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Florida State vs. UCF prediction for NCAA baseball regional

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Playing an afternoon game worked in Florida State baseball’s favor Friday after a 7-2 victory over Stetson on day one of the Tallahassee Regional of the 2024 baseball tournament.

The Seminoles will be well rested as they focus on Central Florida in the next round Saturday at 5 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium.

FSU coach Link Jarrett will have a game plan against his former assistant and now UCF head coach Rich Wallace.

Here’s our prediction.

Peter Holland Jr., FSU beat reporter

After the strong performance of Carson Dorsey, FSU can further gain momentum on Saturday with top pitcher Jamie Arnold.

The Seminoles defense will face a better offense in UCF, coming off an 8-7 thriller over Alabama.

The Knights (36-19) had 11 goals against the Crimson Tide. Braden Calise led the Knights with four hits. Jack Zyska picked up three RBIs and Andrew Williamson had a home run in the top of the third.

The UCF-Alabama game featured eight lead changes.

Andrew Sundean delivered a go-ahead pinch-hit RBI single with two outs in the top of the ninth and Kris Sosnowski closed out the game in the bottom half of the frame for the Knights.

“That was an excellent college baseball game from the first pitch. It was full of emotions and we were fortunate to be on the right side,” UCF head coach Rich Wallace told UCFKnights.com. β€œIn those biggest moments of the game when we needed some key at-bats, the team delivered tonight.”

FSU will continue to focus on pitching and defense.

However, the Seminoles scored seven hits against Stetson. James Tibbs III and Cam Smith didn’t have a strong day at the plate, but the next game could be different.

The FSU-UCF game represents a homecoming for Knights coach Rich Wallace

In its first season under former FSU assistant coach Rich Wallace, UCF earned a berth outside the Big 12 with a 35-19 overall record and a 2-1 record in the Big 12 Tournament.

The Knights and Seminoles did not match up in the regular season, but played nine times in the NCAA Tournament, with FSU leading 7-2.

However, UCF defeated FSU in two regular season meetings in 2023.

Peter Holland Jr. covers Florida State athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at [email protected] or at X @_Da_pistol.