Gators Baseball Advances to College World Series Finals

The Florida Gator baseball team took Charles Schwab Field Wednesday afternoon to face off with TCU in the Men’s College World Series semifinals. The Orange & Blue came away with a 3-2 victory over TCU, securing a sweep of their side of the bracket. The Gators will now advance to the College World Series best-of-three championship series on Saturday. Meanwhile, TCU has been eliminated.

In the Spotlight

Gator two-way star Jac Caglianone got the nod for Florida on the mound to start the game. In his first College World Series start, Caglianone tossed 4.1 innings, allowing three hits and one earned run, walking three and striking out four. Then, Florida reliever Ryan Slater took over.

Throughout the first five innings, TCU managed to load the bases twice. Slater would enter the game and immediately get out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by striking out Tre Richardson and retiring Kurtis Byrne on a pop out to close out the frame.

Freshman Cade Fisher would work a scoreless seventh, before Florida closer Brandon Neely would finish it out.

Gator head coach Kevin O’Sullivan credited Caglianone for his resilience on the mound.

“Jac was really good,” O’Sullivan said. “He made pitches when he needed to. At the end of the day, he bent but he didn’t break.”

Also in the spotlight was Gator shortstop Josh Rivera, who broke open the scoring in the top of the first. Rivera smashed a two-run homer, giving Florida a 2-0 lead. The Gators would remain out in front until TCU tied the game with an Anthony Silva double to left in the bottom of the eighth.

Play of the Game

Tyler Shelnut would lead off the ninth with a stand-up double, his 13th double of the season.

Cade Kurland hit a two out infield single that scored pinch runner Michael Robertson, bringing Florida back out in front 3-2.  Turns out, Robertson was yet to make perhaps an even bigger play in the game.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, TCU’s Brayden Taylor drove a ball to deep center where Robertson made a leaping catch against the center field wall for the final out of the game.

Championship Bound

The Gators will now advance to the College World Series Championship finals for a best-of-three battle with the winner of Wake Forest-LSU. First pitch is Saturday at 7 p.m.

About Ellie Shreve

Ellie is a third-year sports and media journalism major at the University of Florida.

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