The Road Ends Here; Florida Baseball Falls 5-4 to UVA

Florida’s College World Series run in 2015 is over.

Virginia sets up a rematch from last year’s CWS final with Vanderbilt with a 5-4 win over Florida in Omaha on Saturday night.

It was a long and winding road in 2015 for the Florida baseball team. Expectations were blurry given how young the team was but this group proved to have loads of talent. The Gators fought hard in the postseason, winning the SEC Tournament and grinding all the way to the College World Series. But Florida met its match in Virginia as the Cavaliers take two of three from the Gators in the tournament semi-finals.

It was a hard fought battle, Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan was proud of the way his club fought.

“There’s only going to be one team standing at the end of the year that’s going to be the champion. And I’m not going to lie to you, you know, I felt like if we had a chance to play in the championship round, I liked our chances. But obviously we won’t be getting that opportunity. But it’s just we’ve got a great bunch of guys. They worked extremely hard. I don’t even know how many games we won, but we played a difficult schedule. We seemed to answer the bell every time we needed to when our backs were against the wall. Tonight just didn’t work out for us. But I’m awfully proud of them.”

The game went back and forth on Saturday. Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan elected to start Dane Dunning the mound rather than AJ Puk on short rest.  After a solo homer gave Virginia a 1-0 lead, Florida’s Peter Alonso hit the first ever home run hit to center field at TD Ameritrade park during a CWS game to give UF a 2-1 lead.  Virginia scraped back to make it a 2-2 game but Harrison Bader broke the knot with a solo shot of his own making it a 3-2 game. Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 2.50.22 AM

In the fifth, Virginia’s Kenny Towns hit a two run double off of reliever Kirby Snead to give UVA a 4-3 lead.

The Gators tied it in the sixth on an RBI hit by Mike Rivera but the bullpen could not keep the lead.  A sacrifice fly by Towns plated the eventual winning run in the seventh inning.

Florida’s Harrison Bader talked about the tough loss after the game and finishing his career at UF.

“No crying in baseball. I just — I just want to go on record and say there’s just so much that kids have poured into this program outside of what you see on the field. And it’s just been an absolute honor to play under Sully and Brad and Craig and all the assistant coaches I had.”

Florida will lose three everyday players in the lineup heading into next year but Kevin O’Sullivan knows the future is bright.

“There’s a lot of disappointed players in that locker room right now. But there are some things we can improve on moving forward and these guys are resilient. We’ve got a great club coming back. I’m obviously really proud of the juniors and seniors. They’ll be moving on. But we’ve got an awfully good bunch coming back, and we’ve got some newcomers that are coming in; they’ll help us right away, and we’re looking forward to hopefully getting back here next year.”

Florida finished the year 52-18 marking one of the best years in Florida baseball history. The Gators will return to next season still looking for the first ever national title in school history. They will have to follow up in 2016 with what was the second most wins they have had in a single season in school history.

Sound from the game:

Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan

Florida Left Fielder Harrison Bader

About Ben Murphy

Check Also

LIVE THREAD: National Signing Day

Here’s an updated thread of all the recruits who picked the Gator hat today! RB …

AFC Divisional Round Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

During last weekend’s NFL Wild Card round, the Steelers made a statement by handing the Dolphins a …

Houston Looking For an Upset in Foxborough

The saying has always been “it’s hard to beat a good team twice,” and in …

Blue Jackets vs. Lightning Tonight

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be facing each other once …

Possible Additions to McElwain’s Recruiting Class Visiting this Weekend

With National Signing Day less than three weeks away, the Gators are hosting several talented …

Florida Gymnastics Prepares for Season Opener

GAINESVILLE, FL – The Florida Gator gymnastics team will kick off their season this Sunday …

Surprised Gators Promote Randy Shannon To Defensive Coordinator? You Shouldn’t Be

Florida’s head coach, Jim McElwain, announced Friday morning that Randy Shannon would be making the …

Quarterbacks in Spotlight for NFL Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Wild Card kicks off Saturday and the quarterback situations could not be any more different. On …

College Football Playoff Shakes Up Schedule

The College Football Playoff was a success in its first year. Yet, that doesn’t stop …

Michael Jordan Speaks out about Shootings, Police Officers

NBA great Michael Jordan opened up about his thoughts about shootings of African-Americans and the …

Treon Harris to Transfer

With the college football season approaching, the Florida Gators have announced that former starting QB …

USA Basketball Wins Second Exhibition Game

Just a few short days after their big win over Argentina, team USA won its …

Charlotte Is No Longer The Home Of The 2017 NBA All-Star Game

The House Bill 2 came between Charlotte, North Carolina and the 2017 All-Star Game. The …

Tampa Bay Rays Continue Series Against Oakland

The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their three-game winning streak. The Rays defeated the Oakland …

MLB Preview Tonight

It’s summer time—the best time to go to a baseball game and experience the atmosphere. …

Braves Begin Series With Rockies

The Atlanta Braves (33-62) open up a four-game road series with the Rockies (43-51) tonight …

Marlins To Close Out Series With The Phillies

The Miami Marlins are in the middle of a crucial ten game span against NL East …

Rays Crush Rockies 11-3, Face A’s Next

In the midst of a terrible season that has seen the Tampa Bay Rays (37-57) …

American League Second Half Outlook

The second half of the baseball season is in full swing which translates to? Pennant races. Teams …

National League Evening Preview

Tonight is a busy night for the National League in the MLB. Starting with the …

Big 12 Looks To Expand

Following a Tuesday meeting between Big 12 presidents, Oklahoma president David Boren announced that the …

LSU Looks To Capitalize On Its Opportunity

The Louisiana State University Tigers will enter the 2016 college football season with high expectations, …

Muschamp Helps Close Out SEC Media Days 2016

It wasn’t Will Muschamps first SEC Media Days experience, but 2016 marked the first time …

Phil Mickelson Leads British Open After First Day

The 145th annual 2016 British Open is underway at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. The …

Missouri’s Football Crisis: Rebuilding A Program

On the final day of SEC Media Days, Barry Odom took the stand as Missouri’s head …

Second Half Of MLB Season Begins

The All-Star Break is a good time for teams to rest up and reform themselves …

British Open Underway

The 145th Open Championship is already underway at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. Welcome …

Pat Dooley’s Back Nine June 21

The Back Nine comes at you after the saddest Father’s Day ever despite all efforts …

Leave a Reply