OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Florida State’s dugout was a bit deflated after the Seminoles gave up three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to have a two-run lead against Cal State Fullerton turn into a one-run deficit.
Things perked up when shortstop Timmy Richards couldn’t make a play on Taylor Walls’ grounder leading off the top of the seventh. That started a three-run inning that helped send the Seminoles to a 6-4 win that knocked the Titans out of the College World Series.
“Anytime a guy gets on base, the first hitter, we think we’ll score a crooked number, not just one,” FSU’s Drew Mendoza said. “The first hitter sets the tone, and with guys getting on base, we were feeling really good about the inning. It gives the guy behind him confidence to pass the bat to the next guy.”
Fullerton (39-24) has gone two games and out in four straight CWS appearances and has lost nine games in a row in Omaha. The last four of those losses are on coach Rick Vanderhook’s tab.
“I know I’m 0-4. I knew how difficult it was to get here. But it’s even more difficult to get here and win,” he said.
Chase Haney (3-2) worked two-thirds of an inning for the win, and Drew Carlton earned his seventh save after Fullerton put two runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch hitter Hank LoForte struck out looking to end the game.
It was another heart-wrenching loss for the Titans. They blew a 5-1 lead in the sixth inning against No. 1 national seed Oregon State on Saturday, and they failed to hold a 4-3 sixth-inning lead against the Seminoles after Dillon Persinger’s double and Timmy Richards’ two-run homer.
“You get up one….