Florida beats TCU in CWS opener


Florida pitcher Alex Faedo throws to first base in the first inning Sunday at the College World Series against TCU in Omaha, Neb.

AP Photo/Nati Harnik
Published: Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 10:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 10:11 p.m.

OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo limited TCU to two singles and struck out 11 in seven innings, and Florida posted its first College World Series shutout since 1991 with a 3-0 win Sunday night.

Facts

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What: College World Series

Who: Florida (48-18) vs. Louisville (53-10)

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, Omaha, Neb.

TV: ESPN

Radio: AM-850, 98.1-FM

Pitching matchup: UF righty Brady Singer (7-5, 3.29 ERA) vs. Louisville TBA

Florida will play Louisville (53-10) in a Bracket 2 winners' game at 7 p.m. Tuesday, with the Cardinals winning the coin toss to be the home team. The Cardinals beat Texas A&M 8-4 earlier Sunday. TCU (47-17) will play Texas A&M (41-22) in a 2 p.m. elimination game Tuesday.

Faedo, the Detroit Tigers' first-round draft pick Monday, had at least one strikeout each inning and retired 10 in a row before turning the game over to closer Michael Byrne to start the eighth.

“Alex was special," UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "He certainly was the difference tonight.”

Faedo, who mixed his slider with a mid-90s fastball during a dominant 106-pitch performance, has been part of seven of the Gators' nine shutouts this season. This shutout was Florida's second in its 36 all-time CWS games and first in Omaha since a 5-0 win over Florida State 26 years ago.

"It's all about Alex," TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "He deserves the credit. There's no doubt about that.''

Jared Janczak (9-1) struggled in his four innings and lost for the first time this season. Byrne worked out of two mini jams and earned his 17th save.

JJ Schwarz, Christian Hicks and Nelson Maldonado each drove in runs for the Gators (48-18).

Florida is in the CWS for the sixth time in eight years and TCU for the fourth year in a row. This was the first time they've met.

The Gators came in having lost three straight one-run CWS games, and six of their eight losses in Omaha since 2011 have been by one run.

Last year, Faedo was a hard-luck loser in an elimination game against Texas Tech, allowing two runs, walking none and striking out nine. Sunday, he walked two in addition to giving up an infield single and base hit to left.

The Frogs squandered their few chances. Catcher Mike Rivera threw out Cam Warner twice, picking him off at first in the second inning and when he tried to take second on a ball in the dirt in the fourth. Zach Humphreys and Evan Skoug, the Frogs' leading home run hitter, both struck out with the bases loaded in the third. Faedo picked off Nolan Brown at first to end the fourth.

TCU didn't have another batter reach base until Connor Wanhanen bunted for a hit to open the eighth against Byrne. Wanhanen got to third when Ryan Merrill singled, but Byrne struck out pinch hitter Evan Williams to end the threat. In the ninth, after Warner doubled with one out, Byrne struck out Brown and got Elliott Barzilli to ground out.

Janczak lost for the second time in three career CWS starts. The sophomore entered the game having allowed a total of three runs over four starts covering 22 1/3 innings since he missed a month because of shoulder soreness. Other than pitching three innings in his return from injury, Sunday marked his shortest outing of the season.

He left with no outs in the fifth after the Gators strung together three singles for a 3-0 lead.

CWS SHUTOUTS COMMON

There has been at least one shutout each of the seven years the CWS has been played at TD Ameritrade Park. There were none from 2007-10, the last four years the event was played at hitter-friendly Rosenblatt Stadium.

STRIKEOUTS GALORE

Faedo and Byrne combined for 15 strikeouts, making this the fifth time this season the Gators fanned that many batters. They've struck out 10 or more in 26 games.

INJURY

Maldonado rolled his ankle running the bases, but is expected to be ready to play Tuesday.

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