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Florida Beats LSU to Claim Its First College World Series Title

30 June 2017

From there, Florida would pile it on in the bottom of the eighth.

"I'm still kind of numb", Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said.

LSU came up short in a bid for a seventh national crown.

The Beavers swept a very good Vanderbilt team in the Super Regional even though Luke Heimlich, considered the best pitcher in college baseball, was suddenly unavailable after a report surfaced that Heimlich had pleaded guilty to felony child molestation as a teenager.

Never mind that this team hit.222 in Omaha, the lowest batting average by a champion since 1972 USC. Along with Byrne (a team record 19 saves, two in the College World Series) and rising star Tyler Dyson (one earned run allowed in 14.1 post-season innings) the Gators' staff had an ERA of 2.33 in the CWS and had the second-most strikeouts in the history of the event with 68.

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Things got interesting after Michael Byrne relieved Dyson in the seventh.

The rule on that carries a double-whammy - the runner at third, who the Gators didn-t care about, had to return to his original station.

Kowar's first assignment was cleanup man Greg Deichmann, who was a second-round pick of the A's earlier this month. Papierski on Saturday became the first player in CWS history to hit homers from both sides of the plate in the same game and the first LSU player to go deep twice in a CWS game since Brad Cresse did it against Southern California in 1998.

Zach Watson started the inning with an infield single and proceeded to steal second base. Still, the Gators had a knack for getting the timely hit, drawing walks and forcing play when they got on base.

Deacon Liput came up for the Gators and stroked a single to center field, bringing in two more runs, and pushing Florida's lead to 5-1 over LSU.

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The conservative play for O'Sullivan in the late innings Tuesday, up in the series after a 4-3 win Monday, would have been to stick with his bullpen regulars. Even when things go wrong, as with Luke's rollover auto accident on I-85 near home in Charlotte earlier this month, they turn out fortuitously.

"It's unbelievable right now, I'm at a loss for words", said Michael Byrne, Florida's sophomore closer. A fly out to center meant that once again the Florida recipe of pitching and defense had proven successful.

Florida's offense has been sporadic at best but the pitching has been mostly consistent.

TCU (50-18) had beaten the Gators 9-2 on Friday to force the winner-take-all bracket final and the teams' third meeting in a week.

"I think a lot of people counted us out", pitcher Jackson Kowar said. "We got second place, but it was a special group of guys in there, and we made relationships that will last forever". The first batter hits a routine ground ball and we don't make the play. "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". Then Jordan hit a two-out RBI single to cut it to 3-2 later that inning.

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Florida Beats LSU to Claim Its First College World Series Title