CWS BASEBALL: Gators slam Huskers, 7-4

Senior Jeff Corsaletti tied a single game College World Series record with three doubles and junior Darren O'Day (8-2) pitched 4.1 shutout innings to lead the Florida Gators to a 7-4 winners' bracket victory before 26,813 (second largest crowd in CWS history) over home state favorites Nebraska (57-14) on Sunday night.

A terrifically entertaining game saw the Gators once again overcome one of the nation's best pitchers as Florida (47-20) shelled Big 12 Freshman Pitcher of the Year Johnny Dorn (12-2). The righthander was touched for five hits and four runs in four innings of work. Dorn hadn't given up more than two runs in any single game all season.

Dorn was not getting behind the batters. In fact, he seemingly located his pitches pretty well since he walked none of the 17 batters he faced, but the Gators put their bats on the ball and just flat out beat him.

The Gators did exactly what Coach Pat McMahon has pressed them to do throughout the season: score first and put pressure on the opponent. Leadoff hitter Corsaletti smoked a double down the first base line. Second baseman Adam Davis followed one pitch later with a blast over the right center field wall for a home run to give the Gators an early 2-0 lead.

The Cornhuskers added a run of their own in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Jesse Boyer nailed a double to left field. Florida starter Tommy Boss was able to get the next two batters to sacrifice fly to right fielder Brian LeClerc. However, Alex Gordon was able to score Boyer for Nebraska's first run.

With one out in the third, Corsaletti hammered his second double of the game to left field. Davis followed with a single to right which moved Corsaletti to third. Davis stole second on Dorn. By the time the pitch arrived to catcher Jeff Christy, he had no play on Davis. Matt LaPorta then sacrificed Corsaletti home with Florida's third run.

Nebraska answered in the bottom half of the inning. Boss retired the first two batters. However, Boss allowed the next three batters to reach. Right fielder Andy Gerch singled to right. Designated hitter Ryan Bohanan singled just out of the reach of shortstop Justin Tordi. Center fielder Daniel Bruce did the damage with a run scoring double to left field, which closed the gap to a single run.

Boss was unable to completely control the Cornhuskers hitting attack. He recorded two quick outs in each of the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings before the 'Huskers would pick up a hit to keep the inning alive.

The Gators scored four runs in the fifth. Tordi led off the inning by hitting the first pitch to Nebraska shortstop Joe Simokaitis who threw on to firs but the ball was dropped. Designated hitter Stephen Barton helped draw Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon in by squaring to bunt on the first pitch. Barton pulled the bat back and slapped a high chopper toward Gordon, who was unable to stab the ball.

Corsaletti followed with a two-run double to left. It was Corso's third double of the game. Davis grounded out to short. With first base open, the Cornhuskers opted to intentionally walk national home run leader Matt LaPorta. A potential force didn't matter to catcher Brian Jeroloman who ripped a two-run single to left field.

The 'Huskers started a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth. Boss gave up two singles to Ryan Bohanan and Daniel Bruce. Second baseman Ryan Wehrle hit a 2-1 pitch into the right-center gap. LeClerc cut the ball off, but lost the handle, which probably allowed the second run to score. Coach McMahon went to the pen. Florida sidearm specialist Darren O'Day came on and struck out Christy to end the inning.

O'Day secured seven ground ball outs, four fly outs, two strikeouts, and two harmless singles to the fifteen batters that he faced. Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson sent waves of lefthanders to try and solve O'Day, but it wouldn't happen on this night. O'Day was simply spectacular. Boss and O'Day held National Player of the Year Alex Gordon to a one for four performance.

Corsaletti and Davis combined to go six for ten hitting in the one-two hole in the order.

The Gators won't play again until Wednesday night when they face the winner of the Arizona State/Nebraska contest.

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