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RTI Staff Predictions: Tennessee Baseball vs. Florida State In CWS Semifinals

Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball is looking to punch its ticket to the College World Series finals on Wednesday afternoon when it faces the same Florida State team that it beat in thrilling fashion in its opening game in Omaha.

The Seminoles force a third game between the two teams on Thursday if they take down the Vols in the rematch.

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

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Jack Foster

It feels like the best two teams in this side of the bracket are competing to reach the CWS Finals. After Florida State gave Tennessee all it could handle last Friday, the Seminoles have coasted to wins over Virginia and North Carolina, while the Vols did the same against the Tar Heels.

Pitching significantly favors the Vols here. The Noles depth isn’t great, and even if Florida State were to win Wednesday’s game, winning two in a row with its remaining pitching seems like a significantly tall task.

On the other hand, Zander Sechrist has been Tennessee’s best starter over the last month. The senior lefty has shown he can deliver in big games, and I expect him to do so again.

Vols make it 3-0 in Omaha and advance to the CWS Finals.

Prediction: Tennessee 7, Florida State 3

Ryan Schumpert

Credit Florida State for responding to a heartbreaking loss with two straight incredibly strong performances to stave off elimination. The Seminoles’ offense just keeps rolling along and has scored 27 runs over the course of three games in Omaha.

That makes them a major challenge for Zander Sechrist who has been fantastic on the mound over the last month. The good news for Sechrist is that Tennessee’s bullpen is well rested and Florida State’s pitching is wearing thin. Tennessee’s offense should have success in this game.

Florida State’s pitching depth is its biggest weakness and they’re playing a game for the second straight game and for the fourth time in six days.

I believe that these are the two best teams remaining in the tournament, so it would not surprise me if Florida State forces a game on Thursday. But Tennessee’s pitching depth gives them an edge.

Prediction: Tennessee 8, Florida State 6

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