OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Some things to know as Florida (50-19) and LSU (52-18) play for the national championship in the best-of-three College World Series finals starting Monday night:
WHO IS THIS GUY?
LSU is short on starting pitching because of a forearm injury to Eric Walker, so coach Paul Mainieri is throwing right-hander Russell Reynolds in Game 1. Reynolds has made 14 appearances this season, but this will be his first start in 2017.
“We’re going to count on Russell’s experience as a fifth-year senior,” Mainieri said. “He’s pitched very well the last few times out, and we feel like he gives us the best chance to get us off to a good start.”
Reynolds (1-1, 8.59 ERA) is a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native who pitched a scoreless inning in LSU’s 13-1 loss to Oregon State last Monday. He’s worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings over his last three relief appearances, allowing one hit with one strikeout.
Florida is starting Brady Singer (8-5, 3.18 ERA) in Game 1.
GOING FOR SEVEN
LSU would be alone in second place in all-time titles if it wins a seventh this week. Skip Bertman coached the Tigers to championships in 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2000, and Mainieri coached the 2009 title team. The Tigers are tied with Texas for second with six championships. Southern California is the leader with 12.
GOING FOR FIRST
Florida is in the finals for the third time. The Gators were swept in their previous appearances, by South Carolina in 2011 and by Texas in 2005.
MAKE IT A DOZEN
The Southeastern Conference is assured of winning its 12th national championship in baseball. That will rank second among conferences, well behind the Pac-12’s 28. The Big 12 is third with nine titles.
Florida coach Kevin…