No. 1 seed Florida advances to NCAA baseball Super Regional with 15-3 win over Georgia Tech
CHECK OUT POSTGAME VIDEO OF MVP CASEY TURGEON, COACH KEVIN O'SULLIVAN AND OTHER GATOR PLAYERS BELOW:
Florida used a breakout seven-run fifth inning, in which 12 batters came to the plate, on its way to a 15-3 victory over Georgia Tech in the NCAA Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium Sunday evening.
It was the Gators' 10th regional title, and Florida (45-18) advances to this week’s NCAA Super Regional for the fourth consecutive season. The Gators will play either N.C. State or Vanderbilt in the NCAA Super Regional.
“I think this team, to be honest with you, is probably tired of hearing about how people have not thought they have played up to their potential,’’ Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We’re the No. 1 national seed and we’re using that as motivation moving forward.’’
The Gators have been nearly unstoppable in NCAA regional play on Sundays. In their last four Sunday regional games, Florida has outscored opponents 57-11. Starting pitcher Brian Johnson (8-4) went five innings, allowing just three hits, and throwing four strikeouts in 65 pitches.
After taking a 4-0 lead in the first inning, the Gators added three in the second off a home run by junior catcher Mike Zunino, who is projected to be among the top five picks in today’s MLB Draft.
“It was one of the better balls I’ve hit this year,’’ Zunino said.
Georgia Tech (38-26) struggled after playing a noon elimination game, defeating College of Charleston 3-0. “It has to take a toll,’’ Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall said. “We hit a lot of fly balls early, and for us to hit as many fly balls as we did tells me we were probably a little tired, not to take anything away from Johnson. We were behind the eight-ball early, and you can’t get behind to a team that good.’’
Sophomore second baseman Casey Turgeon was 2-for-3 in the game and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. He was joined on the All-Tournament team by Gators Nolan Fontana, Preston Tucker, Zunino and Jonathon Crawford – who threw a no-hitter in the tournament’s opening game on Friday.
“I didn’t really know that I was going to get MVP because I know Crawford threw a no-hitter,’’ said Turgeon, who added he would have voted for Crawford. “But when my name was called it was awesome. I was really happy.’’