Arizona State One Win Away From Championship Round

June 22, 2005

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Arizona State kept up their remarkable run in the CollegeWorld Series, beating Florida 6-1 Wednesday to move within a win of thechampionship round.

Erik Averill (11-4), working on two days' rest, threw a five-hitter in92-degree heat and retired the last eight batters he faced in his fifthcomplete game of the season.

The Sun Devils (42-24), who came into the CWS with the fewest wins of anyteam in the field, have won three straight after losing in the first round andare 5-0 in NCAA tournament elimination games.

They have to beat the seventh-seeded Gators (47-21) again Thursday toadvance to the best-of-three championship series that starts Saturday againstTexas or Baylor.

The game was played less than 24 hours after Arizona State's dramatic11-inning win over Nebraska, highlighted by Jeff Larish's CWS record-tyingthree home runs.

Unlike that game, the Sun Devils led from start to finish against theGators.

Travis Buck, the Oakland Athletics' first-round supplemental draft pick,homered deep into the right-field seats off Bryan Ball in the first inning forhis sixth home run.

Ball (7-5), who hadn't pitched since June 4 in the regional opener againstStetson, went six innings, allowing four hits and four runs. He walked threeand struck out one.

Arizona State added to its lead on Seth Dhaenens' RBI groundout in thefourth.

Jared Kubin's run-scoring groundout pulled Florida to 2-1 in the fifth, butthe Sun Devils got that run back the next inning on an RBI single by ColinCurtis.

J.J. Sferra made it 5-1 in the seventh with a two-run single off relieverMike Pete that closely resembled the blooper to center that won Tuesday's gameagainst Nebraska.

Dhaenens greeted reliever Connor Falkenbach with an RBI single in theeighth.

The top five batters in Florida's lineup went a combined 1-for-20 againstAverill, who had thrown 76 pitches in 5 2-3 innings against Tennessee onSunday.

Sun Devils shortstop Andrew Romine played with eight stitches in his rightcheek. Romine was cut after a ball deflected off his hands into his face whilehe was batting against Nebraska on Tuesday.

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