The best Tennessee baseball game ever: Opening game of the 2024 College World Series

Published 11:36 am Monday, June 17, 2024

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By C.Y. Peters

Omaha Nebraska: The opening game of the 2024 College World Series was destined to be historic, but no one could have predicted the rollercoaster of emotions that unfolded. For Tennessee Volunteers fans, it became the best baseball game ever.

The excitement was palpable from the start. Tennessee came out swinging, scoring 2 runs in the first inning and adding 2 more in the second, leading 4-1. The Vols’ confidence was high, but Florida State was not to be underestimated. In the third inning, they erupted for 6 runs, seizing a 7-4 lead. By the end of the fourth, the Seminoles had extended their advantage to 9-4, and then added two more in the seventh to make it 11-6. The outlook seemed grim for Tennessee.

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However, the Volunteer faithful remained unwavering. As the game approached the eighth inning, hope flickered when Tennessee sparked a rally. The fans, who had been on the edge of their seats all game, roared with renewed energy.

The bottom of the ninth inning arrived with Tennessee still trailing by three. An out already hung over their heads, and their chances seemed slim. Kavares Tears stepped up to the plate, embodying the last glimmer of hope. With a powerful swing, he belted a triple to center field, igniting the crowd. A sacrifice fly brought him home, and the score shifted to 11-9 and now with two outs.

Cannon Peebles walked, followed by Christian Moore’s double to left, placing runners at second and third. The stadium buzzed with anticipation. On the brink of despair, the Vols fans watched as the third base umpire narrowly missed a strike-three call on a check swing, giving Blake Burke another chance. Burke, known for his clutch performances, didn’t disappoint. He delivered a single up the middle, bringing home two runs and tying the game at 11.

The momentum had swung entirely in Tennessee’s favor. Florida State’s coach made a pitching change after Billy Amick singled to left, setting the stage for Dylan Dreiling. On the second pitch, Dreiling connected for a single to left center, allowing Burke to dash home with the winning run.

Moore who had been instrumental throughout the game, hit for the cycle, becoming only the second player in College World Series history to do so. The game was an unforgettable testament to the resilience and spirit of the Tennessee Volunteers, a night when they proved anything was possible.