Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Colleges

Gators lose to Texas Tech, ousted in CWS

OMAHA, Neb. — Florida, the No. 1 overall national seed, suffered a stunning elimination from the College World Series with a 3-2 loss to No. 5 Texas Tech on Tuesday.

The Gators (52-16), who got a ninth-inning two-run home run from former Plant High standout Peter Alonso to get within a run, were 0-2 in a CWS in which they were heavily favored.

Florida starter Alex Faedo, a former Alonso High standout, set a CWS school record with nine strikeouts in 72/3 innings. He gave up a two-run home run in the fourth, and Texas Tech (47-19) scored an unearned run to make it 3-0 in the ninth on two throwing errors on the same play — by third baseman Jonathan India, then by first baseman Alonso.

In the postseason, Alonso batted .500 (16-for-32) with four doubles, five home runs and 13 RBIs in eight NCAA tournament games.

"I know a lot of us put our heart and soul into every pitch," Alonso said. "It was the goal to win a national championship, and it feels terrible."

The game ended when India tried to stretch a single into a double and was thrown out by leftfielder Tyler Neslony.

In 2012 the Gators were also eliminated in two straight games as the No. 1 overall seed.

Florida came to Omaha with seven of the top 108 drafted players. It turned out to be maybe the most disappointing of the Gators' 10 CWS appearances. They scored three runs in 18 innings and are now 14-21 all time in the CWS.

"To look at two games we've lost, 2-1 and 3-2, and look at those guys in the locker room and think, 'Boy, the season's been a failure.' If getting to Omaha's a failure, then — I don't look at it that way," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "Of course we're disappointed, of course we want to stay here longer. But there are eight teams out of over 300 to get here. We've been here five out of the last seven, and we'll be here again soon."

Florida, which didn't have a runner reach second base until the fifth inning, had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth but couldn't push across a run.

JJ Schwarz, who had a 3-and-0 count go full, tapped a comebacker to pitcher Davis Martin, who threw home for a forceout and catcher Tyler Floyd then threw to first, hitting Schwarz on the arm. Schwarz, running just inside the base line, was called out for interference. That double play, the Raiders' third, might have been the biggest of their nation-leading 81 this season.

FOOTBALL: When the Monroe, La., district attorney's office decided not to prosecute Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson and reserve defensive back Laurence "Hootie" Jones on drug and weapons charges, prosecutor Neal Johnson cited insufficient evidence Monday, but district attorney Jerry Jones said he did not want to prosecute the men because of their athletic backgrounds. "The main reason that I'm doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and their teenage years working and sweating while we were all home in the air conditioning," Jones said. … New Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will make $1 million annually under his three-year deal, $500,000 less than Kirby Smart, who left to become Georgia's coach. Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is the only returning assistant who didn't receive a raise. He's entering the final year of a three-year deal worth $2.074 million, and is still receiving his buyout money after being fired as USC's head coach. … Nearly two years after North Carolina walk-on receiver Jackson Boyer suffered an alleged concussion during an off-campus hazing incident, the university reached a $795,000 settlement. Boyer transferred and is now a walk-on at USC.

BASKETBALL RECRUIT DIES: Louisiana-Lafayette 2016-17 recruit Herman Williams collapsed on a court and died during a workout in Florida's Jackson County, which borders Georgia and Alabama. He played at nearby Marianna High.

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