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OMAHA, Neb. —  Here we are at the first game of the College World Series Finals, and just listen to that noise.

Whifffff … 

2017 Interactive bracket Live Blog

There’s a strikeout against the first LSU batter seen by Florida pitcher Brady Singer. Anyway, it’s the Gators against the Tigers, in a matchup that shows us the SEC is not just expert with the ball that gets passed and punted.

Whifffff, whifffff …

Florida's Brady Singer (51) was the bridge to Michael Byrne that helped Florida nail down a Game 1 victory.

Florida Athletics

Florida’s Brady Singer (51) was the bridge to Michael Byrne that helped Florida nail down a Game 1 victory.

Two more strikeouts for Singer.  Where were we? Oh yeah. the fact that the guy who walked to the mound for LSU Monday hadn’t started a game in 848 days, while Singer’s last start was six days ago, well, that’s what you call an interesting pitching matchup. The Tigers had played 622.2 innings in the field this season, and Russell Reynolds had pitched 14.2 of them, with an earned average of 8.59. His last start was late in March of 2015, against Tulane. But there he was, in his mohawk haircut.

Whifffff, whifffff …

More Singer Ks. Actually Reynolds gave a mighty effort with three shutout innings, but lost the strike zone in the fourth and threw 12 balls in 15 pitches. That was it for him, and pretty soon the Gators had a 3-0 lead. Singer got in a little trouble in the fourth inning, too, with two leadoff LSU singles. But guess what happened? Right.

Whifffff, whifffff, whifffff …

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CWS Finals: Florida defeats LSU in Game One

Yes, that’s the sound of Florida Gators baseball, and it’s getting harder and harder for anyone in Omaha to be heard above the Ks.

Singer left in the eighth, ahead 4-2, with 12 more strikeouts to throw on the Florida pile – the most ever for a pitcher in a CWS Finals game – and admiration from both sides.

“That’s what studs do,” said Florida closer Michael  Byrne.

“Maybe the best pitcher I’ve seen in the SEC for an opponent since I’ve been the coach at LSU,” Paul Mainieri said.

It would end 4-3, and no wonder Florida values its pitching. The Gators have walked a fine line to this high place, with 19 one-run victories. They got by Monday with six hits. “Once again, we do just enough to stay ahead,” coach Kevin O’Sullivan said.


That makes eight games in a row with at least 11 Ks by the Gators. Alex Faedo fanned 11 and 11 in his two CWS victories, to put 22 strikeouts with no runs and five hits. He’s been even better than Singer.

“I definitely try to compete with him, but he’s hard to compete with,” Singer said.

Just look at Florida’s carnage.

This is the team that struck out 23 Wake Forest batters in one 11-inning super regional game.

RELATED: Florida outlasts Wake Forest in 11 innings