FSU’s Link Jarrett on Blake Burke check swing: ‘Every pitch matters’

Florida State Baseball’s College World Series opener against No. 1 national seed Tennessee ended in heartbreak — and controversy — on Friday.

The No. 8 national seed Seminoles entered the bottom of the ninth inning with an 11-8 lead, but allowed a Tennessee team that refused to go away all game to score four runs to take the 12-11 victory. The third and fourth runs of the inning (the game-tying and walk-off runs, respectively) followed a controversial call that many FSU fans felt unfairly affected the game.

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The problem came with Vols first baseman Blake Burke, who ran into a 2-2 tie with runners on second and third base. A strike would have resulted in the final of the inning, giving FSU an 11-9 win and moving them into the winners bracket. An off-speed pitch from Brennan Oxford did indeed appear to get Burke to swing, although a check swing call to the third base umpire resulted in a ball for a full count.

Two pitches later, Burke hit a two-RBI single behind Oxford’s head to tie the game at 11-11. Two batters later, Dylan Dreiling hit a single of his own to score Burke and end the game in favor of the Vols, resulting in a largely negative reaction on social media.

But FSU baseball coach Link Jarrett, speaking about the check swing in the postgame, declined to say the game was won or lost on the call — only that every throw matters. He spoke about the call in his opening statement and received no questions from assembled reporters about the ruling.

REQUIRED READING: FSU baseball falls to Tennessee: Reactions as controversial no-swing march College World Series game

“You guys saw the game. I have to rewatch every pitch of this game. There are factors that affect the outcome of the game,” Jarrett said. “And I can’t tell from 30 yards away on the sidelines what was going on with some of the things that happened. I have to watch the game. You guys watched it.”

Jarrett added:

“Every throw matters in these games. And you saw the results of that. Every throw. We didn’t play well enough to separate. It was ugly early. We had chances to record zero, but we didn’t. It wasn’t clear Always enough on the mount. Thought (Conner) Whittaker threw great, I thought Jamie (Arnold) fought, but they (Tennessee) delivered.