Clemson vs Florida Super Regional Game 2: Top 3 takeaways from Tigers' college baseball showdown against Gators

In the end Florida prevailed/ Photos from the baseball programs of the University of Florida and the University of Clemson
In the end Florida prevailed/ Photos from the baseball programs of the University of Florida and the University of Clemson

The Florida Gators are going to the College World Series. After defeating the Clemson Tigers 11-10 in extra innings, Florida booked its 14th trip to Omaha, Nebraska. The runners-up of the 2023 edition of the College World Series came into the NCAA baseball tournament as one of the weakest teams to partake.

Plenty of criticism was thrown at the committee for inviting a team that finished in penultimate spot in the SEC Eastern Division, with an overall record of 34-28 and a conference mark of 13-17.

However, Florida has silenced haters and will be competing for a chance to repeat the heroics of 2017, when they won their first and so far only national baseball title.


Top three takeaways from Clemson Tigers' college baseball showdown against Gators

#3 In the game of baseball, details matter, especially in the postseason

When the dust settled, it was clear that the Gators won by the skin of their teeth. Key to the victory was a play that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

In the top of the 13th inning, the Tigers got a runner on base early on when relief Luke McNeillie hit batter Ty Olenchuk. The Tigers brought in pinch-runner Devin Parks to attempt the base steal. Florida catcher Brody Donay wasn't having it, as he picked him off to get the first out.

Two batters later Alden Mathes homered for the Tigers. What could've been a two-run homer ended up being a solo one. The extra run would've meant that Florida's bottom-of-the-inning effort wouldn't have won the game but only tied it.

#2 Individual heroics don't win games

If you're Cam Cannarella, you have got to be angry. Not only did you homered in the ninth to tie the game, but you also prevented Florida from winning it in the 10th by making a spectacular catch by the wall.

However, in the end, it meant nothing. The Gators were a more consistent unit that didn't need constant saving. They won as a team.

#1 Regular-season form doesn't mean much at this point

Yes, the favorite to win the College World Series is one of the best teams of this year's regular season (Tennessee). Yes, Florida's qualification to the next phase of the NCAA baseball tournament might seem like a fluke.

However, the second-to-last team of the SEC Eastern Division just beat the No. 3 national seed on the road. Florida might not be the best team out there, but don't discount the morale boost a postseason run can have on a roster. Don't count out the Gators just yet.

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