The Gators (49-20) have won two straight following a loss to Tech in their CWS opener and moved to the Bracket 2 final against Southeastern Conference rival Arkansas. The No. 1 national seed would have to beat the Razorbacks on Friday and again Saturday to return to the best-of-three championship round next week.
Florida freshman Jack Leftwich (5-5) allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out five in 6 1/3 innings. He escaped trouble in the second and fourth innings before leaving with two runners on base in the seventh.
That’s when Tech (45-20) and its high-scoring offense started to make trouble for the Gators and their bullpen.
Tech scored three times against four pitchers in the seventh to make it a two-run game. The Gators got those three runs back in the top of the eighth, with Brady Smith tripling off the center-field wall.
Tech came back with three more runs in the eighth against three relievers to make it 8-6. Florida got one of those runs back in the ninth, and Michael Byrne pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 16th save.
Josh Jung went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and Grant Little drove in three runs for Texas Tech.