Less than 12 hours after a loss that put their season on the line, Florida's Gators of the diamond will play an elimination game with North Carolina this Saturday.
This wasn't, no, how the Gainesville Regional was supposed to go for the Gators.
Florida lost to the College of Charleston, 3-2, on Friday night, as an early big inning for the Cougars and an extended brownout at the plate for the Gators conspired to consign Florida to its first defeat in the first game of an NCAA Tournament as a national seed. If there's a saving grace for the Gators, it is that Saturday foe North Carolina might have been worse on Friday: The Tar Heels went quietly against Long Beach State, mustering seven hits and just one run against Dirtbag ace Andrew Rohrbach, while Carolina's star starter, Trent Thornton, was charged for all six runs Beach plated in the fourth inning.
Florida will throw Bobby Poyner (5-4, 3.44 ERA) today, with its season on the line, and is moving Braden Mattson from fifth to sixth in the order after his awful Friday. North Carolina counters with Benton Moss (4-2, 3.33). The game will be broadcast by ESPN3 and the Gator Radio Network.
Feel free to join the celebration and/or lamentation below.