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NCAA Baseball Championship - Gainesville Regional - Florida advances to Super Regionals - Gainesville, Florida

No. 2 Gators climb their way back, advance to Supers

115 days ago
Florida Athletics

WHAT HAPPENED: The Gators completed their long road out of the losers' bracket in the Gainesville Regional with a third consecutive do-or-die victory, beating Texas Tech 6-0 on Monday afternoon at Condron Ballpark. Florida overcame a loss in one of its first two games of a regional to win the regional title for the first time since 1998. To do so, Florida beat Connecticut and Texas Tech on Sunday, and then defeated the Red Raiders again on Monday. The Gators advanced to a Super Regional for the first time since 2018.

PLAY OF THE GAME: It would be easy to say the scorched home run hit by Wyatt Langford in the top of the second that accounted for the Gators' first run of the game. That was one more than Texas Tech scored. But Langford's most memorable contribution Monday was when he stole two bases on one play in the fifth. After reaching on an error by Texas Tech shortstop Will Burns, the Red Raiders shifted hard right for left-handed hitting Jac Caglianone. Langford took off and stole second, and with third baseman Kevin Bazzell taking the throw from catcher Dylan Maxcey, Langford beat Bazzell in a foot race to third for an additional stolen base. He scored on Josh Rivera's single to put UF ahead 4-0.

STAGGERING STAT: Gators catcher BT Riopelle was 0-for-15 with eight strikeouts in the Gainesville Regional until he announced his presence in Monday's championship game with two two-run homers.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Gators were nursing a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Rivera led off with a single against new Texas Tech pitcher Josh Sanders. Riopelle blasted the first pitch he saw from Sanders out of the ballpark for a two-run homer and 3-0 Gators lead. Riopelle delivered again in the fifth, smacking another two-run homer that gave the Gators a 6-0 lead and sent the announced crowd of 5,881 at Condron Ballpark into a frenzy.

KEY MOMENT: How about when Gators coach Kevin O'Sullivan decided to start reliever Ryan Larson on Monday. Larson was excellent, tossing five shutout innings for his team-high 10th win. Larson took the mound Monday with only two starts among his 23 appearances. Still, he pitched as if a member of the starting rotation all season. He limited the Red Raiders to three hits and two walks. He struck out one and hit a better in a 56-pitch effort before relievers Philip Abner and Brandon Neely closed the victory.

BY THE NUMBERS: 25 - Years since Florida won three consecutive do-or-die games to win a regional championship. The Gators overcame a loss to Baylor in the second game to beat Richmond, Wake Forest and Illinois in 1998; 6 - Home runs hit in four games for the Gators in the regional, including three on Monday.

PLAYER QUOTE: "I'm very excited for our team. I didn't do anything. I just caught all the pitches they threw to me. Their stuff is immaculate. What's good for us is that we're playing a familiar opponent. We did not have success before. We're a confident bunch and we're ready to take it into next week." - Gators catcher BT Riopelle on his team's pitching


  • Florida is now 123-83 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators are 86-51 in NCAA Regional play. UF is hosting its 19th NCAA Regional while making the 38th regional appearance in program history. Florida has hosted 12 out of a possible 15 regionals in the O'Sullivan era.
  • Florida is now 3-3 all-time vs. Texas Tech, all of which have taken place in the postseason in the O'Sullivan era.

UP NEXT: The Gators will host Southeastern Conference rival South Carolina in a best-of-three NCAA Super Regional starting later this week. Times and date TBA. This is the ninth NCAA Super Regional for the Gators in O'Sullivan's 16 seasons.