Arizona St. Falls Short In CWS
June 23, 2005
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Florida got a power boost after a fan interfered with afoul ball. And now the Gators are headed to the championship round of theCollege World Series.
Brian Leclerc, Adam Davis and Matt LaPorta homered as Florida rallied froman early 3-0 deficit and beat Arizona State 6-3 Thursday night, ending the SunDevils' dazzling run.
Florida (48-21) moves to the best-of-three final round beginning Saturdayagainst Texas. The Gators will be seeking their first CWS title in their fifthappearance.
Arizona State (42-25) had won three straight elimination games after losingits CWS opener, including a 6-1 win over Florida on Wednesday.
But the Sun Devils' magic finally expired. Arizona St. had two on with one outin the top of the ninth before Florida reliever Tommy Boss retired the finaltwo batters to set off a Gators celebration.
In the fourth inning, home plate umpire Bill Davis called Florida's BrandonMcArthur out after a fan reached for the foul ball near the screen, preventingSun Devils catcher Tuffy Gosewisch from catching it.
Davis' ruling prompted a heated argument from Florida coach Pat McMahon. Theumpires conferred, but the call stood and it seemed to spark the Gators.
Leclerc, the next hitter, hit a two-run homer off ASU starter Jason Urquidezto cut the Sun Devils' lead to 3-2.
Urquidez, making his third start of the CWS, was lifted after giving up asingle to Stephen Barton in the fifth.
Jeff Corsaletti greeted reliever Brett Bordes (5-7) with a single beforeDavis connected on a three-run homer for a 5-3 lead. LaPorta then followed withhis 26th homer of the season - tops in the nation - on a long shot to left, putFlorida up by three runs.
Boss (9-4), who came in when Gators starter Alan Horne left with an upperleft leg injury in the fourth inning, got the victory by pitching 5 2-3 inningsof shutout relief.
The Sun Devils wasted little time getting to Horne as Jeff Larish and TravisBuck hit back-to-back doubles to start the game and make it 1-0. Buck got tothird on an infield out and scampered home on Horne's wild pitch.
Larish, who homered three times in a victory over Nebraska, came throughagain in the second with an RBI single.
Horne, the winner in the Gators' first-round victory over Tennessee, threw apitch to Joey Hooft in the fourth inning and then fell off the mound in pain.After staying down for several minutes, he was helped off the field.