After hitching a ride to Omaha on the Rolling Stones jet, the Florida Gators looked more like an opening act rather than the headliner and favorite to win the College World Series on Saturday night.
Nerves got the best of the Gators in primetime on the brightest stage in college baseball. Under the bright lights of TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, Florida made uncharacteristic fielding mistakes that handed Miami two runs.
The Gators settled down eventually and when they did, it was record breaking in a 15-3 win over Miami.
Florida brought 16 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning, scored a College World Series record 11 runs on nine hits and turned a 2-1 disadvantage into a 12-2 lead in what turned out to be a 45-minute half inning.
Florida starter Logan Shore was far from sharp in his first start in the College World Series. Shore had trouble locating his two-seam fastball and was leaving pitching up in the zone. Shore needed to work out of jams in the first three frames, but was able to escape after allowing just a run in the first and the third.
Shore went on to throw 5.0 innings, throwing 100 pitches, allowed seven hits, three runs (two earned) and struck out six.
The Gators scored three more runs in the seventh inning. Dalton Guthrie (3-3 on the night) started the inning off with a single and Jeremy Vasquez walked behind him. Harrison Bader doubled down the right field line to score Guthrie and Vasquez was brought in on a throwing error the next at bat.
Danny Young, Aaron Rhodes and Dane Dunning worked the final four innings for the Gators to close out Miami. The 12-run deficit is the worst loss the Canes have ever suffered in the postseason,
- Freshman JJ Schwarz is 24-43 (.558) with four home runs and 19 RBI in the NCAA Tournament.
- Over the last three games the Florida Gators freshmen are 17-36 (.472) with three home runs, 17 runs scored, 15 RBI and 12 walks.
- In the NCAA Tournament the Gators are hitting 75-222 (.338) with 68 runs scored, 30 walks, 33 strikeouts, 13 doubles, one triple, eight home runs.
- Since losing to Arkansas in the opening game of the SEC Tournament, Florida is on a 10-game winning streak and have outscored its opponents 98-21 over that span.
- The 11 runs that Florida scored in the fourth inning are a record at TD Ameritrade.
- Florida has taken 20-of-25 games against Miami.
- Logan Shore was credited for the win tonight, his 10th of the season. Shore is the first Florida pitcher to reach double digit wins since Hudson Randall won 11 in 2011.