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Gators prepare for College World Series Opener against No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies

Following a 2024 campaign full of euphoric peaks and gut-wrenching valleys, the Florida Gators baseball team has made its way to Omaha for the men’s College World Series.

The road to this year’s series has been anything but normal for Florida. After finishing the regular season with a 28-26 record, the Gators narrowly qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

The Gators will turn to freshman ace Liam Peterson on the mound for their first game of the weekend, while the Aggies are expected to start Justin Lamkin. First pitch in Saturday’s matchup is currently set for 7 p.m. EDT.

“I think it’s been well scripted that we’ve underachieved quite a bit this year, but we played a really difficult schedule, and we played in some really tough places,” UF head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said.

UF earned a berth in the Stillwater Regional, hosted by the No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Florida faced the brink of elimination early on in the regional, but ended up winning three consecutive games in less than a 24-hour span to advance to Super Regionals.

From there, the Gators faced the No. 6 Clemson Tigers in a best-of-three series. Entering the weekend as sizable underdogs, Florida stunned the hosting Tigers in a 10-7 Game 1 victory to take an early advantage in the series. Michael Robertson punched UF’s ticket to Omaha with a two-RBI walk-off double in Game 2 to clinch an 11-10 win through 13 innings.

Things will not get any easier for the Gators as they lace up for the College World Series. Florida will open up its week in Omaha against the No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies, who are coming off a dominant performance of their own in the Bryan-College Station Super Regional. The Gators came away victorious in their regular season series against the Aggies last March, but they have also endured their fair share of struggles since then.

Nevertheless, as his squad comes into Omaha performing better than ever before, Robertson affirmed his confidence that the Gators will be able to pick up where they left off in Clemson and keep their Cinderella run alive.

“Obviously, our backs have been up against the wall for what feels like the majority of the year, so I think we’re battle tested and ready to go,” Robertson said. “Whatever is thrown our way, I think we’re going to be prepared and ready to rock.”

Jack is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.