Florida powers past Texas in College World Series
Omaha, NE (Sports Network) - The Florida Gators scored five consecutive runs in the middle innings on their way to an 8-4 victory over the Texas Longhorns in the nightcap of Saturday's College World Series action.
Preston Tucker's RBI double in the fifth inning capped the streak, which turned a 3-0 deficit into a 5-3 lead.
The Gators advanced to face Vanderbilt on Monday, while Texas will face North Carolina in an elimination game the same day. The Commodores claimed a 7-3 win over the Tar Heels earlier Saturday.
Bryson Smith went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI for Florida, while Brian Johnson also drove in two in the win. Hudson Randall gave up four runs -- only one earned -- in 6 2/3 innings to get the win for the Gators.
Jordan Etier had an RBI double while Brandon Loy added two hits for Texas. Taylor Jungmann lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs -- four earned -- to take the loss.
The Longhorns plated three runs in the third inning, but Florida responded in the bottom half after Jungmann walked the first two hitters. Smith roped a single through the hole on the right side of the infield, scoring Cody Dent to put Florida on the board.
Smith advanced to second on a wild pitch, and a passed ball followed to allow Nolan Fontana to score, making it a 3-2 contest.
In the fourth, Tyler Thompson walked and moved to second on another wild pitch. Back-to-back doubles by Daniel Pigott and Dent pushed the Gators ahead.
Texas battled back to get within a run in the seventh, when Etier doubled down the left field line to plate Jacob Felts, who had singled.
But Greg Larson got the Gators out of the inning with the lead intact, and Johnson ripped a two-run double in the bottom half. The play was controversial because it appeared the ball hit the fence above the wall in center, which would have given Johnson a three-run homer and the Gators an 8-4 lead. But he remained at second after the call was not overturned.
Florida added another run in the eighth on an RBI single by Smith.
In the opening game of Saturday's action and the College World Series, Connor Harrell's two-run homer in the sixth inning put Vanderbilt ahead for good. Tony Kemp added three hits, a run scored and an RBI for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt trailed 3-2 in the sixth but grabbed control with a three-run inning.
Mike Yastrzemski singled and scored on Conrad Gregor's double off the top of the left-field wall to knot the game.
The tie didn't last long, as the next batter, Harrell, pulled a hanging slider from UNC starter Patrick Johnson into the bleachers in left field to give Vanderbilt a 5-3 lead. The home run was the first in the new TD Ameritrade Park.
Run-scoring singles by Kemp and Anthony Gomez in the eighth extended Vandy's lead to a comfortable margin. Corey Williams took the win for throwing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Johnson, who took the loss, pitched six innings and gave up five runs -- four earned -- including one in the first inning.
He committed an error on Kemp's bunt single, and Kemp later scored on Aaron Westlake's sacrifice fly.
North Carolina answered right back in the bottom half of the inning when Chaz Frank led off with a triple and scored on Colin Moran's one-out single, which deflected off the glove of first baseman Westlake.
UNC then took the lead in the second after Seth Baldwin's single to left field plated Ben Bunting. Kemp made a strong throw to the plate on the play, but it was just a little late as Bunting slid home safely.
Curt Casali's bases-loaded sacrifice fly to deep center field in the top of the third tied the game at two.
North Carolina's Levi Michael hit a ball into shallow field with the bases loaded in the fourth and Kemp made a diving catch to preserve the tie. But the next batter, Moran, was hit by Vandy starter Sonny Gray to give the Tar Heels a 3-2 edge.
06/18 23:34:41 ET