Bottom of the lineup jumpstarts Florida's explosive offense vs. Miami
OMAHA, Neb. -- When Florida’s Dalton Guthrie was called out on a force at second base to end the bottom of the fourth inning on Saturday, he slapped the ground in frustration and was visibly angry that the frame had ended.
Despite what the scoreboard -- the TD Ameritrade Park scoreboard is not built to accommodate a double-digit-run inning -- or Guthrie’s body language would say, the Gators had actually scored 11 runs in the inning.
While the frustration may have been temporary, Florida’s ability to score runs -- and lots of them -- has been a mainstay in the postseason, especially in Saturday night’s 15-3 victory.
“I think in my last five starts, I think we’ve scored 63 runs,” said Logan Shore, Florida’s ace and Saturday night’s starter who got the win. “It makes my job a whole lot easier going out there and knowing I got that support behind me.”
Shore’s math is a bit off -- the Gators actually have 59 runs in the past five games Shore has started, including Saturday’s College World Series victory.
But with Shore being the ace of the staff, it means that the Gators are having this kind of offensive production against the best pitcher the opposition has to throw at them.
Miami’s starter, Andrew Suarez, brought a 2.96 ERA and a 9-1 record to Omaha and left after recording just one out in the fourth against the Gators.
Being that aggressive and getting on Suarez early was an important part of the Gators' game plan against the Canes.
|Despite 241 previous meetings, Saturday's College World Series game between Florida and Miami (Fla.) was the first between the rivals in Omaha. Thanks to an 11-run fourth inning, Florida continued its recent success against the Hurricanes with a 15-3 blowout win.
Florida's win by the numbers:
|• 11: Runs Florida scored in the fourth inning. That ties a CWS record and set a TD Ameritrade Park Omaha mark.|
|• 8: Times a team has scored 11 runs in one inning in the CWS history. No team has scored 12.|
|• 16: Gators that went to bat in the fourth inning.|
|• 14: Gators that reached base in the fourth inning. Nine hits, two walks, one HBP, one error, on fielder's choice.|
|• 10: Every player in the Gators starting lineup, plus pinch-hitter Mark Kolozsvary, scored a run.|
|• 15: Florida's 15 runs set a stadium record.|
|• 7: Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan is now 7-0 against Miami in the postseason.|
|• 20: Florida has taken 20 of the past 25 overall meetings with the Gators.|
|• 3: Consecutive games that Florida has scored double-digit runs (13-5, 11-4 wins vs. FSU in Supers).|
|• 8.83: Average margin of victory for Florida in six 2015 NCAA tournament games.|
|• 18: Total times in the 2015 season that the Gators have reached 10 runs. That's 13 more than the 2014 squad.|
|• 12: JJ Schwarz extended his career-long hit streak to 12 games, going 2-for-4 with two RBI.|
|• .642: O'Sullivan's career winning percentage in the NCAA tournament.|
|• 26,377: Attendance for the game, the fourth-highest in stadium history and higher than any game in 2014.|
The sidearmer that O’Sullivan refers to is Sam Abrams, who lasted just a third of an inning, allowing three runs to score.
Garcia also lasted just one-third of an inning in the fourth, allowing two runs in the five batters he’s faced.
Suarez started to take water in the third when Mike Rivera drew a walk to lead off the frame before Guthrie’s first hit of the night. Ryan Larson -- who got the start in the nine spot rather than Jeremy Vasquez with the lefty on the mound -- bunted the runners into scoring position where Rivera eventually scored on a balk.
The one-run third wouldn’t have the same amount of flash as the 11-run fourth -- even though the innings are identically displayed on the scoreboard -- but it showed the ability to produce runs and jump start big innings from the bottom of the order.
“I’ve been saying that all year long, that’s what makes a good lineup,” O’Sullivan said. “You’re playing with 27 outs and the bottom of that lineup has been very, very productive. … They grind out at-bats. Ryan got down a big two-strike bunt today and his base hit line drive to right was a huge base hit at the time.”
The hit O’Sullivan was referring to was Larson’s fourth-inning RBI single, which was the Gators' fourth of what would eventually be a nine-hit inning.
When the bottom feeds the top the way it did on Saturday, with Rivera, Guthrie and Larson going a combined 6-for-8 from the plate while both starting and continuing rallies, Florida will be a team that makes things difficult for opposing teams and scoreboard operators throughout the College World Series.