Florida beats Wake Forest 3-0 to head to the College World Series for the third year in a row
Jun. 13, 2017 Baseball
GAINESVILLE, Fla.—It was a fitting finish to the Gainesville Super Regional, as Florida ace Alex Faedo recorded the final six outs to send the Gators to the College World Series on the same night he was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft.
Florida (47-18) shut out the potent Wake Forest (43-20) as three pitchers combined to limit the Demon Deacons to just four hits in UF’s 3-0 win on Monday night.
With the win, the Gators advance to the College World Series for the third year in a row and sixth time in the past eight seasons. This will be UF’s 11th trip to the CWS in school history with the past six coming under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan.
TCU, Florida’s next opponent (Sunday, 7 p.m. ET), has made five CWS appearances since 2010. No other team in the nation has made more than three trips to Omaha in that span.
Sophomore Brady Singer started the winner-take-all, Game 3 of the Super Regional and pitched two shutout innings before the skies opened and the rains came down.
After the delay, freshman Tyler Dyson took over and had a career-long outing, throwing five shutout innings before handing the ball to Faedo to start the ninth inning.
JJ Schwarz provided the big blast at the plate, delivering a two-run homer into the left field parking lot that gave Florida a 3-0 lead after three innings, which would prove to be more than enough.
Florida jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Jonathan India led off with a double to left field and moved to third on Deacon Liput’s single.
Mike Rivera hit a grounder through the left side that scored India for the early lead.
Singer drew the start on the mound and was dominant through two innings, however, mother nature intervened and halted the game after the second inning and forced the Gators to go to the bullpen.
After a delay of three hours and 14 minutes, Dyson was charged with the task of quieting the Wake Forest bats.
Dyson proved more than capable. After surrendering a leadoff single, he retired the next 13 batters he faced.
Combined with two scoreless innings in the resumption of Game 2, Dyson tossed seven scoreless innings on Monday with two hits allowed and 10 strikeouts.
At the plate, Schwarz’s home run increased the Gators lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning. Schwarz has totaled six home runs and 14 RBIs in Super Regional play in eight career Super Regional games.
Florida had a few chances throughout the game but couldn’t add to its lead before Faedo took the mound to start the eighth inning.
After being selected by 18th overall the Detroit Tigers earlier this evening, Faedo made his first relief appearance since April 7, 2015 – ending a streak of 43-straight starts.
Faedo, who owns the school’s best career winning percentage (26-6, .814), recorded the final six outs to send the Gators to Omaha.
FLORIDA POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan
“First of all, I want to congratulate Wake Forest, they had a heck of a year. That was a very difficult lineup to get through. They battled us tooth and nail, they’re very tough, well coached. It was a difficult weekend with the rain, both teams had to deal with it. Brady and Alex only got six innings [each] in this weekend so we had to have some other guys step up and they did. Obviously Tyler Dyson today was really, really good and gave us exactly what we needed. We had Alex for just two innings and that was it. I’m really happy that he was the one to be able to get the last out of the game. JJ’s been getting hot swinging the bat, he’s been swinging the bat really good for the last month and a half, two months. Dalton had a really good day offensively, Deacon Liput had a really good weekend – probably the best weekend he’s had in a while. It’s a lot of fun. I’m happy for the players, I’m happy for our staff, I’m happy for everybody involved in our program. I really appreciate our fans sticking around through the rain delays. It’s not easy with all the rain that happened. Once again, it’s all about these guys to my right and the other guys in the locker room. They’re the ones that go play and put in all the hard work and I’m awfully proud of them. Looking forward to taking these guys out to Omaha.”
On facing a lineup that can turn a game on one pitch:
“Well I don’t think the word is can, they did. They hit quite a few home runs and they’re strong and physical and older. It was just an unfortunate situation with the rain. Alex, he was on point on Saturday night and so was Brady. The biggest thing I think about getting through Wake’s lineup was you just have to have good stuff. I think that 88-90 stuff was not going to work. We were fortunate in the first game with Langworthy, we got the guy thrown out at the plate and then there was a ball that ricocheted off and Dalton made a great play. Things could have gotten out of hand there in a hurry. During the rain delay in the second game, there was no choice but to go to Tyler. Really, we were hoping to get three innings out of him and then maybe piece it together with Milchin, Rubio and Horvath and try to get to the eighth. But he kept throwing the ball well and we kept running him back out there.”
On going to Omaha with this team:
“I take numbers and throw them out the window at this point. Virginia a couple years ago was one of the last teams in and ended up winning it. I remember Vandy won it in 2013 and I think they finished sixth in our league. All the numbers are out the window at this point. It’s all about winning, and we’ve won a lot of tough games, a lot of ugly wins. But an ugly win is better than a pretty loss, I know that.”
Junior 1B JJ Schwarz
On the home run in the third inning:
“I knew the situation, a runner on second, no outs. I know the coaches wanted me to pull the ball because there’s two different things you can do, get the runner over or you can bait them into giving you a pitch to hit. They wanted me to bait him so that’s what I was trying to do. They came in there with two strikes and I just reacted and put a good swing on it and luckily got it up in the air.”
Freshman RHP Tyler Dyson
On carrying the confidence from Game 2 into his performance in Game 3:
“After the first game, Craig [Bell] and Lars [Davis] told me that there was a good possibility that I would pitch again in the second game. The first game I felt confident out there, threw well in the bullpen and then just came out and trusted what Sully was calling and how JJ was behind the plate in the first game and just took that into the second game. I felt confident because after I went through the lineup in the first game I thought, ‘Ok, I’ve got an idea how to pitch to these guys. If I just execute I feel like I can do it.’
Junior RHP Alex Faedo
On coming in to pitch the final two innings:
“Yeah, I forgot how hard it was to come out of the bullpen. I’ve only done that a couple times. You feel kind of lost when you first get out there so I give those guys a lot of props. It’s a lot easier said than done when you’re just sitting in the dugout. When I first went out there I was just trying to take the closer mentality into it and I didn’t need to do that. After I got that first out I just tried to settle in and I think I just carried that over to the ninth.”
On being drafted tonight and taking the mound:
“I was just focused on the game. No one talked to me about that. The biggest thing for me was going back to Omaha. I knew had a chance to go back out there today and I just had to stay focused on that and get my mind right for the game because it wouldn’t be fair to the other guys to take my mind off biggest thing for me right now, and that’s winning games and trying to win in Omaha.”
“After the game Dalton told me after we had a little dogpile … I was just happy about the win. [Getting drafted] still hasn’t sunk in yet.”
WAKE FOREST POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Tom Walter
“First and foremost, congratulations to Florida. What an outstanding ball club they have. You know, Dyson was the difference today. He kept coming after us and made pitch after pitch after pitch. We just couldn’t solve him. Obviously, we knew it was going to be tough to score off Singer and Faedo, but I thought we’d have some chances off of Dyson and he just didn’t really give us any. You just have to tip your cap to him and the Gator ball club, they’ve got a heck of a club and obviously will be a dangerous club in Omaha. As far as our club, I’m so proud of this group and everything they’ve accomplished. You know, our senior class who came in here and helped us build this from the ground up. They set the tone for work ethic, leadership, character, academics and integrity. Everything they bring to the table, day in and day out, I just can’t put that into words. These guys put together an incredible year and I’m just really proud of where this program is and proud to be associated with this group of young men.”
Junior 1B Gavin Sheets
On what made hitting Tyler Dyson difficult:
“I thought he located the ball really well today. Even when he was in the strike zone, they weren’t pitches that you wanted to swing at. He runs it up there in the mid to upper 90s, so when you get to two strikes, after locating two good pitches, it makes it really tough to battle back.”
Senior RHP Parker Dunshee
On quantifying range of emotions throughout day:
“It’s tough. Ben led us through the entire weekend offensively. He picked us up on Saturday with that big home run and picked us up again today in another extra inning game. We kind of had momentum. We played pretty well through the first two innings and then had to sit around for a while and just didn’t come out with enough energy in the second game. It was tough but we put up a good battle and I’m really proud of everyone on the team.”