CWS: Day Eight In Pictures

College World Series

For the second year in a row the College World Series used both of the “if necessary” games and will have a pair of patchwork pitching staffs to deal with in the CWS championship series.

LSU and Florida escaped their brackets by going 4-1 and 3-1 respectively and will rehash their rivalry beginning on Monday at 6pm local time here in Omaha. Back in March, the two SEC rivals played a three-game series in Gainesville and the Gators came out on top two games to one, beating the Purple Tigers in pitching-dominated fashion, 1-0 and 8-1, before the Tigers took the Sunday game 10-6.

This time will be much different as the Gators burned their ace Alex Faedo today in the bracket-clinching win over TCU and LSU burned Alex Lange on Friday to stave off elimination with a 3-1 win over OSU. Both could conceivably come back and pitch if the series goes to a third game on Wednesday or if there is a rain-out along the way.

If you’re keeping track at home, that’s 298 Division I teams down and two remaining on the 2017 college baseball season. The first game will begin at 6pm Omaha time on Monday night. It should be wildly and considerably interesting.

Here is a visual look at the two games on Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park…

GAME 13
Oregon State – 1
LSU – 6

Every CWS champion that comes from the loser’s bracket needs a transcendent performance from somebody they don’t expect to get one from. For LSU, it was Caleb Gilbert doing the honors.

 

Gilbert’s 7.1 innings of work was a career-high and his giving up just two hits and one run was downright remarkable. Yet there he was, cool as a cucumber. (By the way, shouldn’t the saying be something like, “cool as a tray of ice cubes” or “cool as a frozen margarita”? Cucumbers aren’t all THAT cool, really.)

 

Gilbert would say in the post-game press conference, “It’s a surreal feeling to be able to pitch your team, when their backs are against the wall in an elimination game, into the College World Series final.”

 

This is essentially the swing that won the game for LSU. Michael Papierski’s three-run ding-dong was all the scoring the Tigers would need.

 

The LSU dugout seems to be showing its approval.

 

… then Papierski tapped helmets with his mates at home plate.

 

During part of the celebration, Papierski gets horse-collared by Alex Lange, which as you know would be illegal in the NFL.

 

It is absolutely, undeniably and most certainly NOT the reason the Beavers lost today, but Greg Street’s *amoeba* strike zone did them no favors.

Kramer Robertson, the great blonde one, got off the deck and went 3-for-3 with a walk to help spur the offense.

 

Some of the nuanced things you see at the College World Series… a Yosemite Sam in a pair of Nike’s on a security officer.

 

This tyke is in a perfect flying position on his mom’s legs. Off to the wild blue yonder, kid.

 

GAME 14
Florida – 3
TCU – 0

Alex Faedo dominated the Horned Frogs for the second time in this College World Series, giving up just three hits and zero runs in his 7.1 innings. To make things worse, he also K’d 11 Frog batters. Here he glares at the TCU dugout after a strikeout. Probably didn’t need to do that since it did get a warning from the home plate umpire Heath Jones.

 

The bigger the game, the better Austin Langworthy seems to be. He smashed a double to kick-start the second inning and scored the first run two batters later. The Gators would need no more scoring.

 

Despite making a little bit of a Dom Deluise facial expression here, UofF catcher Mike Rivera attempts to get his bearings after being beaned in the head early in the game. He would not miss a pitch and ended up scoring a run and knocking in a run as part of an 0-for-3 day.

 

Deacon Liput makes a catch of a relay out at second base as the sun was going down and making unique shadows on the playing field.

 

Michael Byrne came on to pick up the final five outs and earn his 18th save of the season.

 

The Gators assume the normal victory position in the high-five line on the infield. Job well done boys.

 

While the Florida fans started chanting “S-E-C! S-E-C!” Alex Faedo was getting queried by Laura Rutledge.

 

Ack! The pain… TCU shone well again in Omaha, going 3-2 for the second time, but came up just short of the championship series. Here the Frogs file out of the stadium for one last time.

 

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