The Florida Gators are just three wins away from a College World Series title after holding off Oral Roberts, 5-4, Sunday.
The Gators received another quality start from RHP Hurston Waldrep (W, 10-3) and saw several balls leave the yard with the winds blowing out.
Waldrep finished six innings allowing just one run on seven hits while striking out 12. Cade Fisher recorded his second save of the season.
“Overall the end result was good. And that’s all that matters. But took me a little bit to settle in,” Waldrep said after the game , “It’s a big stage. And obviously a lot of feelings — a lot of adrenaline and emotions that come with this game.”
How It Happened:
Florida got on the scoreboard early as Ty Evans crushed his second homer in as many at-bats that also plated Tyler Shelnut to make it 2-0.
The Golden Eagles got one back in the bottom of the inning but failed to even the score or take the lead despite loading the bases.
The Gators opened the game up with three runs in the top of the fourth. Josh Rivera hit a solo homer to increase the lead to 3-1. Two batters later, Luke Heyman belted his own home run, a two-run shot, that put Florida ahead 5-1.
In the seventh, Ryan Slater took over on the mound. Slater gave up a one out walk but ran into trouble two batters later as Matt Hogan recorded an inside-the-park home run to make it 5-3. Florida would turn to Brandon Neely to record the final out of the seventh.
The bottom of the eighth proved to be an odd one. Following a two-out walk to load the bases, Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan trotted to the mound to talk to his closer. However, the Gators had already used their allotment of mound visits which forced Neely to be removed from the game.
Florida had to turn to freshman Cade Fisher, who had not warmed up prior to being inserted into the game. Fisher promptly recorded the final out to escape the jam.
“It was totally my mistake. And no one feels more terrible about it than I do,” O’Sullivan said of the situation, “I apologized to them at the end of the game. They just said they had my back.”
Oral Roberts got one back in the ninth on a bases loaded fielder’s choice, but Fisher got Jacob Godman to fly out to center to end the game and put Florida into the Final Four of the College World Series.
- W: Hurston Waldrep (10-3)
- L: Harley Gollert (10-2)
- S: Cade Fisher (2)
- Gators: 135 home runs, sets program record (1998)
- ORU: 13 LOB
- Evans: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, HBP
- Rivera: 1-4, HR, RBI
- Heyman: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB
- Waldrep: 6 IP, 7 H, ER, 12 K, 3 BB
Florida advances to the Final Four and will face the winner of Tuesday’s elimination game between Oral Roberts and TCU (who eliminated Virginia Sunday). The game is scheduled for 2:00 PM ET and will air live on ESPN.