After Florida forced a winner-take-all Game 3 in baseball’s College World Series championship series by scoring the most runs in tournament history Sunday, the Gators took a 2-0 over Louisiana State in the first inning on Monday and seemed prepared. to capture the title.
That was until LSU’s offense kicked in.
The Tigers scored six runs in the second inning and four in the fourth en route to an 18-4 victory over Florida on Monday in Omaha. It was LSU’s seventh national championship, but its first since 2009, capping what had been an unpredictable, high-scoring College World Series.
LSU won the first game of the final series against Florida in extra innings, 4-3, but couldn’t match the Gators’ historic hit in Game 2, losing 24-4. The Tigers turned the tables on Monday, led by a 4-for-6 performance from their star outfielder, Dylan Crews.
“This is what I dreamed of since I was a freshman, to hold this trophy,” Crews said in a televised interview after the game. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Florida’s pitching staff faltered at the worst time, having allowed fewer than four runs a game in their previous five games on this CWS. Starting pitcher Jac Caglianone, who also leads the Gators in home runs, lasted just 1 1/3 innings. and allowed six earned runs. The bullpen fared even worse, allowing 12 runs the rest of the way.
LSU had faced Florida in a CWS championship series before. In 2017, the Gators defeated the Tigers in a sweep. With all seven CWS titles, LSU has the second most, trailing only Southern California and its 12.
The series featured the three players who were expected to be selected for the first time in this summer’s election. MLB draft: Crews; his LSU teammate Paul Skenes, a pitcher; and Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford.
Crews won the Golden Spikes award on Sunday, crowning him the best amateur baseball player in the country. He showed why Monday, making two stunning catches in the third inning, including one that forced him to run to the left-field wall and jump to catch a long fly ball by Florida second baseman Kade Curland, and hit a triple in the left field. eighth.
The Tigers sealed their fourth-inning victory by extending their lead to eight runs, but came with a loss: Catcher Alex Milazzo had to be carried off the field after jumping on Gators catcher BT Riopelle to get to the plate. and do the 10-. 2.
After making two errors in Game 2 and struggling to find a rhythm, LSU shortstop Jordan Thompson redeemed himself in Game 3. Thompson went 0-for-9 in the first two games of the ALCS but racked up three. RBIs on Monday while also making a number of defensive plays. When he came to the plate in the top of the fifth inning, the crowd was chanting his name.
The Tigers’ pitching also leveled off after a forgettable Game 2. Right-hander Thatcher Hurd allowed a home run in the first but rallied immediately, shutting out Florida over the next five innings and recording seven total strikeouts as the Gators struggled to hit their breaking ball.
“Probably more impressive than winning the national championship is that they were national champions every single day,” LSU coach Jay Johnson said after the game. “These guys had high expectations all season and they delivered. They met with them every day.”
When Johnson began managing the Tigers last season, he began a new tradition: taking a team photo after every win, regardless of the game’s aftermath, to emphasize to his team how hard it was to win a baseball game.
It had been 14 years without LSU winning a national title, but when the Tigers got into a pile of dogs on Monday night, cameras flickered.