No. 1 Florida baseball bounced out of 2018 College World Series in semifinals

By Adam Silverstein
June 23, 2018
No. 1 Florida baseball bounced out of 2018 College World Series in semifinals

Image Credit: Mike Dixon/AP

After two weeks of elimination games, No. 1 Florida Gators baseball finally succumbed to the pressures of being the defending national champions, falling to the No. 5 Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday in the semifinals of the 2018 College World Series.

Recent injuries to senior JJ Schwarz and junior right-handed pitcher Brady Singer made the postseason more difficult than most expected for the Gators, who went 5-4 over their final nine games and consistently struggled to hit with runners in scoring position.

Florida’s 5-2 loss to Arkansas on Friday came as the Hogs took an early 4-2 lead and only allowed the Gators three hits on the evening. Singer (5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K) met his match in red-hot Arkansas, delivering just his third loss in 15 decisions this season. Only UF freshman catcher Brady Smith (1/3, RBI) plated a run in the game.

Though Florida participated in its fourth straight CWS and sixth in the last eight years under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, it was clear that the Gators were limping into the postseason and unable to continue the top-level play they put forth throughout the 2017-18 season.

As such, UF was unable to defend its first national title in the CWS Championship Series.

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