In 2005, the Florida baseball team made it to the finals of the College World Series. The Gators would lose the national championship to Texas that season and ultimately be forgotten not long after when the football and basketball teams went on their magical runs. That Florida squad has a special place in Gators history despite not taking home a title. Until now, it was the baseball team that made it farther than any others – all the way to play for a national championship.
On Monday night in Omaha, the Gators will play for the title again. After defeating Vanderbilt 6-4 on Friday, Florida advanced to the finals where they will face South Carolina – a SEC East rival and, oh yeah, the defending national champions. The teams met in a three-game series earlier this season with the Gamecocks winning two. Both teams are hot – as you would expect by two meeting for the national title – with Florida winning 10 of its last 11 and South Carolina on an eight-game winning streak.
Not only does Florida have a chance to bring home their first baseball national championship, the Gators could become only the third Division 1A/FBS/however-else-you-want-to-say-big athletics program with a title in football, basketball, and baseball. Michigan and Ohio State are the two that currently hold that distinction. By winning, the baseball team would also join men’s indoor track and field and women’s tennis as title winners this academic year.
Florida and South Carolina will play on Monday and Tuesday at 8:00 and Wednesday at the same time if necessary. Each game will be televised by ESPN. And just in case you aren’t pumped enough for Monday, take a look at Gators catcher Mike Zunino breaking his bat. Sure they aren’t aluminum anymore, but it’s still an impressively shocking feat.