After seven days of extraordinary anticipation, the Florida baseball team came out of the chute in the College World Series against the Miami Hurricanes slower than they had expected. UF fell behind early 2-0 and it could have been worse as the Hurricanes left a lot of runners on in scoring position.
Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan talked about what was the biggest win for the team this season.
“First of all, just proud of the way we played. I thought the first three innings we came out a little — nerves I guess were getting the most of us, the best of us. Certainly did not see 11-run inning in the fourth. But, you know, I can’t say enough about our approach there. We stayed in the middle of the field. Thought in the first few innings we were trying to do too much. And obviously the big inning certainly was the difference in the game.”
Offensively all nine Gator starters reached base in the team’s first game in Omaha. some were concerned that a young Florida team, especially freshmen would be nervous in Omaha but the Gator rookie class finished Saturday’s win over Miami with seven hits, four RBI, and seven runs scored.
UF starting pitcher Logan Shore had a large fan base of friends and family on hand to watch him pick up his 10th win this year. He became the first UF pitcher to pick up double digit wins since Hudson Randall won 11 in 2011. He pitched five innings giving up just two earned runs. Shore says the lights were bright in front of 25,000 strong, but his team was ready.
“I think anytime, obviously there’s the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of and a lot of our guys played in front of, so obviously there’s going to be a little bit of nerves, but errors happen and things happen, but it’s kind of how you bounce back from that. I’m confident our defense is going to make plays. Dalton came up big in one of the later innings with a spectacular play up the middle. And those kind of things happen.”
As far as the 11 run fourth inning goes for UF, it was the most the Gators have score in a single inning this year. It tied the record for most runs in an inning at the College World Series and set a record for runs at a College World Series since being moved from Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium to TD Ameritrade Park. Kevin O’Sullivan knew his team was in a rhythm in that fourth frame.
“I think we just had good approaches. Obviously I think they had an error or two in that inning, and that hurt a little bit. But, no, I just thought that as the inning went on, I think he lost command of his breaking ball, and we laid off some pitches. The reason I got the team together is just — JJ, I think, started off the second with a hard single to left and three pitches later the inning was over.”
Kevin O’Sullivan will have to face off his alma mater Virginia on Monday in UF’s next game in the World Series. You can listen to the game on 103.7 the Gator on Monday night at 8 p.m. ET.
Sound from the game:
Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan
UF Starting Pitcher Logan Shore
Collegiate Baseball’s co-Freshman of the year JJ Schwarz