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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