Once again, the Florida Gators are on their way to Omaha.
With an 11-4 win over Florida State on Saturday in the decisive Game 2 of the Gainesville Super Regional, the Gators advanced to the 2015 College World Series, to be played in Omaha, Nebraska, at TD Ameritrade Park beginning on June 13.
Florida's first game at the College World Series will be against in-state rival Miami, which became the first team to punch its ticket to Omaha by knocking out VCU in Super Regional play on Saturday afternoon.
The College World Series appearance will be the fourth by the Gators under Kevin O'Sullivan, following three consecutive trips from 2010 to 2012. The four CWS appearances are the most in the SEC since 2010. (It's fitting: Florida also leads the SEC in national seeds awarded, Regionals hosted, and Super Regionals hosted since 2009.)
Florida's history at the College World Series is somewhat spotty. The Gators' last visit, as the No. 1 national seed in 2012, was a disastrous winless trip — a "two-and-'cue," as the locals call it, referring to the excellent barbecue in the area that probably proves to be no solace the first teams eliminated. And a painfully young Florida team went two-and-'cue in 2010, as well, being ushered out of the competition by none other than Florida State.
But the Gators made the championship series in 2011, falling to the Gamecocks in two games, and had previously done the same, getting swept by Texas in the championship series, under former coach Pat McMahon in 2005. If the Gators fail to win a national championship in 2015, they will be tied for fifth all-time in CWS appearances without a title, with nine — still less than half of Florida State's record 21 CWS appearances without breaking through — yet only the 'Noles have more runner-up finishes among teams without titles.
Fortunately for all involved, this group of Gators appears hungry and ready for history, having rampaged through both the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament to date.