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Tennessee vs. Florida State: Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Tennessee vs. Florida State: Wednesday, June 19, 2024

TENNESSEE VS. FLORIDA STATE: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2024 — Being the last ACC team standing is exactly where Florida State expected to be at this point. Having to beat Tennessee twice to reach the finals isn’t.

One could argue that FSU shouldn’t even be in this position, given that the Seminoles were one checked swing away from beating Tennessee on the first day in Omaha. But that’s the hand they’ve been dealt, and now they’ve got some decisions to make.

Related: NCAA Baseball Tournament – Tallahassee Regional

The biggest one is who takes the mound for this game. The Seminoles could throw ace Jamie Arnold on four days’ rest, but they’d be giving Tennessee another look at the same pitcher the Vols touched for six runs. Or they could go with a bullpen game today and use Arnold Thursday, but they’d be committing to not having their ace in the championship series.

Tennessee has no such concerns. The Volunteers have a fully healthy staff, as Drew Beam is the only unavailable pitcher. And given the way the Volunteers have hit and pitched all tournament, it’s going to take a lot for Florida State to win two straight over Tennessee. Only one team — Alabama — managed to beat the Volunteers in consecutive games this year. On the other hand, that was the same Alabama team that didn’t win a game in the Tallahassee Regional that FSU dominated.

The Odds






Tennessee Volunteers 

(57-12 SU) 





Florida State Seminoles 

(49-16 SU)





First Pitch

When: Wednesday, June 19 at 3 p.m. EST

Where: Charles Schwab Field, Omaha, Neb. 


Players to Watch

No matter who pitches for Florida State, the Seminoles must find an answer for Christian Moore. The All-American second baseman hit for the cycle against Arnold and the FSU bullpen, and he’s had four multi-hit games in the postseason. Behind Moore are a bunch of big bats that can quickly change a game. FSU has to keep Moore from setting the tone, especially with the Vols getting first at-bats.

Related: College World Series FAQs

Cam Smith and James Tibbs III have been the Seminoles’ most reliable bats all season, but neither has hit well in Omaha. Between them, the two have gone 4-for-23 with zero home runs after hitting a combined 44 blasts before Omaha. Florida State doesn’t need them to necessarily leave the yard, especially with Jaxson West and Max Williams’ newfound power, but the Seminoles do need them on base. Smith batted .402 before Omaha; having him bat .181 isn’t what anyone in garnet and gold hoped to see.

The Prediction

That checked swing might have been devastating for Florida State’s chances to finally bring home the trophy. The Seminoles’ biggest weakness has been the bullpen, and the need to win twice has them in a major jam.

Related: NCAA Baseball Tournament – Knoxville Regional

Tennessee is so strong that it’s possible nothing Florida State tried would have worked, but at least the Seminoles would have had the option of setting their pitchers the way they wanted them. They don’t have that now, and they’ll need the bullpen’s best performance of the season against the best lineup in college baseball.

That’s not a position you want to be in. I’d wait until Florida State names a starter before making a decision on how to bet. If it’s Arnold, take FSU +1.5. If it’s a bullpen game, back the Vols.

Dan’s Picks 

 Tennessee ML 

 Over 12.5 Runs 


  • Dan Angell, Contributor

    Dan is originally from Virginia and has covered basketball games across the country over the past 18 years. He now resides in Indianapolis and loves a good defensive showcase. His Twitter @danangell11.

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