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Sunday June 26, 2005Texas Defeats Baseball To Claim NCAA College World Series, 6-2

Omaha, NE -

Sophomore Kyle McCulloch was masterful in clinching Texas’ sixth NCAA College World Series crown on Sunday afternoon at Rosenblatt Stadium, holding Florida scoreless for 6.1 innings in a 6-2 triumph. The Longhorns (56-16) were a perfect 5-0 in Omaha in bringing home their first national title since 2002. The Gators (48-23) saw the best season in school history end with the program’s highest finish at the CWS. UT swept the best-of-three championship series this season after falling to Cal State Fullerton in two games last year.

Named the Most Outstanding Player of the CWS, senior third baseman David Maroul was 3-for-4 and notched four RBI, including a three-run homer in a four-run sixth frame for the Longhorns. Sophomore Chance Wheeless finished 2-for-4 with two runs and socked a solo homer, while junior Taylor Teagarden went 2-for-3 and scored twice for Texas. Sophomore Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.) provided the Gator offense with a two-run dinger in the seventh. Despite being the runner-up, Florida did not place anyone on the all-tournament squad.

Texas threatened in its first at bat but was kept at bay by junior Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda, Fla.), who induced a ground ball from senior Will Crouch that resulted in an inning-ending double play. Sophomore Nick Peoples led off the inning with a single into left field and was sacrificed into scoring position by classmate Drew Stubbs. A liner into left by senior Seth Johnston gave the Longhorns runners on the corners before Crouch grounded to junior shortstop Justin Tordi (Orlando, Fla.). Tordi scooped up the ball, fired to sophomore Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) at second base and the relay went over to sophomore Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) to beat the runner by a step.

A two-out single in the second by Maroul gave the Horns a 1-0 lead. Wheeless had opened the frame with a base-hit into left and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Teagarden. A grounder by sophomore Carson Kainer pushed Wheeless to third and Maroul roped Ball’s 0-1 pitch into left to put UT on top first for the second-straight game.  

A costly two-out error by sophomore Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) enabled Texas to seize a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Teagarden poked a one-out single up the middle and Ball responded with a strikeout of Kainer. Maroul lofted a ball into left that glanced off Dickey’s glove, allowing Teagarden to score all the way from first base and Maroul to reach second. Ball whiffed Hudson to strand the runner.

Junior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.) delivered UF’s second hit of the game off McCulloch to start the sixth and advanced to second on a grounder by senior Jeff Corsaletti (Port Charlotte, Fla.). A fly ball by Davis enabled Barton to occupy third and the righty had LaPorta fly out to the warning track in left to preserve the 2-0 margin.

In the bottom of the inning, Wheeless cranked his second homer of the CWS for a 3-0 Longhorn lead. The round-tripper was his sixth of the year and ended the afternoon for Ball. The righty (7-6) worked 5.1 innings, giving up six hits and three runs (two earned), with three strikeouts and a walk. Teagarden greeted senior reliever Connor Falkenbach (Parkland, Fla.) with a double to center field and Kainer followed with a walk. Maroul then jacked a three-run blast over the center field wall for a 6-0 cushion. Hudson smacked a single through the left side to chase Falkenbach (3 H, 3 R) in favor of junior Darren O’Day (Jacksonville, Fla.), who set down the next two UT hitters. O’Day hurled 2.2 innings in which he allowed one hit.

Leclerc put the Gators on the board in the seventh with his 15th homer, a two-run shot to left center. Freshman Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) had collected his second hit of the game with an infield hit with one down and Leclerc connected on a 1-0 pitch to avert the shutout. McCullough departed after yielding a single to Tordi and was replaced by sophomore Randy Boone, who issued a walk to Barton. The right-hander ended the stanza by having Corsaletti pop out to first base. McCullough scattered five hits over 6.2 innings and totaled eight K in improving to 12-4.  

LaPorta earned a free pass with one out in the eighth and sophomore Brian Jeroloman (Wellington, Fla.) delivered a base-hit into right to push his teammate to third. Junior J. Brent Cox took over on the hill for Boone (0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB) and struck out freshman pinch hitter Bryson Barber (Pensacola, Fla.) and had Leclerc force Jeroloman at second to keep the Longhorns ahead by four runs. Cox worked 1.2 scoreless innings to pick up his 19th save and trigger a celebration for UT.




Florida Head Coach Pat McMahon

(opening statement): “On behalf of all of us at the University of Florida, I’d like to congratulate the University of Texas.”


(on Texas’ use of the HR during the series): “They’ve got some outstanding hitters and they’re a very solid offensive club. It was a huge part of the game.”


(on the role of Texas’ experience during the Championship Series): “For the players that have been here, it’s a huge help. It’s an asset. It does help but our guys were ready to play. We handled the arena very, very well and I’m proud of that part of it.”


(on his seniors): “These four guys up here are our seniors and this is their signature year. What a great signature. I love you guys.”


Center Fielder Jeff Corsaletti
(on Florida’s offense): “I’m disgusted with myself, personally, for not showing up for these last two days. I thought we were a better club offensively than we showed the last two days, and we are a better ball club than what we showed.”


(on establishing tradition at Florida): “Looking back, being SEC champs, regional champs and super regional champs; we’ve set the bar up to a new level for anybody else that plays for the University of Florida.”


Relief pitcher Connor Falkenbach

(on Texas’ success at the plate): “They didn’t swing at bad pitches. They had a smart approach at the plate. They’re a great ball club and that’s why they’re champions today.”


Senior pitcher Tommy Boss

(on McMahon’s postgame talk with the team): “He thanked us for all the memories. I’d like to thank him for everything he’s done for me. We’re just a bunch of guys that go out and play as hard as we can.”


Texas Head Coach Augie Garrido

(opening statement): “I’d like to congratulate Florida for their performance.  It’s the first time we’ve had the opportunity to play them.  I was very impressed with their team.   I’d like to thank the athletic department at Texas.  The expectations are high, but so are the rewards.  As for the game, I thought we were very focused and I thought the players did an excellent job balancing the magnitude of the game.  They eliminated the reward, and they focused on playing the game.  They showed a lot of maturity and the other things you need to do to be a national champion.”


(about whether he thought his team would win the national championship after leaving the Oklahoma City – site of the Big 12 Conference tournament): “We thought throughout the season we had a national championship caliber team.  I know you can’t be national champions without things happening throughout the season.  That’s the spirituality of the game, and those things happened.”


(about the development of the pitching staff): “First of all Coach Harmon does the recruiting and Coach Holliday does the player development for the pitchers.  We have quality athletes who have a lot of success in their backgrounds and they continue to get better thank to Coach Holliday.  They were good athletes to begin with due to Coach Harmon’s recruiting.  The real credit though goes to the athletes.”


(about Seth Johnston’s leadership): “Seth was definitely a team leader.  What made it easier was because there were others.  It was a sharing of leadership on the team that brought respect and trust.  The players take on a leadership role through their actions.  When the best players on a team have the best work ethic, you have a championship team.”


Texas Third Baseman David Maroul

(about the importance of his offensive production): “It was a big factor.  We’re used to the small ball.  They were big hits at the time.”


Texas Starting Pitcher Kyle McCulloch

(about his performance): “We did a good job getting ahead of hitters and putting them away.  Going into a hostile environment like Ole Miss helped us.  Once we got ahead (in today’s game) and put a lead up early, the hitters tend to try to press and then I tried to extend the strike zone.”


Texas Shortstop Seth Johnston

(about CWS Most Outstanding Player David Maroul): “He’s pretty big.  The home run deal doesn’t surprise me.  He’s been solid at third base.  His offense has always been there.  He stepped it up here.  Having production like that at the bottom of the lineup is tough to beat.”


(about his leadership role this season vs. two years ago): “It’s different for me.  I expect it from myself, and I think others expect it of me.  It’s definitely been the toughest year I’ve been through.  The team learned so much from the struggles we’ve been through.”






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