Notes: Faedo handles big stage of CWS

Coaches never know how their players are going to handle the bright lights of the College World Series until they see them on the field.

That’s especially the case with freshmen.

Despite that, Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan maintains he had zero hesitation putting freshman right-hander Alex Faedo on the mound for the Gators’ biggest game of the season.

“I had no anxiousness at all about Alex starting today,” O’Sullivan said. “I know he’s a freshman, but he has pitched extremely well the entire year. Alex pitched like a veteran.”

Faedo threw five innings, allowing three hits, four walks and one earned run while striking out a career-high seven hitters. The four walks were high, considering Faedo has walked just 16 hitters in 61.1 innings this season. In two NCAA Tournament starts, Faedo has allowed two earned runs in 11 innings while striking out 13 hitters.

The right-hander is performing his best during his biggest starts.

“I was just executing whatever Sully called,” Faedo said. “I knew I had to keep the ball down, but I didn’t think I located as well as I wanted to. The defense played well and got us out of some jams.

“It was great. The atmosphere was awesome. Once we got the lead, it really let me settle in.”

ONE-SIDED RIVALRY: The Gators continue to dominate the rivalry with Miami. After winning the two matchups in Omaha by a combined score of 25-5, Florida has now won 21 of the last 26 meetings between the two programs. The Gators have also ended Miami’s season in four of the last seven years.

Florida slowed Miami’s powerful offense on Saturday and Wednesday, but the Gators have had success against teams from across the state this postseason. The Gators have only played one game against a team from out of the state of Florida during the NCAA Tournament.

“We’ve played one team out of the state of Florida since Regionals,” O’Sullivan said. “It just goes to show how competitive our state is, baseball-wise.”

FRESHMEN CONTINUE TO PRODUCE: The Gators had four freshmen hitters in the starting lineup on Wednesday and Faedo, a freshman, starting on the mound. Florida has leaned on its freshmen throughout the year, especially during the postseason.

The freshmen only went 4-16 on Wednesday, but they worked counts and provided big hits, like a two-run double by right fielder Jeremy Vasquez.

“We had four freshmen in the lineup and another one on the mound in an elimination game against one of your rivals,” O’Sullivan said. “All of them played like veterans today.”

Video compliments of the NCAA

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