FAU forced a deciding game in the Gainesville regional by defeating tournament top-seed Florida in Monday’s first game, but the Gators outlasted the Owls 5-2 in Monday night’s winner-take-all affair.
Having lost to Jacksonville in their first game of the regional, the Owls needed to come through the losers bracket to advance to the super regional. Florida spent the weekend in the winners bracket, which is why FAU needed to beat Florida twice to advance.
With the victory Florida, the defending national champion, advances to face Auburn in the super regional. Florida Atlantic’s season is over.
FAU (43-19-1) came out swinging in the first inning throughout the regional and Monday night was no different. The Owls spotted starter Nick Swan a 2-0 lead in the first, but Florida erased that advantage with a two-run homer off reliever Jordan Poore in the fourth,
Back-to-back Florida homers in the fifth off Vince Coletti provided the Gators with some breathing room.
McCormack employed a total of seven pitchers in Monday night’s finale.
In the middle of Monday night’s finale, Tampa Bay selected FAU shortstop Tyler Frank in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft. Three Florida players were drafted in Monday’s first round – which occurred during the afternoon game.
Weather delayed the start of Monday’s first game nearly five hours. As a result, the nightcap didn’t start until 9:45 p.m., concluding after 1 a.m.
The loss concluded the 11th NCAA tournament appearance in FAU program history. Only once, in 2002, did FAU advanced to a super regional. The 2018 season marked the third time FAU played in the Gainesville regional, coming up short all three times.