One more means Omaha.
Luke Jarvis singled home pinch runner Cade Evans in the bottom of the ninth in Auburn’s 3-2 win Sunday, the first super regional victory in program history.
“That was pretty cool,” said Jarvis of his first walk-off hit since he was a 12-year-old travel baller. “Trying not to do too much. Just trying to see it and hit it, and thank God it worked out.”
Brendan Venter led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk, advancing to second on Jay Estes’ single, with Evans then pinch running for Venter.
Jarvis delivered a solid single to left-center on the first pitch from Florida closer Michael Byrne, the Gators’ all-time saves leader, easily scoring Evans.
“Pandemonium,” said Jarvis, who was 0-for-7 in the super regional before his game-winner. “That’s as cool as it gets. You’re not hitting the ball well, and sure enough, you come up in a big situation and all you’ve got to do is put the ball in play. These guys played amazing. It was a big team win.”
Freshman pitchers Tanner Burns and Cody Greenhill teamed up to defeat the Gators in Gainesville for the second time this season, accounting for two of Florida’s six home defeats.
“Good things happen when the defense is in the dugout,” said Burns, who allowed only one run in six innings. “They’re a good hitting team, they’re good hitting fastballs. Trying to keep them off balance, and mainly trying to get the defense in the dugout.”
Greenhill earned the victory, pitching the final three innings while allowing only one run. Auburn turned three double plays, in the first, sixth and ninth innings.
“I appreciate my ballclub so much, the way they competed and played the game today,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said. “If you get to this level with an opportunity to move forward, you’re going to have to pitch at an elite rate.”
After Florida struck first with a run in the top of the fourth, freshman Steven Williams answered with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, Auburn’s first hit against Jackson Kowar.
In the bottom of the eighth, Josh Anthony reached on an infield single before Will Holland’s double to the wall in left-center scored Anthony to give Auburn a 2-1 lead.
Florida’s Austin Langworthy led off the top of the ninth with a game-tying homer. The Gators had the potential go-ahead run on base, but Auburn turned its second 5-4-3 double play, with Venter fielding and throwing to Jarvis who relayed to Anthony to end the inning.
Auburn (43-22) will play Florida (46-19) Monday at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN with the winner advancing to the College World Series. The Gators, 30-6 at home this season, haven’t lost back-to-back games at McKethan Stadium since April 2017.
“Anything is possible with our program,” Thompson said. “A lot of hard work, and some young men have come to campus, our program, who are making real impacts and making a difference.”
Senior Andrew Mitchell will start for the Tigers, hoping to lead Auburn back to Omaha for the first time since 1997.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen in one game, but I think there’s enough going on that we feel like anything can be possible,” Thompson said. “To be able to hang with great teams, winning teams, at least I would want our people, our fans, our university, and above all, our players, to feel like we belong.
“All of these things are barriers or walls or doors we’re trying to knock down. Every day we do this, we’re inching toward making that a reality.”
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