Tennessee Vols Christian Scott's game-ending catch worth $1,000 — and a lot more | Adams

Tennessee left fielder Christian Scott made a money catch Sunday in Gainesville, Florida. And he’s being rewarded for it.

So is his dad.

Scott closed out Tennessee baseball’s 6-4, 11-inning comeback with a spectacular catch of what appeared to be a two-out home run by Florida. He leaped above the fence, pulled the ball back into the park, and the Vols clinched a three-game series sweep.

“When I saw the ball in the air, I thought that it might have a chance to get out,” Scott told the News Sentinel on Monday.

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Scott has long practiced making a play just like that. And he was determined to finally pull it off, which helped explain his enthusiastic response that concluded No. 1 Tennessee’s third sweep of an SEC road series this season.

He immediately locked eyes with center fielder Drew Gilbert and ran toward his nearest teammate for a celebratory chest bump.

In Clarksville, Christian’s father, Bert, was celebrating, too, as he watched the game-ending out on television. Bert would have more to celebrate by the end of the day.

“I told him I would give him the ball,” said Christian, a former standout at Rossview. “He was pumped. He loves mementos. He has all my bats and all my home run balls going back to middle school.” Tennessee baseball player Christian Scott and his father, Bert. Bert will have to wait a few days for the ball, though. A business deal will have to be consummated first.

Friendsofbasevols.com, a website created to raise NIL money for Tennessee baseball players, is giving Christian $1,000 for the ball. But it won’t keep the ball.

Knoxville businessman Craig Jenkins, who started the website, said the ball will be presented to Bert after Saturday’s game against Auburn at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Bert said the ball would mean as much as the $1,000 one day.

“Kids don’t understand how important memories are,” said Bert, who raised Christian as a single parent while running a business. “Memories draw interest that money can’t buy.”

That belief helps explain why their home is full of Christian's baseball memorabilia.

Baseball always has been a collaborative effort between the Scotts. They decided when Christian was 12 he should set aside a promising football career and focus solely on baseball. And when Christian started out as a first baseman, Bert assured him that wouldn’t be his final position.

“You will be an outfielder,” Bert told him. “With the speed and agility you have, you have to be an outfielder.” Tennessee baseball:Lake Worth's Jorel Ortega emerges as hottest hitter on top-ranked Vols Bert said his son has a 52-inch “box vertical jump.” But there was more to the game-ending catch against Florida than sheer ability. No matter how tired from work Bert was, he always made time for his young son at the end of a long day. That time usually included baseball.

A backyard hill was part of their practice field. Christian would stand on the hill, which was steep enough that he couldn’t see his father below. “When he tossed the ball, I couldn’t see him or the ball,” Christian said. “I would just have to look up in the air and catch it.” Those tracking skills paid off Sunday when Christian stole a home run from the Gators. It happened in a flash but was years in the making.

Nate Brown

General Manager

Nate Brown is the General Manager of Zags Collective, leading the charge to help amplify the opportunities for the Gonzaga student-athletes through NIL partnerships with local charities, fans and businesses. With over a decade of experience in the professional sports industry and as a former business owner in Spokane, Nate is a seasoned professional who knows what it takes to succeed. Most recently, he served as the National Sales Director for a prominent west-coast real estate company, where he was responsible for driving growth and retention. With a deep understanding of sales and marketing, Nate brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and is always seeking innovative ways to drive revenue and create partnerships.With a passion for ensuring the success of student-athletes both on and off the field, Nate is dedicated to providing the necessary resources to keep Gonzaga competitive on the national stage. He understands the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with the community and local businesses, and works to maximize opportunities for Gonzaga’s student-athletes. As the son of two Gonzaga alumni, including a father who was a baseball pitcher and also a coach for the school, Nate has a great connection to the university and a passion for ensuring its continued success. Outside of work, Nate enjoys spending time with family, including his wife Jessica and their 16-year-old daughter Brooklynn and 12-year-old son Marcus. When not working or spending time with family, you can find Nate at any one of the amazing golf courses in Spokane, honing his swing!

Mike Smith

General Manager

Mike Smith joined Micconope 1851 in March 2023 and is excited to be the General Manager and looks forward to working with Blueprint Sports increase NIL revenue generation for Florida State University student-athletes. Smith comes to Micconope 1851 from Catawba College where he held the title as the Senior Director of Athletics, Development. Prior to working in Athletics at Catawba College, Mike served as the Associate Athletics Director for External Relations at Charleston Southern University. Smith has an impressive background in the collegiate athletics industry, having held senior level development and corporate sponsorship sales roles at The University of Southern Mississippi, Limestone University, the Sun Belt Conference, Florida Atlantic University, and with multimedia rights-holders Tele South Communications at the University of Mississippi, Learfield Sports at UNC Chapel Hill, and with International Sports Properties at Georgia Tech. Smith is a graduate of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and holds a master’s degree in Business Management from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In his new role here at Micconppe 1851, Smith will be responsible for raising major gifts for NIL deals as well as securing NIL corporate sponsorships for Florida State University student-athletes. Mike looks forward to helping ensure the FSU student-athletes have the resources and leadership opportunities to remain competitive nationally and positioned for success well beyond graduation. Mike is married to Katy Smith; the couple looks forward to relocating to Tallahassee, Florida, and becoming a part of the Micconope 1851 and Seminole family!

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