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Monday June 21, 2010Florida State Ousts Baseball From CWS, 8-5

Omaha, Neb.

Florida State (48-19) eliminated Florida (47-17) from the 2010 NCAA College World Series on Monday with an 8-5 victory in front of 19,841 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium. The Seminoles next advance to meet the loser of tonightís game between TCU (52-12) and UCLA (49-14) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Gators ended their most successful season since 2005 with the programís sixth trip to Omaha.

 

Trailing by six runs entering the ninth, the Gators rallied for three runs on four hits and had the bases loaded with one out. However, junior Mike McGee had freshman Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) line into a game-ending double play. Sophomore Jerico Weitzel (Ridgway, Pa.) and freshman Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) (2-for-4, two runs) had back-to-back one-out singles off junior Daniel Bennett and a fielding error by senior shortstop Stephen Cardullo on a grounder hit by sophomore pinch hitter Ben McMahan (Windermere, Fla.) filled the sacks. Sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) (1-for-5) came through with a three-run double down the right-field line that narrowed the gap to 8-5 and McGee was summoned from left field to the mound. Freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) (2-for-5) greeted the reliever with a single that pushed Tucker to third and senior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) was plunked for the second time in the outing to load the bases. McGee had Zunino smash a 1-2 offering that Cardullo snared and flipped over to freshman Devon Travis at second base to end the contest. McGee picked up his 13th save to help the Seminoles survive and advance.

 

The Gators had opened the scoring in the first inning on an RBI single by Maddox off sophomore left-hander Brian Busch (6-2). Fontana and junior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) had drawn consecutive walks to begin the game and Maddox sliced a one-out single into left field to break the ice. A fielderís choice by den Dekker left runners on the corners with two down and Busch worked out of further trouble with a strikeout of Zunino.

 

FSU junior Tyler Holt (3-for-4, three runs, two RBI) evened the game with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the frame off freshman Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) (8-4). His 13th round-tripper cleared the center-field wall and was the first homer allowed by the Gators to open a contest since LSUís Mikie Mahtook on May 1.

 

In the third, Randall issued back-to-back one-out walks to Holt and sophomore Sherman Johnson and McGee (2-for-4, four RBI, two runs) cranked a three-run homer into the left-field bleachers to give the Seminoles a 4-1 lead. Cardullo (2-for-5) reached on a single with two down and Randall (2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB) was replaced by freshman Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) on a 2-1 count. Fontana misplayed a grounder by freshman Jayce Boyd and junior pinch hitter Stuart Tapley was plunked to load the bases before Johnson fanned Travis to close the frame.

 

The Seminoles tacked on another run in the fourth on a sacrifice bunt by McGee that brought across Holt for a 5-1 advantage. With one down, Holt singled up the middle and Johnson followed with a base-hit through the right side for runners on first and third. After McGee laid down the run-scoring bunt, sophomore James Ramsey delivered a two-out single for runners on the corners. Johnson then had Cardullo fly out to strand the runners.

 

Senior Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (2-for-4) clubbed his third homer of the season to bring the Gators within 5-2 in the fifth. It was his first big fly since April 21 at USF and landed in the right-field stands, just beyond the reach of right fielder Ramsey.†

 

Maddox reached on a throwing error by Johnson with one out in the sixth and den Dekker was hit by a pitch from Busch (5.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 3 K) to cause a pitching change. Junior Geoff Parker had Zunino pop up in foul territory on his first pitch and then whiffed sophomore pinch hitter Tyler Thompson (Tequesta, Fla.) to work out of the jam.

 

Pigott opened the seventh with a hard single through the left side and Fontana roped a one-out base-knock for a pair of Gators aboard. Parker had Adams fly out to straightaway center field and induced an infield fly by Tucker to hold the margin at 5-2.

 

Cardullo launched his 11th homer over the center-field wall to begin the home part of the stanza, increasing FSUís lead to 6-2. Sophomore Anthony DeSclafani (Freehold, N.J.) replaced Johnson (3.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R) and was greeted by a single into right by Boyd. After Tapley sacrificed his teammate over with a bunt and redshirt junior Rafael Lopez drew a two-out walk, Holt delivered an RBI single to expand the Seminolesí lead to 7-2 and force another call to the bullpen. Junior Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) took over for DeSclafani (0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R) and had Johnson ground out.

 

Zunino and Thompson collected back-to-back two-out singles in the eighth to end Parkerís time on the hill. Over 2.1 scoreless innings, the right-hander gave up four hits and had one strikeout. Bennett came in but Thompson was caught in a run-down between first and base for the third out.

 

McGee started the home part of the eighth with a double into right center and took third on a wild pitch. Boyd sliced a two-out RBI single into left field to provide the Seminoles with a six-run advantage and cause another pitching move. Sophomore Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) came in for Chapman (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R) and caught freshman pinch hitter Justin Gonzalez looking on strikes.

 

Florida State enjoyed a 14-10 edge in hits and defeated the Gators for the fourth time in five meetings this year to stay alive at the double-elimination event.

 

Game Notes

          Florida State posted its first win over Florida at the NCAA College World Series after suffering three defeats.

          The Gators dropped four of five meetings to the Seminoles this season, with each contest held in a different city.

          FSU has ended UFís season twice in the past three years (2008 NCAA Tallahassee Regional; 2010 NCAA College World Series).

          It was just the third time this season that the Gators lost consecutive games (March 26 & 27 at Ole Miss; May 22 & May 26 at South Carolina and versus LSU in the SEC Tournament, respectively).

          Freshman Hudson Randallís six-game winning streak spanning his last 10 starts came to an end. His last defeat was on April 4 against Vanderbilt.

          Freshman Brian Johnson made his second relief appearance of the year, both against Florida State.

 

-UF-

 

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