Preview: Tennessee Volunteers vs Florida State, College World Series

A preview into Tennessee's first matchup in the College World Series against the Florida State Seminoles.
The Tennessee dugout celebrating after the game it tied against Stanford during the NCAA Baseball College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday, June 19, 2023.
The Tennessee dugout celebrating after the game it tied against Stanford during the NCAA Baseball College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday, June 19, 2023. / Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY

A preview into Tennessee's first matchup in the College World Series against the Florida State Seminoles.

The first games of the College World Series in Omaha begin tomorrow and the Tennessee Volunteers and Florida State Seminoles are slated to face off tomorrow. The two teams will be the second game of the day following the North Carolina vs Virginia game. The Volunteers come in as the top-ranked team so what does their matchup against the Seminoles look like?

Tennessee comes in with an overall record of 55-12 while the Seminoles sit with a 47-15 record. The Vols won the SEC Championship against Vanderbilt while Florida State fell just short of a conference title as they lost to Duke in the championship game.

Both teams have been running hot in postseason play. Florida State has yet to lose a game since the start of the regionals round beating Stetson, UCF twice and sweeping UConn in the super regionals round. Tennessee posted a clean record in the regional round beating Northern Kentucky, Southern Miss and Indiana while winning the super regional round against Evansville 2-1.

From a statistical perspective, Florida State ranks ninth in the country in batting average (.316) while Tennessee ranks 20th (.310). The Volunteers on the other hand have hit 50 more home runs than Florida State has this season but both rank inside of the top 10 for that state category. Defensively, Tennessee holds an edge as their staff has a season ERA of 3.83 which ranks third in the country while Florida State 43rd with a 4.86. The Seminoles also walk batters at a much higher rate than Tennessee.

Some key note players to know for both teams are first Tennessee's Christian Moore who has a batting average of .375 with 32 home runs and 71 RBIs on the year. On the mound for them, it's Zander Sechrist who has posted a 3.26 ERA this season with 66 strikeouts and 14 walks surrendered in 17 starts and 66 innings of work.

For Florida State, it's James Tibbs III who is the offensive headliner with a .374 batting average on top of 28 home runs and 94 RBI. Jamie Arnold is the name to know on the pitching staff for them with a 2.77 ERA, 155 strikeouts and just 22 walks in 17 starts in 100.2 innings of work.

The College World Series rounds are double elimination so it's not a do-or-die situation for either team on Friday, but picking up a win in the first game will provide some great momentum to get things started off in Omaha in contention for a spot in the championship series.

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Jonathan Williams

JONATHAN WILLIAMS