Image credit: (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy are joined by Florida outfielder Austin Langworthy to discuss game 3 of the Gainesville Super Regional, a 3-2 win for Florida in extra innings to send the Gators to their fourth straight College World Series.
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Langworthy played the hero in the game, connecting for a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th off of Auburn reliever Cody Greenhill, who he had also homered against the night before. The fact that the homer happened would be dramatic enough, but how the homer happened adds to it.
Langworthy’s hit is a laser to right field, where Auburn’s Steven Williams appears to be tracking it. He squares his shoulders to the field and leaps up to make the catch, perhaps thinking he was right up against the wall, only to have the ball carom off of his glove and land over the wall.
It was quite the way to end what was an outstanding game overall. Considering it was the third game of a super regional, both teams got great pitching. For Florida, that included then freshman righthander Jack Leftwich, who threw five solid innings, and right-handed reliever Michael Byrne, who threw four dominant innings to close it out.
Florida also created some excitement with how it took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. With Blake Reese on third, Nick Horvath starts to take off on an attempted steal of second. After a few steps, he falls down to distract Auburn pitcher Andrew Mitchell, which keeps Mitchell occupied long enough to allow Reese to score.
With the outstanding pitching, the ability to scratch runs across out of thin air and a veteran player like Langworthy coming through in the clutch, this game is a wonderful example of a Florida team that expected to win this game and simply found a way to do so.
Among the topics discussed with Langworthy in this episode are:
- How the program was able to go on a run of four straight CWS appearances
- Jonathan India’s homer to get the scoring started
- How the team prepared to pull off the play that allowed Blake Reese to steal home
- Jack Leftwich’s pitching peformance
- Michael Byrne’s dominance
- Florida’s water balloon tradition on home runs
- When he realized the ball had gone off of Williams’ glove and over the wall
- His memories of his trip around the bases