Jac Caglianone hits record HR, helps Florida move on in MCWS

Jac Caglianone blasts a 3-run HR to put Gators on top (0:37)

Jac Caglianone puts the Gators ahead of NC State with a three-run home run in the top of the second inning. (0:37)

OMAHA, Neb. -- Two-way star Jac Caglianone broke the Florida single-season home run record to give his school the lead an inning after he struggled on the mound and got pulled, and the Gators eliminated North Carolina State from the Men's College World Series with a 5-4 victory Monday.

Florida (35-29) moved to another elimination game Tuesday against the loser of Monday night's Texas A&M-Kentucky matchup.

The Gators are 4-0 in elimination games since regionals and 8-1 in win-or-go-home games in the past two NCAA tournaments.

"That's the standard around here and it's our responsibility to uphold that standard, to play winning baseball and get here to Omaha and be the last team standing," Florida's Tyler Shelnut said. "Any time we're in a spot where our backs are against the wall we honestly play our best baseball, hands down without a doubt."

Caglianone, a projected top-five pick in next month's amateur draft because of his bat, labored through a 33-pitch first inning. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound lefty hit a batter and walked two to load the bases, gave up Brandon Butterworth's RBI single and then got a strikeout and fly out to mitigate what could have been a big inning for NC State.

His fastball averaged 89.5 mph in the inning -- it had never been below 92 mph in his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information -- and he was shown rubbing his elbow in the dugout after the first inning.

Coach Kevin O'Sullivan opted to lift him for Cade Fisher (4-3). He said Caglianone wasn't sharp in super regionals against Clemson, and he could tell he was off Monday.

"Definitely didn't have my best stuff today," Caglianone said. "I knew I would still have opportunities at the plate to step up for my team."

Caglianone stayed in the game as the designated hitter and atoned for what happened on the mound. NC State starter Dominic Fritton (3-7) struck him out on three pitches in the first inning, but in the second Caglianone drilled his low fastball over the right-center fence for a three-run homer and 4-1 lead.

The 404-foot low rider was his 34th homer, breaking his school's single-season record of 33 set last year, and moved him into a tie with Matt LaPorta (2004-2007) for career homers at Florida with 74.

"It's a cool feeling," Caglianone said. "Mr. LaPorta has reached out a couple times during the year. He's actually here now with his kids and family. It was a special moment for sure. But end of the day, I was too caught up in just trying to win, staying here and surviving and advancing."

Caglianone became the first starting pitcher to homer in a MCWS game since Auburn's Tim Hudson did it against Rice in 1997.

NC State coach Elliott Avent said he knew he would be replacing Fritton with Logan Whitaker in the third inning, but he left Fritton in to face Caglianone because of his success against him the last time he was up.

"We thought we'd see if Caglianone wanted to chase again," Avent said. "That ball he hit to right center, you're looking at a future big-leaguer. I can tell you that."

Whitaker replaced Fritton to start the third and allowed two hits and a run and struck out 10 over seven innings.

The Wolfpack's Alec Makarewicz and the Gators' Shelnut also homered, and NC State cut the lead to 5-4 in the fifth on Butterworth's RBI double.

NC State had its leadoff man reach base in the sixth, seventh and eighth but couldn't push the tying run across against Brandon Neely. The Wolfpack had the top of the order up in ninth. Neely caught Eli Serrano III looking at strike three, Garrett Pennington struck out when he couldn't check his swing on a pitch out of the zone and Makarewicz lined out to left to end the game.

Neely, who earned his fifth save, allowed one hit and struck out six in three innings. He has surrendered just three earned runs and struck out 32 in 21 innings in the NCAA tournament.

NC State (38-23) went 0-2 in the MCWS for the first time in four all-time appearances.

"These players took us on a ride of a lifetime," Avent said. "This place is magical. It's so hard to get here and so hard to leave."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.