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Friday, June 24, 2011

Florida Gators Beat Vanderbilt 6-4, Clinch Spot in 2011 CWS Finals

Vanderbilt's Tony Kemp, bottom, is caught stealing by Florida first baseman Preston Tucker (25) following a rundown between first and second base in the third inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball game in Omaha, Neb., Friday, June 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Francis)       
The University of Florida baseball team has advanced to the 2011 College World Series Finals.

Florida (53-17) held on to beat Vanderbilt 6-4 in a CWS rematch between the two teams. The Gators beat the Commodores 3-1 on Tuesday.

But the win didn't come easy for the second-seeded Gators, who will play either South Carolina or Virginia in next week's best-of-three finals series.

Vanderbilt (54-12) started the scoring in the first inning when Aaron Westlake homered to right field.

The Gators tied the game at one in the third on Preston Tucker's sacrifice ground-out.

Florida would add three more runs to its lead in the fourth inning.

Josh Adams and Tyler Thompson came across the plate on Nolan Fontana's RBI single.

Daniel Pigot scored on a fielder's choice later in the inning to make the score 4-1.

Vanderbilt mounted a comeback in the seventh and eighth innings, tying the game at four.

Mike Yastrzemski scored off Connor Harrell's RBI single to make the score 4-2 before Florida's bullpen almost cost the Gators a berth in the finals.

With the bases loaded, Vanderbilt's Tony Kemp walked to make the score 4-3.

In the eighth inning with the bases again loaded, Florida's Austin Maddox hit batter Conrag Greggor to force the tying run.

But the Gators bounced back in the bottom of the eighth thanks to Tucker's RBI single that drove in Pigott to regain the lead.

Cody Dent added another run later in the inning thanks to a wild pitch to close out the scoring.

The first game of the 2011 College World Series best-of-three finals airs Monday night at 8 ET on ESPN.

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