Virginia vs. Florida
3 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Florida has already had a chance to beat Virginia, but it couldn't solve Brandon Waddell in their 1-0 loss earlier this week. It now has to beat the Cavaliers twice in a row in order to advance to the CWS final.
The Gators are at an apparent advantage in this one from a starting pitching perspective. They'll be able to send out staff ace Logan Shore and his 2.55 ERA on the season. Shore has already won in Omaha, as he pitched the first five innings of Florida's 15-3 win over Miami (FL) in the Gators' opening game. He gave up all three runs of that contest, but the offense gave him plenty of run support.
Virginia is giving the ball to Nathan Kirby, who is making his first start in a couple of months after missing time due to injury. Seeing as how this is his first game back from so much time on the bench, it's hard to guess how many innings he'll be able to throw today. UVa might have to dig into its bullpen, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but might limit the team's relief options should a second game be needed.
With the team's primary starter on the mound and after being blanked last time, the burden for the Gators in this one rests with the offense. It has to find a way to get some players circulating through the basepaths, or else the whole team will be back in Gainesville by this time tomorrow. UF is the home team in this game.
TCU vs. Vanderbilt
8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Vandy is the lone remaining SEC team without a loss, so they have some margin for error in this game with TCU. If the winners bracket teams both win today, we'll end up with a rematch of last year's final between Vanderbilt and Virginia.
Neither team has named a starter as of the time of posting, but the conventional wisdom right now is that the Commodores will go with Walker Buehler. He's been the team's third starter all season, and he was a first round pick in the MLB Draft. He hasn't pitched in nearly three weeks, though, since Vandy didn't need his services in the Super Regional. He last saw action in Vandy's monster 21-0 demolition of Radford in the regional. He will be fresh and ready to go if he is the guy, and him winning today would allow the Commodores to go with Carson Fulmer in the first game of the championship series.
TCU has a couple of options. The Frogs have used three of their four starting pitchers so far, so it would figure from that perspective that it's time for the fourth one in Tyler Alexander. That said, going with senior Preston Morrison is on the table too, as he has had four days of rest after beating LSU in TCU's first game in Omaha. Morrison tends to go fairly deep into games, so Jim Schlossnagle might go with him today with the hopes that he stays keeps the bullpen quiet and maximizes the pitching options for a hypothetical second game with Vandy.
Vanderbilt will have to find its championship resolve and not relax today knowing that a loss doesn't end their season. TCU will have plenty of motivation, so the Commodores will need to match their intensity. Vandy will be the home team in this game.