Auburn RF's blunder helps send Florida to CWS

Ruben Hill
June 13, 2018

In a tension-filled winner-take-all Gainesville Super Regional, the Gators punched their ticket to a fourth-straight College World Series while the Tigers came up just short, ending their season 43-23.

Williams, one of four Auburn freshmen named to the Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America team, dropped to the ground after the play.

It's always going to be brutal when your season comes to an end. "We did everything we could". "One play doesn't define him". In the sixth inning, Auburn center fielder Jay Estes robbed Langworthy of extra bases with a diving catch in the right center field gap, then started a relay that doubled off Dalton at first base. Williams played the position deftly, growing more comfortable in the outfield as the year progressed.

Florida will have to wait nearly a week to begin play in Omaha. Said homer made its way over the fence after the baseball bounced off the right fielder's glove.

"The moment on the road, loud, there was definitely a delay", Thompson said. "He had a heck of a year". Special ballplayer, and our whole club knows it. "It will be part of his journey". "He's a great ball player".

Cody Greenhill (6-3) took the loss retiring the final batter in the 10th before giving up the solo home run in the 11th. Florida is headed there for the seventh time in the last nine years.

Facing Auburn with the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Gators had men on first and third with two outs and a prime opportunity to score in what had up to that point been a pitching duel.

What's important to note is that Williams, who was a huge reason for Auburn's success this season, is not an outfielder by trade. Then came Reese's steal.

"He's a good ballplayer", said freshman pitcher Andrew Mitchell, who started Monday's game and limited Florida to two runs in 4⅓ innings before being replaced by freshman Davis Daniel. "He paid attention to first instead of third first". With Luke Jarvis - the hero of Sunday's series-evening win - at third, Josh Anthony lined out to Wil Dalton in right field.

Dalton made a pair of mistakes in consecutive innings. The Tigers' second baseman slid toward home, his left hand sneaking below the tag of catcher Jonah Girand for the tying run.

Auburn coach Butch Thompson said what happened shouldn't stick with Williams. The game was tied at two in the 11th when Austin Langworthy sent a 1-2 pitch deep to right.

Joining Langworthy as UF's hero was All-SEC closer Michael Byrne. He worked 5.1 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit.

Blake Reese got things going with a double to left-center field with one out. "I give a lot of credit to Byrne tonight".

The Gators won in the bottom of the 11th inning on a walkoff homer.

And now he'll get to try and make it home runs in three straight games, because the Gators are off to Omaha, where they'll face Texas Tech. Langworthy said he was hunting for a fastball and got one that he turned on.

AL.com will update this post. "This is awesome to be a part of".

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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