No. 3 Florida seemed to be the odds-on-favorite to advance out of the top half of the College World Series bracket when it was unveiled.
With No. 2 Texas out of the picture, things looked to be there for the taking for Florida.
But things quickly turned sour for the Gators, who are now going home after a pair of losses.
Florida's 8-5 loss to Florida State proved to be a microcosm of its disappointing trip to Omaha.
Freshman stud Austin Maddox put the Gators on the board with an RBI single in the first inning.
But the seemingly good outlook turned sour almost immediately for Florida, just like their Omaha appearance.
That first inning RBI was about all that went right for Florida, as Seminole leadoff batter Tyler Holt tied the game up with a home run to start off the bottom half of the frame.
Two innings later, the Seminoles piled on three more runs and enough to hold off a late Florida rally.
Florida didn't do itself any favors by waiting four more innings to get its next hit – and run.
The Gators almost came back with a ninth-inning rally, but it was too little too late.
It may seem surprising at first glance, but perhaps we should have seen this one coming.
Quite frankly, the Seminoles have owned the Gators this season.
The Gators may have appeared to be a favorite in Omaha, but they probably shouldn't have been with the possibility of Florida State standing in their way. (I know that there was a good possibility they might not have played Florida State, but they did, so no sense playing the “if” game at this point.)
After the win, Florida State took four out of five from Florida on the season.
For the most part, Florida fell into the same trap that doomed it in almost every matchup with the Seminoles this season. In three out of the four regular season meetings between the clubs, the Gators found themselves in a steep hole before they could even blink (down 7 after one inning, down 5-2 after two and down 3-0 after two).
The Gators were able to fight back to win the second game, pulling it out 8-5. But that was about all that went right against the Seminoles this season for Florida.
It seemed as if they might do the very same thing on Monday, down by the same score of 5-2 after a Johnathan Piggot home run in the fifth. But the Gators simply couldn't get the pistons firing all game. Preston Tucker came up with two on in the seventh, but couldn't make anything happen even after spotted a 3-1 count.
The Gators didn't pose much of a threat for the rest of the game, other than their last-gasp ninth inning rally. The Seminoles, meanwhile, added a few more runs just for good measure, and it proved to be the difference.
It was certainly disappointing, but sometimes you just have a bad matchup, and there is nothing you can do about it. That seems to be the case with the Gators this year in their clash with their in-state rivals.
No one wants to go home with a whimper, but don't worry. This is just the beginning of things to come for the Gators.
Besides, although there is a sour taste in your mouth after losing to a rival, there is no shame in losing to the perennial CWS contending Seminoles (20 CWS appearances). This season, the Seminoles just had the upper hand in the rivalry.
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