Before a University of Florida postseason record crowd of 5,250
fans at McKethan Stadium on Friday night, No. 6 Florida (44-20) claimed the
opening game of its best-of-three NCAA Super Regional against No. 9 Florida
State (53-19) with an 8-1 victory. Senior Tommy
Boss (Dunnellon, Fla.) twirled his second-straight
compete game and was backed by four homers by the Gators, including three in a
row during the fifth inning.
scattered seven hits in going the distance for the second time in the NCAA
Tournament, as the right-hander limited North
Carolina to three hits in a 5-2 UF win on June 4. He
made his final appearance at McKethan Stadium a memorable occasion by securing
the Gators’ first-ever Super Regional triumph. Boss now has four complete-game
efforts in the postseason over the past two years.
Florida will send junior Alan
Horne (Marianna, Fla.) (8-2, 4.05 ERA)
to the hill against junior Mark Sauls (6-1, 3.68 ERA)
tomorrow at 7 p.m. The contest will be carried live on ESPN2 as the Orange and Blue looks to
punch a ticket to the College World Series for the first time since 1998.
Senior Jeff Corsaletti (Port Charlotte, Fla.)
provided the Gators with a 1-0 lead in the third with his 10th homer of the
season. Sophomore Bryan Henry had not allowed a hit until Corsaletti
sent a first-pitch fastball over the right-field wall for his fourth
round-tripper of the postseason.
staged a two-out rally in the fourth that yielded three runs to seize a 4-0
margin. Sophomore Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a
double by freshman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.).
After Henry induced a pop foul by sophomore Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.),
junior Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla.) deposited a bleeder just beyond
the mound for a two-run lead. Junior Stephen
Fla.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases
before sophomore Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.)
roped a two-run single into left field for a 4-0 lead. The four runs allowed by
Henry were the most he had surrendered in a game this season.
Daniel Wardell led off the fifth with his 10th home
run into the left-field bleachers to bring FSU within 4-1. However, Jeroloman, McArthur and Leclerc
blasted back-to-back-to-back solo homers for a 7-1 cushion in the bottom of the
inning. Jeroloman connected on his seventh dinger to
right field, McArthur followed with his second four-bagger of the year to left
and Leclerc completed the trifecta
with his 12th homer off the scoreboard overlooking right field. The last time Florida had swatted three-straight homers in an inning
occurred on March 25, 1998, when David
Ross, Derek Nicholson and Jason Dill accomplished the feat
Sophomore Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.)
started the seventh with a base-hit up the middle off junior reliever Hunter
Jones. Jeroloman then induced a four-pitch walk to put
runners on first and second. After McArthur grounded into a fielder’s choice
for the first out of the inning, Leclerc also had a
fielder’s choice to second base. LaPorta scored on
the play making the score 8-1, but as Seminole freshman shortstop Ryne Jernigan tried to finish off a double play, no one
covered the bag at first and the throw bounced off the wall down the right-field
line. Although Leclerc turned towards second and did
not try to advance, first-base umpire Dave Buck allowed Jones to tag out Leclerc on the play to end the frame.
Florida State tried to mount a comeback in the
ninth inning as it drew a walk and recorded their seventh hit, a line drive by
senior Aaron Cheesman up the middle. However, Boss
got a ground ball out from freshman right fielder Jack Rye and then finished off
the contest with a strikeout of Wardell.
players registered multiple-hit outings, Corsaletti
(2-for-5), Dickey (2-for-4) and McArthur (2-for-4). For the Seminoles, Jernigan
led the way with two hits. Henry (9-3) yielded seven hits and seven runs with
three strikeouts and a walk. Jones (2.0 IP, two hits, one
run) and sophomore Brian Chambers (1.0 IP, one hit, one strikeout) also pitched
for the Garnet and Gold.
earned runs scored by Florida
against Henry equaled the same amount of runs that he allowed in a stretch of
59 innings that ran from April 12 to May 25. Florida State
has never advanced to the College World Series after losing the first game of a
Super Regional. The seven-run victory by the Gators was the largest margin of
defeat the Seminoles have ever experienced in a Super Regional as well.