Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

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26 June, 2017

The Horned Frogs defeated the Gators 9-3 on June 23, but Florida eliminated TCU the next day with a 3-0 win to punch its ticket to the CWS Finals.

The Tigers' seven home runs by their fifth game in this CWS are five more than they hit in their previous five games in TD Ameritrade when they went 0-2 in 2013 and 1-2 in 2015.

"He's hit a lot of big home runs left-handed", LSU coach Paul Mainieri said, via NOLA.com.

There is a familiar to feel to this whole playing for the national championship thing for LSU and Florida.

LSU (52-18) advances to the best-of-three national championship series beginning at 6 p.m. Monday on ESPN against the victor of the Florida-TCU game Saturday night.

Two flyball outs to center field was how LSU opened the second inning before getting to Oregon State starter Bryce Fehmel, the sophomore righty who beat them in eight one-run innings last Monday.

Following the national anthem prior to Florida's 3-0 win against TCU, most of the Gators left the first base line to return to the dugout.

He wasn't as sharp as Friday, but former Liberty Christian Academy standout Zack Hess recorded the final out against Oregon State on Saturday to send LSU back to the College World Series final as the Tigers knocked off the No. 1 seed, 6-1.

TCU (50-18) had beaten the Gators 9-2 on Friday to force the winner-take-all bracket final and the teams' third meeting in a week.

"We had the No. 1 run for 13, 14 weeks and we never looked at ourselves that way", the coach said. "The game before has no bearing on today's game". "We played at home through the regionals, we played at home through the supers and when you come here, you're not dealing with just a home crowd anymore. We needed to figure out our bullpen, and Michael Byrne has turned out to be outstanding at the end".

"Because we all go through ups and downs", Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "We've got a gritty bunch". 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.

Whichever way it has s been has Florida in the finals and playing for an NCAA crown for the third time in 13 years.

"A lot of people struggled against Brady", LSU shortstop Kramer Robertson said. He struck out looking one pitch later and Casey left the dugout to speak with Street, the home plate umpire.

As if that isn't enough, it might be a while - well, maybe OSU next season - before we marvel so much over a single pitching staff. Oregon State had the nation's elite pitching staff this season, and if you go strictly by ERA, it wasn't close. Half of the Tigers' hits went for extra bases - three home runs and one double.The Beavers stranded four runners - two in scoring position. Zach Humphreys promptly singled, but Byrne struck out the unsafe Evan Skoug and retired cleanup hitter Cam Warner on a fly ball.

On his relationship with Sullivan: "We've had so many great ballgames through the years". "I had to get Cam out". I hope it's a good, crisp game where a couple of hits or an at-bat here or there determine the outcome of the game. If you want to be the best, you've got to beat the best.

-While Faedo leads the NCAA with 157 strikeouts this season, LSU ace Alex Lange is second with 150.

The Gators have issued 13 walks - seven in their three victories - and committed two errors in 36 CWS innings.

"Just what an awesome experience it is to be here", Schlossnagle said. "I felt good about our attitude and our effort". In fact, Florida would always be third-best, since they have always been over-shadowed by in-state rivals, Miami and Florida State. Gilbert, who replaced injured starter Eric Walker in the rotation, gave up the one earned run on two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts to improve to 7-1 on the season. Typically, the prevailing south wind this time of year makes it hard to get the ball out of the park, but winds from the north and west the past week have made the home run a factor.


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