Florida State Eliminates UCLA From College World Series
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Scott Sitz gave up five hits and struck out eight in a season-high 6 2-3 innings, and Florida State eliminated UCLA from the College World Series with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night.
Florida State (50-16) plays Arizona on Thursday, needing to beat the Wildcats twice to reach the championship round.
No. 2 national seed UCLA (48-16) was knocked out a day after No. 1 Florida was eliminated from the opposite bracket.
Sitz (4-3) had not made it through five innings in six of his previous seven outings. The junior held the Bruins to two singles through five innings and struck out the side in the sixth after UCLA loaded the bases.
UCLA starter Zack Weiss (3-3) was pulled after getting just one out. Bases-loaded walks in the opening inning produced the Seminoles’ first two runs.
Sitz was at his best in the sixth after UCLA scored its first run in 15 innings on Cody Keefer’s bases-loaded single with none out. With the bases still full, Sitz struck out Jeff Gelalich, Trevor Brown and Pat Valaika — pumping his arms as he trotted to the dugout after Valaika swung and missed on a 79-mph slider.
Hunter Scantling came on with two outs in the seventh after Kevin Williams blooped a single over shortstop. Robert Benincasa pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
It was a short night for UCLA starter Zack Weiss (3-3), who was pulled after getting just one out.
Weiss, who hadn’t pitched since a regional-clinching win over Creighton on June 3, walked three and gave up a single before Grant Watson took over.
Weiss came into the game having lasted more than five innings just twice in his last eight starts. He threw 29 pitches, including 16 balls, in the shortest CWS start since TCU’s Kyle Winkler left without retiring a batter in a 10-3 loss to UCLA on June 26, 2010.
Weiss, Watson and Ryan Deeter combined to walk seven as Florida State loaded the bases in three of the first four innings.
The Seminoles went up 4-0 in the fourth after three straight singles loaded the bases. Jayce Boyd put a squeeze bunt down the third-base line. Kevin Kramer overran the ball as he tried to field it. Sherman Johnson scored easily from third, and Devon Travis kept coming around ahead of Kramer’s wild throw to the plate.
The Seminoles had two hits the rest of the way.
The loss ended a tough CWS for Gelalich, the Cincinnati Reds’ first-round draft pick. The junior right fielder, who came to Omaha batting a team-leading .365, went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and an error against the Seminoles and was 1 for 12 with two errors in the Bruins’ three games.