Gators knock off LSU, win first baseball national title – Orlando Sentinel (blog)

A controversial call, a throw home, a sliding catch, an unexpected star and a championship.

It was quite a Tuesday night for the Florida Gators, who earned their first baseball national title with a 6-1 win against Louisiana State. The Gators (52-19) swept the College World Series final and become the fifth Division I school to hoist the ultimate trophy in baseball, football and men’s basketball.

“I’m just so happy for our players,” UF coach Kevin O’Sullivan told ESPN. “It’s all about them. They’re the ones who put in all the hard work.”

Tyler Dyson’s second start of the season was sterling, giving up one run in six innings. The freshman allowed one run in 14 1/3 innings in the NCAA Tournament, but most of the action took place after he left Tuesday’s game.

“He was overpowering us,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “Seems like every pitcher Florida has throws mid-90s with a good breaking ball.”

Zach Watson’s dribbler turned into a lead-off infield single for LSU in the seventh, and he was the last hitter Dyson would face. Watson stole second, then scored on Josh Smith’s double, cutting Florida’s lead to 2-1. Jake Slaughter singled, and moments later was part of one of the more controversial plays in CWS history.

Michael Papierski grounded into a double play, allowing Smith to score from third with what would have been the tying run. Instead, Slaughter’s high slide — his foot struck shortstop Dalton Guthrie’s knee — was ruled interference by second base umpire Steve Mattingly, nullifying the run.


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