For two and a half innings it looked like the Virginia Cavaliers were simply a puzzle that the Florida Gators couldn’t solve. The Gators had been shut out for just the third time this season on Monday and weren’t coming close to Cavs starter Nathan Kirby — who was making his first start since April.
Then the Florida bats figured Kirby out and the onslaught came. Florida scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning — the fourth time they have scored four or more runs in an inning during the College World Series — and that would be all that Logan Shore needed.
Dalton Guthrie led the inning off with a one-out single and aggressive base running allowed him to advance all the way to third on a Ryan Larson single up the middle. The aggressive base running paid off when Guthrie was able to score on a weakly hit ground ball to second by Harrison Bader, tying the game. Richie Martin left little doubt with a double to right field that scored Larson. Josh Tobias singled home Martin and later scored on a passed ball to give Florida a 4-1 advantage.
Logan Shore took that lead and ran with it. The sophomore kept his pitch count down and dispatched of the Cavaliers after allowing a lone run in the first inning. Shore worked quickly and efficiently through the middle innings and the bats came alive again in the sixth.
Josh Tobias took a pitch off of his left leg, JJ Schwarz singled to center and Pete Alonso walked to load the bases with no outs. Mike Rivera singled home a run and Guthrie walked to bring in another run. When it was all said and done, the Gators scored five runs on four hits and stranded two runners, leaving the sixth with a 9-1 lead.
It was the fourth time the Gators had scored three or more runs in a single inning this College World Series, a feat that had only been accomplished three times before by all teams combined since the World Series moved to TD Ameritrade Park.
Florida would add another run in the seventh, while Shore and Bobby Poyner combined to give Virginia four runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
The win gives Florida at least one more day in Omaha, where they will face Virginia for the third time in a week with the winner advancing to the championship series and the loser packing their bags.