LSU started flamethrower lefty Jared Poché on the hill, opposite the Gators’ Tyler Dyson. On the first batter he faced, Poché surrendered a hit on a quirky fielding error by first baseman Nick Coomes, then another to Dalton Guthrie, who looped a fine ball into right center. That then was followed by a JJ Schwarz drive into left, which plated Deacon Liput down from third.
So, with runners at first and second, big bat Nelson Maldonado bashed a fly ball into deep right, which Greg Deichmann fielded on a spectacular leaping catch, and that moved everyone forward one base. That was merely the first out of the inning, and Poché had already received a mound visit from his pitching coach. He managed to get himself out of the jam on a pop fly to shallow left, and to the second they went with Florida holding a 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the second, Coomes again experienced some throwing and catching ailments as he fumbled a toss from Poché, which advanced Ryan Larson over to second. He then reached home on a single by Nick Horvath, and suddenly the Gators were working their way back through the top of the order. It was by then 2-0 Florida’s advantage, but Poché forced a grounder to the shortstop with men on first and second to get himself out of the jam.
Florida then created a buildup in the top of the third, putting runners on second and third. LSU then intentionally walked catcher Mike Rivera to load the bases, which brought up Ryan Larson, the hero of the Gainesville super regional. He struck out looking for the second out of the frame, then Horvath popped up to the left side to end Florida’s threat.
The Gators really exploded in the top of the eighth, plating four runs and capitalizing on one of the worst base running blunders the College World Series has ever seen. LSU’s Jake Slaughter went out of his way to collide with Florida’s second baseman, and that immediately wiped the Tigers’ tying run off the board. Florida’s answer? Four runs in the next inning.
That was all Florida would need, forcing a pair of groundouts in the top of the ninth to seal the deal. That’s the Gators’ first College World Series championship in program history after making the final series three times previously.
Schedule and scores for the College World Series finals
All times Eastern
Game 1: Florida def. LSU, 4-3
Game 2: Florida elimin. LSU, 6-1