Posted on 25 June 2011.
OMAHA – The finals were set on Friday and it will be an all SEC final. In the first game on Friday, #2 Florida defeated #6 Vanderbilt for the 2nd time sending the Commodores home. Vandy led early and made a late charge but it wasn’t enough. Florida’s opponent in the championship round will be defending champion #4 South Carolina. The Gamecocks defeated #1 Virginia in an extra innings thriller.
#6 Vanderbilt 4, #2 Florida 6
The Florida Gators pounded out 13 hits and held off a late innings comeback to defeat Vanderbilt and earn a trip to the championship round. This is the Gator’s second trip to the finals after losing to Texas in the 2005 finals.
Vanderbilt jumped on top of Florida in the top of the first on an Aaron Westlake (2-for-5) home run, his 18th of the season. Sonny Gray kept the Gators off the board until the 3rd when they would tie the game at 1. The All-American Gray would go 7 innings allowing 6 runs on 12 hits and 5 walks to take the loss.
Florida tied it up in the 3rd after Cody Dent (2-for-2, 2 runs) led off the inning with a triple. He would score on a ground out by Preston Tucker (1-for-5, 2 RBI). Florida would take the lead one inning later. With 1 out, Adams and Thompson both singled. After Dent walked to load the bases, Nolan Fontana (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) singled up the middle with 2 outs to bring in both Adams and Thompson
Florida would add one more run in the 6th to take a 4-1 lead, but Vady came storming back late in the game. In the 7th inning, Vandy made it 4-3 when with 2 outs Conner Harrell (1-for-3) singled to left field driving in a pair of runners. An inning later, Vandy would tie the game at 4 when Conrad Gregor (1-for-3) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The tie was short lived however. In the bottom of the 8th, Florida would take the lead for good. The Gators loaded the bases and once again Preston Tucker delivered with a single to left. One batter later Dent would score on a wild pitch to make it 6-4.
Austin Maddox pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win for Florida. Starter Alex Panteliodis pitched well going 6 innings giving up 1 run on 3 hits but did not factor into the desicion.
#1 Virginia 2, #4 South Carolina 3
It took South Carolina 13 innings to fend off the Cavaliers and advance to its 5th championship (SC is 1-3 in title matches).
The game was close the entire way. Virginia jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd as Kenny Swab (2-for-3) grounded into a double play allowing Steven Proscia (0-for-4) to score from third. South Carolina was stifled for 3 innings by All-American Danny Hultzen, but he was pulled after the 3rd because he was sick having only given up 1 hit while striking out 8.
In the 4th, Carolina would jump on reliever Kyle Crocket. The Gamecocks loaded the bases on a double by Christian Walker (1-for-5), a single by Jackie Bradley Jr. (1-for-5), and a hit by pitch by Adrian Morales (0-for-5). Brady Thomas (2-for6, 2 RBI) then followed with a double to left center putting South Carolina on top 2-1.
The score stayed 2-1 until the top of the 8th when Virginia would tie it up with a John Hicks (1-for-5) reached on an error allowing Chris Taylor (0-for-7) to score an unearned run.
Both teams would threaten in extra frames, but each time the pitching came up big and hold the opposing team scoreless. That is until the bottom of the 13th. Brady Thomas led off with a single and was quickly pinch run for by Adam Matthews. After a throwing error by the pitcher on a sacrifice bunt attempt, Matthews advanced to 2nd. The next batter again tried to sacrifice Matthews to third but again Virginia reliever Cody Winiarski threw the ball away. This time he was trying to get Matthews out at 3rd and wound up throwing the ball down the left field line allowing Matthews to trot home with the game winning run.
The Gamecocks will defend their title against Florida starting Monday night in the best-of-3 Championship Series.
South Carolina won the season series with Florida in Gainsville 2-games-to-1.
2011 CWS Schedule
(All Times Central)
Saturday, June 18
Game 1: No. 6 Vanderbilt 7, No. 3 North Carolina 3
Game 2: No. 7 Texas 4 vs. No. 2 Florida 8
Sunday, June 19
Game 3: California vs. No. 1 Virginia – 1 p.m. ESPN
Game 4: Texas A&M vs. No. 4 South Carolina – 6 p.m. ESPN2
Monday, June 20
Game 5 – No. 3 North Carolina 3, No. 7 Texas 0
Game 6 – No. 2 Florida 3, No. 6 Vanderbilt 1
Tuesday, June 21
Game 7 – California 7, Texas A&M 3
Game 8 – No. 4 South Carolina 7, No. 1 Virginia 1
Wednesday, June 22
Game 9 – No. 3 North Carolina 1, No. 6 Vanderbilt 5
Thursday, June 23
Game 10 – California 1, No. 1 Virginia 8
Friday, June 24
Game 11 – No. 6 Vanderbilt 6, No. 2 Florida 4
Game 12 – No. 1 Virginia 2, No. 4 South Carolina 3
Sunday, June 26
No games scheduled
MEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES FINALS
Monday, June 27
Game 1 – No. 2 Florida vs. No. 4 South Carolina – 7 p.m. (ESPN HD)
Tuesday, June 28
Game 2 – No. 2 Florida vs. No. 4 South Carolina – 7 p.m. (ESPN HD)
Wednesday, June 29
Game 3 – No. 2 Florida vs. No. 4 South Carolina – 7 p.m. (ESPN HD)
For the NCAA’s interactive bracket click here
For more information on Omaha click here
Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.