The Florida Gators punched their ticket to the College World Series for the 13th time in program history following a 4-0 win over South Carolina in game two of the Gainesville Super Regional.
After a two hour and 26-minute weather delay, Gator fans packed Condron Family Ballpark as 8,851 spectators were in attendance on Saturday evening, setting a new program record less than 24 hours after Friday night’s record-breaking crowd.
The Gators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after third baseman Colby Halter delivered a two out RBI double down the right field line, scoring BT Riopelle and Luke Heyman in the top of the second inning.
In the top of the fifth inning, Josh Rivera laced an RBI single through the left side, extending Florida’s lead to 3-0. The veteran shortstop recorded three hits in the contest.
After a sac bunt from pinch hitter Dale Thomas, Colby Halter picked up his third RBI of the game on a sac fly to left center field, scoring Riopelle from third base and extending the Gators’ lead to 4-0.
Florida’s starter Hurston Waldrep was sensational once again, dealing all the way into the ninth inning before allowing an infield single to the leadoff batter. The hard throwing right hander got stronger as the night went on, striking out nine of his last 14 batters. Waldrep tossed a season high eight shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out 13.
It’s hard to put into words just how special Waldrep’s last outing inside Condron Ballpark was, that’s how good the Thomasville, Georgia native was tonight.
Florida’s closer Brandon Neely put an exclamation point on a great weekend of pitching, recording the final three outs of the game on three batters faced.
The Gators found a way to win despite their 1–3 hole hitters combining for just one hit in 13 at bats. Kevin O’Sullivan’s squad totaled six hits and left nine runners on base.
Florida needed just four pitchers to win the Super Regionals against a top offense in South Carolina (Sproat, Fisher, Neely, Waldrep).
This victory marks the 50th win of the season for the Gators, the most since Florida’s championship team in 2017.
The Gators will face the winner of the Charlottesville Regional in their opening game of the College World Series. Duke and Virgina will play game three on Sunday.