LSU defeats Florida in Game 3 Claims Seventh National Championship Title in 2023

The LSU baseball team has concluded its season on a winning note, capturing the No. 1 spot in the country by defeating the Florida Gators 18-4 in Game 3 of the Men’s College World Series final in Omaha, Nebraska. This victory marks the program’s seventh national championship in its history.

Following a record-setting Game 2 in which they surrendered 24 runs, the Tigers showcased their resilience in the winner-take-all match on Monday night. Starter Thatcher Hurd delivered a dominant pitching performance, while the entire lineup contributed offensively, with each starting position player registering at least one hit.

LSU outclassed the Gators with a remarkable 24-5 hit advantage in the decisive game, forcing Florida to utilize six pitchers. Despite allowing a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to Wyatt Langford, Hurd quickly regained control and proved unhittable for the remainder of his outing. He limited the Gators to only two hits in the first inning and struck out seven batters across six innings, earning him the well-deserved win.

After initially falling behind by two runs, the Tigers swiftly turned the tables, amassing a four-run lead by scoring six runs in the top of the second inning. Their relentless offense battered Gators’ starter Jac Caglianone, ultimately resulting in his departure from the game. Caglianone, who demonstrated exceptional two-way skills in Florida’s Game 2 victory with two home runs and five RBI, found himself unable to contain LSU’s hitting barrage.

The Tigers continued to dominate at the plate, adding four more runs in the top of the fourth inning. The highlight of the inning came from Josh Pearson, who blasted a two-run homer to right field. Catcher Alex Milazzo contributed to the scoring as well, displaying exceptional baserunning skills by coming home from first base on a single by Cade Beloso. Unfortunately, Milazzo suffered a leg injury during the play and required assistance to leave the field. Hayden Travinski replaced him as the team’s catcher.

LSU extended their lead with a run in the top of the seventh inning, courtesy of a bases-loaded walk to Travinski. Florida’s Ty Evans responded with a home run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Tigers swiftly retaliated by adding three more runs in the top of the eighth inning. In the bottom half of the inning, the Gators’ Cade Kurland hit a solo home run, narrowing the deficit.

Dylan Crews, LSU’s standout outfielder and the winner of the 2023 Golden Spikes Award, concluded his exceptional season by reaching base in all 71 games played. In the final game, Crews contributed significantly, going 4-for-6 at the plate and scoring three runs.

Even in the ninth inning, the Tigers’ offensive firepower remained undiminished. Crews led off with a single, and third baseman Tommy White (4-for-7 with three RBI) drove him in with a double. White subsequently crossed home plate on a double by Tre’ Morgan (3-for-6, three runs scored), while Brayden Jobert (4-for-7, three RBI) sealed the deal with a powerful home run to right field.

This national championship victory concludes a roller coaster end to the regular season for the Tigers. As the preseason No. 1 team in the USA TODAY coaches poll, LSU maintained the top ranking for the first ten weeks of the regular season. However, a 5-5 finish to the regular season and a 1-2 record in the SEC tournament raised uncertainties about the team’s prospects.

Entering the NCAA tournament as the fifth seed, LSU displayed resilience by sweeping both the regional and super-regional rounds to advance to Omaha. Despite an initial loss to No. 1 seed Wake Forest in the Men’s College World Series, LSU rallied, winning three consecutive games to secure a spot in the final round. The Tigers eliminated Tennessee in an elimination game and subsequently defeated Wake Forest twice to secure their place in the championship game.

With this latest victory, LSU adds to its impressive legacy in the College World Series, having now secured seven national championships. Under the guidance of second-year head coach Jay Johnson, the Tigers clinched titles in 2023, 2009, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1993, and 1991. Previously tied with Texas at six championships, LSU now stands alone, trailing only Southern Cal, which has amassed 12 titles. However, Southern Cal’s last championship victory dates back to 1998.

Ironically, LSU’s bid for an eighth national title was thwarted by Florida in 2017 when the Gators emerged victorious in the Men’s College World Series finals to claim their sole championship.

Additionally, LSU fans have another reason to celebrate as they shattered the Jell-O Shot Challenge record at Rocco’s Pizza and Cantina, securing their own championship in Omaha. The LSU baseball team’s incredible performance and triumph in the Men’s College World Series final will undoubtedly be remembered as a remarkable chapter in the program’s storied history.

Check out all of our MLB news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *