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Monday June 20, 2005Gator Baseball Upends No. 2 Nebraska, 7-4, To Remain In CWS Winner?s Bracket

Omaha, NE

Before a crowd of 26,813 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium on Sunday night, the second-highest attendance in NCAA College World Series history, fifth-ranked Florida (47-20) defeated second-ranked Nebraska (57-14), 7-4, in a winner’s bracket contest. With their season-best seventh-straight win, the Gators need one more victory to reach next weekend’s best-of-three championship series.

 

The Huskers, who saw an end to their 11-game winning streak, will next face Arizona State (40-24) in an elimination game on Tuesday afternoon. The Sun Devils ousted Tennessee earlier today, 4-2, after scoring three runs in the eighth inning. The Gators will meet either ASU or Nebraska at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, live on ESPN.

 

Senior Jeff Corsaletti (Port Charlotte, Fla.) tied an NCAA College World Series record with three doubles and finished 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBI, while sophomore Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) (2-for-5) connected on a two-run homer in the opening stanza. Junior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) was brilliant in relief of senior Tommy Boss (Dunnellon, Fla.), holding the Huskers scoreless for 4.1 innings to improve to 8-3 on the campaign. Meanwhile, NU freshman Johnny Dorn (12-2) saw his 12-game winning streak snapped. 

 

The Gators jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on Davis 11th home run of the season. Corsaletti had opened the game with a double down the right-field line, his team-leading 16th two-bagger of the year. Davis sent Dorn’s next pitch over the wall in right to put Florida on the scoreboard first.  

 

Nebraska cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly to right by junior Alex Gordon. Senior Jesse Boyer had led off with a double into the left-field corner and moved to third on a fly-out by senior Joe Simokaitis. Following Gordon’s sac fly, senior Curtis Ledbetter walked on four pitches. A base-hit up the middle by rookie Andy Gerch advanced Ledbetter to third before Boss retired freshman Ryan Bohanan on a comebacker to the mound.

 

Florida regained its two-run lead in the third on a sacrifice fly to right by sophomore Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.). Corsaletti had poked a one-out double into left and took third on Davis’ second hit of the night. Davis moved into scoring position with his 24th stolen base but Dorn responded with a strikeout of sophomore Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) to end the frame.

 

The Huskers pulled to within 3-2 in the third on a two-out RBI double into left by senior Daniel Bruce. Boss retired the first two hitters before Gerch and Bohanan each deposited a Texas Leaguer into the shallow part of the outfield. With runners on the corners, Bruce smoked a double just inside the left-field line to score Gerch. Boss had freshman Ryan Wehrle ground out to freshman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) to bring Nebraska’s total to six runners left on base.

 

The Gators erupted for four runs on three hits and a Husker error in the fifth to seize a 7-2 lead. Junior Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla.) reached on a fielding error to start things off and junior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) worked the count to 2-0 before NU head coach Mike Anderson replaced Dorn (4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER) with junior Brian Duensing. Barton beat out an infield hit to give the Gators two runners aboard and Corsaletti cleared the bases with his third double of the game to increase the margin to 5-2. He became the seventh player in CWS history to have three doubles in an outing. After Davis grounded out, LaPorta was walked intentionally with two down. The move backfired when Jeroloman rifled his 11th double to left field to bring across two more runs for a 7-2 Gator advantage.

 

Nebraska countered with two runs in the home portion of the fifth to close the gap to 7-4. Bohanan and Bruce stroked consecutive two-out singles and Wehrle bashed a two-run double into right center to end Boss’ time on the hill. Over 4.2 innings, the right-hander scattered 10 hits and four runs with three strikeouts and two walks. O’Day came out of the bullpen and struck out junior Jeff Christy. The right-hander would permit only two singles to the 15 batters he faced.

 

Nebraska held a 12-9 advantage in hits, as the trio of Gerch (2-for-5), Bohanan (2-for-4) and Bruce (2-for-3) turned in multiple-hit outings. For the Gators, Jeroloman chipped in two RBI for the second-consecutive game and boosted his hitting streak to a career-high eight games. The Huskers left 10 men aboard, compared to five for the Orange and Blue.

 

MEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES POSTGAME QUOTES

Game Six - Florida (47-20) vs. Nebraska (57-14)

 

Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson

(opening statement):  It’s probably a game of execution.  They got some things done and we didn’t.  (Starting pitcher) Johnny (Dorn) settled in after the first inning, but we couldn’t afford to let the game get away from us.  Our kids fought and kept battling.  They produced hits, but nothing to drive in runs when we had runners on base.  From the seventh inning on they shut us down.”

 

(about the success of the 5-9 hitters): “We’ve had good production out of our 5-9 guys.  That’s been evident the last few weeks.  The freshmen in the lineup have done some good things.  Florida did a good job of keeping the leadoff hitters off base.”

 

(about the first two batters of the fifth inning reaching base): “It was big.  That’s a mental letdown that happened.  People who have seen us play this year know that hasn’t happened.  They didn’t produce a run on that play, but give them credit for driving in a run.  You can’t give extra outs.”

 

Nebraska Starting Pitcher Johnny Dorn

(about Florida’s run producing):  “They did that tonight with the leadoff and the two hole.  They kept producing with a lot of timely hits.  They were very solid all around.  They don’t overwhelm you, but they’re a darn good ball club.”

 

(about Jeff Corsaletti’s hits): “I was throwing fast balls and a couple of curves.  It was a fastball in on the first double.  He got a good swing.  It was a fastball on the second hit.  I put it outside a little too much.”

 

(about whether he was nervous): “I felt good from the beginning.  Things didn’t go my way. The first two batters hit me.  I felt OK.”

 

Florida Head Coach Pat McMahon

(opening statement)

“What an outstanding ball game. What an outstanding environment. I’m very proud of the way we competed all the way to the end. Both clubs competed their hearts out tonight.”

 

(on Jeff Corsaletti)

“Jeff is one of the most outstanding competitors I’ve ever been around. That sets the tone for our team. He practices like he plays every day. He likes the arena and he likes to perform.”

 

(on relief pitcher Darren O’Day)

“Darren O’Day was outstanding. He threw strikes and he competed. He had a tremendous look in his eyes.”

 

Center fielder Jeff Corsaletti

(on Florida taking an early lead)

“We were happy to be the away team because we wanted to start early and set the tone. We had 26,000 people get quiet in a hurry. We couldn’t have scripted a better start.”

 

Catcher Brian Jeroloman

(on playing in front of a partisan crowd)

“We’re honored to play in front of this many people. It’s an advantage to both teams not just Nebraska. That’s a great team and they kept fighting until the very end. We played a great game today.”

 

Second baseman Adam Davis

(on starting the CWS 2-0)

“It’s a great place to be but it’s still anybody’s game. It’s nice to be in this situation but we’ve still got to be on our toes.”

 

-UF-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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