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FSU baseball loses to Tennessee in College World Series. Will face UVA

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The No. 8 Florida State baseball team had the game firmly in its grasp but watched it slip away in the opener of the 2024 College World Series.

The top-ranked Tennessee team surprised FSU with a 12-11 walk-off victory on Friday night at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Volunteers advanced to the winners bracket of the eight-team double-elimination tournament against North Carolina at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

To stay in the race, FSU must beat Virginia in an elimination game on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Seminoles were just one strike away from beating the Vols twice, who scored four runs in the ninth inning.

Dylan Dreiling's RBI single to left center field with two outs decided the game.

The Vols finished the game with four consecutive hits and two outs.

Tennessee's Christian Moore put the Volunteers in winning position with a double to the left field corner with two strikes and two outs. Moore went 5 for 6 and hit the cycle (single, double, triple and home run), the second cycle in CWS history.

That brought Blake Burke to the field, who hit the tying single up the middle. This came after third-base umpire Shawn Rakos signaled that Burke had slowed his swing on a two-strike pitch.

Burke moved to second base on Billy Amick's single. Dreiling followed and scored the winning run on Connor Hults' second pitch with a hit to left center field.

Although neither team played cleanly throughout the game and made a total of five errors, the attackers made up for this with a total of 31 goals.

FSU was first on the scoreboard after a wild pitch led to a Max William score. Tennessee scored four runs in the first two innings, two of which were unearned due to errors.

Tennessee called upon many players from its bullpen after starting pitcher Chris Stamos lasted only 0.1 minutes. Six pitchers were on the field the entire game.

FSU made an early comeback from a 4-1 deficit by orchestrating six runs in the top of the third. Jaime Ferrer gave FSU a comfortable 9-4 lead after hitting a two-run homer in the fourth inning.

After two scoreless innings, Tennessee was able to rebuild its momentum with two home runs from Kavares Tears and Moore.

Marco Dinges' RBI double gave FSU the four-run lead it needed. Dinges led the Seminoles with three hits. Ferrer led with four RBIs.

Jamie Arnold did not have his best night. In five innings he allowed eight hits, six runs, four walks and a throwing error. Conner Whittaker took over as relief pitcher in the sixth inning.

Whittaker threw 71 pitches in 3.1 innings, the most he has thrown since returning from injury. Brennan Oxford took over but was relieved by Conner Hults, who allowed the game-winning hit.

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

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