For six innings in Omaha, it looked like Florida baseball was going to win a ho-hum game against Oral Roberts to put itself in the driver’s seat and be just one win away from the championship series.
Then the real excitement started, and despite the crazy twists and turns, the Gators were able to finish the job to survive Oral Roberts and move to 2-0 at the College World Series.
Florida Baseball: We love you Cade
It’s hard to say that Florida’s offense was dominant through six innings. The Gators put five runs on the board, all of which came off home runs.
Ty Evans, Josh Rivera, and Luke Heyman all went yard to help put Florida baseball up 5-1.
The thing is, beyond the home runs, the Gators weren’t putting runners on base and weren’t threatening to score otherwise.
Oral Roberts, meanwhile, loaded the bases in the second inning and had runners on base in literally every inning that Hurston Waldrep was in the game.
But Waldrep was able to escape trouble inning after inning and when he handed the ball to Ryan Slater to start the seventh inning, the Gators still led 5-1.
Kevin O’Sullivan could learn from The Count. Ah ah ah.
Baseball is the greatest and dumbest sport in the world, all at the same time.
In the seventh inning, Slater got two outs before allowing a deep fly ball to Matt Hogan. With Wyatt Langford playing centerfield and Tyler Shelnut in left field, the ball went to the left field wall with no chance of Shelnut catching it.
The problem is Langford was caught too deep tracking the ball, and when it ricocheted off the wall, it went out of the range of Langford, and the end result was a two-run inside the park home run.
The score was still 5-3 in favor of the Gators, and with just six outs to get, it seemed like a challenge that Brandon Neely was fully capable of getting.
He got the first two Oral Roberts batters before a fielding error by Josh Rivera extended the inning.
A single and a walk later and the bases were loaded.
This is when Kevin O’Sullivan made a visit to the mound to calm Neely down and remind him of the scouting report to get the critical out.
There was just one problem, Florida was out of mound visits for the game.
As a result, Florida was forced to bring Cade Fisher out of the bullpen despite the fact that he had not been warming up.
Fisher said no warm-up, no problem as he got Justin Quinn to line out to end the threat.
9th inning drama
The drama wasn’t over, though, for Florida baseball.
Jac Caglianone took a trip to the bullpen while Florida was batting in the top of 9th inning, perhaps with the idea of having him close out the game.
As it was, Fisher came out for the 9th and got the first out.
Then Oral Roberts hit a double.
Then they hit a single.
Then they walked, and with just one out the bases were loaded once again.
Fisher induced a fielder’s choice to get the second out but allowed a run to score in the process to make it 5-4 in favor of Florida with two outs and a runner on third and first.
Then on a 0-1 count, the nightmare was over as Fisher got Jacob Godman to fly out and end the game.
So now what?
First things first, Florida can breathe.
After that, it will rest as their next game isn’t until Wednesday against the winner of Oral Robert and TCU.
Florida is just one win away from the championship series.