Crowds welcome College World Series champion Gators

Florida scored four runs in the eighth inning to pull away from LSU, and the Gators beat their Southeastern Conference rival 6-1 Tuesday night to complete a two-game sweep in the College World Series finals for their first national title in baseball.

The Gators posted the eighth sweep in the 15 years of the best-of-three finals format, and first since 2013. The team was greeted by excited fans upon their return to Gainesville. 

"This is a gritty group. The togetherness they displayed was incredible. We've always had talented teams, but this one different," Coach Kevin O'Sullivan told the crowd.

The Gators (52-19) not only brought home their first NCAA title in baseball, but now they join the ranks of only a handful of teams to win in that sport and in basketball and football.

Sophomore starting pitcher Brady Singer, who hails from Eustis, threw an incredible 7-plus innings while striking out 12 batters -- a new Gator record in the College World Series.

"It hasn't set in yet.  It's an amazing feeling I'll cherish forever," Singer said.  "I've been working hard all year for this and honestly, power of the Gators goes around." 

"It's a lot of emotions, just being here today. It's amazing!" said fan Jenni Bennett. "Just so happy my boys get to experience this!  When they get my age, they'll remember the first time Gators won a national championship."

Attendance at the College World Series was the highest in the 71-year history of the event.

A total of 357,646 fans turned out for the 16 games at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, surpassing the previous record of 353,378 for 16 games in 2015. Total attendance has not fallen below 300,000 since first hitting that mark in 2006.

This year's average attendance of 22,352 was highest since the record 24,392 in 2013.