Friday, November 24, 2017

Florida State Seminoles rout Stony Brook 12-2, stay alive in College World Series


OMAHA, Neb. — Florida State coach Mike Martin figured his team would have to put in a hard afternoon of work in the heat to beat Stony Brook and stay alive in the College World Series. It turned out to be no sweat at all.

Shortstop Cole Peragine's throwing error helped fuel FSU's six-run third inning and end Stony Brook's surprise appearance in the CWS with a 12-2 win Sunday in an elimination game.

"It was something that I wasn't expecting," Martin said. "It certainly was a great lift for our team. And if I'm not mistaken, we got them all with two outs. That's something that you just credit the young men for having great at-bats and getting it done."

Justin Gonzalez and Devon Travis homered as the Seminoles (49-16) built a 9-0 lead against the CWS first-timers from Long Island, N.Y.

FSU rebounded from a 4-3, 12-inning loss to Arizona on Friday and scored at least 12 runs for the third time in four games. The Seminoles wore their all-gold uniforms for the first time in Omaha since 1999. The uniforms are normally reserved for Sunday home games and have brought a little luck this year, as FSU improved to 12-0 in them after beating the Seawolves.

FSU has today off before its next elimination game, Tuesday against UCLA, which lost to Arizona 4-0 late Sunday.

Stony Brook (52-15) had upset six-time national champion LSU to reach the CWS, but the Seawolves lost to UCLA in the opener and were outscored 21-3 in Omaha.

"It's a hard loss," third baseman William Carmona said, "but I look back … and I think we did what no one thought we could ever do, what everyone thought was basically impossible. We made it happen somehow, and I'll never forget that."

FSU led 2-0 in the third when Jayce Boyd's grounder to short should have been the third out, but Peragine was short with his throw to first, and the ball got away from Kevin Courtney.

That allowed two runs to score, and Gonzalez followed with a three-run homer that made it 7-0.

In the loss to Arizona, Gonzalez made two errors at short, got picked off first in the 11th and struck out twice.

"That Friday game was a test of my faith," he said. "To be able to come out and help my club the way I did just shows that I was blessed to be able to do that."

On brink, UF turns to experienced starter

Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan knows he will get starter Hudson Randall's best effort every time he sends the right-hander to the mound.

"He's a gamer; simple as that," O'Sullivan said. "There's certain players that you coach that have the ability to rise to the occasion. You can't teach it. It is what it is, and he's had it since Day 1. He continues to have it."

Florida (47-19) faces Kent State (46-19) today in an elimination game after losing 7-3 to South Carolina late Saturday, and the No. 1 seed Gators need a strong start to stay alive.

"We've got Hudson, and we've got a lot of our pen left," O'Sullivan said. "We'll take it one game at a time. Once you're in the losers bracket, you can't look too far ahead."

Since the two double-elimination brackets were introduced in 1988, only six times has a team advanced to the finals from the losers bracket: South Carolina (2002, 2010), Southern Cal (1995, 1998), Oregon State (2006) and Texas (1988).

A junior, Randall is no stranger to postseason success. He has a 5-1 record in nine NCAA tournament starts.

"At this point in my career … getting up to 80 innings in a year isn't really bothering me as much," Randall said. "I'm starting to hit my stride. I'm a more veteran arm with the pitch count in the innings I've gotten up to already."

Coming off his most recent outing, a Super Region win against N.C. State, Randall said his fastball had more life and overall his pitches felt sharper. Despite giving up seven hits in his seven innings, N.C. State was unable to score against him.

"Playing in college with these metal bats, teams are going to get hits," he said. "They're going to get on base. But it takes another hit to score them, so I do everything I can to my ability to keep them from scoring, touching home and keep my team in the game."

Arizona 4, UCLA 0: Konner Wade pitched a five-hit shutout, Arizona did its scoring on five straight fourth-inning hits, and the Wildcats (45-17) beat the Pac-12 rival Bruins (48-15). Seth Mejias-Brean's bases-loaded single drove in the first two runs, and Bobby Brown followed with a two-run double.

Information from the Orlando Sentinel was used in this report.

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