LUBBOCK, Texas — Florida survives to play another day.
The Gators eliminated Army from the NCAA Lubbock Regional with a 13-5 win Saturday. Florida (34-25) will play another elimination game at 3 p.m. ET Sunday (on ESPNU) against Dallas Baptist, a 3-2 loser of Saturday evening’s winner’s bracket game against Texas Tech. Army (35-26) saw its season come to an end after going 0-2 in the regional.
DBU (42-19) sent UF into the loser’s bracket Friday with a 11-8 win. The winner there will play Texas Tech at 9 p.m. Sunday.
Jack Leftwich took a perfect game into the sixth inning, Kendrick Calilao hit one of four Florida homers while driving in five runs and the Gators cruised past Army.
Josh White homered off Leftwich (6-5) with one out in the sixth to end the bid for a perfect game and shutout. The sophomore right-hander allowed only White’s homer and a walk with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
“Jack gave us the start we needed,” UF coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Got us deep in the ball game after having to go to the pen yesterday in the second.
“Got a lot of offensive production, we scored early, which I thought was important. Gave us a lot of momentum. So look forward to playing tomorrow.”
Army was swept in a regional for the third time in four appearances since losing in the final round at Texas in 2009. The Golden Knights have lost four straight tournament games by a combined score of 47-9.
Calilao opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the second and had two sacrifice flies. The first was in a five-run fourth for a 10-0 Florida lead. The second made it 11-0 in the fifth.
Austin Langworthy hit a two-run homer to give him five RBIs in two games. Jonah Girand and Roberto Pena each hit a solo homer while Cory Acton had a two-run double.
Leftwich retired the first 16 batters he faced in a 111-pitch outing that covered seven innings. Leftwich, coming off a two-hit shutout at Missouri in his last start on May 17, had a scoreless streak of 14.1 innings until White’s homer. Meanwhile, the offense continued to produce with 14 hits — including four home runs — and the defense did not commit an error.
“Kendrick obviously had a big day at the plate with five RBIs and Wil (Dalton) had a good day,” O’Sullivan said. “I thought Brady McConnell had a good day, even though he didn’t get any hits. He hit the ball hard quite a few times. So all in all it was a very good day for us offensively, pitching-wise and defensively.”
Army’s Tyler Giovinco (8-6) allowed eight hits and seven runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Calilao had a productive day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with five RBIs. Calilao’s home run in the second inning opened the scoring and he added an RBI single in the third and RBI sacrifice flies in the fourth and fifth innings. Prior to his two-run home run off Giovinco, Calilao had not gone deep since April 2.