UPDATE (June 15, 11:48 p.m.): The Twitter account that "reported" Chase Burns' gesture would be under review by the NCAA is not a legit account or a real reporter. This is why blue check marks for verified accounts existed in the past. Burns' throat-slashing gesture may not be under review, but it is still one of the wildest celebrations of the NCAA Men's Baseball Tournament so far.
The Tennessee Volunteers are officially in the Men's College World Series. Still, they may start their dash toward a title without one of their flame-throwing relievers, Chase Burns, for a "throat slash" gesture he made in the team's recent 5-0 win against Southern Mississippi in super regional play.
Appearing in the top of the seventh inning on Monday, Burns had runners at the corners and two outs and a 1-2 count. From the stretch, Burns delivered a high-and-outside fastball that the batter swung at and missed. But what made this pitch stand out is that it was a missile at 102 miles per hour.
Burns was, of course, amped up.
M7 | CHASE BURNS IS AN ELECTRIC FACTORY!!! ????????
— Tennessee Baseball (@Vol_Baseball) June 13, 2023
As you can see from the video above, describing Burns as "energetic" or "ballistic" following that strikeout would be a massive understatement.
He was overcome with excitement and made a reasonably slight "throat slash" gesture, which is now "under review" by the NCAA, according to Knoxville reporter Richard G. West.
Early this morning, Tony Vitello received word that Chase Burns throat slashing gesture last night will be under review by the NCAA board this week.
If the board determines it was a direct taunting to USM, he could face suspension during part of the World Series in Omaha. pic.twitter.com/SqdyPVDWEF
— Richard G. West (@RGW_News) June 13, 2023
"Early this morning, Tony Vitello received word that Chase Burns throat slashing gesture last night will be under review by the NCAA board this week," West wrote on Twitter. "If the board determines it was a direct taunting to USM, he could face suspension during part of the World Series in Omaha."
Personally speaking, the gesture didn't appear to be directed at any player. And given the circumstance of the occasion, it was a massive deal to Burns and the Volunteers. After all, the win was sending them to Omaha. Suspending him for a game would only result in a worse product on the field, as Burns delivers pitches you rarely see in college baseball — including 102 mph fastballs.
Fans took to Twitter to mainly support Burns, including one user who claimed to be a Southern Mississippi alum.
Come on NCAA, leave him alone. He was fired up and got TN out of a critcal spot. No way was this taunting, it was celebrating a huge success. As a USM fan and alum, I had no issue there. I was blown away by him, especially at 102!
— Lee McCall (@lmccall717) June 14, 2023
Burns is 4-3 on the year with a 4.64 ERA across 66 innings. He's walked 22 batters but has struck out 105, resulting in an astonishing 14.3 K/9.
The Volunteers' first game in Omaha will take place Saturday, June 17, at 7 p.m. ET against the LSU Tigers.
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