OMAHA, Neb. – Florida will seek to win its first NCAA baseball national title when it takes on LSU in Game 2 of the College World Series Finals at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on Tuesday night.
Watch live streaming coverage of Game 2 on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. Live television coverage is available nationally on ESPN, starting at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN | Live Radio Stream and Live Audio Stream | Live Stream: WatchESPN | ESPN3 Multiview | Live Stats
The Gators (51-19) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning and then held off a late challenge by the Tigers (52-19) to secure an exciting 4-3 victory on Monday.
They are now just one win away from lifting the national crown this year and the first in program history.
Meanwhile, LSU, which eliminated No. 1 national seed Oregon State in the last four, will be hoping to extend its season by winning Tuesday night’s contest and force a winner-takes-all Game 3 decider on Wednesday.
The Tigers cut Florida’s lead to 3-2 in the sixth inning, but the Gators scored again in the seven to build a two-run cushion.
LSU made things very interesting going into the final inning after the SEC champion scored a run to trim the deficit to 4-3.
However, Florida held on to take the advantage heading into Game 2.
Right-hander Brady Singer gave the Gators a flying start, while allowing just three runs over seven innings and struck out a career-high 12, which set a College World Series single-game record in the championship series.
LSU started with Russell Reynolds on the mound after holding back its two ace starters in Jared Poche’ and Alex Lange in Game 1.
Lange is set to start in Game 2.
“Our kids left it all out there on the field, played their hearts out and we just came up a little bit short tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri.
“It’s comforting to know that we still have Jared Poché going tomorrow fully rested. If we’re fortunate enough to win [Tuesday] night, we’ve got Alex Lange waiting.
“We don’t think the series is over by a long stretch. We’re excited about playing tomorrow, and hopefully we can have a little bit more luck on our side.”
“Great game,” Mainieri said. “We went up against who I believe to be maybe the best pitcher I’ve seen in the SEC for an opponent since I’ve been the coach at LSU.
“He reminds me so much of Aaron Nola it’s scary. I think the guy will be the first pick in the draft next year.”
Meanwhile, Florida Kevin O’Sullivan said: “It kind of worked out the way we hoped it would. Brady would go deep in the ballgame and we would not have to extend Michael Byrne [so] that he would be available [Tuesday].
“We just do enough to stay ahead.”
Defeat tonight for LSU would end its quest for a seventh College World Series national title.