The 2018 College World Series was set up to feature pitching aces in every opening weekend matchup. However, at the conclusion of the weekend, one starting pitcher stood above all others. Alex Faedo pitched masterfully in leading the #3 Gators to a 3-0 victory over #6 TCU on Sunday.
Faedo out-dueled second team All-American Jared Janczak for the Horned Frogs less than a week after being selected #18 overall in the MLB Draft. Janczak finished with a line of: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, and 4 K’s.
Faedo set the tone in the top of the first by retiring the side with only ten pitches thrown. Faedo ran into trouble in the third inning, but somehow came out unscathed.
TCU loaded the bases with only one out. Faedo had to face DH Zach Humphreys and power hitting C Evan Skoug to escape the trouble. Faedo struck out both hitters swinging to end the threat.
Faedo retired the final ten TCU hitters he faced, and finished with a new UF CWS record, 11 strikeouts in seven innings pitched. Faedo only allowed two hits and two walks to a very potent Horned Frogs offense.
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Outside of Faedo, staff aces got hit around on the opening weekend. Oregon State pitcher Jake Thompson only lasted 3.2 innings before being pulled after allowing five runs. Tyler Holton of Florida State pitched 7.1 innings, but gave up 5 runs. Even the highest drafted pitchers weren’t immune to poor performances. #4 overall pick Brendan McKay of Louisville struggled through five innings, allowing four runs and eight hits. The #30 overall pick, Alex Lange gave up seven hits and four runs in six innings.
Omaha’s TD Ameritrade Park is known for being a pitchers park thanks to its deep dimensions. So far in 2017, hitters are changing that perception except against Alex Faedo.
Stay tuned for more coverage on the Gators in Omaha. The quest for Florida’s first baseball National Championship continues Tuesday evening against Louisville.