FSU baseball vs. Tennessee prediction, odds in double elimination round of College World Series

No. 8 Florida State baseball (49-16) was a strike away from upsetting No. 1 Tennessee (57-12) in its College World Series opener Friday.

FSU has a second chance against the Volunteers in Wednesday's semifinal after eliminating its ACC opponents, Virginia, 7-3, and North Carolina, 9-5.

It is the first time since 2012 that the Seminoles made it to the semifinals.

The game is scheduled for 3 p.m. on ESPN at Charles Schwab Field.

While the Seminoles will have to beat the Vols twice to advance to the championship series for the first time since 1999, a well-rested Tennessee team only needs to win once.

FSU coach Link Jarrett looks forward to facing the Vols again and also understands that there is no room for error.

"So excited," Jarrett said. "I recognize the difficulty of beating that team. It takes everything you've got. You have to finish. You have to defend. You have to execute pitches. And you have to be versatile and compete offensively to figure out a way to do it."

If FSU comes out victorious, it will return to Charles Schwab Field on Thursday for an elimination game against Tennessee. FSU is one win away from a 50-win season. It will be the first time since 2012 that FSU has reached 50 wins.

FSU baseball has been hitting well but needs its best hitters to show up

Jun 18, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida State Seminoles right fielder James Tibbs III (22) hits a double against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the fifth inning at Charles Schwab Field Omaha.
Jun 18, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida State Seminoles right fielder James Tibbs III (22) hits a double against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the fifth inning at Charles Schwab Field Omaha.

Hitting and scoring have not been an issue for the Seminoles. The batting lineup has been stellar throughout the tournament.

FSU is in the top 10 in hits ( No. 5) and home runs (No. 7). The Seminoles hold a .315 batting average (No. 9). Jaxson West believes that FSU has the top batters in the country.

West led the Seminoles with four hits, a home run, and 2 RBI on Tuesday's win over the Tar Heels.

"Our identity as an offense is to continue to scratch and claw," West said after having a career night at-bats. "And we've kind of morphed into that.

" I think it just continues to grow. We've just been running with that. I think that's been a big contribution to our success.

There's no question that Cam Smith and James Tibbs III are due for a big game. The problem is that we haven't seen it yet throughout the CWS.

Tibbs and Smith are combined 4 for 18 at-bats in the last three games. Neither has homered since super regional.

Tibbs, who is the reigning ACC Player of the Year, leads the Seminoles with 28 homers ( t-6th in NCAA) and 95 RBI (2nd nationally). Smith is second in the country with 104 total hits.

The stage could be set for the two projected first-round prospects of the 2024 MLB Draft.

"We have a nice mix of left-and right-handed hitters," Jarrett said. "I don't think it's easy to game plan and match up when we stagger it the way we do. There's length in the lineup."

Game could be decided with Brennan Oxford on the mound

After beating Virginia, relief pitcher Brennan Oxford admitted to the press that he had watched the checked-swing play numerous times, which he admitted was unhealthy, but he eventually got over it.

“I mean, it's just the game," Oxford said. "Like it's not always going to go your way, so I think getting back out there and having a good outing today was important."

Oxford could likely be the Seminoles' closer against the Vols.

After the North Carolina game, Jarrett said he has seen improvements in the pitching execution and expects no mental errors from his staff on Wednesday afternoon.

"So, I had a feeling that this wouldn't happen again," Jarrett said. "But I think the overall pitch execution was simply better.

Jarrett has yet to announce his starting pitcher. He could circle back to Jamie Arnold, especially after struggling in his last start against the Vols.

Jarrett could also boldly hold him off for the next time against Tennessee on Thursday,

It could also be an opportunity for Conner Whittaker, who didn't last even a third of an inning after allowing a home run that changed the momentum of the game.

He could have a bounce-back game similar to what Connor Hults did against Tar Heels, whether as a starter or relief pitcher.

Regardless of who it will be, Jarrett will need his bullpen and FSU's defense to play nearly mistake-free against Tennessee's No. 1 offense.

We'll figure it out," Jarrett said. "They're really good. There's no wiggle room in the lineup. They have a variety of arms. They're talented. They've been here. They played in this stadium a lot."

FSU baseball vs. Tennessee prediction in NCAA College World Series bracket

Tenn. 11 FSU 7: Both teams are two of the most explosive offenses in CWS and could likely be a high-scoring game.

The Volunteers are very good on all cylinders and will come into Charles Schwab Field fresh and well-rested. FSU should expect better pitching from Tennesee than its last meeting on Friday when it went to its bullpen early.

According to the Tennessean, the Volunteers plan on starting Zander Sechrist (4-1), who has had a strong postseason and has allowed two earned runs in his past 24 innings pitched.

The Seminoles will likely also see AJ Causey as the relief pitcher. Causey leads the Volunteers with 120 strikeouts.

FSU cannot afford to leave runners on base like the last time. Tennessee is ranked No. 6 with a 3.90 ERA. There were chances that FSU would put up more runs with two outs, but they came up short.

Christian Moore could also be a problem against the Seminoles. On Friday, he recorded a cycle, which is the second time it happened in CWS history, and played a huge part in the Vols' walk-off victory.

The game can go either way, but the Vols would find a big inning or two and could end FSU's postseason run.

FSU baseball vs. Tennessee odds in 2024 College World Series

FSU -200

Tennessee +150

FSU baseball odds to win 2024 College World Series

According to BetMGM. FSU is a +1700 favorite to win the College World Series.

How can I watch FSU baseball vs. Tennessee Wednesday?

  • TV: ESPN (Channel 206 on DirecTV, Channel 140 on Dish)

  • Streaming: ESPN+ ($10.99 per month), WatchESPN and the ESPN app (TV provider subscription needed), fuboTV (7-day free trial), YouTube TV (2-week free trial), Hulu + Live TV (7-day free trial)

How can I listen to FSU baseball on the radio?

  • Radio: WFLA FM 100.7

  • Streaming: Seminole Sports Network

FSU baseball tickets for NCAA College World Series

Tickets for the College World Series can be purchased on the CWSOmaha.com

Peter Holland Jr. covers Florida State athletics for Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at PHolland@Gannett.com or on X @_Da_pistol.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Prediction, odds of FSU baseball vs. Tennessee in College World Series

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