Florida vs. LSU in College World Series Finals Saturday

Florida baseball takes on the LSU Tigers in the opening game of the 2023 College World Series Finals on Saturday, June 24, and if you are looking to follow this evening’s action on the clay diamond, you have come to the right place.

The Orange and Blue earned a share of the Southeastern Conference’s regular-season title but were unable to earn the tournament crown, getting upended by the Vanderbilt Commodores in the semifinals — Vandy’s first win in five tries during the 2023 campaign. Nonetheless, Kevin O’Sullivan’s squad finished the season ranked second in the nation according to most major polls.

The Gators then went on to win the Gainesville Regionals, taking two out of three from the Texas Tech Red Raiders to advance to the next round while also dispensing of the FAMU Rattlers and UConn Huskies along the way. Finally, Florida defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks in two straight games to reach the College World Series.

Florida narrowly defeated the Virginia Cavaliers to open the CWS before upending the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles by a hair in the second game. The Gators’ victory over the TCU Horned Frogs gave the Orange and Blue three-straight wins in Omaha, Nebraska, sending them into the final round that starts Saturday evening.

Game Preview: Florida hoping to take Game 1 of CWS Finals

How to Watch

SATURDAY (7 p.m. EDT)

Probable Starters

team

Pitchers

record

ERA

FLORIDA

RHP Brandon Sproat

8-3

4.66

LSU

TBD

Probable Starters Notes

Brandon Sproat will take the mound for Florida one final time Saturday night, and he enters the game riding a three-game streak of quality starts. Sproat’s best game of the season came against Alabama on March 16, a complete game one-hitter.

The goal is to repeat that effort against another SEC team. It won’t be an easy task, but Sproat is a big-game pitcher. It’s time to show up.

LSU has not announced their pitcher yet, but most are confident it will be Ty Floyd. His fastball can get up to 97 mph, but it’s almost certainly his best pitch. The knock has always been that he needs to develop his breaking stuff, and he has, but these things take time.

Florida can look for his slider more often than the curve and spit on the change up that rarely gets thrown to righties. — David Rosenberg

Projected Starting Lineup

Projected Starting Lineup

Post.

PlayerName

AVG

OBP

SLG

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

C

BT Riopelle

.249

.381

.542

225

55

56

17

66

1B

Jac Caglianone

.325

.391

.735

268

71

87

31

84

2B

Cade Kurland

.290

.394

.544

252

68

73

16

48

3B

Colby Halter

.253

.362

.407

162

27

41

3

29

OR

Dale Thomas

.234

.410

.426

47

11

11

1

4

SS

Josh Rivera

.361

.461

.647

241

68

87

19

71

LF

Tyler Shelnut

.284

.379

.494

162

28

46

7

27

CF

Wyatt Langford

.363

.493

.758

226

78

81

19

49

RF

Ty Evans

.225

.293

.424

151

25

34

6

37

DH

Luke Heyman

.330

.379

.587

179

29

59

12

39

Other Players to Watch

We already talked about Dylan Crews, but don’t forget about Tommy White, the NC State transfer that came in and delivered 100 RBIs, including a walk-off to get the Tigers to the Finals. Pitch around both of those dudes and you’ll get first baseman Tre’ Morgan, who is third on the team with 50 RBIs and 80 hits.

Our friends over at LSU Wire told us to watch out for Gavin Dugas and Cade Beloso as well. Both have more than 15 homers this season. — Rosenberg

Series History

OVERALLS

52-66-1

AT HOME

27-20

AWAY

15-31-1

NEUTRAL

10-15

NOTES: LSU has the all-time lead in the series and is 15-10 against Florida at a neutral ballpark. The last time they met in Omaha was in 2017, and Florida swept the series, winning 4-3 and 6-1. — Rosenberg

Predictions

I have rarely picked against the Gators this season, and there is no reason to change up now. LSU is an incredibly talented team, and the Wake Forest series is a thing of beauty to watch. But Florida just finds a way. Langford and Caglianone will have monster series. Both homers tonight and knocking Floyd out by the fourth.

Sproat shoves and throws at least seven innings. Florida stuns LSU to take a convincing lead in the series.

Predictions: Not a closed game. Florida wins, 8-3, and most of LSU’s runs come late. — Rosenberg

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire

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