Only three of eight national seeds made it to the College World Series, and now they all reside in the tournament’s loser’s bracket.
The University of Florida, college baseball’s top-ranked team, was the latest to fall Sunday night as Coastal Carolina — making its first trip to the CWS — pulled off a 2-1 upset in the final opening-round game.
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Miami, seeded third, and fifth-seeded Texas Tech were previously knocked into the elimination bracket.
“There’s a lot of people disappointed,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I’m disappointed, to be honest. I think this is a really good team. We just ran across a guy who was really good. We’ll bounce back, have a good practice [Monday]. We have no choice.”
The Chanticleers (50-16) took a 1-0 lead when a ball hit down the right-field line by Zach Remillard in the third was called a double after a lengthy review.
First-base umpire Jeff Doy originally called it foul, yet after the review Remillard was put on second and Anthony Marks came home from second to snap Florida’s shutout streak at 24 2/3 innings.
Florida tied the score in the fifth on a single by pinch-hitter Jeremy Vasquez, but Coastal Carolina retook the lead in the sixth on a triple by Remillard that chased Gators ace Logan Shore (12-1) from the game.
On the other side, Coastal Carolina starter Andrew Beckwith (13-1) kept Florida off its game throughout.
Beckwith pitched a complete game, allowing one run on seven hits and striking out seven.
Florida watched its final 10 batters go down, as the Gators struggled to get anything going.
The Chanticleers knocked off SEC power and No. 8 seed LSU in Baton Rouge to reach Omaha for the first time in school history. Coastal Carolina is also the first Big South Conference team to make it this far.
“It feels awesome,” Beckwith said. “We got to Omaha, but our job isn’t done. We have a game Tuesday, and that’s the one we’re looking forward to.”
The Gators (52-15) will play Texas Tech, which lost 5-3 to TCU earlier Sunday, in an elimination game at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Coastal Carolina will play TCU on Tuesday night.
“It’s a great feeling and shows we’re here for real,” said Chanticleers shortstop Michael Paez, a junior from Miami Sunset who had a triple and snuffed out a Florida rally in the first with a defensive gem.
“We’re not just one of those teams happy to be here, go 0-2. We came here ready to play. We don’t care who is in the other dugout. We’re enjoying the moment. Not a lot of teams get here, so we’re taking it all in. There’s no tension on this team.”