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Florida will officially play for a college baseball national championship. The Gators ran through their side of the College World Series bracket and advanced to the three-game Finals series on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (if necessary).
Wednesday’s win over TCU was the final hurdle, and it came down to the final swing on the final pitch of the final inning. For a moment, it looked as though the Horned Frogs were going to extend its must-win game in the bottom of the ninth, and it resulted in an incredible POV video.
Florida jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, and TCU answered with a run of its own in the bottom half. The 2-1 score held until the bottom of the eighth when the Horned Frogs tied things up, but the Gators got one back in the top half of the ninth.
It was 3-2 with three outs left. TCU needed a run to force extra innings and two runs to force another game.
And then there was just one out left.
Florida needed one out.
Junior Brayden Taylor stepped into the box for the Horned Frogs and quickly fell behind 0-2 to sophomore pitcher Brandon Neely. The third pitch of the at-bat was an emotional rollercoaster.
Taylor got every inch of Neely’s offering. Or so it seemed.
The ball kept going, and kept going, and kept going until — boom. Centerfielder Michael Robertson made an impressive grab at the wall and put the game to bed.
Robertson kept what could have been the game-tying runner off of the bases and hauled in what looked and sounded like the game-tying home run off of the bat. It was a great effort.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Neely was in shambles. But only for a moment.
Once Robertson made the catch, he was ecstatic. Video of his reaction to the near-disaster is priceless.
Neely was bummed. And then he was hopeful. And then he was completely beside himself with joy.
What a rush! What a catch!
Florida will play either Wake Forest or LSU for a national title. Robertson’s catch was the difference.