Nebraska and Florida met once again in the Stillwater Regional Sunday afternoon with both teams facing elimination. The Gators beat the Huskers in the regional opener on Friday before both found their way looking at a shot to reach the regional final.

In the early innings of the game, both teams dialed up some big hits and key moments with Florida clinging to a 7-4 lead entering a weather delay. Once that delay passed, Nebraska cut things to 7-6 in the top of the 6th inning.

That would be as close as Nebraska would get to Florida the rest of the way. Jac Caglianone would jumpstart a 4-run frame by the Gators in the bottom of the 6th with an RBI double, and a big-time rout by Florida would quickly ensue.

By the time we reached the end of the game, Florida had slugged its way to a 17-11 win on 16 hits to avoid elimination and advance to the regional finals and a rematch vs. Oklahoma State set for Sunday night. Meanwhile, Nebraska heads home after being eliminated with its 2nd loss of the regional.

Key players

Caglianone struggled on the mound Saturday after surrendering 4 home runs to Oklahoma State, but he etched his name into the NCAA record books with his 30th home run of the season. (It is Caglianone’s 2nd season with 30+ home runs.) Facing Nebraska a 2nd time, Caglianone came up with multiple big hits early, including a massive 3-run homer in the 2nd inning.

His 31st HR of the season and 2nd of the regional was a 119 MPH bullet to right field:

Facing elimination, Florida was able to get the most out of its best player with Caglianone finishing 2-for-4 with 4 runs scored, 4 RBI and 2 walks. He went a combined 3-for-5 with 5 walks, 5 runs scored and 4 RBI in 2 games against the Huskers.

Florida also registered home runs from Colby Shelton and Luke Heyman in a 6-run 7th inning to cement its lead. Shelton’s shot was a 3-run blast to the opposite field.

While Nebraska eventually ran out of steam, Gabe Swansen continued the postseason of a lifetime with his 4th home run of the Stillwater Regional. He opened the scoring with a 2-run blast in the top of the 1st.

Joshua Overbeek also homered for Nebraska and led the Huskers with 4 RBI while Dylan Carey doubled and drove in 2 runs.

Now, Florida will move onto the regional finals with a rematch against Oklahoma State set for Sunday evening. The Gators must win against the Cowboys to force a winner-take-all matchup on Monday, but the bats will need to be much better than the 1 run they managed Saturday night against an electric Brian Holiday.

Nebraska was the final Big Ten team left standing in the regional round but joins Illinois and Indiana as teams to be eliminated on Sunday.

Indiana registered a win over Southern Miss to open the Knoxville Regional but fell to an elimination game after a 12-6 loss to Tennessee Saturday night. Southern Miss cranked up the heat with 15 runs across the first 4 innings in a blowout 15-3 win in the elimination game.

Illinois also registered a win in the regional round, beating Indiana State 4-1 to advance into the winner’s bracket. Unfortunately, a 6-1 loss to Lexington Regional host Kentucky and a 13-2 loss to Indiana State on Sunday sent the Illini home.