Florida Beats LSU 6-1 to Win College World Series
On a night with no margin for error, LSU made too many.
And, as a result, Florida is the College World Series champions for the first time in school history.
The Tigers gave Florida a pair of unearned runs in the first two innings and squandered a pair of chances in the late innings as the Gators took a 6-1 victory to win the National Championship at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, NE.
The mistakes started with the first hitter of the game as Deacon Liput reached on an error by Nick Coomes. Dalton Guthrie singled and J. J. Schwartz singled off LSU starter Jared Poche (12-4) to give the Gators a 1-0 lead.
Another Coomes error in the second inning proved costly as Nick Horvath reached second with two outs. Liput delivered with a clutch two out hit and Florida led 2-0.
Meanwhile, Florida's Tyler Dyson (4-0), making just his second start of the year, stymied LSU on a pair of infield singles and just two walks through the first six innings. But LSU (52-20) made a push in the seventh. Zach Watson reached on LSU's third infield hit of the game leading off the inning. Michael Byrne, who leads Florida with 19 saves, relieved Dyson Josh Smith greeted Byrne with a run scoring double and Jake Slaughter singled Smith to third.
Then came the most critical play of the game. Michael Papierski hit a ground ball to second to start a 4-6-3 double play, which appeared to score the tying run. But it was ruled Slaughter interfered with the throw to first by sliding through the bag at second and Smith was ordered back to third base. Beau Jordan then flied out to end the inning.
LSU threatened again in the eighth when Kramer Robertson led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. Cole Freeman then reached on a bunt single with Robertson taking third. Following a strikeout, Jackson Kowar, slated to be the third game starter, came on in relief and got Greg Deichmann to hit a grounder to first. Robertson was thrown out trying to score the tying run, and Kowar got out of the inning by getting Watson to fly out.
The Gators (52-19) then broke the game open with four runs in the bottom of the eighth off LSU reliever Zach Hess. Horvath was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for the first run, Liput followed with a two run single and Schwartz delivered the final run with a sacrifice fly.
Florida won four of the five games between the two teams this season.