Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Singer's 12 Ks help Gators beat LSU in CWS finals opener

Singer's 12 Ks help Gators beat LSU in CWS finals opener

The Florida Gators defeated the LSU Tigers, 4-3, in game-1 of the College World Series finals, June 26, 2017, at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. Nelson Maldonado walked to load the bases. JJ Schwarz is their only player with double-digit home runs, but the junior catcher's dozen long balls and.808 OPS underwhelm given his 18 homers and 1.027 OPS as a freshman.

Jonathan India followed with a booming ground-rule double, scoring two more.

Duplantis hit his second home run of 2017 in the sixth inning to put LSU on the board. Watson was hit by a pitch and Smith drew a walk, bringing up Jordan. Josh Smith drew a walk, putting two on for Beau Jordan.

Florida added an insurance run in the 7th inning off of Bush. After Watson flied out to the rightfielder, Deichmann scored on a single by Smith.

But LSU could get no closer.

For Florida football, it's at least the third time it's gone to Twitter to troll LSU over the victory, which came down to a goal-line stand as time expired.

LSU's three pitchers - Russell Reynolds, Nick Bush and Hunter Newman - combined to allow only four runs on six hits with five strikeouts.

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Florida's previous jabs at LSU over the win came in February and April. The championship series against the Gators will be the best two-of-three, with the final game Wednesday if necessary.

Down 4-2, LSU threatened in the eighth. Antoine Duplantis belted a solo home run to right to cut Florida's lead to 3-1.

Singer, 6-foot-5 sophomore who was a second-round 2015 pick by the Blue Jays out of high school, consistently got ahead early in the count with a lively 92-94 miles per hour fastball and then expanded the zone with his slider. It seemed like it was a tough night for the righthanded hitters against Singer. "Obviously the goal for that is to get that pitcher out of the game as early as possible", said Freeman. "We had a chance to win, but we just couldn't push it over the edge".

But for as good as Reynolds was in the first three innings, he fell apart in the fourth. Both Guthrie and Larson were thrown out trying to steal second by Papierski.

Since surrendering 13 runs over two disastrous starts, the sophomore has recovered in his last three outings, yielding one run and one walk while compiling 20 strikeouts over 13 sharp innings.

Rivera made a big defensive play in the bottom of the seventh, throwing out LSU leadoff runner Kramer Robertson with one out as he attempted to take second on a pitch in the dirt.

Florida took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, as Reynolds (1-2) struggled with his command after a terrific first time through the Gators' order. Florida had lost its previous four games in the CWS championship series. The Gators need one win for their first national title. On paper these would appear to be two evenly matched teams with the Gators having the advantage on the mound and the Tigers with the advantage at the plate. Per's Ryan Cooper, LSU coach Paul Mainieri discussed the junior's hot streak. We had to piece it together with our bullpen guys. "It was unbelievable we were right there and had a chance to win". LSU is expected to throw regular starter Jared Poche.

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