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How it happened: Brandon Neely, Jac Caglianone lead Florida Gators past NC State

Untitled designby:Nick de la Torre06/17/24


OMAHA, Neb. — When they needed them most, the Florida Gators superstars came through in a 5-4 win over NC State to keep their season alive. Florida used a 3-run home run from Jac Caglianone and three shutout innings from closer Brandon Neely to get past the Wolfpack and advance to Tuesday where they will play the loser of the night cap between Texas A&M and Kentucky.

The Wolfpack used a pair of walks, a hit batter and a single to take a 1-0 lead on Florida after one inning.

The Gators powered back into the game, scoring four runs aided by a three-run home run from Jac Caglianone in the second inning. The homer was Caglianone’s 100th hit of the season. It also broke his own school record for home runs in a single season (34), while tying the school record of 74 in a career held by Matt LaPorta.

The Wolfpack clawed back in with a two-run homer of their own in the bottom of the third. The two teams traded runs in the fifth inning.

** Follow the game with us on the message board **

Florida 5-4-1
NC State 4-6-0

9th inning

Top 9
Robertson struck out looking (1-2 FFBK)
Kurland flied out to cf (2-2 BKBKF)
Caglianone intentionally walked.
Wilson flied out to rf (1-0 B).
UF Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB

Bottom 9
Serrano III struck out looking (2-2 FBBSK).
Pennington struck out swinging (1-2 FBFS).

8th inning

Top 8
Heyman struck out swinging, grounded out to c unassisted (0-2 SSFFFFS).
Shelnut walked (3-2 FFBBBFB).
Thomas fouled out to 1b (0-0).
**Florida had a hit-and-run on there.
Donay grounded out to 3b (0-2 FS).
UF Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB

Bottom 8
Sosa singled to right field (0-1 K).
Nixon, L. grounded out to p, SAC, bunt (0-0); Sosa advanced to second.
**Chase Nixon will pinch hit
Nixon, C. struck out swinging, out at first c to 1b (2-2 KFFBFBFS); Shaffner advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Soles struck out swinging (2-2 FBFBS).
ST Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB

7th inning

Top 7
Caglianone flied out to lf (1-0 B).
Wilson struck out swinging (2-2 BBSFS).
Shelton flied out to lf (1-2 FBFF).
UF Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB

Bottom 7
Serrano III walked (3-0 BBBB).
**Florida is turning the ball over to Brandon Neely looking to hold on to a 5-4 lead. Neely will be asked to get the last nine outs.
Pennington flied out to cf (1-0 B).
Makarewicz struck out looking (1-2 KBFK).
Cozart walked (3-2 BSKBBFB); Serrano III advanced to second.
Butterworth struck out swinging (1-2 FKBS).
ST Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB

6th inning

Top 6
Donay struck out looking (0-2 FSFK).
Robertson grounded out to ss (0-1 K).
Kurland flied out to rf (3-2 BFBBKF).
**Really great catch in right field by Noah Soles, battling the wind and makes a diving catch at the track.
UF Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB

Bottom 6
Nixon, L. walked (3-1 BBBKB).
**Jake Clemente takes over on the mound for Florida.
Heavner popped up to 3b, bunt (0-0).
Nixon, L. out at second c to ss, caught stealing.
Soles grounded out to ss (1-2 KSBF).
ST Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB

5th inning

Top 5
Shelton struck out swinging (0-2 SSS).
Heyman grounded out to ss (2-2 BBSS).
Shelnut homered to left field, RBI (1-2 KBS). /// (Florida 5-3)
Thomas struck out looking (1-2 BKKK).
UF Inning Summary: 1 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB

Bottom 5
Pennington doubled to left field (3-1 FBBB).
**Jake Clemente is starting to get warm in the Florida bullpen.
Makarewicz grounded out to 3b (0-1 K).
Butterworth doubled to right field, RBI (0-1 F); Pennington scored. /// (Florida 5-4)
Sosa struck out swinging (2-2 KSBFBS).
ST Inning Summary: 1 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB

4th inning

Top 4
Donay struck out swinging (2-2 SSBBS).
Robertson singled up the middle (2-2 BKFB).
**Robertson has three consecutive games with at least two hits.
Kurland struck out swinging (3-2 BKBSBS).
Caglianone intentionally walked; Robertson advanced to second.
Wilson struck out swinging (3-2 KBBKBS).
UF Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB

Bottom 4
Heavner grounded out to 2b (2-2 KFBB).
Soles reached on a fielding error by 2b (1-0 B).
Serrano III grounded into double play 3b to ss to 1b (2-2 BBKF); Soles out on the play.
ST Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Errors, 0 LOB

3rd inning

Top 3
**Logan Whitaker takes over on the mound for the Wolfpack.
Heyman struck out swinging (2-2 KBSBS).
Shelnut grounded out to ss (1-0 B).
Thomas flied out to cf (1-1 BF).
UF Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB

Bottom 3
Pennington hit by pitch (1-2 BSF).
**Florida challenging the HBP, call on the field was confirmed.
Makarewicz homered to left field, 2 RBI (0-0); Pennington scored. /// (Florida4-3)

Cozart grounded out to 2b (1-1 BS).
Butterworth flied out to rf down the rf line (2-0 BB).
Nixon, L. struck out looking (2-2 BKSBK).
ST Inning Summary: 2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB

2nd inning

Top 2
Shelnut lined out to ss (1-2 KBK).
Thomas walked (3-2 SBSBBB).
Donay walked (3-2 BBFFBFB); Thomas advanced to second.
Robertson singled to left field (2-1 BKB); Donay advanced to second; Thomas advanced to third.
**Mound visit for NC State
Kurland flied out to lf, SF, RBI (0-2 SF); Thomas scored. /// (1-1)
Caglianone homered to left center, 3 RBI (0-1 K); Robertson scored; Donay scored. /// (Florida 4-1)

Wilson walked (3-2 KBKBBB).
Shelton struck out swinging (3-2 BKBBSFS).
UF Inning Summary: 4 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB

Bottom 2
**Cade Fisher replaces Jac Caglianone after just one inning.
Heavner popped up to ss (2-2 BBKF).
Soles grounded out to 2b (1-2 FKBF).
Serrano III grounded out to ss (2-1 BKB).
ST Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB

1st inning

Top 1
Kurland grounded out to 2b (2-2 KSFBB).
Caglianone struck out swinging (0-2 KFS).
Wilson hit by pitch (0-0).
Shelton hit by pitch (1-1 BF); Wilson advanced to second.
Heyman struck out swinging (0-2 KSS).
UF Inning Summary: 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB

Bottom 1
Serrano III flied out to cf (3-2 BSBKB).
**The wind will definitely be a factor today. It’s blowing in from center field between 18-24 MPH.
Pennington hit by pitch (1-2 KSB).
Makarewicz walked (3-1 BFBBB); Pennington advanced to second.
Cozart walked (3-0 BBBB); Makarewicz advanced to second; Pennington advanced to third.
Butterworth singled through the left side, RBI (1-2 FKBFF); Cozart advanced to second; Makarewicz advanced to third; Pennington scored. /// (NC State 1-0)
Sosa struck out looking (2-2 SBBSK).
Nixon, L. flied out to cf (1-1 KB).
ST Inning Summary: 1 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 3 LOB


2B Cade Kurland
SP Jac Caglianone
RF Ashton Wilson
SS Colby Shelton
1B Luke Heyman
LF Tyler Shelnut
3B Dale Thomas
C Brody Donay
CF Michael Robertson
SP: LHP Jac Caglianone

NC State
CF Eli Serrano
1B Garrett Pennington
3B Alec Makarewicz
C Jacob Cozart
SS Brandon Butterworth
DH Alex Sosa
LF Luke Nixon
2B Matt Heavner
RF Noah Soles
SP: LHP Dominic Fritton


HP:Shawn Rakos
1B:Grady Smith
2B:Jake Uhlenhopp
3B:Linus Baker

Game Notes

Since O’Sullivan’s 2008 arrival, no college program has more CWS trips (nine), Super Regionals hosted (nine), top-eight national seeds (10) and NCAA Tournament bids (16) than Florida. O’Sullivan has navigated the Gators to Omaha in nine of the last 14 postseasons. Overall, Florida’s 16-straight NCAA bids represent the second-longest active streak in the sport.

Texas A&M kickstarts the CWS with a 49-13 record and 19-11 mark in SEC play. As a team, the Aggies are slashing .300/.420/.557 with 132 home runs. On the mound, A&M wields a 3.94 ERA with 643 strikeouts in 539 innings. Defensively, the Aggies sport a .978 fielding percentage.

By winning three-straight elimination games to claim the Stillwater Regional, the Gators have now won seven of their last eight NCAA Tournament elimination games dating back to last season. This year alone, Florida boasts 19 come-from-behind wins, with 12 of the team’s 13 SEC victories occurring in comeback fashion. The Gators wield four walk-off victories this year.

Florida ranks fifth nationally and fourth in the SEC with 131 home runs (2.1 per game). Meanwhile, the Gators sit ninth in the country and fourth in the SEC in strikeouts per nine (10.6). At .981, Florida paces the SEC and sits fifth in the NCAA in fielding percentage.

For the first time since the 1998 season, Florida has seven different hitters with double-digit home runs: first baseman Jac Caglianone (33), shortstop Colby Shelton (20), catcher Luke Heyman (16), infielder/outfielder Tyler Shelnut (15), second baseman Cade Kurland (14), outfielder Ty Evans (13), and catcher/desginated hitter Brody Donay (12). Those seven players have accounted for 123 of the Gators’ 131 home runs this season (93.9%). In 1998, Florida was led by Brad Wilkerson with 23 home runs, followed by David Ross (19), Jason Dill (16), Derek Nicholson (15), Mark Ellis (14), Greg Catalanotte (13) and Casey Smith (12). Last year’s SEC Championship team had six players hit 10-plus homers highlighted by five with 17-plus.

On May 10, with just five regular-season games remaining, outfielder Ashton Wilson was 0-for-6 on the year. In the 14 games since, his .367 average is second on the team behind Caglianone (.408) as he has racked up 13 games, 11 starts, 18 hits and 49 at bats. Wilson has earned the No. 3 spot by posting a .597 OBP, .633 SLG, two homers, 14 RBI and 11 runs in that span. He has hits in nine of his 11 starts. In the 2024 postseason, Wilson leads UF in batting with a .414/.471/.759 slash line, two homers and nine RBI.

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