Florida ends Coastal’s reign as CWS national champions

gatorscelebIt’s official: The Coastal Carolina University baseball team is no longer the reigning College World Series champion.

That distinction now belongs to Florida after the Gators’ 6-1 victory over SEC rival LSU on Tuesday night in Omaha, NE.  Freshman Tyler Dyson pitched into the seventh inning in just his second start of the season, and the bullpen held off LSU for the final nine outs as the third-seeded Gators won their first national baseball title by sweeping the best-of-three championship series.

Dyson (4-0) breezed through six shutout innings before he was pulled after allowing a leadoff single to Zach Watson and falling behind Josh Smith 2-0 in the seventh. Dyson gave up three hits and a run, walking two and striking out two. He left with Florida leading 2-0.

Smith scored Watson with a double to the gap in right-center and moved to third on Jake Slaughter’s hit. The tying run appeared to score on a double play off the bat of Michael Papierski. However, the run was nullified when Slaughter was ruled to have interfered with shortstop Dalton Guthrie, forcing Smith to return to third. Beau Jordan then lined out to center to strand Smith.

The fourth-seeded Tigers (52-20) then failed to convert after getting runners to the corners with no outs in the eighth. Kramer Robertson tried to score from third on a one-out bouncer to first by Greg Deichmann, but JJ Schwarz’s throw cut him down on a close play.

Florida (52-19) then erased any doubt with four runs in its half of the eighth. Nick Horvath was nipped by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home a run. Deacon Liput laced a two-run single up the middle, and Schwarz lofted a sacrifice fly to center to cap the outburst.

Florida’s Jackson Kowar, who would have started Wednesday night if Game 3 were required, pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his first save.

Photo courtesy of NCAA

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