at Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.