CWS Title Series In Pictures: Game One
College World Series
With Florida starting pitcher Brady Singer – who LSU coach Paul Mainieri says could be the No. 1 overall draft pick next year – facing off with LSU starter Russell Reynolds – who came in with just 13 innings of work all season – tonight’s first game of the CWS finals went almost as expected. Florida won. LSU lost. But as Lee Corso would say it was “closer than the experts think.”
The Alligators toughed it out for a 4-3 win and now stand just 27 outs away from their first-ever national title in our beloved sport. But LSU knows that it did not send out the best arm in the arsenal and still came within a run of the Gators. On Tuesday the Tigers will counter with No. 2 starter Jared Poche, which should give them an even chance of winning just by having that left-handed beast toeing the rubber to begin with. UofF will likely go with Tyler Dyson, who had a brilliant performance against Wake Forest in the Super Regional round, going 5.0 innings and giving up just two hits with seven strikeouts.
The big question is… Which one of these flingers blinks first? It’s do or die for LSU, so for their sake, they better hope Poche lives up to his billing and doesn’t end the night walking a lot of batters and yelling into his glove.
Either way, it should be fun. For now, here is how Game One looked on Monday night from Omaha…
The Gators celebrate the two-RBI double by Jonathan India with a fist in the air, similar to the 1968 Olympics with Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
Seldom-used Russell Reynolds ended up pitching into the fourth inning, but three straight walks ended up being his demise. All three of those walks would come around to score after Nick Bush took over the pitching duties.
There was plenty of talk before the game about the health of shortstop Dalton Guthrie after he pulled up lame in the Saturday win over TCU. But as this slide shows us, Guthrie was fine and ready to risk everything to score the go-ahead run for his team. (And damn you Garrett Minchin for photobombing my beautiful picture)
THE play of the game. Jonathan India, the Gator third baseman, smashed a two-run ground-rule double in the fourth inning to help put the Gators up for good.
Nelson Maldonado gets his yell on after scoring the third run of the game off of Jonathan India’s double.
Some key defensive plays kept LSU close. Here first baseman Jake Slaughter shovels the ball to Russell Reynolds for an out.
Fighting off the sun and going a ways to do it, Cole Freeman makes a nice grab in shallow right field.
Much like Mississippi State did a few years ago, a whole caravan of LSU fans came up for the finals, making TD Ameritrade an LSU-heavy venue.
Despite the pressure he faced on the mound in game one, Brady Singer was a cool customer, striking out a career-high 12 batters and pitching into the 8th inning.
Antoine Duplantis ended up being the Tiger hero, going 2-for-4, including hitting just his second home run of the season in the sixth inning.
Greg Deichmann, here slamming his hand to the ground after he gave LSU new life with his leadoff double in the eighth inning, sent Brady Singer to the showers for the night.
Josh Smith knocked in Deichmann two batters later, but was then thrown out at second when trying to stretch his single into a double. Dalton Guthrie gives a fist pump and a guttural yell.
With their first win in finals history, the Gators now find themselves 27 outs away from their fist national title. But oh how difficult those 27 outs will be.
The Gators having some post-game fun.
To the winner goes the spoils. Brady Singer gets the post-game Q&A from ESPN’s Laura Rutledge.
Dalton Guthrie takes time to sign an autograph while in the tunnel to the locker room.
Almost forgot, here are more of our tax dollars going to fighter jets flying over a sports venue as pilots from nearby Offut Air Force base go over the stadium. And is that jet to the right just a little bit too far out? Seems like he could be in a little tighter formation.