July 20, 2024
We take a look at the Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats College World Series elimination game and it’s new date and time.

Florida Gators baseball will play a second straight elimination game. After defeating NC State Monday, the Gators will face the Kentucky Wildcats Wednesday at 11 a.m. EST on ESPN.Baseball - Florida Gators

Florida was originally scheduled to play Tuesday at 7 p.m. but expected inclement weather caused the NCAA to postpone the game. Thunderstorms are expected in the Omaha area Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning.

This may be beneficial for the Gators, as pitchers now have a full day of rest instead of possibly pitching on back-to-back days.

Brandon Neely, who threw 45 pitches against NC State, will have a full day of rest and should be 100% against Kentucky.

Wednesday’s contest will mark the fourth matchup between Florida and Kentucky this season. The two teams played a three-game series from May 10-12, and the Wildcats took 2-of-3 from the Gators in Gainesville.

Though Florida has been an entirely different team since then after winning six games on the road en route to Omaha. They’ve also recorded a 4-0 record in elimination games thus far in the postseason.

Kentucky is coming off of a 5-1 loss to Texas A&M Monday night. It won its first game of the College World Series Saturday after Mitchell Daly hit a walk-off solo home run in the 10th inning against NC State.

Despite losing the series to the Wildcats in the regular season, one key advantage Florida possesses is having experience in Omaha. This is Kentucky’s first-ever College World Series appearance as a program. Florida’s Kevin O’Sullivan is making his ninth appearance in Omaha as head coach.

Even though Kentucky doesn’t have the most Omaha experience, they have an extremely talented team. They’re the No. 2 nationally ranked team in the country and have a potent offense that can do damage at any time.

Yet, the Wildcats offense was silenced Monday by Texas A&M pitching, only recording four hits. But Nick Lopez, Ryan Nicholson and Ryan Waldschmidt highlight a solid lineup.

Lopez is the cleanup hitter for Kentucky and is hitting .341 on the year. Waldschmidt has a .335 average on the year and a .465 on-base percentage. Nicholson led the team in RBI and home runs, tallying 63 and 23, respectively.

On the mound, the Wildcats rank 51st in the country in ERA as a team (4.93). Dominic Niman is the expected starter against the Gators and has a 6.24 ERA and 8-4 record on the year.

The Gators roughed him up when they faced him in Gainesville. Niman gave up six earned in four innings May 11 at Condron Family Ballpark.

Pierce Coppola will start for Florida on the mound. The lengthy southpaw has a 9.16 ERA on the year in 18 ⅔ innings pitched. He last threw against Nebraska in the Stillwater Regional, and pitched 4 ⅓ innings, giving up four earned runs with eight strikeouts.

The Gators have struck out 29 times in two games during the College World Series. And although they’re still alive, the strikeouts will have to decrease if they want to keep playing.

First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. EST, and the winner will play a second game at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

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