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Gators come from behind to beat Virginia 6-5 in College World Series

Jac Caglianone scores winning run on sac fly in 9th inning
Florida Gators batter Wyatt Langford celebrates after home run with Jac Caglianone in 9th inning of College World Series, June 16, 2023
Posted at 11:18 PM, Jun 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-16 23:18:15-04

OMAHA, Neb. — Jac Caglianone scored the winning run on Luke Heyman's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning after Ty Evans and Wyatt Langford homered to tie it, and Florida rallied to beat Virginia 6-5 in the College World Series on Friday night.

The Gators' 21st come-from-behind win of the season, and fourth walk-off, sends them to a Sunday night game against Oral Roberts for control of their bracket. Virginia will play TCU in an elimination game in the afternoon.

Virginia (50-14) scored four times in the seventh to take a three-run lead in front of a crowd of nearly 25,000 that included Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

The Gators (51-15) got one back in the bottom of the seventh and another in the eighth on BT Riopelle's homer. Harrison Didawick's RBI triple put the Cavaliers up two runs in the ninth before Florida turned on the power against reliever Jake Berry (0-5) in the bottom half.

Evans and Langford homered to tie it 5, with Langford's traveling 456 feet onto the walkway behind left field. Then, the Gators loaded the bases on a single, walk and hit batter.

Jay Woolfolk took over for Berry, and Heyman sent a fly deep enough to center to allow Caglianone to score easily from third.

Florida Gators batter Luke Heyman hits sacrifice fly for walkoff win against Virginia in 9th inning of College World Series, June 16, 2023
Florida batter Luke Heyman hits a sacrifice fly for a walkoff win against Virginia in the ninth inning of a game at the College World Series, Friday, June 16, 2023, in Omaha, Neb.

Brandon Neely (1-2) pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief for the win.

Florida starter Brandon Sproat worked six shutout innings against a Virginia offense that arrived in Omaha with the nation’s highest batting average (.335) and averaging 9.1 runs per game.

Anthony Stephens' RBI groundout started a four-run seventh for the Cavaliers and ended Florida's streak of 15 consecutive shutout innings. O'Ferrall delivered the tie-breaking double into the left-field corner off reliever Cade Fisher with two outs and Ethan O'Donnell followed with an RBI single.

Nick Parker limited Florida to one run on four hits and three walks in six innings. He held the top four batters in the order hitless, including national home run leader Caglianone.