Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Florida State Seminoles baseball falls to Arizona Wildcats 4-3 in 12 innings at World Series

OMAHA, Neb. — Florida State fell 4-3 in 12 innings to Arizona on the first day of the College World Series on Friday.

The Seminoles (48-16) now will have to go through the losers' bracket to win their first national title. That will be daunting. Only three teams have lost their first game and gone on to win the title.

The first step comes Sunday, when it faces Stony Brook in an elimination game (5, ESPN2). Arizona faces UCLA on Sunday (9, ESPN2)

FSU scored 35 runs in two Super Region victories over Stanford. But it was mostly shut down by Kurt Heyer (72/3 innings, three runs, one earned run, eight strikeouts) and two relievers.

Sherman Johnson, a graduate of Tampa's Alonso High, hit a solo homer in the third to cut the Wildcats' lead to 2-1. And the Seminoles tied it at 3 in the sixth on John Holland's two-run double.

Freshman Brandon Leibrandt went only 41/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits for FSU. But the bullpen threw six scoreless innings, three by closer and Armwood High graduate Robert Benincasa before Arizona finally broke through in the 12th.

Joey Rickard hit a one-out double to the gap in left-center off Benincasa. Johnny Field followed with a double to right-center.

FSU got a runner on in the 12th when Seth Miller was hit by a pitch with one out, went to second on a wild pitch and to third on a groundout. But Devon Travis struck out to end the game.

The Seminoles fell to 1-6 in extra-inning games at the World Series.

UCLA rips Stony Brook in tournament opener

OMAHA, Neb. — UCLA didn't take long to suck the life out of a College World Series crowd that wanted to see that lovable team from Long Island win yet another game during its amazing postseason run.

The Bruins jumped on upstart Stony Brook for five runs in the first inning on their way to a 9-1 victory in the tournament opener.

"We knew everybody was going to be rooting for these guys," UCLA leadoff man Beau Amaral said.

"And being able to take the crowd out of it early is a pretty big deal."

The Bruins, the No. 2 seed, sent 10 batters to the plate in the first against Tyler Johnson, who allowed a season-high seven runs in a 2⅓-inning outing that was his shortest of the year. Jeff Gelalich's bases-loaded single opened the scoring, and Kevin Williams' two-run double off Jasvir Rakkar in the third made it 7-1.

Stony Brook, a Division I program for only 12 years, emerged on the national scene after upsetting five-time champion LSU in the Super Region. It is the first team from the Northeast to reach the World Series since Maine in 1986.

Now it faces an elimination game Sunday.

"We're a very good ball club, and we're here for a reason," Johnson said. "It didn't go our way. That's going to happen. We'll get back after it on Sunday."

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