The LSU Tigers are one win away from capturing another baseball national championship. Such results from Saturday’s 4-3 over the Florida Gators in Omaha.
Super senior Cade Beloso stole the spotlight on Saturday night, crushing a solo home run in the top of the 11th inning. The blast disrupted an offensive stalemate and propelled the LSU Tigers to a win in Game 1 of the Men’s College World Series Finals.
Beloso captured the spotlight in Omaha on Saturday, but starting pitcher Ty Floyd was the LSU Tigers’ best player. The junior right-hander tied an NCAA record by striking out 17 hitters inside nine innings. Floyd’s start stretched eight innings, including 89 strikes out of 122 pitches.
The Gators tagged Floyd for three earned runs, which we expected in the final series of the season. In other words, Florida’s baseball team is too good to expect a shutout. Conversely, the Gators’ pitching was also above par on Saturday.
Florida’s arms combined for 16 strikeouts and only 11 hits allowed. As such, LSU hitters struggled to avoid hitting into routine outs for most of the night. What’s worse is the Tigers left 17 runners on base.
Beloso opened the game’s scoring with an RBI single that scored Dylan Crews in the top of the 1st inning. Gavin Dugas followed up in the 3rd with a solo home run. The Gators inched back with runs scored in the 3rd, 5th, and 6th innings to take a 3-2 lead.
Nevertheless, LSU’s Tommy White homered in the 7th inning to tie the game 3-3.
The Gators’ loss on Saturday is their first in the College World Series. Florida was the tournament’s hottest team entering Saturday, winning all three of their opening-round games. As for the LSU Tigers, their Game 1 win aligns with their season-long expectations.
But, of course, LSU was heavily favored to win the Men’s College World Series in the preseason. Their odds increased after spending 12 straight weeks ranked the country’s No. 1 NCAA baseball team.
Game 2 between LSU and Florida is Sunday, June 25, at 2 p.m. CST on ESPN. We expect freshman left-hander Griffin Herring to see most of the action from the mound.