The sky was clear on a picturesque 79-degree night in Omaha, Nebraska but thunder roared early and often as the Florida Gators brought their big sticks to the park and advanced in the 2015 College World Series with a 10-2 win over Miami.
Harrison Bader led the game off with a 414-foot home run (the longest ever recorded at TD Ameritrade at the time) and Buddy Reed followed suit with a 412-foot, two-run blast (the second longest home run every recorded at the park) to give Florida a 3-0 lead over Miami. Richie Martin added a line drive, opposite field home run in the sixth inning and Pete Alonso told Bader to step aside in the record books with an absolute monster of a home run in the seventh inning, measured at 421 feet.
With a 3-0 lead in the first inning, freshman Alex Faedo took the mound with confidence and it showed. Pitching for the first time since May 31 against FAU in the Super Regional, Faedo commanded his fastball to both sides of the plate and his slider was devastating batters.
Faedo worked three hitless innings before giving up a hit in the fourth. He would work around the leadoff double, striking out two to get out of the inning. Faedo worked 5.0 innings, allowed 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), all while striking out a career-high seven batters.
The Gators chased starter Enrique Sosa after just one inning; Andrew Suarez lasted the longest of any Miami pitcher but gave up three earned runs in three innings. The Canes used four more pitchers to finish out the game, while Florida was able to use Kirby Snead and Sean Anderson to finish out the game and save the bullpen for a showdown with Virginia.
The Gators will get a second crack at Virginia this Friday at 3 p.m. and will likely send Logan Shore to the mound with the entire bullpen stocked, rested and ready to go. Florida will need to beat Virginia twice to advance to the best-of-three championship round, while the Cavs need just one more win to advance.