Daniel Apple, FloridaGators.com
OMAHA, Neb.—Once again, Alex Faedo owned the night.
The junior ace pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out 11 as the Gators beat TCU, 3-0, Saturday night to advance to the College World Series Championship Series for the third time in program history.
Florida (50-19) will face rival LSU for the title after the two schools shared the Southeastern Conference regular-season title this season.
Faedo and the Gators shut out TCU (50-18) for the second time this week by matching 3-0 scores. Entering the year, Florida had just one shutout in 35 College World Series games.
In the 2017 NCAA Tournament, Faedo has now pitched 27 1/3 innings with just one run allowed while striking out 44 batters. Faedo's pair of 11-strikeout performances against TCU make him the fifth player in the last 30 seasons to hurl two 10-strikeout games in the CWS.
Assuming Faedo does not pitch again, he will be the fifth pitcher in history to finish a CWS with at least 14 1/3 scoreless innings, as he's allowed just five hits and struck out 22 in his two starts.
The Gators struck first on Saturday, getting a run in the second inning. Austin Langworthy doubled into the left field corner and Jonathan India singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Mike Rivera hit a sharp grounder to second that allowed Langworthy to score for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Faedo picked up his third strikeout of the game to give him 149 on the season, breaking Rob Bonanno's single-season record of 148 from 1994.
After Rivera was hit by a pitch to lead off the fifth inning, Christian Hicks gave Florida a 2-0 lead with a double into the left field gap.
In the seventh inning, Hicks laced another ball to the wall and made it to third for his first career triple.
With two outs, Deacon Liput chopped a ball toward first base that hit the bag and bounced left, allowing Hicks to score from third as Liput beat the throw at first.
Faedo's spectacular night ended in the eighth inning after he allowed a single to Austen Wade, just the third hit the Horned Frogs managed to get off the UF ace. Faedo's 11 strikeouts Saturday gives him 157, which leads all of Division I this season.