The Florida Gators are the 2017 College World Series Champions. The Gators defeated the LSU Tigers 5-1 to sweep the championship series 2-0.
On Monday the Florida Gators won the opening game of the 2017 College World Series Championship Series. That set up a monumental opportunity for Florida. A win on Tuesday (or Wednesday) would earn them their first National Title in school history. They didn’t need a second try.
Florida 6 – LSU 1 (Full Box)
Just like they did in the opener, Florida struck first. The Gators pushed across singular unearned runs in the first and second innings and carried a 2-0 lead late into the game. Gators’ starter Tyler Dyson rose to the occasion, keeping LSU off the board and off the bases through six innings. Both he and Tigers ace Jared Poche delivered masterful performances in what was the most important game of their collegiate careers:
Poche’s final line: 5.2 IP, zero earned runs, seven hits, one walk and three strikeouts
Dyson’s final line: 6.0 IP, one earned run, three hits, two walks and two strikeouts
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As dominant as both starters were in this game it was the Florida bullpen that deserves the most praise. Down by one run, LSU put runners on the corners and no outs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Both times the Gators sent the Tigers away trailing. Michael Byrne dispatched LSU in the seventh. Then Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan went all in, inserting potential Game 3 starter Jackson Kowar into the game in the eighth.
With one out and the tying run on third, Kowar induced a ground ball. Kramer Robertson was thrown out by two steps at the plate in what seemed to be a pivotal moment in the game. A fly out to center meant that once again the Florida recipe of pitching and defense had proven successful.
In their first five games of the College World Series the Gators scored a total of 17 runs (with a high of five against Louisville). With the game still hanging in the balance the Florida offense woke up, finally. The Gators struck for four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, bringing their tally up to six runs for the game. For a team that hasn’t managed much offense of late the outburst was both unexpected and deafening.
Kowar would reenter the game in the ninth with a five run lead. He quietly record the final three outs and raised his fist as the dog pile commenced. The Florida Gators are the 2017 College World Series Champions.
***Stats from SEC Sports***