Game 13 Summary: Virginia v. Florida

A seventh-inning sac fly and a clutch relief performance by Josh Sborz led Virginia past Florida, 5-4, at the 2015 Men’s College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park.

The back-and-forth game featured two lead changes and timely hitting from both teams, until Kenny Towns’ bases-loaded sacrifice in the seventh inning secured the game for the Cavaliers.

In the bottom of the first, Thaiss got the Cavaliers out to an early 1-0 lead with a solo home run to right field. In the second, Peter Alonso took the lead back for Florida with a monster home run to straightaway center that scored two.

Virginia tied the game in the fourth on a triple to deep center by Pavin Smith and a sacrifice fly by Joe McCarthy to bring Smith home. Harrison Bader put Florida back on top, 3-2, in the top of the fifth with a solo homer to left center. Virginia went up 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Daniel Pinero and Thaiss each singled through the right side, then Towns hit a double down the left field line to score both runners.

Sborz came in to relieve starter Brandon Waddell in the sixth and shut down the Gators’ offense with four innings of three-hit, scoreless relief. He earned his sixth win of the year.

The Gators pulled even in the sixth. JJ Schwarz singled up the middle, and Mike Rivera drove him in with a single through to right center.

In the seventh, the Cavaliers loaded the bases on a single, a walk and an intentional walk, then Towns skied his sac fly to right field to score Clement from third.

The Gators added two home runs to their 2015 CWS haul, including the longest HR at TD Ameritrade Park and the first over the center field fence. They lead all CWS teams with six homers.

Towns led Virginia with three RBI on one hit. Matt Thaiss went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Taylor Lewis took the loss for Florida. He gave up the decisive run in 1.2 innings of relief. Bader went 4-for-5 for Florida with a home run and three singles. Alonso’s two RBI led the Gators.

No. 4 seed Florida ends its season at 52-18.

Virginia (42-23) reaches its second straight CWS Finals, where it faces last year’s opponent (and defending champion) Vanderbilt. The two teams will meet on Monday at 7 p.m. in a best-of-three series. It will be the first finals rematch since North Carolina-Oregon State in 2006-2007.