As a line drive went off the shoulder of starter David Gutierrez in the second inning with the Seminoles already holding a 1-0 lead, it appeared as though Miami’s twenty-third trip to the College World Series would come to a premature close.
Luckily for the top-ranked team in the country, Eric Erickson (9-1), who is usually the No. 2 starter in the rotation, came in to provide five strong innings of relief and gave up only one run in a 7-5 victory. Relieve Kyle Bellamy pitched two scoreless innings after.
It wouldn’t come easy for the Hurricanes, however, as closer Carlos Gutierrez once again struggled in the ninth to surrender three runs on four hits and left the bases loaded when Jack Rye hit into a fielder’s choice to end the elimination game.
Back-to-back singles from Dennis Guinn and Tony Delmonico began the comeback for the Noles and after a ground out advanced the runners, Stuart Tapley grounded out to short to score the first run of the top half of the final inning.
Ohmed Danesh then walked and leadoff hitter Tyler Holt singled to right to bring home a run. Jason Stindham also singled and Buster Posey, the Johnny Bench Award winner, walked as the leading run before Rye’s final at-bat.
Miami (53-10) plated four in the third off a two-strike two-run homer by Jemile Weeks for his 13th of the year and a two-run single by Dennis Raben with the bases loaded to take a 4-1 lead.
Yasmani Grandal, the ninth batter, led off with a walk- one of three in the inning issued by Florida State (54-14) starter Elih Villanueva (7-4) – and moved over on a Blake Tekotte sacrifice bunt, which set up Weeks’s second blast of the CWS.
Following the blast, Mark Sobolewski walked, Ryan Jackson hit an infield single and Adan Severino worked a walk on a full count to load the bases for Raben’s two RBI.
Back-to-back singles with one out by the fourth and fifth hitters Sobolewski and Jackson helped the Hurricanes extend their lead in the seventh. After a full-count walk to Severino made the bases loaded and Raben struck out looking, Jason Hagerty, who came in to pinch hit for Dave DiNatale, swung at the first pitch and took it opposite field to plate two and make the score 6-2.
Miami got a key insurance run on Tekotte’s 13th of the season in the bottom of the eighth to extend the lead to 7-2.
Jackson finished with three hits and two runs, while Weeks, Raben and Hagerty each had two RBI.
The Seminoles got off to an early 1-0 lead on a two-out double to right by Guinn, which scored Posey who singled and moved to second on a walk to Rye. With runners at second and third, Delmonico popped up to Yonder Alonso to end the threat.
Earlier in the inning on a 3-1 pitch to Posey, Stidham was caught stealing after a single up the middle, which could’ve led to more trouble for the Canes.
On the first pitch from Erickson, Tapley lined out to Severino in left and Mike McGee stared at strike three in the inside corner. With two outs, Holt singled in the hole between third and short with two strikes, but two more runners were stranded when Stidham lifted a ball to left for the final out.
The Noles stranded the bases loaded in the third after back-to-back singles from Rye and Guinn and a free pass to Tommy Oravetz.
After a leadoff single by the ninth batter McGee, Erickson got two straight called third strikes of Holt and Stidham. Posey, however, swung at the first pitch of the at-bat and doubled just to the right of the left field line to score his 93rd RBI and advanced to third on a throwing error by Severino.
FSU came knocking again as Guinn led off with a single. Reliever Kyle Bellamy was sent into the game and struck out Delmonico looking. Oravetz then got his third hit of the game to put runners at first and second and one out. Tapley struck out for his third K on a full-count and Severino made the catch at the warning track on a ball hit by pinch hitter Danesh to keep the score at 4-2.
17 total runners were stranded by the Noles who were led by Posey’s four hits and Oravetz, Holt and Guinn’s three apiece.
Miami will take on the losing team of the Georgia/Stanford game on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the hopes of staying alive in the College World Series. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcast on WVUM 90.5 FM. Florida State, meanwhile, heads back to Tallahssee having lost three of four against the Canes this season and continues the nation’s longest streak of appearances at Omaha without a national championship at 19.
Christina De Nicola may be contacted at email@example.com.