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Florida Gators one win from Omaha after 10-7 win over Clemson

Untitled designby:Nick de la Torre06/08/24

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CLEMSON, S.C. — The once-left-for-dead Florida Gators are one win away from the 2024 College World Series. Florida went on the road and took game one from Clemson behind three home runs from Tyler Shelnut, Jac Caglianone, and Luke Heyman.

Clemson got to Florida freshman Liam Peterson right away in the first inning. The Tigers plated two on just one hit as Peterson struggled to find the strike zone, walking four batters in the first frame. Peterson’s day wouldn’t last much longer, a triple, wild pitch, and a single would chase him from the game, trailing 3-0.

Florida cut into the lead with Shelnut’s solo home run but Clemson got a homer from Jimmy Obertop to make it a 4-1 lead. Florida made it 4-2 and then the fifth inning.

Center fielder Michael Robertson walked and second baseman Cade Kurland hit a fastball backside to set the table for Caglianone. The junior slugger has been intentionally walked 23 times this season, even with a runner on first base.

“We could have intentionally walked him but that wasn’t the situation to intentionally walk him,” Clemson manager Erik Bakich said after the game. “First and third, nobody out.”

Clemson pitched to Caglianone but maybe they shouldn’t have. The lefty took an 0-1 offering over the wall in left field for an opposite-field, three-run home run that gave the Gators a 5-4 lead and an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish.

“We just kept battling,” Florida manager Kevin O’Sullivan said after the game. “I felt like if we could hold on, keep it together, one of our guys could run into a ball and Jac did.”

O’Sullivan would turn to Brandon Neely with one out in the sixth inning and the junior closer would find the final 12 outs of the game to earn his fourth save of the season.

Players of the Game

Jac Caglianone: Caglianone hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning that gave Florida its first lead.
Brandon Neely: The Gators’ closer came on in the sixth inning and kept the Tigers’ bats at bay on the way to the save.

Career Home Run Leaderboard Watch

Caglianone’s 32nd homer of the season now gives him 72 for his career. Caglianone needs two homers to tie Matt Laporta (74) for the most in program history. LaPorta played for the Gators from 2004-07.

Notes:

  • The Gators are Super Regional bound for the 12th time in program history and 10th time under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan.
    • This is Florida’s second-straight Supers berth.
  • Florida delivered its 18th come-from-behind win of the campaign and third of the postseason.
  • The Gators plated seven runs in the fifth inning for the team’s third-highest-scoring frame of the year.
  • Wilson drove in his seventh run of the postseason with a third-inning sacrifice fly.
  • Shelnut hit his 15th homer of the campaign and second of the postseason.
  • Caglianone extended his on-base streak to 47-straight contests.
    • Caglianone has hit safely in 57 of 61 games while reaching safely in all but one contest.
  • Caglianone hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to give Florida a 5-4 edge.
    • The long ball marked his 32nd of the campaign and third of the postseason.
      • Caglianone is two home runs away (72) from tying Preston Tucker’s all-time program record (74).
  • Neely closed out the final four innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out seven for his fourth save of the season.
    • In the 2024 postseason, Neely has made three appearances with 12 shutout innings, five hits allowed and 19 strikeouts.
  • Heyman connected for his 16th homer of the campaign and second of the postseason in the eighth.
  • Florida’s scoring streak of 140-consecutive games is the third-longest in program history (May 27, 2022-present).
  • The Gators are 134-86 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
    • UF wields an 19-8 record across 12 NCAA Super Regional appearances.
  • Florida is now 19-12 all-time vs. Clemson (2-1 away).
    • The Gators are 1-0 against the Tigers under O’Sullivan.
  • Saturday’s official attendance was 6,492.

Box Score:

What’s next for the Florida Gators?

The Gators are just one win away from making a repeat trip — and the 14th in program history — to the College World Series.

Florida will turn to left-hander Jac Caglianone while Clemson will hand the ball to true freshman Aidan Knaak, who was named to the All-ACC First Team. First pitch for game two is scheduled for 2:00 PM and will be broadcast on ESPN.

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