No. 3 overall national seed Florida is hosting Wake Forest in the Gainesville super regional this weekend, and Saturday’s opening offering lasted just over seven and a half hours and 11 innings.
Much of the game was ho-hum, with both teams netting a 1-1 deadlock after regulation. In the 11th, however, the game got weird. Wake closer Griffin Roberts started the bottom of the frame by beaning consecutive Gator batters, the second of whom, Nelson Maldonado, grew visibly irate after taking a wild fastball on the left hip.
JJ Schwarz and Nelson Maldonado (below) plunked to load the bases with 1 out for #Gators in 11th. pic.twitter.com/qIpkDcaU2i— Ryan Young (@RyanYoungSEC) June 11, 2017
That ended Roberts’ outing, and hurler Colin Peluse was called in to mop up what was left. Peluse walked the first batter he faced, then Ryan Larson stepped to the plate in his first game back after taking a pitch to the head in the SEC tournament.
Larson did not disappoint.
Florida's Hero... RYAN LARSON!— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 11, 2017
Welcome back. #RoadToOmaha pic.twitter.com/Kyrj0JO5Oe
That’s Florida’s FIRST WALKOFF WIN OF THE SEASON. The Gators are more known for their pitching staff than their hitting prowess, scoring just enough runs with the help of their arms to be one of the best teams in the SEC. What do you do when the hero of the night tears ass off into center field? You chase him down, dammit.
WALK-OFF ALERT— Kyle Niblett (@KyleNiblett) June 11, 2017
Ryan Larson comes up clutch!@GatorsBB win! #RoadtoOmaha #GoGators #WeChomp pic.twitter.com/lfvy9SZdcW
Most college baseball mobs — an internet sensation unto themselves — take place somewhere in the infield. Not so for Ryan Larson and Florida, who range about before eventually petering out in dead center. Great job, guys.