Tuesday is a crucial day of action at the 2016 College World Series, especially for the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Florida Gators in an elimination game.
Even though it's the first game of the day, it's the marquee matchup. The Gators ended the season in third and Texas Tech was eighth in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's Top 25.
TCU and Coastal Carolina gets the prime-time spotlight on ESPN, with the winner being just one more victory away from reaching the championship series.
Here's a look at what happened during Tuesday's doubleheader and what it means going forward in Omaha, Nebraska.
|2016 College World Series Results - June 21|
|Matchup||Result/Start Time (ET)|
|No. 1 Florida vs. No. 5 Texas Tech||Texas Tech 3, Florida 2|
|TCU vs. Coastal Carolina||TCU 6, Coastal Carolina 1|
|2016 College World Series Standings|
|Bracket 1||Bracket 2|
|Oklahoma State (2-0)||TCU (2-0)|
|Arizona (1-1)||Coastal Carolina (1-1)|
|UC Santa Barbara (1-1)||Texas Tech (1-1)|
|Miami (0-2; Eliminated)||Florida (0-2; Eliminated)|
A full bracket is available at NCAA.com.
Texas Tech def. Florida, 3-2
Florida's stellar season came to an end on Tuesday night with a 3-2 loss against Texas Tech at TD Ameritrade Park.
This game was almost a microcosm of how the Gators' first loss against Coastal Carolina went on Sunday, with strong pitching and little offensive support. Florida did make things interesting in the ninth inning, when Peter Alonso crushed a two-run homer to make it a 3-2 game, via NCAA Baseball:
ESPN.com's Richard Johnson noted how disappointing postseason baseball has been for the University of Florida:
All credit should go to Texas Tech's pitching staff, though. The Red Raiders don't have a renowned set of arms, entering play tied for 97th with a 4.19 ERA. But starter Davis Martin and reliever Hayden Howard held the Gators to six hits, and only one runner got as far as third base over the first eight innings.
College Baseball 360 provided additional context for the level of domination Martin provided:
Martin wasn't blowing pitches by Florida hitters, as he only finished with three strikeouts and had three walks and Aaron Fitt of D1Baseball.com noted his fastball was sitting in the 90-91 mph range. The Gators were unable to elevate anything, so it didn't matter how hard he was throwing.
Texas Tech's offense got on the board in the fourth inning when Eric Gutierrez launched a two-run homer to left field. The Red Raiders tacked on one additional run in the ninth inning thanks to sloppy defense from Florida third baseman Jonathan India, which turned out to be huge in the end.
While Florida will mourn another premature exit from the College World Series, Texas Tech has to rebound with another elimination game on Thursday. The Red Raiders lost their opener against TCU, 5-3.
However, based on how well Texas Tech fared against one of the nation's top teams on Tuesday, its confidence will be sky-high regardless of which team is in the other dugout.
TCU 6, Coastal Carolina 1
The TCU Horned Frogs pushed the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers to within a game of elimination by virtue of a 6-1 win Tuesday evening.
TCU didn’t generate tons of offense, but a solo home run from Luken Baker in the second inning gave the Horned Frogs some slight breathing room for pitcher Brian Howard to work.
Over the course of 5.2 innings, Howard fanned seven Coastal Carolina batters while allowing just six hits and one earned run. And by the time he exited the show in the sixth inning, TCU had already assumed a 4-1 edge.
At that point, the game was as good as over.
The Horned Frogs entered Tuesday night without having blown a three-run lead all season long, per ESPN Stats & Info, and that trend continued thanks to Ryan Burnett’s relief stylings.
The redshirt sophomore pitched 3.1 innings of no-hit ball, and he struck out two to move TCU within a win of the championship series.
TCU is now scheduled to play the winner of Thursday night’s clash between the Red Raiders and the Chanticleers in a prime-time showdown Friday evening.