OMAHA, Neb.-Behind seven strong innings from starting pitcher Brady Singer, the Florida Gators beat LSU 4-3 on Monday night to win the opening game of the 2017 College World Series Finals.
It was the first CWS Finals win in UF history. The best-of-three series continues Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Florida (51-19) jumped out to a lead with three runs in the fourth inning and held off a late comeback by LSU (52-19) for its 19th one-run win of the season.
After three scoreless innings, the Gators finally broke through when LSU starter Russell Reynolds lost control and walked three-straight UF batters.
Austin Langworthy's sac fly opened the scoring then Jonathan India laced a two-out, ground-rule double to dead center to bring home two more runs for a 3-0 lead.
LSU finally got to Singer in the sixth inning. Antoine Duplantis hit a solo home run to get the Tigers on the board and Beau Jordan's two-out single scored Zach Watson from second after he was hit by a pitch.
Mike Rivera got a run back in the seventh inning. Langworthy doubled to right center to lead off the inning and scored on Rivera's RBI single up the middle to make it 4-2.
Singer's night ended in the eighth after allowing a leadoff double to LSU cleanup hitter Greg Deichmann. He finished with a career-high 12 strikeouts, the most ever by a UF pitcher in a CWS game and the most ever in a CWS Finals game by any pitcher.
Prior to 2017, Florida had never had a pitcher with 10 strikeouts in a CWS game. The Gators have had four games with a pitcher recording at least 11 strikeouts in this year's CWS.
Michael Byrne took over on the mound and got a flyout for the first out of the inning before giving up a RBI single to Josh Smith that cut the lead to one.
Nick Horvath, who took over in center field in the eighth, threw out Smith as he attempted to stretch it to a double and Byrne got a groundout to end the inning.
Byrne then worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 19th save of the season and third of the 2017 CWS.