(WVUE) - As LSU trotted out rarely-used senior pitcher Russell Reynolds for their CWS Championship Series opener, Florida sent ace Brady Singer to the mound and the contrast paid off.
The Gators got seven innings out of their freshman, who allowed three runs and struck out a CWS series-record 12 batters. Meanwhile, Reynolds exited in the fourth inning with the bases loaded. Three runs eventually scored, all credited to the righty.
Cole Freeman fell victim to Singer to end the third inning but did muster a hit and a walk in the 4-3 loss. "Obviously the goal for that is to get that pitcher out of the game as early as possible," said Freeman. "Even if you don't get a base hit, you want to have a long at bat. There's some things we maybe could have changed, those three pitch strikeouts, first pitch swings, maybe get his pitch count up a little more but maybe if we're not as aggressive, maybe we're striking out more, not getting those base hits...he's a really good pitcher."
Designated hitter Beau Jordan also broke through eventually, bringing Zach Watson home on his only hit of the day but singles out one pitch that hurt the Tigers Monday night. "Swung at his slider off the plate more than we should have," said Jordan. "He's a really good pitcher, a lot of props to him, he pitched a heck of a game and we gotta move on."
After the game, players said coach Paul Mainieri projected that Singer would be the first overall pick in the MLB Draft next year when he is eligible.