Gators top TCU to advance to College World Series Finals

Posted June 26, 2017

LSU pitcher Alex Lange delivers a pitch during the third inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball game against OR in Omaha, Neb., Friday, June 23, 2017. Faedo tossed two seven-inning 11-strikeout shutouts against TCU last week, including the clincher on Saturday night to book the Gators' trip to the finals.

LSU advanced to the CWS Finals with a 6-1 win over top-ranked Oregon State on Saturday. His previous longest outing was 5.2 innings of relief in Game 2 of the Super Regional against Mississippi State on June 11, allowing two hits, no runs, one walk and six strikeouts in earning the win.

"To lose four games the entire season, and we beat them two days in a row, it's hard to predict those things to happen, but that's why you have to play the games", Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said.

In the SEC tournament, however, Florida was eliminated in its third game with a 16-0 loss to Arkansas, while LSU defeated the Razorbacks 4-2 in the title game for its 12th SEC tournament championship and sixth under Mainieri. To think we're one win away from playing in the National Championship Series is unbelievable.

"It's a surreal feeling to be able to pitch your team when their back's against the wall in an elimination game into the College World Series final", Gilbert said. They will play again Saturday in Omaha for a spot in the best-of-three championship series, set to begin Monday. Alex Faedo, Florida's brilliant first-round draft pick, is not an option after throwing 7 1/3 shutout innings Saturday.

The Tigers (51-18) avenged a 13-1 loss to the Beavers (56-5) on Monday and became the first team to knock them off since Southern California on April 29. We tried to go out and win the next pitch, the next out, the next game, whatever it might be. "They don't understand our mentality, but we're here now".

He was backed by Papierski, who homered from the left side off Bryce Fehmel in the second inning (a three-run shot) and from the right side off Brandon Eisert in the fourth (a solo blast).

But none of that matters to O'Sullivan, who said he knew this team could be special from the beginning thanks to its pitching and defense, which rank second and tied for first in the SEC, respectively. Raz showed perhaps why he should have gotten the start for the Beavers as he worked 4 ⅓ innings only allowing three hits and one run. Michael Byrne finished for his 18th save. Jonathan India is also 2-for-16 while Ryan Larson is 0-for-14.

"Just throughout the day, I just tried to think back to my start previous year when I was kind of in the same situation", he said. Three of LSU's seven home runs in this CWS have been hit by freshmen - Smith, Watson and Jake Slaughter. "I don't mind laying down a bunt when coach asks", Jordan said. We have to get swings off on the balls that we need to and we've got to make better pitches if that's what's necessary.

On offense, both teams have struggled to score runs at times - LSU averages 4.4 per game; Florida averages 3.25 - which Florida outfielder Nelson Maldonado said should result in "grind it out games". I was like: "Get foul, get foul". He noticed then and during Friday's 3-1 win how patient the other lineup was. "When the ball's hit down the line, I didn't think he hit it as good as he did, but he got the barrel there", Lange said. "All the way up until the last inning we got the leadoff hitter out today, and that was huge". "Because we all go through ups and downs", Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. Antoine Duplantis leads the Tigers with 88 hits and 60 RBI, while guys such as Cole Freeman and Greg Deichmann have combined for 162 hits and 114 RBI.