Florida advances to NCAA baseball region final

Published June 2 2018

GAINESVILLE — Brady Singer allowed two runs in seven solid innings, returning after three weeks off, and overall No. 1 seed and defending national champion Florida edged Jacksonville 3-2 in the NCAA baseball tournament's Gainesville Region on Saturday night.

Florida plays for the region championship Sunday night against the winner of Sunday afternoon's Jacksonville-Florida Atlantic game.

Singer (11-1) missed two starts while recovering from a strained left hamstring but looked a lot like a guy projected to be a top-five pick in Monday's MLB draft. The junior right-hander gave up five hits, plunked two, walked one and struck out six.

All his support came on long balls, something rare for Jacksonville's Spencer Stockton (8-6). Stockton entered the tournament having given up four home runs in 85 2/3 innings, but he allowed three — nearly four — to the Gators (44-17).

Jonathan India and Wil Dalton crushed consecutive homers in the fourth. Jonah Girand's solo shot in the seventh gave Florida some cushion, which was needed after Franco Guardascione homered for Jacksonville in the bottom of the inning.

Austin Langworthy nearly had another homer for the Gators, but Cory Garrastazu climbed the right-centerfield fence and kept the ball from landing in the bullpen.

The Dolphins (40-20) had a great chance to tie the score in the eighth off closer Michael Byrne but stranded Ruben Someillan after a leadoff triple. Byrne escaped the jam and then pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save.

The winner of the Jacksonville-Florida Atlantic game has to beat Florida twice to win the region.