The Gators could be two-and-out in Omaha. Following their 11-3 loss to UCLA Saturday to open the College World Series, the Gators (47-16) face FSU today in an elimination game. FSU (47-19) lost to TCU 8-1 also on Saturday.
Against the Bruins, the Gators finally looked like a team stacked with freshmen and sophomores. Not only was UF unable to shut the Bruins down on offense, they had poor at-bats and the usually solid Mike Zunino became swiss cheese behind the plate. When an older team would have locked down, the Gators couldn't flip that switch, leading to today's game.
FSU is not a dominant team of previous years, but they have turned it on in postseason play. They won the ACC Tournament after losing the opener, swept a road Regional and defeated Vandy in Game 3 in the Super Regionals. The Noles have to be excited about playing UF as they took three of four games from the Gators.
Florida's starter Hudson Randall doesn't have good marks against FSU, either. Randall is 0-1 in three appearances against the Noles. In 9.1 innings, he has allowed eight runs (7.71 ERA) and 13 hits. FSU starter Brian Busch also has seen the Gators a few times. In two outings against UF, he is 1-0 and has allowed only three hits in seven innings. Busch is 5-2 this season, with a 3.97 ERA.
As a team, FSU does not have the quality of pitchers that UCLA did. But FSU has the knowledge of defeating the Gators 3 of 4 times. If Florida wants to win today, they must overcome that history and the youth that sunk them in the UCLA game.
Monday's game is set to begin at 4:30pm. However, bad weather canceled one game Sunday and there is a 60 percent chance of rain Monday.