CWS: Day Six In Pictures
College World Series
Welcome to the Final Four.
We’ve got some familiar faces here in the last remaining teams of the College World Series. Tonight, the Florida Gators, fresh off their first national championship 360-some-odd days ago, are still alive thanks to a 9-6 pasting of Texas Tech. That win helped the most talented team here in Omaha stave off elimination and pushed them into a bracket championship final against Arkansas.
It wasn’t easy as the Gators had to overcome some early jams against that dangerous Texas Tech offense. But they would eventually put up zeroes long enough behind the pitching of freshman starter Jack Leftwich to wait for their offense to get on the board in the fourth. They never trailed again. And that Leftwich kid? Oh man, he made himself a legend tonight, pitching into the seventh inning, giving up seven hits and two runs while picking up his fifth win of the year.
So the final four is set in Omaha and they will all be playing on Friday. The first game will see Oregon State take on Mississippi State, who would need to lose twice to the Beavers. The second game will have these Gators taking on Arkansas, who would also need to lose twice to be eliminated. If either the Beavers or the Gators win on Friday, there will be a rematch on Saturday.
Here are the visuals from how tonight’s game looked through the lenses of Lady StitchHead and I…
FLORIDA 9, TEXAS TECH 6
The Gators eliminate the Red Raiders, who end their season for the third time in five years with a trip to Omaha. Tim Tadlock has a powerful thing going in Lubbock and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of them here.
The precocious frosh flinger Jack Leftwich had an outstanding outing, helping his team save some of the valuable arms for another day. Leftwich pitched into the seventh inning, after which UofF head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said in the post-game, “I thought if we get five or six, I would be happy with five and probably ecstatic with six.”
About the only intriguing thing to happen in the early innings of tonight’s game was this swing at the plate by Gabe Holt. He got so off-balanced and swung so wildly he ended up on his canasta in the batter’s box.
Texas Tech second basemanBrian Klein can only watch as JJ Schwarz rounds second on his home run trot around the bases.
As he has done 12 previous times this season, JJ Schwarz assumes the pose of a televangelist praising Hosanna in the highest after blasting his first home run in Omaha in his career.
It seems to be a reoccurring theme this week in Omaha… near misses in the field. Here, Tech left fielder Grant Little narrowly misses on catching this laser shot to the wall.
See, the near-misses went both ways in this game as Florida center fielder Nick Horvath couldn’t catch up with this Cameron Warren shot to left-center that glanced off his glove and onto the warning track dirt.
But not every blast to the wall went uncaught. Check out the extension and glove work that Little displayed here robbing Deacon Liput of a possible home run. Nice vertical there white boy.
Tech third baseman Josh Jung displayed wicked glove work all week here in Omaha. This one is a tough play that he makes look routine with a power-shot of a throw across the diamond.
The Raiders started to pump up the volume in the seventh and eighth innings where they scored three runs in both frames. But despite the heavy amounts of energy they could get no closer than 8-6.
The Gator seven-hole hitter went 3-for-4 with a single and two doubles to help pace the Gators’ 12-hit attack.
Texas Tech reliever John Mcmillan is the only pitcher I’ve seen who comes out of the bullpen and starts his warm up by throwing two pitches from well beyond the pitcher’s mound.
While the Gators gather together to celebrate, Texas Tech’s Cody Farhat squats dejectedly after grounding out to second base to end the season for the Red Raiders.
The Red Raiders feel the pain now, but in a few weeks they’ll realize that they cemented their status as one of the top programs in the country, especially after going to Omaha for the third time since 2014.
The Gators are like Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, they don’t show much emotion. They just go out and destroy you and then move on to the next victim. This is about as much emotion as I could find with the Gators after the win over Texas Tech.
THE TD AMERITRADE PARK P.A. SONG OF THE DAY:
Angels and Airwaves, “Heaven”:
I’ve heard it asked, “Hey, is this heaven?” The answer, “No, it’s Omaha.”
So here is the ditty they played before the starting lineups were introduced…