The stage is set for the 2017 College World Series as the Florida Gators will face off against a familiar foe in the form of the LSU Tigers in a best-of-three series, beginning Monday.
After upending Oregon State, the top team in the country, by a score of 6-1 Saturday, the Tigers cemented their status as the team to beat by beating the Beavers in consecutive games while outscoring their opponents 9-2 during their series.
The Gators also fared well on Saturday, brushing past the TCU Horned Frogs in a decisive 3-0 shutout win, eerily similar to their 3-0 shutout victory over TCU that occurred June 18.
Florida and LSU, two SEC rivals, will decide who is the best team in collegiate baseball in the coming days. And here's how you can keep up with all the action.
2017 College World Series (Best of 3)
Game 1: Monday, June 26, LSU vs. Florida, 7 p.m ET, ESPN
Game 2: Tuesday, June 27, Florida vs. LSU, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 3: Wednesday, June 28, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, If necessary
It's not uncommon for conference rivals to meet in the tournament, but this matchup has a little more juice to it because it comes in the College World Series. Florida and LSU faced off against each other back in March, when the Gators won two-of-three at home against the Tigers 1-0 and 8-1, respectively.
But that was then.
The Tigers are full of confidence, coming off two impressive victories over Oregon State to advance to the College World Series, and they won't be intimidated by the Gators.
LSU head coach Paul Mainieri was impressed by his team's efforts to upset the consensus No. 1 team in the country, per Nick Suss of SEC Country:
"To lose four games the entire season and we beat them two days in a row, it's hard to predict those things to happen. But that's why you have to play the games, and our kids embraced the challenge. We've got a lot of pride in our program. And they rose to the occasion, and consequently we get to play somebody in the national championship series."
Having said that, Mainieri knows that his squad has a steep hill to climb if they have any desire of hoisting this year's championship trophy, as earning two victories over Florida is a tall task for any team.
Florida is expected to start sophomore pitcher Brady Singer, per Suss, who will be coming off of six days of rest. And if his most recent appearance at the plate is any indication of how well he'll play on Monday, it could be a long night for the Tigers.
In seven innings of work, Singer surrendered one run on six hits while striking out nine batters en route to a 5-1 victory over Louisville Tuesday.
One of the best pitchers on Florida's staff, Singer has no problem putting the game in his hands, which will be crucial against a team like LSU, whose bats have been on fire lately.
With the exception of a 13-1 loss to Oregon State Monday—which was avenged in the past couple of days—the Tigers have scored 21 runs in a four-game span, an average of a little over five runs per game.
As impressive as that may seem, Singer is no slump on the mound. And he knows how to perform when his name called. SEC Network shared as much via its official Twitter account:
Whether the Tigers can find their bats against Singer and the rest of Florida's bullpen remains to be seen. One thing that is certain, however, is baseball fans are in store for one of the more unpredictable College World Series matchups in recent memory.