Florida

Double Trouble from Florida: FSU Seminoles and Florida Gators Advance to Semis in the College World Series

 
Florida State showcased their resilience in the Men's College World Series by defeating North Carolina with a commanding 9-5 victory, staving off elimination in a crucial Tuesday afternoon matchup. This win arrived just as storm clouds loomed over Omaha, metaphorically underscoring their prowess at the plate amidst challenging conditions. Meanwhile, in the evening session, adverse weather conditions forced the elimination game between Florida and Kentucky to be postponed until Wednesday morning.

On a parallel track, the unseeded Florida Gators entered the 2024 College World Series with a chip on their shoulder, armed with the experience of being 2023 runners-up. They proved their mettle by dominating the No. 2 National Seed Kentucky Wildcats in a thrilling showdown.

As these storied rivals continue their journey, anticipation builds for an electrifying series that promises to be a testament to their enduring legacies in collegiate baseball.

Florida State 9, North Carolina 5

The first inning looked like it was going to be a duel from the mound when both pitchers finished the inning with three up, three down outings, but sophomore Jaxson West and the Noles had a different vision. West contributed four hits to the Noles's offense with his third home run of the year and two RBIs.

In the top of the second, the Noles put themselves on the board when Jaime Ferrer worked a walk, Daniel Cantu got himself on with a single, and Drew Faurot knocked an RBI single up the middle, scoring Ferrer.

Both sides of the offense put runs on the board in the third, but FSU’s plate discipline gave them the edge. They worked three walks and a hit-by-pitch and collected two hits to add two runs.

With a 3-0 deficit in the bottom of the third, the Tar Heels got their bats going with two hits and a run from the bats of Baseball America’s No. 12 Collegiate Top Prospect Vance Honeycutt and LF Casey Cook.

Both sides of the mound were pummeled in the fifth when both teams collected four runs, six hits for the Noles, and four hits for the Tar Heels, including a home run for Honeycutt.

With a 7-5 lead for the Noles, both teams would go scoreless through the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, and the momentum would stay in FSU’s favor.

The Noles went on to add two more insurance runs in the ninth with back-to-back solo home runs from the nine-hole Jaxson West and leadoff Max Williams.

Florida 15, Kentucky 4

The unseeded Florida Gators have something no other team in the 2024 College World Series has a 2023 runner-up trophy back home with a chip on their shoulder and the will to rewrite history. The Gators knocked off the No. 2 National Seed Kentucky Wildcats on Wednesday in dominating fashion.

The Wildcats got out the gate early with one run in the top of the first, but that didn’t deter the Gators from answering back with five hits and seven runs in the bottom of the first. Baseball America’s No. 7 Top Collegiate MLB Prospect and two-way star Jac Caglianone, No. 39 Top Collegiate MLB Prospect Colby Shelton, Luke Heyman, and Dale Thomas all contributed hits, while Brody Donay knocked out his 12th home run of the year.

The Gators piled on two more runs in the bottom of the third to extend the lead to 9-1. Brody Donay notched his second hit of the game.

The Wildcats answered back with three runs across the fourth and fifth innings, including a home run from 2B Emilien Pitre, but their production at the plate stopped there.

With a 9-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth, the unrelenting Gators struck again, adding five more runs to the tally to extend the lead by ten runs. Brody Donay added his third hit of the game, another home run to left.

Florida tied the bow with one more run in the sixth with a home run from two-way star and MLB prospect Jac Caglianone for his 35th home run of the year, which set a new school record for single-season home runs for the Gators (previously tied for 34 with Matt LaPorta).

Asked when it hit him that he had just broken the single-season, Caglianone replied,

 

In the dugout. Chuck gave me a hug, congratulated me, and all the teammates followed. It kind of hit me there. It was really cool. In the moment, I was just trying to help my team add more runs.

College World Series Schedule

Entering the 2024 College World Series, Virginia and Florida were the only schools to have ever won a College World Series Championship. With Virginia’s elimination by Florida State earlier in the week, Florida is the only former champion to remain.

Florida will compete with the No. 3 National Seed Texas A&M Aggies on Wednesday night for a second-consecutive shot at a College World Series berth.

Florida State will face off with the No. 1 National Seed and undefeated in the tournament Tennessee Volunteers Wednesday afternoon, and will have to beat them twice to earn a spot in the 2024 College World Series finals.

College World Series Schedule

June 19

  • Game 11: Florida State vs. Tennessee, 3:45 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 12: TBD vs. Texas A&M, 7:45 p.m. | ESPN

June 20

  • Game 13 (if necessary): TBD vs. TBD, 2 p.m. | TBD
  • Game 14 (if necessary): TBD vs. TBD, 7 p.m. | TBD

June 22

  • MCWS Final Game 1: TBD vs. TBD, 7:30 p.m. | ESPN

June 23

  • MCWS Final Game 2: TBD vs. TBD, 2 p.m. | ABC

June 24

  • MCWS Final Game 3 (if necessary): TBD vs. TBD, 7 p.m. | ESPN

All times in ET

College World Series Schedule & Bracket

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Jonna M. Perlinger

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