Photo courtesy of @GatorsBB via Twitter.

College World Series: Gators Baseball Must Win Sunday

College baseball’s biggest stage is set as the Florida Gators and LSU Tigers meet for a best-of-three Championship finale. Florida dropped game one 4-3 on Saturday and must win Sunday to force a game three Monday.

In the Spotlight

The biggest storyline of Saturday night’s matchup was LSU starter Tyler Floyd, who surpassed a College World Series Final-record by striking out 17 Gators over eight innings. Floyd’s fastball high in the zone left the Florida batters puzzled at the plate.

On Saturday, the only Florida batter to homer was BT Riopelle, who blasted a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth. Riopelle’s home run would bring the Orange & Blue back on top 3-2 and give the

LSU Takes Game One

The Gators were down 2-0 after a Cade Beloso RBI single broke open the scoring in the first and a Gavin Dugas leadoff homer in the third. Florida would get on the board when Jac Caglianone brought in Cade Kurland with a groundout to first. Then in the bottom of the fifth, the Gators would make it a tied ballgame with a Kurland groundout to second. Dugas bobbled, allowing Ty Evans to score.

After Riopelle’s go-ahead home run brought Florida back out in front 3-2, LSU’s Tommy White would again make it a tied ballgame in the bottom of the eighth. He would homer off Florida left-hander Cade Fisher, who tossed 3.1 scoreless innings in relief of starter Brandon Sproat. Then, the Tigers would come out on top with a Beloso home run off of Florida closer Brandon Neely to lead off the top of the 11th. LSU would take game one 4-3.

What This Means

The Gators must win Sunday in order to force a game three Monday for the National Championship.

Gators head coach Kevin O’Sullivan spoke on Florida’s ability to bounce back.

“Yeah, I think it’s hard right now,” he said. “Once they go back to the hotel, get a shower, get something to eat, we’ll have them ready to play tomorrow. This team has shown fight the entire year. We’ve had a situation in Regionals we had to win three in a row, and we were able to do that. We’ll need some other guys to step up in the pen. But we certainly feel confident that they will. We’ve got a bunch of guys that have not even stepped on the mound yet. But they’ll be ready to play tomorrow.”

About Ellie Shreve

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

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