Florida beats LSU 4-3, wins first College World Series Championship Series game

By Adam Silverstein
June 26, 2017
Florida beats LSU 4-3, wins first College World Series Championship Series game

Image Credit: Mike Dixon/AP

It’s taken three trips and 13 years, but Florida Gators baseball finally has its first win in the College World Series Championship Series. No. 3 Florida edged the No. 4 LSU Tigers 4-3 in Game 1 on Monday night, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series that will determine college baseball’s national champion.

The Gators entered Monday 0-4 all-time in the CWS Championship Series, getting swept in both its trips (2005, 2011). The Tigers, meanwhile, were 7-1 when playing in the national title series, winning all six championships for which they competed.

Florida succeeded behind a tremendous performance by sophomore right-handed pitcher Brady Singer (7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 12 K), who tossed 112 pitches and shut out LSU through the first five innings. The Tigers figured him out as the night went on, but Singer held tough before giving way to sophomore RHP Michael Byrne (2.0 IP, H, K), who registered his NCAA-leading 19th save of the season.

The Gators took their lead with a three-run top of the fourth and added an insurance run in the seventh that wound up being necessary for their victory. LSU outhit Florida 9-6, but UF’s defense was stellar throughout the contest.

After playing Monday as the away team (determined via coin flip), Florida will play the bottom frames in Game 2 on Tuesday. That will be the only advantage the Gators possess, however, as they will be going up against one of the Tigers’ all-time pitchers, Jared Poche (12-3, 3.33 ERA), without being able to field an experienced counterpart.

Florida will throw freshman RHP Tyler Dyson, who will make just his second start of the season. Dyson (3-0, 3.55 ERA) will likely be on a short leash by head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, who could roll out his bullpen and use Byrne in long relief late if necessary.

The UF and LSU athletic programs have long been rivals and most certainly put together an interesting season. The Gators lead the Tigers 9-3 in head-to-head matchups among team sports this season, including a fourth-down goal line victory on the road in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to conclude a football game played amid much controversy.

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