June 21, 2012
Omaha, Neb. – Arizona’s Kurt Heyer tossed 7 1/3 strong innings and the Wildcats capitalized on three FSU errors in the first inning on their way to a 10-3 win over Florida State in an elimination game at the 2012 College World Series Thursday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park. Justin Gonzalez went 3-for-4 while Jayce Boyd, Sherman Johnson, Devon Travis and Jose Brizuela each collected two hits for the Seminoles (50-17) who finished the 2012 season winning 50 games for the 24th time under head coach Mike Martin.
“It was just a tremendous job by U of A and the way they played the game,” FSU head baseball coach Mike Martin said. “They were very difficult outs all day long. The main thing that I would like to say is how proud I am of our ball club. Throughout the year to accomplish what they did and to get to the hallowed ground, to be able to compete in this tremendous tournament. It’s a dream come true for players and coaches to bring a team out here.”
Brandon Leibrandt (8-3) suffered just his third loss as he lasted just 1/3 of an inning. He was saddled with six runs, two earned, on three hits and two walks. Luke Weaver relieved Leibrandt and tossed three innings allowing three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out two. FSU finished using eight pitchers against Arizona.
Travis became the first player since Stanford’s John Gall in 1999 to record multiple hits in his first four games of the College World Series when he doubled in the ninth inning. Travis finished the CWS 9-for-16 (.563) with two doubles, a home run and four RBI. Johnson added two walks against Arizona to finish the season tied for the national-lead with New Mexico State’s Tanner Waite at 69.
Heyer (13-2) allowed just two runs on nine hits while walking three and striking out three. Robert Refsnyder led the Wildcats at the plate going 3-for-5 with two runs and one RBI. Joey Rickard, Alex Mejia, Seth Mejias-Brean, Bobby Brown and Joseph Maggi each had two hits for the Wildcats, who finished with 15 hits in the game.
Arizona jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the first behind three FSU errors and four base hits. Rickard led off the game with a single and moved to second on a throwing error which allowed Johnny Field to reach base. Mejia’s RBI single scored Rickard giving Arizona a 1-0 lead. After Refsnyder walked to load the bases, Mejias-Brean’s sacrifice fly made it, 2-0. Maggi’s RBI single brought in another run and a two-base error by FSU allowed a fourth run to score as FSU trailed 4-0. Trent Gilbert’s two-run single closed the scoring in the inning for the Wildcats.
“We’ve been in situations like that all year,” Gonzalez said when asked about the bottom of the first. “The way the coaches, especially 11, the way they run the program, is we’re going to fight you for 27. So definitely not defeated. Not down. Everyone was doing their part, and we were scratching until the very end. It just didn’t go our way today.”
FSU got a run back in the top of the fourth inning. After Boyd knocked in his second hit with a single to right, Gonzalez doubled to right center scoring Boyd cutting it to, 6-1. But, Arizona answered with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Refsnyder hit a solo home run to left field to make it, 7-1. After a double by Seth Mejias-Brean, Bobby Brown homered to right field pushing it to 9-1. Rickard’s two-out RBI single put the Wildcats ahead, 10-1.
The Seminoles loaded the bases in the top of the seventh with no outs after a single from Brizuela and back-to-back walks issued to Johnson and Travis. After a fly out in foul territory, Boyd’s sacrifice fly made it, 10-2. FSU tacked on a run in the top of the ninth when Johnson and Travis hit back-to-back doubles. Giovanny Alfonzo, who pinch-ran for Johnson, scored for second to make it, 10-3.
Florida State was one of the last four teams competing at the 2012 College World Series. Arizona will advance to the championship series awaiting the bracket 2 winner between either Arkansas or South Carolina.