Brady Singer pitched seven strong innings and Austin Langworthy and Deacon Liput homered to lead Florida to a 5-1 win over Louisville in the College World Series on Tuesday night.
The Gators (49-18) have won their first two CWS games for the first time in four appearances since opening 3-0 and reaching the finals in 2011.
Louisville (53-11) managed one run on six hits and struck out nine times against Singer (8-5). Florida pitchers finished with 10 strikeouts, making it their fifth straight game with double-digit Ks.
The left-handed-swinging Langworthy sliced a ball just inside the left field foul pole in the third and Liput hit a three-run homer to right in the fourth. Both homers came against Louisville starter Kade McClure (8-4), who otherwise was impressive in striking out nine and walking one in six innings.
The 6-foot-7, 230-pound McClure had kept the game close until there were two outs in the fourth. He walked Nelson Maldonado and Jonathan India singled before Liput drove a low 1-2 pitch into the bullpen for his second homer in four games and third of the season. He celebrated in the dugout by dumping a bucket of ice water over the head of a Gators staff member.
Singer hummed along through six innings, striking out eight, walking none and limiting the Cardinals to three singles. Louisville broke through for a run in the seventh when Brendan McKay doubled and scored on Colin Lyman‘s two-out single. A base hit and walk followed, but the Cardinals left the bases loaded when Logan Taylor grounded out.
Florida’s Maldonado, already playing on a bad ankle, hurt his right shoulder diving back to third base on a pickoff attempt in the fourth. The athletic trainer and coach Kevin O’Sullivan tended to Maldonado, who stayed in the game after moving his arms to loosen up.
WHAT’S THE COUNT?
A discrepancy on the ball-strike count arose in the third inning when Louisville’s Taylor took first base on a full count rather than a ball four. Home-plate umpire Troy Fullwood went to the video review area and put the headset on even though it was not a reviewable situation. Fullwood ordered Taylor to return to the batter’s box, and McClure struck him out on the next pitch.
Florida plays Friday in the Bracket 2 final against the winner of the Louisville-TCU elimination game on Thursday.
Republished with permission from the Associated Press.