College World Series rematch on deck for Florida Baseball this weekend

The Gators are in Baton Rouge to take on LSU

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Last season Florida Baseball fell one game short on winning the ultimate prize in the sport. After navigating the NCAA Tournament all the way to the College World Series finals, the Gators were unable to overcome LSU and lost two out of three to the Tigers to finish as runners-up.

A victory this weekend won't atone for last season, but it will go a long way in solidifying who the 2024 Gators as a true threat to return to Omaha.

Florida Baseball: We Meet Again

Gone from LSU is their pitching ace Paul Skenes and their star outfielder Dylan Crews, but Tommy White is still in the lineup and is LSU's most dangerous hitter. White hit the game tying home-run in the 8th inning against Florida in game one of the CWS finals last season, and is currently sporting a .348 average with six home runs and a 1.028 OPS.

Catcher Hayden Travinski is also back and is the second leading hitter with a .333 average, five homeruns, and a 1.106 OPS.

But while LSU is 18-4 and ranked 2nd in the country, it is not an elite hitting team thus far in 2024, ranked just 63rd in the country in team batting average. Its key comes from its pitching staff, ranked 14th in the country with a team ERA of 3.74.

Luke Holman is LSU's normal Friday starter and is currently 4th in the country with an ERA of 0.63. He transferred to LSU after two seasons at Alabama.

With no changes to Florida's planned pitching rotation, it sets up an interesting chess match for series superiority. Florida showcased last week against Texas A&M that they can produce runs against good pitching staffs.

But as was shown in games one and two against the Aggies, along with their midweek loss against Jacksonville, Florida is still leaking runs anytime Jac Caglianone isn't pitching.

If Holman is on tonight and Caglianone has his A game on Sunday, Florida's pathway to winning the series might just be needing to win a slugfest on Saturday, similar to how they pulled out the series wins against St. Mary's and Texas A&M.

And given that LSU is ranked second in the country, even if it is ugly there won't be too many complaints if Florida can take two-out-of-three from the Tigers.