The SEC entered the Super Regionals with five conference members still competing for a spot in this year’s College World Series.
It exited with Florida needing a Game 3 victory against Florida State to remain viable in the NCAA baseball tournament.
The Gators (52-14) did so, outscoring the Seminoles by a combined 12-0 in the final two games in Gainesville, Fla., while limiting FSU to a combined 7 hits.
Florida now makes its fifth trip to the CWS in nine seasons with coach Kevin O’Sullivan, and the 10th CWS appearance in program history.
The CWS remains an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The 2016 field includes the Miami Hurricanes, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma State Cowboys, TCU Horned Frogs, UCSB Gauchos, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and Arizona Wildcats.
The Gators and Chanticleers will play at 8 p.m. ET Sunday in what is considered Game 4. TCU and Texas Tech play Game 3 at 3 p.m. ET Sunday. The losers of Sunday’s games will play each other at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday, while Sunday’s winners will meet at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday.
The team that survives that group of four teams will earn a best-of-three series for the national championship.
The Florida-Coastal Carolina game will appear on ESPN2. Fans also can purchase tickets on the Gators website. As of Wednesday night, tickets were listed at $39 for Game 4 and between $34 and $37 for the Gators’ second game on Tuesday.
Florida’s 2016 roster features seven players who were selected in the first four rounds of the MLB player draft:
- LHP A.J. Puk, No. 6 overall (Oakland Athletics)
- RHP Dane Dunning, No. 29 overall (Washington Nationals)
- RHP Logan Shore, second round (Oakland Athletics)
- OF Buddy Reed, second round (San Diego Padres)
- 1B Pete Alonso, second round (New York Mets)
- RHP Shaun Anderson, third round (Boston Red Sox)
- LHP Scott Moss, fourth round (Cincinnati Reds)
The Chanticleers knocked out the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge, La., by posting 11 runs in Game 2 and claiming the decisive Game 3 by a 4-3 score. Shore, who is 12-0 on the season with a 2.24 ERA, is expected to start against Coastal Carolina, according to the Associated Press. Alex Faedo is slated to start the Tuesday game.
So Florida must win at least one of two for the 6-foot-7 lefthander Puk to get back to the mound in a Gators uniform. Puk struggled in two starts in the NCAA tournament. His last victory came April 14, and he’s lasted less than 5 innings in four of his last six outings.