The Florida Gators are headed to their second-ever College World Series final, having dispatched the Vanderbilt Commodores 6-4 Friday afternoon in Omaha. Sadly, this also concludes Vandy's best season ever in any sport.
Florida rolled its way to a 4-1 lead, which it carried into the top of the seventh inning. Nashville aluminum came alive when Connor Harrell scored Mike Yastrzemski to begin a three-run mini-rally, tying it up by the middle of the eighth.
The Gators emptied the bullpen and then some, sending six pitchers to the mound during Sonny Gray's time on the hill. Vandy starter Gray survived through seven innings before letting the bases load up due to crafty bunting in the bottom of the eighth, when he was yanked for Will Clinard.
After Clinard tallied one out, Preston Tucker hit a ball into the fence to score one, with an incredible whirling throw by Tony Kemp the only thing keeping two or more from plating. Vandy's own pitching turnover was then underway, with Dent scoring from third on a wild pitch by Corey Williams to make it 6-4.
The latter event happened just after Mike Zunino broke his bat on a foul ball -- his composite metal bat. College sports: awesome!
Still ahead: the Virginia Cavaliers and South Carolina Gamecocks will play at 7 pm ET. A Carolina win would mean the first SEC-on-SEC championship series since 1996, while a win by those despicable lawn sports enthusiasts would delay the world the feel-good all-SEC final it craves.
Check here for complete 2011 CWS scores and schedules, and here for NCAA baseball news and stories. For more SEC sports, join Team Speed Kills. Florida fans should head to Alligator Army and SB Nation Tampa Bay, while Vandy fans should join Anchor Of Gold.