OMAHA, Neb. — Florida was able to touch up LSU lefty Jared Poche’ during the regular season.
In its quest for their first baseball national title in school history, the Gators are hoping for a similar outburst from their bats in tonight’s Game 2 matchup against Poche’ in the College World Series Finals.
Florida and LSU will meet tonight at 8 (ESPN) with the Gators one win away. Florida would join California, Michigan, Ohio State, Stanford and UCLA as the sixth school to earn national titles in football, baseball and men’s basketball.
Poche’ lasted just four innings in his start against the Gators during the regular season, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts on March 25. After knocking Poche’ out of the game, Florida went on to beat LSU 8-1.
But Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan doesn’t expect it to be as easy this time around against Poche’, who holds the LSU school record for victories with 39. Florida freshman righty Tyler Dyson, making just his second career start, will face Poche on Tuesday night.
“We have a freshman going against the winningest pitcher in LSU history,” O’Sullivan said. “We’re going to have to play better.”
If Florida needs runs on Tuesday night, it could turn to its latest wacky superstition, the rally cup.
The empty, NCAA issued paper cup fluttered outside the dugout during the fourth inning after assistant coach Lars Davis knocked it out of the hands of freshman Garrett Milchin. With the cup positioned outside the dugout, the Gators scored three runs in the fourth on an Austin Langworthy sacrifice fly and Jonathan India two-RBI double.
Florida junior pitcher Alex Faedo had the cup protected in a clear plastic bag in the locker room after Monday night’s win. Surely, it will make an appearance at some point Tuesday.