Preston Tucker ties Florida Gators record with 23rd double off season

OMAHA, Neb. — Florida's Preston Tucker continued his torrid College World Series, hitting a three-run homer and tying a school season record with his 23rd double as the Gators took a 3-1 lead against Vanderbilt before weather postponed the game Monday night.

The winner's bracket game will resume at 11 this morning (ESPN) with Vanderbilt batting with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

Tucker, a junior from Plant High, homered in the fourth off Grayson Garvin, the SEC pitcher of the year who was the 59th overall pick by the Rays in this month's major-league draft.

Tucker's home run was his 15th of the season and fifth in the postseason. He now has 18 RBIs in just eight NCAA postseason games this year.

Freshman All-American Karsten Whitson started for UF and was replaced by Stephen Rodriguez in the fifth.

The winner of Florida-Vandy is off until Friday. The loser plays North Carolina on Wednesday.

In Monday's early game, North Carolina freshman left-hander Kent Emanuel pitched the first complete-game shutout at the CWS in five years, a 3-0 victory that eliminated Texas. Emanuel allowed four singles in his third win of the NCAA tournament and first career shutout.

Jacob Stallings hit a two-run single in the third and Ben Bunting finished a four-hit day with an RBI double in the ninth for the Tar Heels (51-15).

Texas (49-19) went two games and out for the second time in 25 CWS appearances since 1966 and for the fourth time in its record 34 trips to Omaha. The last time was in 2000.

"We did some amazing things with this team. It's tough to leave now," Texas shortstop Brandon Loy said.

Emanuel (9-1) walked one and struck out five. North Carolina's Robert Woodard pitched the last shutout here, against Clemson in 2006. The last freshman to do it was LSU's Brett Laxton in 1993 against Wichita State.

wittels case dismissed: A court in the Bahamas dismissed a rape case against Florida International baseball star Garrett Wittels and two friends who were accused of sexually assaulting two American teens after a night of drinking at the Atlantis resort. Prosecutors said they had no case. Wittels, known for a 56-game hitting streak, declined comment. Defense lawyer Richard Sharpstein said the accusations stemmed from an apparent attempt to extort money from the resort.

plancher trial: A former UCF receiver testified that teammate Ereck Plancher gasped for breath, fell to his knees as his eyes rolled back into his head and struggled before collapsing during his final workout. Anthony Davis said that UCF coach George O'Leary ordered all water and trainers out of the indoor fieldhouse during the practice on March 18, 2008. He also testified during the wrongful death trial in Orlando that the coach was yelling obscenities at Plancher as he told him to get up after falling during an obstacle course drill. Plancher's parents say in the wrongful death lawsuit that the UCF Athletics Association is responsible for their son's death. They say coaches pushed him excessively at the practice despite knowing he had sickle cell trait. Attorneys for the Athletics Association said Plancher died from a congenital heart defect and that water and trainers were available at the workout.

gators robbed: Gainesville Police are investigating a burglary at a home that Florida football players Chris Rainey and Moses Jenkins share, in which Rainey's 2008 national championship ring was stolen. According to police, a friend of the players discovered the back door of the home had been kicked in and the home ransacked Sunday. Jenkins and Rainey were not at home at the time.

Football: West Virginia said former coach Bill Stewart will receive $1.65 million in a settlement agreement that is dated June 10, the same day he resigned.

Basketball: Rotnei Clarke, Arkansas' leading scorer last season, has been granted a release so he can speak to other schools.

Times staff writer Antonya English contributed to this report.

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Preston Tucker ties Florida Gators record with 23rd double off season 06/20/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 1:29am]

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