The Southeastern Conference likes to claim dominance when it comes to college football.
While that assertion can be argued, there's no doubt that it is the best conference in baseball, as Florida and LSU will meet in the championship round of the 2017 College World Series.
The first game of the CWS title series—also known as the SEC Invitational—is Monday night at 7 p.m. ET at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
LSU earned its way into the final round with a convincing 6-1 victory over the Oregon State Beavers Saturday. The Tigers fought their way into the championship round from the loser's bracket. They had dropped a 13-1 decision to Oregon State earlier in the week, but they were able to win two games in a row against the Beavers on Friday and Saturday.
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HR from the right side: ✅ HR from the left side: ✅ Michael Papierski is a STUD. https://t.co/zDn1X1ChH72017-6-24 20:45:14
LSU had its power game working Saturday as switch-hitter Michael Papierski homered from both sides of the plate and Beau Jordan had a blast of his own.
Pitcher Caleb Gilbert held Oregon State to two hits in 7.1 innings on the mound.
"I put some good swings on fastballs today," Papierski said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "After that, the wind helped a little bit. But that wasn't the highlight of the game. It was Caleb Gilbert."
Florida also used dominant pitching to earn its spot the in the championship round. Alex Faedo was once again on top of his game as the Gators eliminated TCU with a 3-0 victory Saturday night.
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Alex Faedo: 5th pitcher in the last 30 seasons with two 10K games in the same College World Series. #CWS live on ESPN https://t.co/DbCmEqb45s2017-6-25 02:20:00
Faedo, who was drafted in the first round by the Detroit Tigers earlier this month, limited the Horned Frogs to three hits in 7.1 innings and never allowed a runner past second base.
Closer Michael Byrne finished the game for the Gators and knocked the Horned Frogs out of the tournament. TCU had beaten Florida 9-2 on Friday to force the elimination game.
The Horned Frogs put two runners on base in the ninth inning, and slugger Evan Skoug came to the plate as the tying run with one out. Byrne struck out Skoug, and Cam Warner flew out to end the game.
"All I was trying to do was get a ground ball [against Skoug], and it just happened to be a strikeout, so that was big," Byrne said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "I had to get Cam out. He got me last game on a double in the gap. I threw good pitches to him and got out of it."
Both of these SEC teams are deep, talented and have excellent pitching.
In addition to Game 1 Monday, the second game of the series will be played Tuesday night at 8 p.m., and the third game will be played Wednesday night at 8 p.m., if necessary. All games will be broadcast by ESPN.
The Gators will likely start sophomore right-hander Brady Singer (8-5, 3.18 ERA) on Monday, while LSU will almost certainly send Jared Poche' (12-3, 3.33) to the mound. However, neither pitcher has been officially confirmed as the starter.
Nelson Maldonado is hitting .303 with six home runs and 32 runs batted in for the Gators, while teammate Christian Hicks is slugging .406 and has driven in 27 runs.
Zach Watson is hitting .322 for the Tigers with nine homers and 37 RBI, and teammate Antoine Duplantis is hitting .318 and has become an RBI machine with 60.