Florida rallies to beat Virginia 6-5 with walkoff winner at College World Series
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Cavaliers held a two-run lead after eight innings, but Florida (51-15) used a three-run rally in the ninth inning to defeat Virginia (50-14) 6-5 in the College World Series opener for both teams on Friday (June 16) at Charles Schwab Field.
Jake Berry (0-5) took the loss as he worked 1.2 innings in relief after entering the game with two outs in the seventh inning. Nick Parker left as the pitcher of record after six innings of one-run baseball. The right-hander sat down the final seven batters he faced. He produced his sixth quality start of the year and third in three postseason starts. Parker produced 12 fly ball outs and only needed one strikeout in his 56th career start, tied for the most among active NCAA pitchers.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• After reaching on a leadoff walk in the second, BT Riopelle came around to score on a one-out single by Colby Halter for the game’s first run.
• Casey Saucke spoiled a Florida threat in the fourth inning with his fourth outfield assist of the season and sixth of his career. Saucke caught a fly ball to right field off the bat of Luke Heyman and cut down BT Riopelle trying to advance to third base.
• Virginia evened things up in the seventh when Ethan Anderson scored on an RBI groundout to third from Anthony Stephan. The Hoos then took the lead later in the frame with a two-out, two-RBI double down the left field line from Griff O’Ferrall.
• The Cavaliers capped the seventh-inning rally with an RBI single up the middle from Ethan O’Donnell that brought O’Ferrall home from second.
• Florida cut the lead to 4-2 with a run on an RBI ground out by Cade Kurland in the bottom of the seventh. The Gators pulled within one with a solo home run by BT Riopelle to open the eighth.
• Harrison Didawick added an insurance run in the top of the ninth to put UVA up 5-3 with an RBI triple that dropped in the corner down the right field line, bringing Saucke home from second. Saucke walked to open the inning and advanced to second on a sac bunt.
• Florida pushed three runs home in the ninth, using a pair of solo home runs to tie the game before a bases-loaded sac fly to center from Luke Heyman ended the game.
• Griff O’Ferrall led off the game with a single through the left side, his 27th first-inning hit and 106th hit of the year. The Cavaliers are 23-4 when O’Ferrall records a first-inning base knock.
• Ethan Anderson moved into the top spot in program history for doubles in a season with 26. The 26 doubles are the most in the ACC and tied for the third-most in the country.
• Virginia is 4-2 in MCWS opening games.
• The Cavaliers are 16-17 against SEC opponents under head coach Brian O’Connor. Florida is the first SEC opponent UVA has faced since the 2021 College World Series when the Cavaliers fell to eventual National Champion Mississippi State.
• UVA is 3-6 all-time against Florida and last met in the 2015 College World Series.
• Virginia suffered its first loss against a non-conference opponent this season.
• This marked the third one-run game between Florida and Virginia in the College World Series (6/15/15 - W, 1-0; 6/20/15 - W, 5-4)
• Parker pitched five or more innings for the 10th time and for the seventh-consecutive start. He logged six or more innings for the seventh time. He has pitched into the seventh inning in six of his last seven starts.
The Cavaliers will drop into an elimination game on Sunday (June 18) against TCU who lost 6-5 to Oral Roberts in the opening game of the College World Series on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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