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Listen to Tennessee Baseball: Vols Triumph Over Florida State to Reach First Men’s College World Series Finals Since 1951

For the first time since 1951, the University of Tennessee baseball team has reached the final stage of the Men’s College World Series. The Vols secured their spot in the finals with a decisive 7-2 victory over Florida State on Wednesday, June 19, at Charles Schwab Field.

The Volunteers wasted no time in getting to Florida State’s starting pitcher, John Abraham. Christian Moore set the tone by drawing a walk to start the game, and Blake Burke followed up with a single, advancing Moore to second. Billy Amick brought home Moore with an RBI groundout, putting Tennessee on the board first. Hunter Ensley, playing as the designated hitter due to an injury, extended the lead with a single down the left-field line to score Amick, giving the Vols a 2-0 lead.

Dylan Dreiling then scored on an errant throw during an attempted pickoff, allowing Tennessee to jump out to a 3-0 advantage by the end of the first inning. Florida State threatened in the bottom of the inning with a deep hit by Marco Dinges, but Kavares Tears made a spectacular catch while crashing into the centerfield wall to keep the Seminoles off the scoreboard.

Tennessee extended their lead to 4-0 in the second inning when Burke’s RBI single brought home Moore. Despite having runners on the corners, the Vols left them stranded as Dreiling struck out. In the third inning, Florida State posed a significant threat with two runners in scoring position and no outs. However, a brilliant defensive play by Dean Curley, who threw out Jaxson West at home, followed by a double play, allowed the Vols to escape unscathed.

The Vols continued to pile on the pressure in the fourth inning. Cal Stark drew a walk and scored on a Moore RBI triple, making it 5-0. This marked Moore’s second triple in Omaha, both coming against Florida State.

Daniel Cantu put Florida State on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, and Alex Lodise followed with another solo shot, cutting the deficit to 5-2. This prompted Tennessee to turn to their bullpen after Zander Sechrist’s strong outing of 6.1 innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, and striking out three.

With one out and runners on the corners in the eighth, Florida State threatened again. However, Moore grounded out to leave both runners stranded. Tennessee’s Burke sealed the game with his 20th home run of the season in the top of the ninth, bringing the final score to 7-2.

This victory marks Tennessee’s first appearance in the Men’s College World Series finals since 1951, where they finished as national runners-up. The Vols will face the winner of the Texas A&M and Florida game in a three-game series starting on Saturday, June 22.

Florida State’s season, however, comes to an end in the semifinals. Despite the loss, the Seminoles had a remarkable season under head coach Link Jarrett, achieving a program-best 26-win improvement from the previous year.

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