Former Coastal Carolina catcher Matthew Beaird part of Tennessee’s 2022 championship team

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No. 1 Tennessee (56-7) will host Notre Dame (38-14) at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in the NCAA baseball tournament Super Regional.

The winner will advance to the College World Series, June 16-27, at Charles Schwab Field Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska.

Former Coastal Carolina catcher Matthew Beaird is part of Tennessee’s 2022 championship team. The Vols won the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament championship.

Beaird came to Tennessee in Aug. 2021. He is serving as a student assistant and is pursuing an MBA at the University of Tennessee.

Ahead of Tennessee’s Super Regional matchup with Notre Dame, Vols’ head coach Tony Vitello was asked about staying even-keeled at this point in the season.

Vitello referenced Beaird and Coastal Carolina’s national championship team in 2016.

“I think we’re past it, at least I am,” Vitello said during a press conference ahead of playing Notre Dame. “I don’t sense from the players differently, but you got too, about halfway through the year, somewhere a little bit deeper and in our league it’s, ‘Does it matter and whoever has it, how long are they going to hold onto that hot potato?’ There’s probably going to be another team in the league that picks it up. That’s just the way it’s going to go every year. Fortunately, our guys played well down the stretch. Everyone loves to point out the blip on the radar screen in Kentucky, but we spoke to our players in the outfield and we told them that weekend was going to serve them well. I feel like it has contributed to the topic we’re talking about right now. We’ve been able to stay at the forefront there.

“We talked about hosting and playing in front of your fans, that’s really what you want. After that, it doesn’t matter. It certainly feels good to play in front of our fans. It’s a goal of ours each year. We’ve got a man from Coastal Carolina in Matthew Beaird, who was the catcher on Coastal Carolina’s national championship team. If you follow that route, it was clearly not conventional. This is not a conventional tournament and these are not conventional or normal teams at this point. They are all teams that can do great things. It’s going to be hell from pitch one until the last pitch, from the start of the series until the end of the series. That’s not just here, but across the country. Embrace it and certainly enjoy it. I am grateful that our fans get to see it in-person.”

Jun 28, 2016; Omaha, NE; Coastal Carolina Chanticleers pitcher Bobby Holmes (31) and catcher Matthew Beaird (16) react after the victory against the Arizona Wildcats in game two of the College World Series. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

During Coastal Carolina’s national championship season in 2016, Beaird played in 59 games, starting 46 contests as the Chanticleers’ primary catcher.

Beaird threw out a school record 46 base stealers during his collegiate career (46-of-107). Beaird finished his career ranked second in Coastal Carolina program history in sacrifice hits (39), most fielding chances (1,296) and most putouts (1,173).

Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire