At one point, Saturday night, Miami lead Florida 2-0. When the Gators did get on the board, it was via a balk in the third inning. Then in the fourth inning, the Florida offense took the Miami pitching staff to the woodshed. Florida sent 16 batters to the plate, tied a College World Series record with eleven runs in the inning, took a 12-2 lead into the fifth inning, and for all intents and purposes ended the game. The Gators tacked on three more runs in the 7th and waltzed to a 15-3 victory that saw both teams substituting liberally in the last few innings. Florida advances to play Virginia on Monday at 8pm.
It was a scary show of force from the champions of the SEC - the conference that makes up half the field in Omaha. The concern going into the College World Series was that the Gators appeared to be peaking at the right time. Saturday night's display will only serve as another reminder that Florida is a serious threat to win the national title. Florida has won all six of their NCAA tournament games by a combined score of 68-15.
On the flip side, the game went about as bad as it could for the pair of ACC teams still playing baseball. Not only did Miami get blasted into the loser's bracket where they will face Arkansas in an elimination game on Monday at 3pm, but Florida did not have to reach too deep into their bullpen, meaning the Cavaliers will be trying to scratch out runs against the Gators' top arms on Monday night. The only positive signs for the Hoos are that Miami did manage to get 11 hits against the Florida pitching staff, although some of those came against late game relievers that were simply filling innings. The Canes also committed three errors, and all of them were costly.
The Gators present a monumental challenges for the Hoos, who have yet to play a regional host, much less a national seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers faced Southern Cal twice in the Lake Elsinore regional after host UC-Santa Barbara lost their first two games. The Hoos then hosted Maryland in a super regional after the Terrapins eliminated the tournament's top seed UCLA. Even CWS opponent Arkansas was the #2 seed in the Stillwater, Oklahoma regional, before hosting a super regional with the tournament's #8 overall seed, Missouri State.