3 insights from the FSU-Tenn College World Series matchup


No. 8 national seed Florida State baseball was twice one strike away from upsetting No. 1 Tennessee Friday night in the College World Series.

Instead, the stunned Seminoles (47-16) will need short-term memory if they want to continue their quest for the program’s first national championship.

Dylan Dreiling’s game-winning single into the left-center gap in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a four-run rally as Tennessee defeated FSU 12-11 at Charles Schwab Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Seminoles will meet fellow ACC member Virginia (46-16) in an elimination game on Sunday at 2 p.m., while the Volunteers (56-12) will play North Carolina (48-14) in a winners’ game at 7 p.m.

“It’s tough. That was a tough walk and walk in that locker room. Tough,” FSU coach Link Jarrett said.

“These guys have responded all year, and they will respond. I’m proud that you saw flashes of what this team can do and what it’s all about. But finally, that pendulum swung hastily the other way in the ninth inning .”

FSU was ruthless as it rallied from an early 4-1 deficit, scoring six runs in the top of the third to overtake the Vols. The Seminoles built leads of 9-4 and 11-7, but that wasn’t enough to stop Tennessee.

The teams combined for 31 hits and five errors in the game; Designated hitter Marco Dinges led FSU with three hits, while leadoff hitter Max Williams and shortstop Alex Lodise each had a pair. Jaime Ferrer hit a two-run double in FSU’s third inning and added a two-run homer in the fourth to finish with four RBI.

All nine Seminole starters reached base, with eight scoring a run and eight earning a single. UT’s Christian Moore hit for the cycle (single, double, triple and home run) and finished 5-for-6. He was the first player to score for the cycle in the CWS since Minnesota’s Jerry Kindall did it against Mississippi in 1956.

“We gave them opportunities throughout the game,” Jarrett said. “It wasn’t just the end of the game. They had chances. We weren’t as clean as we needed to be. They would probably tell you the same thing.” .”

Was it or was it not a strike?

The ninth inning featured a controversial call and everyone wanted to know about it. Did Blake Burke swing?

With FSU protecting an 11-9 lead and runners on second and third base with two outs, FSU left-handed reliever Brennan Oxford faced left-handed Burke on a two-strike pitch.

However, third base umpire Shawn Rakos indicated that Burke had checked his swing on a pitch with two strikes, making it 3-and-2. If the call had gone the other way, FSU would have won the game. When he was revived, Burke singled to center to tie the game at 11.

“It was a check swing and I didn’t go,” Burke told the media after the game. “I kept fighting after that and that was the result.”

Jarrett, who stepped out of the dugout and expressed his displeasure with the call, did not directly address it with the media after the game.

“You guys saw the game,” Jarrett said.

“I have to re-examine every throw in this game. There are factors that affect the outcome of the game and I can’t tell from 30 yards off to the side what was going on with some of the things that happened. Every throw is important in these matches and you saw the result.”

After Burke moved to second on Billy Amick’s single, Dreilng won the game with his hit into the gap off Connor Hults, the Seminoles’ third pitcher in the inning.

FSU baseball had strong hitting, but so did Tennessee

Both teams showed why they rank highly nationally in offense. UT finished with 18 hits, FSU 13.

“As hitters, we have to keep the same approach,” Dinges said.

“We had good ABs all game, the whole lineup. We just have to come back on Sunday and be ready to go – same ABs, same approach. And then get the win.”

Nate Snead (10-2), Tennessee’s No. 6 pitcher, earned the victory after holding the Seminoles scoreless on one hit over the final 2⅓ innings.

FSU starter Jamie Arnold pitched five innings and gave up six runs (four earned). Junior right-hander Conner Whittaker pitched three strong innings of relief. But he was eliminated with one out in the ninth, after giving up a triple and a sacrifice fly. Oxford and Hults also pitched in the ninth.

“It wasn’t always clear enough on the hill,” Jarrett said.

“I thought Whittaker pitched great. I thought Jaime fought. But they delivered the result. … I’m proud that you saw flashes of what this team can do and what this team is about. But in the end, that pendulum swung the other way. rush in the ninth inning.

“We didn’t throw well enough with two strikes,” Jarrett said. “We had opportunities to finish off some hitters, and the resulting contact was better than you would hope for on that front.”

Jarrett also praised Moore, whose two-out double with two strikes in the ninth provided the Vols’ game-winning drama.

“He’s a talented player,” Jarrett said. “And unfortunately we just couldn’t respond and get out of some things.”

What’s next for FSU baseball

FSU must have short term memory.

To stay in the CWS, FSU must defeat Virginia in the elimination bracket on Sunday. UVA also lost in walk-off fashion to North Carolina in the early game.

It will be the second time the two ACC teams have met in the postseason. The Seminoles defeated the Cavaliers in the ACC Tournament, advancing to the semifinals on May 24.

Carson Dorsey will start for FSU.

When asked about the team’s response this season, Ferrer said:

“The determination that we know we’re never out of a ball game. You’ve got to get all 27 outs and you’ve got to fight until the last pitch of the game. So we’re going to stick with that, knowing that our offense is going to stop us on every ball game there’s a good feeling. And it’s the leadership that we have and the courage and the love that we have for each other that we can’t give up on each other.

“We have to keep pushing. At the end of the day, it’s a team ball game. You have to play for the guy next to you. That’s how you win ball games and stack up good at-bats.”

How can I watch FSU baseball against Virginia on Sunday?

  • TV: ESPN (channel 206 on DirecTV, channel 140 on Dish)
  • Streaming: ESPN+ ($10.99 per month), WatchESPN and the ESPN app (TV provider subscription required), fuboTV (7-day free trial), YouTube TV (2-week free trial), Hulu + Live TV (free trial of 7 days)

How can I listen to FSU baseball on the radio?

  • Radio: WFLA FM 100.7
  • Streaming: Seminole Sports Network

Tickets for the College World Series can be purchased at

Peter Holland Jr. covers Florida State athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at [email protected] or at X @_Da_pistol