Florida Gators: Matt Price

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- When Florida pitcher Greg Larson found out the Gators’ first game in the College World Series is against SEC rival South Carolina, he got excited.

"They’ve had a great run," Larson said of the two-time defending national champion Gamecocks. "Just kind of thinking about last year, we were going to run into them sooner or later, so why not first game in Omaha?"

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Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesSouth Carolina edged Florida in the College World Series final last season.
What Larson was thinking about from last year was South Carolina’s sweep over Florida in the best-of-three CWS championship series. The Gamecocks won the first game 2-1 in 11 innings and the second game 5-2. But Larson said while the Gators remember that heartbreak, they aren’t talking about revenge or anything like that.

"The year has dulled it," he said. "I don’t think there’s any bitterness. We’ve kind of moved on from last year and are trying to make this year count."

Top-seeded Florida (47-18) is the favorite to win the national title despite South Carolina (45-17) winning the last two titles and riding a 21-game NCAA tournament winning streak. The Gators have outscored opponents 41-14 this postseason, which the majority of the runs allowed coming in Sunday’s 9-8 victory over N.C. State to sweep the Super Regional.

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