Butch Dill/Associated Press
The 2017 NCAA Baseball Tournament super regionals came to a close Monday with two games on the schedule, both featuring Florida and Wake Forest.
The first game was actually a completion of Sunday’s game that was suspended in the bottom of the fifth inning with Wake Forest leading 5-4 due to rain. The Demon Deacons won that game in extra innings to force a decisive third game to be played later in the afternoon.
Here’s what the updated bracket looks like with the College World Series set to begin Saturday, followed by the results from Monday’s action:
Land Of 10 @landof10
2017 College World Series: Schedule, dates, times, TV channels for NCAA Baseball Tournament https://t.co/l6HSg7Xirl https://t.co/ao0H5Bp8qp
Game 2: Florida 3, Wake Forest 0
Florida weathered a long rain delay after the second game started to outlast Wake Forest 3-0 to earn a spot in the College World Series.
NCAA Baseball @NCAACWS
#Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators #Gators
#CWS #CWS #CWS #CWS #CWS https://t.co/Ob1dYbdaZa
After Wake Forest knocked out 17 hits in the previous game, Gators pitching carved up the Demon Deacons as Brady Singer, Tyler Dyson and Alex Faedo combined to allow four hits with 13 strikeouts.
As was the case on Sunday, rain wreaked havoc on this game early. The rains forced both teams off the field in the top of the third inning, leading to a near-three hour delay before play resumed at 8:15 p.m. ET.
At the time of the delay, Florida was clinging to a 1-0 lead. The Gators brought in Dyson to relieve Singer after play resumed, and the freshman responded with seven strikeouts and two hits allowed in five innings.
J.J. Schwarz provided all the additional cushion Florida would need with a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning, his second home run of the day.
The Gators have yet to win a national championship in baseball, though they did lose in the championship series in 2005 and 2011. This is their sixth trip to Omaha since 2010.
Wake Forest’s quest to reach the College World Series for the first time since winning the national title in 1955 continues. This was the program’s second straight NCAA tournament appearance, so the Demon Deacons are headed in the right direction. There’s just more work to do to join the ranks of the elite.
Game 1: Wake Forest 8, Florida 6 (F/11 Innings)
Wake Forest was able to force the winner-take-all third game in the series against Florida thanks to Ben Breazeale’s walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Demon Deacons an 8-6 victory.
Breazeale completed his heroics with a tremendous bat flip that was worthy of a mammoth shot that sent the ball deep into the right-field abyss, via NCAA Baseball:
NCAA Baseball @NCAACWS
The Gators were able to tie the score in the top of the eighth inning on J.J. Schwarz’s solo blast off Wake Forest reliever Donnie Sellers.
Not to be outdone by Breazeale in the power department, Schwarz’s homer was hit so far it actually made it all the way to the O’Connell Center where the Gators men’s and women’s basketball teams play their home games:
O’Connell Center @OConnellCTR
@GatorsBB Do you guys want your ball back?? #GoGators https://t.co/FV4HwFBtkK
Florida did miss an opportunity to take the lead after loading the bases with two outs in the top of the 10th. Wake Forest reliever Colin Peluse struck out Florida freshman Austin Langworthy to preserve the tie.
In the win, Wake Forest pounded out 18 hits and five home runs against Florida pitching. Breazeale and Johnny Aiello each hit a pair of homers, and Gavin Sheets, who led off the bottom of the 11th with a single, had hit a three-run shot in the first inning that was played on Sunday.