Trending News: Why Florida’s NCAA World Series Win Is So Damn Impressive
Long Story Short
The Florida Gators won the NCAA World Series — the school’s first-ever Division 1 Baseball Championship.
Nebraska might not be known as much more than a flyover state during most of the year. But for a couple weeks in June, Omaha explodes into the best place in the world for baseball.
I got the opportunity to attend the second game of the NCAA World Series final in Omaha as part of Pizza Hut’s All-American cross-country tour and witnessed baseball history.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 28, 2017
In an exciting Game 2 of the World Series Final, the Florida Gators won 6-1, sweeping the NCAA Division 1 Championship 2-0 in the best-of-3 series.
The Florida Gators were a hungry team. They’d been to the World Series in Omaha 11 times and had previously made it to the finals in 2005 and 2011, but came up short. Last year, as the #1 team in the country, the Gators couldn’t even win a World Series game. Still, eight players were taken in the first 10 rounds of the 2016 MLB draft, according to ESPN.
This year was different — but it didn’t come easy.
Is this heaven?
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 23, 2017
For the first six innings of Tuesday night’s game, everything appeared to be going according to plan for the Gators. They were playing well and frustrating the Tigers’ bats with a 2-0 lead after two innings.
Then came the seventh, an inning that the thousands of hooting and hollering LSU Tigers fans at TD Ameritrade Park won’t soon forget. LSU appeared to be shifting the momentum and pulled the game to 2-1. But a controversial runner interference call sent the stadium into a frenzy, and perhaps the Tigers’ confidence, as the team couldn’t score again.
I snapped this picture of LSU pitcher Jared Poché as he made his way to the dugout, clearly upset.
The Gators could have succumbed to the Tigers pressure, but stayed calm and let the bats fly in the bottom of the eighth, sealing the game with four runs for an impressive 6-1 win.
The win is certainly sweet for Florida, but it’s got to be sweetest for Kevin O’Sullivan who has coached the team for a decade.
“I don’t think anybody thought we would get to this point,” O’Sullivan said, according to ESPN. “We had our struggles throughout the year offensively. In mid-March, we were hitting about .230 as a team. They kept working and believing, and I told them before the season started that we had what it took, the ingredients, to pull this thing off.”
And they did just that.
One more thing to mention before I leave Nebraska. A funny Internet-friendly moment happened during the game when a fan reached, and reached, and reached, for a ball on the field, but, like LSU, he came up sadly short.
— Shelby Granath (@Shelby_Granath) June 28, 2017
— Kristin Fall Bonett (@kristinbonett) June 28, 2017
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Should the NCAA World Series move around the country or stick with Omaha, as it has since the 1950s?
Drop This Fact
LSU Pitcher Jared Poché’s dad, Jerry, managed to save an elderly man’s life during the game.