LSU’s starter, Eric Walker, had apparently weathered soreness in his pitching arm during a pre-tournament simulation game, but decided to march on regardless. He lasted just two innings Monday, taking the mound in the top of the third but immediately calling out a trainer after his warmup throws. Walker looked disgusted leaving the hill, and rightfully so: He’d given up just a single run in the first and downed the side in order in the second.
Pitcher No. 1 was done. Two innings pitched, two hits, one earned run, and seven batters faced.
Caleb Gilbert came in to handle the load from there, and he fared rather well to begin. He struck out two Beaver batters, surrendered a walk, then forced a groundout. His stuff was really cooking until the fifth inning, when Oregon State completely derailed his otherwise serviceable outing. The damn fifth.
With Faedo still dealing and riding the bump, Florida coasted through the the seventh, taking on no water despite a tentative TCU threat in the sixth. That trend continued in the next frame, as Faedo burned down the first three Frogs batters to stay scoreless on the night.
Haylen Green started the bottom of the seventh for the Horned Frogs, and he retired the side, despite a bizarre fielding error by his first baseman in foul territory. On Florida’s side, Faedo got the ax after seven complete and was spelled by flamethrower Michael Byrne.
Byrne cleaned out the bottom of the eighth, then allowed a double in the bottom of the ninth but threw his way out of the jam to land the Gators their first win of the CWS. Florida thus advances into the winners bracket, after getting bounced in two consecutive losses from Omaha last year.