Amazing Vols score four in ninth, stun Florida State

Marvin Westwestwords

Yogi said it long, long ago: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Baseball people snickered. New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra said a lot of ridiculous things.

On a great night a lifetime later in Omaha, Nebraska, Tennessee seized that far-out philosophy of hope and dreams and lifted it to absolute truth. Florida State’s Seminoles saw the miracle happen but couldn’t believe it happened to them in the College World Series.

Dylan Dreiling

After floundering for much of the game, the amazing Volunteers scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and walked away with a stunning 12-11 victory. Dylan Dreiling was the grandest hero in a crowd of winners. He drilled a two-out drive to the left-center gap to bat in Blake Burke from second with the decisive run.

Players jumped for joy all around the infield. Tennessee fans in the full house sang Rocky Top – several times. Losers seemed stunned, absolutely stunned.

The triumph featured a historical performance by Christian Moore. He hit for the cycle – a triple in the first inning, a double in the second, a single in the fourth and an awesome home run in the seventh, 30 feet over the centerfield wall. Watch history here.

He added a clutch two-out, two-strike double in the ninth-inning rally.

Co-star Kavares Tears hit a home run in the fifth when the Vols were down 9-4. He started the winning rally with a triple. Dean Curley’s sacrifice fly helped.

Cannon Peebles walked. Cal Stark fouled out. Moore defied the odds and drilled the double to left. Peebles stopped at third. Burke singled up the middle for two runs, tie game at 11.

“Goodness gracious” said a disbelieving Florida State fan. “I thought we had this thing in the bag.”

Billy Amick’s single advanced Burke to second. Dreiling’s drive went far enough Blake could have scored from Detroit.

Moore carried the torch that lighted the flame. He said “It’s fine, it’s fine” when there were two outs and he had two strikes. He knew if he was retired, Tennessee had lost.

He told the team “Let’s fight, it’s a battle.”

That’s what he did. His fifth hit was an incredible moment. Could be hearts on both sides of the field skipped a beat. After that, it seemed inevitable that the Vols would win.

Dreiling had four hits, Burke three and Tears and Amick two each. The Vols totaled 18. Florida State had 13 hits.

Vol closer Nate Snead got the win

The Vols overcame nine walks, one hit batsman, a wild pitch, three errors and some mental blunders. A parade of pitchers proved ineffective. A.J. Causey, usually dependable, was the major disappointment. He retired four Seminoles but gave up five hits, two walks and five runs.

Nate Snead got the win.

Be advised that winning the first game is big in a short series. Tennessee will play North Carolina Sunday evening, beginning at 7 on ESPN. Watch extended highlights from the NCAA here.

Marvin West welcomes comments or questions from readers. His address is


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