2024 College World Series highlights: Tennessee rolls past Florida State, advances to CWS final

Updated
Tennessee's Cal Stark slides home to score against Florida State catcher Jaxson West during the second inning of their first game at the College World Series at Charles Schwab Filed in Omaha, Nebraska on June 14, 2024.

The No. 1 team in the country is headed to the Men’s College World Series final.

Tennessee’s offense was clicking early and the pitching was brilliant as the Volunteers defeated Florida State 7-2 to eliminate the Seminoles and advance to the college baseball final for the first time since 1951.

It took only three batters for Tennessee to take the lead in Wednesday’s contest and the Vols didn’t relinquish it for the rest of the game. They scored three runs in the first inning and led 5-0 by the end of the third inning. On the mound, Zander Sechrist pitched a brilliant 6⅓ innings for Tennessee as the Seminoles offense failed to find consistent hitting.

The Volunteers have arguably been the best team in college baseball throughout the 2024 season, and they are now two wins away from the team’s first national championship. They await either Texas A&M or Florida on Saturday.

Check out highlights from the Tennessee-Florida State game:

Nate Snead ends game for Tennessee

It took more pitches than Nate Snead probably would've liked, but after 27 pitches, Tennessee is headed to the Men's College World Series final after he shutdown Florida State in the ninth inning.

Tennessee's Blake Burke hits no-doubt homer

Blake Burke might have sealed a victory for Tennessee.

The first baseman mashed a ball to into the right centerfield stands for a no-doubt home run to make it a 7-2 game in the final inning.

Unfortunate double play kills Florida State 8th inning chance

Sometimes, the ball just doesn't bounce your way.

Florida State opened the bottom of the eighth with a single from Max Williams. The next batter, Cam Smith, then drilled a ball, but it deflected off the glove of Tennessee pitcher Kirby Connell and bounced right to second baseman Christian Moore in front of the base. Moore touched second and then got the throw to first for a cruel double play for Florida State as it ended the inning without another baserunner.

Seminoles prevent Tennessee from adding more runs

Tennessee has shown today it's more than capable of doing damage with two outs, but in the eighth inning, Florida State was able to hold them off.

Cal Stark had a swinging strikeout with two outs, but he reached first base after the pitch was wild, allowing the Volunteers to have runners at the corners. Luckily, Joe Charles was able to get Christian Moore to ground out to end the scoring threat.

Moore has pitched well considering he's prevented Tennessee from busting the game wide open. He has pitched 4 1/3 innings and given up one run on three hits with five strikeouts.

Florida State gets on the board with back-to-back home runs

The Seminoles have finally gotten through Zander Sechrist, and it's getting interesting in Omaha.

Daniel Cantu hit a homer in the top of the seventh inning for Florida State's first run of the game. On the next at-bat, Alex Lodise did the same exact thing with a bomb into the Tennessee bullpen and it's now a 6-2 game. Sechrist was pulled after the second home run.

Tennessee extends lead, inching closer to MCWS final

The Volunteers continue to pour it on with another run in the seventh inning.

With two outs, Billy Amick hit a double down the left field line and he was followed by a Dylan Dreiling single past the second baseman to make it a 6-0 game. Tennessee is nine outs away from punching its ticket to the Men's College World Series final.

Zander Sechrist shutting down Florida State

Tennessee and Florida State had some of the best offenses this season, but the Seminole bats have been unable to get past Zander Secrhist.

The senior left-hander has pitched five scoreless innings with only two hits and one walk allowed, along with two strikeouts. He has thrown just 54 pitches.

Volunteers pouring it on

It's starting to get away from Florida State after Tennessee added another run in the fourth inning.

Christian Moore drilled a ball down the right field line and turned on the jets for a triple to score Cal Stark from first base. The fifth run of the game would result in Florida State pulling pitcher Brennen Oxford for Joe Charles.

Tennessee prevents Florida State from scoring

It was a solid start to the bottom of the third for the team facing elimination, but heads up defense from Tennessee and bad baserunning from the Florida State keeps the Seminoles off the board.

Jaxson West opened up the inning with a single and Max Williams hit a double to get runners at second and third with no outs. Cam Smith hit a bullet to shortstop Dean Curley, and he made a smart play by throwing it to home, getting West out at the plate.

On the following at-bat, James Tibbs III hit it right to first baseman Blake Burke, who stepped on first and got the throw and tag on Smith before Williams crossed home plate, a painful double play for Florida State.

Tennessee adds another run in 2nd inning

Add another run for Tennessee as two-out hitting has made it a 4-0 ballgame.

The first two batter of the top of the second inning were retired before Christian Moore hit a single. A balk from pitcher Brennen Oxford moved Moore to second base, and Billy Amick hit a single to bring Moore in for his second RBI of the day.

Kavares Tears makes highlight catch on outfield wall

Things are looking good for Tennessee early.

Florida State attempted to respond to the 3-0 start from the Volunteers, and Marco Dinges hit a deep fly ball to right center field that looked destined to bring a run in. But centerfielder Kavares Tears leaped against the wall and hauled the ball in to end the inning in spectacular fashion.

Tennessee offense on fire to start

It only took three batters for Tennessee to get on the scoreboard and the Volunteers are up 3-0 after the top of the first.

Leadoff hitter Christian Moore started the game with a walk and he advanced to third base after a single from Blake Burke. The following at-bat, Billy Amick grounded into a fielder's choice that brought Moore in. Dylan Dreiling followed it with a walk and Hunter Ensley brought in another run with a single. That would be enough for Link Jarrett as he took out starting pitcher John Abraham after five batters.

Brennen Oxford came in relief for Florida State, but he made a key mistake when he tried a pickoff attempt at first. The throw was wide, which allowed Dreiling to score from third. Now the Seminoles will have to play from behind to start the must-win game.

Tennessee vs. Florida State: TV, time, streaming and how to watch

  • Date: Wednesday, June 19

  • Time: 3:45 p.m. ET

  • Cable TV: ESPN

  • Streaming: ESPN+fuboTV, YouTube TV

Florida State baseball coach

Link Jarrett is in his second season as the Seminoles head coach. Before that he was a two-time National Coach of the Year at Notre Dame, where he spent three years leading the Fighting Irish. Jarrett took Notre Dame to the 2022 College World Series, its third CWS bid in school history. Jarrett's head coaching career started at UNC Greensboro, where he led the Spartans for seven seasons before taking the Notre Dame job. Jarrett is a Tallahassee native and was a five-year starter for the FSU baseball team. He met his wife at FSU, where she was a cheerleader for the Seminoles.

Tennessee baseball coach

Tony Vitello is in his seventh season as the Vols head coach. This is the second consecutive year, and third time overall, that Vitello has led Tennessee to the College World Series. Vitello played college ball at Missouri and immediately got into coaching afterward. After assistant coaching jobs at Missouri (2003-10), TCU (2011-13) and Arkansas (2014-17), Vitello was named Tennessee's head coach on June 7, 2017. The Vols are 292-111 overall under Vitello.

Florida State starting pitcher

The Seminoles will turn to right-handed freshman John Abraham to keep their season alive. Abraham appeared in 24 games this season, but he only had two starts. He compiled a 5-1 record with a 4.24 ERA to go with 42 strikeouts and 29 walks in 34 innings pitched.

Florida State starting lineup

  • Max Williams, CF

  • Cam Smith, 3B

  • James Tibbs III, RF

  • Marco Dinges, DH

  • Jaime Ferrer, LF

  • Daniel Cantu, 1B

  • Alex Lodise, SS

  • Drew Faurot, 2B

  • Jaxson West, C

Tennessee vs. Florida State game time

First pitch for the Seminoles-Volunteers game has been moved back to 3:45 p.m. ET after the Florida-Kentucky game ran long. The Gators eliminated the Wildcats in a 15-4 rout and will play Texas A&M in Wednesday's final game of the evening.

Tennessee starting lineup

  • Christian Moore, 2B

  • Blake Burke, 1B

  • Billy Amick, 3B

  • Dylan Dreiling, LF

  • Hunter Ensley, DH

  • Kavares Tears, CF

  • Dean Curley, SS

  • Reese Chapman, RF

  • Cal Stark, C

Tennessee's Christian Moore

Junior second baseman Christian Moore stole the headlines Friday against Florida State when he became the second player ever to hit for the cycle at the College World Series. The first -- and last -- player to do it was Minnesota's Jerry Kindall in 1956. Moore's .384 batting average and .814 slugging percentage is a team high for players with at least 35 at-bats, and he leads the team with 33 homers and 72 RBI.

Tennessee starting pitcher

Senior southpaw Zander Sechrist is getting the start for the Vols. Sechrist's 17 starts at the second most on the team, and he's gone 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA. He has 66 strikeouts and 14 walks in 66 ⅓ innings pitched.

Tennessee uniforms at College World Series

The Volunteers will be sporting their orange jersey with "Vols" scripted in white across the front in what the team's social media account calls "The finest shade of Orange you'll ever see." The orange tops go with orange caps and gray pants.

Tennessee vs. Florida State: Odds, spread and lines for College World Series

Tennessee is favored to win Wednesday's game, according to the BetMGM college baseball odds. Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering 2024 sports betting promos.

Odds listed as of Wednesday afternoon.

  • Spread: Tennessee (-1.5)

  • Moneyline: Tennessee (-200); Florida State (+150)

  • O/U: 12.5

College World Series bracket

Elimination games will be denoted with an asterisk (*). Away teams listed first. All times Eastern.

Wednesday, June 19

  • Game 10: Florida 15, Kentucky 4 (Kentucky eliminated)

  • Game 11: Florida State vs. Tennessee, 3 p.m. ET (Elimination game for Florida State)

  • Game 12: Florida vs. Texas A&M, 7 p.m. (Elimination game for Florida)

Thursday, June 20

Times TBD.

  • Bracket 1 final: Only necessary if Florida State beats Tennessee on Wednesday

  • Bracket 2 final: Only necessary if Kentucky/Florida winner beats Texas A&M on Wednesday

Men's College World Series Finals

Best-of-three series between Bracket 1 winner and Bracket 2 winner.

  • Game 1: Saturday, June 22, 7:30 p.m.

  • Game 2: Sunday, June 23, 2 p.m.

  • Game 3 (if necessary): Monday, June 24, 7 p.m.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: College World Series recap: Tennessee tops Florida State to make final

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