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Tennessee moves to CWS Finals could win it all for the first time in Vols history

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Tennessee provided nine innings of proof why the 2024 Vols should be considered the best team in school history. And that has nothing to do with that record win total they posted nor the fact that Tennessee plays the part of “best team in the nation” quite well.

Yeah, the Vols have now won more games, 58, than any other Tennessee baseball team in history. Yet, that’s not why the Vols are the favorite to College World Series after a 7-2 win over Florida State on Wednesday, which advanced Tennessee to the finals for only the second time in school history.

Tennessee will continue to win – and win a national championship – because they’re so business like. Funny how things have changed since the Vols were a traveling circus in 2022. They’re as serious as a heart attack now.

Sure the Vols are still having fun. After all, winning is fun. Hitting home runs and knocking in run after run is fun. The Vols are having fun in Omaha, but let’s be clear, these Vols are all business.

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That approach was evident when the Vols put a quick three runs on the Seminoles. It was apparent that the Vols were ready to play from the first pitch. Tennessee coach Tony Vitello knew his team had its foot on the Seminoles’ throat. Why let up now? They didn’t.

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Had Tennessee come out flat, the pressure would have quickly shifted on them with thoughts about a potential rematch on Thursday if Florida State could pull off the upset. That didn’t happen.

Vitello knew Florida State would go deep in their bullpen early if the Vols forced them to do so, which they did. In a double-elimination tournament with a loss, Florida State knew they were on borrowed time. Tennessee had earned the luxury of being undefeated and, subsequently, playing loose – sometimes too loose.

There were times in the Florida State game that it looked like “Vitello” should be pasted across the Seminoles’ jersey because the Tennessee coach owned the ACC foe. 

The Seminoles were in their own head early in the game, especially in the fourth inning in which they were thrown out at home from an infield grounder’s choice, then managed to give up an unusual double play that ended the inning. It might have been official then. The air was out of the Gold and Garnett balloon.

Tennessee not only did Florida State in; the Vols ended the ACC’s run in Omaha as the conference has now been completely eliminated from college baseball postseason play. Only SEC teams remain: the Vols, Kentucky, Florida and Texas A&M. 

Tennessee is a collective 5-2 against that group. That might be a record. Who knows? This team is too business-minded to worry about something as frivolous as all-time records.

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