Florida Gators baseball falls to Virginia 5-4, gets eliminated from 2015 College World Series

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com baseball writer

No. 4 Florida Gators (52-18) baseball saw its season come to an end on Saturday, one game shy of advancing to the 2015 College World Series Championship Series as the Virginia Cavaliers edged UF 5-4 in a drama-filled game with multiple ties and lead changes.

Virginia jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but Florida sophomore first baseman Peter Alonso (1/3, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB) answered with a 429-foot two-run homer in the second inning, breaking his own record for the longest home run hit in the history of TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Cavs tied the game at two in the fourth inning, but junior left fielder Harrison Bader (4/5, HR, RBI, R) put the Gators up 3-2 with a solo shot in the top of the fifth, as UF was marked as the visitor on Saturday. It was the last time Florida would hold a lead this season as Virginia fought back to go up 4-3 in the bottom frame and broke a 4-4 tie with multiple hits in the seventh.

The loss is a difficult one for the Gators, which have advanced to the CWS four times in the last six seasons but never come back to Gainesville with a national title.

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Takeaways: Florida Gators upend Virginia 10-5, force rubber match for Championship Series berth

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com baseball writer

No. 4 Florida Gators baseball (52-17) lived to fight another day, thumping the Virginia Cavaliers 10-5 on Friday afternoon to force a Saturday rubber match with a spot in the 2015 College World Series Championship Series on the line.

Virginia struck first, using two first-inning singles off sophomore right-handed pitcher Logan Shore (6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) to take a 1-0 lead. But unlike Monday night, one run was not going to be enough to beat Florida.

The Gators had two bursts of offense, a four-run third inning to reclaim the lead and a five-run sixth inning to put the game out of reach, battling back in the contest to keep their season alive.

Florida has thrived under the pressure of must-win games in the 2015 postseason. The Gators won four straight elimination games in Hoover, Alabama, to win the 2015 SEC Tournament Championship out of the loser’s bracket and have now come out on top twice with the season on the line at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. UF will need to do it one more time on Saturday to advance to the CWS finals.

Here are three takeaways from UF’s important win:

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Takeaways: Florida Gators baseball crushes Miami 15-3 in 2015 College World Series opener

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com baseball writer

One down and four to go. An 11-run fourth inning carried No. 4 Florida Gators baseball (47-19) to a 15-3 blowout win over the No. 5 Miami Hurricanes in the opening round of the 2015 College World Series on Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska.

The 15 runs Florida scored set a new record for CWS games in TD Ameritrade Park, which has hosted the series since 2011.

The Gators big inning almost didn’t happen. In the bottom of the fourth, senior third baseman Josh Tobias (1/4, 3 RBI, 2 R) drew a lead off walk, and freshman catcher JJ Schwarz (2/4, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB) hit a chopper to Miami shortstop Brandon Lopez, who failed to field the ball cleanly and rushed his throw to first base. Instead of a double play to empty the bases, Florida had runners on second and third with nobody out, trailing 2-1. Fourteen additional UF batters came to the plate in the frame, and by time the UM recorded the third out, the Gators led 12-2.

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Nine Florida Gators selected in 2015 MLB Draft

The Florida Gators baseball team saw nine of its current players selected over the last three days during the 40-round 2015 MLB Draft, though it is unknown as of press time how many of those drafted players will leave the program to turn professional.

Junior shortstop Richie Martin was the first Florida player drafted when he was chosen by the Oakland Athletics with the No. 20 overall pick in the first round.

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Takeaways: Florida routs FSU, one win from CWS

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com baseball writer

No. 4 Florida Gators baseball (48-16) opened the 2015 Gainesville Super Regional on Friday with a 13-5 thumping of the rival Florida State Seminoles (44-20). The Gators are now one win away from returning to the College World Series for the first time since 2012.

Florida scored early and often in the game. A four-run first inning for the Gators gave sophomore right-handed pitcher Logan Shore (5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 5 K) all the cushion he needed. Senior third baseman Josh Tobias (2/5, 3 RBI, R) and freshmen catcher Mike Rivera (1/3, 3 RBI, R) led UF, while freshman C JJ Schwarz (2/3, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2 RBI) hit the team’s only homer, a solo shot to deep left in the fifth inning. Schwarz is now batting 19-for-35 (.543) in postseason play.

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Takeaways: No. 4 Florida Gators baseball advances to Super Regional with 2-1 win over FAU

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com baseball writer

For the first time since 2012, No. 4 Florida Gators baseball (47-16) has returned to the Super Regionals after defeating the Florida Atlantic Owls 2-1 in the Gainesville Regional portion of the 2015 NCAA Tournament behind a strong outing from freshman right-handed pitcher Alex Faedo (6.0 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 6 K).

UF trailed on Sunday at McKethan Stadium for the first time this weekend when FAU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Senior third baseman Josh Tobias (3/4, R) scored Florida’s first run when Florida Atlantic second baseman Stephen Kerr booted a ground ball hit by freshman catcher JJ Schwarz (1/4, RBI). In the sixth inning, Schwarz collected a legitimate RBI on a single to left field that scored junior shortstop Richie Martin (0/3, R, BB).

The Gators were one inning away from winning the regional before lightning in the area stopped play for 67 minutes. The delay ended an impressive relief outing from senior left-handed pitcher Bobby Poyner (2.0 IP, 2 H, 4 K). Junior RHP Taylor Lewis (1.0 IP, H) successfully closed out the ninth, punching Florida’s ticket to the Super Regional, which it will play in for the fifth time in the last seven seasons.

Here are three takeaways from the Gators’ big win:

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Takeaways: Florida Gators baseball roasts Auburn, advances in SEC Tournament

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com baseball writer

With its collective back against the wall, No. 4 seed Florida Gators baseball (41-16) showed up big after a half-day turnaround and avoided elimination with a 11-2 thumping of the No. 9 seed Auburn Tigers in the loser’s bracket of the 2015 SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama.

Less than 11 hours after a devastating 7-6 loss to Arkansas that ended around 1:30 a.m. local time, Florida got up for a 12:30 p.m. start and made a statement by taking an early lead and never looking back.

Here are three takeaways from the Gators’ dominant win:

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Takeaways: Florida seniors shine vs. Auburn, set Gators baseball up for postseason, national seed

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com baseball writer

No. 7 Florida Gators baseball (40-15, 19-11 SEC) closed out the 2015 regular season with a series win over the Auburn Tigers. It marked the fourth series in a row in which Florida dropped its opener (4-1), the third straight in which it recovered to win the next two games (4-3, 3-1).

UF ultimately finished in fourth place in the league behind LSU (20-8), Vanderbilt (20-10) and Texas A&M (18-10). Nevertheless, the Gators are well-positioned to earn a national seed and host a regional in the 2015 NCAA Tournament due to their high RPI (No. 6), nonconference strength of schedule (No. 13) and recent series win over VU.

The Aggies (No. 7 RPI) and Commodores (No. 11 RPI) will both be entering the 2015 SEC Tournament with the goal of jumping Florida in the national seed pecking order.

Here are five takeaways from the final series of the 2015 regular season:

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