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RTI Staff Predictions: Tennessee Baseball vs. Florida State In College World Series

Hunter Ensley in College World Series – Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball opens up play at the College World Series on Friday night where they’ll face eight-seed Florida State at Charles Schwab Field.

The Vols lost their College World Series opener in their last two trips under Tony Vitello and they have another tough test on the mound against Florida State’s Jamie Arnold. But Tennessee is a very tough test for anyone they face and are on the top-seed for good reason.

Here the RTI staff’s predictions for Tennessee College World Series opener against the Seminoles.

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Jack Foster

Tennessee is the best team in Omaha. The Vols have shown that in their SEC Tournament victory, dominant NCAA Regional sweep, and resilient, dominant game three win over Evansville last weekend in the Super Regional.

On paper, I will pick Tennessee to beat every team in Omaha on a one-off, especially at full strength pitching-wise. Therefore, I am picking Tennessee to win this game, but Jamie Arnold is one of the best pitchers in Omaha this year. Tennessee’s kryptonite in years past in the College World Series has been having to face premiere aces. While it has to yet again, this team feels more well-equipped to handle adversity, and not to mention they have one of the best offenses college baseball has ever seen, even better than the 2022 Vols.

I’m putting my eggs in the basket that contains the nation’s best offense and AJ Causey, who has been nearly un-hittable for over two months.

(FYI, I’m not a fan of picking exact baseball scores, but Ryan told me to. So here ya go.)

Tennessee 6, Florida State 2

Ryan Schumpert

This year’s Tennessee team has a vibe that neither the 2021 or 2023 team had when they made it to Omaha— it’s that they’re not satisfied with what they’ve achieved to this point. That feeling comes from Tony Vitello at the top and rolls down throughout the roster.

Making a deep run in Omaha becomes a whole lot easier when you win your first game. Tennessee has a tough challenge against Arnold and Florida State. But the Vols’ offense is so stout that I would be surprised if they get completely shut down in a game like this.

On the mound, Tennessee is sticking with its Chris Stamos-AJ Causey stack. What’s different is the way the games are spaced out at the College World Series. That should allow Tennessee to use both Nate Snead and Aaron Combs out of the bullpen in this one.

With that in mind, I think Tennessee’s pitching is going to be tough to tangle with in this game too. The Vols get it done in a low scoring affair.

Prediction: Tennessee 5, Florida State 3

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