With South Carolina, the two-time defending champions, just making it to Omaha as the No. 8 seed, the Florida Gators had to feel pretty good about their chances to win the program’s first national title.
After losing to the Gamecocks (7-3), the Gators had to feel pretty good about their second game (the CWS is a double elimination tournament) against Kent State. The Flashes (yes, the Flashes) were making their first trip to Omaha and had been beaten pretty bad by Arkansas in their first game (8-1).
All they had to do was correct the mistakes that led to three errors in the South Carolina game and then play like a No. 1 seeded team should, and its bye-bye Flashes and hello second round. The only problem was that the guys playing for Kent State and the weather had something to say about that.
Florida lost ace pitcher Hudson Randall after just one inning due to the heat, and the errors kept coming for the team that was ranked seventh in the nation for fielding during the season. Thanks to four unearned runs, Kent State was able to build a 4-0 lead after two innings and a 5-1 lead after four.
To add insult to injury, four of the runs for Kent State were unearned. The Gators did what they could to get back in the game late, but the Flashes were able to hold them for their first CWS victory in program history.
(This was an awesome catch by Kent State.)