Florida Baseball Lives to Fight Another Day

The Florida baseball team is now moving on in the College World Series after it defeats the Miami Hurricanes 10-2 on Wednesday. With the win Florida can say that they have ended in state rival Miami’s season four times in the last six years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2015).

Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan was excited with how his team played.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 12.09.20 AM“We jumped out with a three spot with a couple of home runs in the first, and I thought that that kind of set the tone. In these elimination games, it’s important that you kind of build some momentum early on. I thought we did that, and Alex came out with a 1-2-3 first and threw the ball extremely well, and I think every starter got a hit. The most important thing is I was really pleased with how we responded today from a tough loss on Monday night.”

Florida jumped ahead to an early lead with the two longest home runs in TD Ameritrade Park history in the first inning. Harrison Bader and Buddy Reed gave the Gators a 3-0 lead with two bombs in the first. The homers helped Florida on the scoreboard, but also helped Gator starting pitcher Alex Faedo who came out in the first inning striking out the Miami side.

Kevin O’Sullivan was not at all surprised from Faedo’s success.

“I think in retrospect, you probably would think that. But I had no anxiousness at all about Alex starting today. I know he’s a freshman. But he’s pitched in the SEC. He’s pitched extremely well the entire year. And, you know, to go one step further, I mean we had four freshmen in the lineup, another freshman on the mound in an elimination game against one of our rivals and I thought all of them played like veterans and I thought Alex pitched like a veteran.”

Florida followed the two homers up with even more offensive success. Both Richie Martin and Peter Alonso went yard in the game to make it a 10-2 final score. This was the first time a team has homered three times in a game at TD Ameritrade Park. Florida did it four times. Peter Alonso passed Harrison Bader for the longest homer in the park. The four deepest shots at TD Ameritrade have come from Gators; 421 feet Peter Alonso Wednesday, 414 feet Harrison Bader Wednesday, 412 feet from Buddy Reed, 406 feet from Preston Tucker in 2011.

Florida’s Harrison Bader said they were just trying to put good swings on the ball.

“With the wind and everything, you saw the wind was blowing a little farther out. But with regards to the at-bat, that first pitch, I mean the first at-bat is kind of something you just want to give an at-bat for your team, see as many pitches as you can. Wasn’t really trying to do too much, honestly, wasn’t trying to do anything at all but just try to barrel something up and I was lucky, it kind of jumped for me. It definitely felt good to get out to an early start.”

Alex Faedo was the winning pitcher in the game striking out seven as he pitched into the sixth inning for the Gators.  Kirby Snead and Shaun Anderson closed things out for Florida, shutting down the Canes with four combined innings of work.

After struggling to score a run against Virginia on Monday, every Gator starter picked up a hit against Miami on Wednesday. Florida has taken 21 of their last 26 against the U. The Gators will have a rematch against Virginia on Friday at 3 pm trying to earn a berth in the CWS final.  Florida will have to defeat the Cavaliers twice. Catch Friday’s action on Country 103-7 the Gator.

Sound from Wednesday’s post game press conference:

Florida Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan

Florida Left Fielder Harrison Bader

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