OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Florida State coach Mike Martin figured his team would have to put in a hard afternoon’s work in the heat to beat Stony Brook and stay alive in the College World Series.
It turned out to be no sweat at all.
The Seminoles used shortstop Cole Peragine’s throwing error to fuel a six-run third inning and end Stony Brook’s surprise appearance in the CWS with a 12-2 victory on Sunday.
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“It was something that I wasn’t expecting,” Martin said. “It certainly was a great lift for our team. And if I’m not mistaken, we got them all with two outs. That’s something that you just credit the young men for having great at-bats and getting it done.”
Justin Gonzalez and Devon Travis homered to help the Seminoles build an early 9-0 lead against the CWS first-timers from Long Island.
FSU (49-16) rebounded from a 4-3, 12-inning loss to Arizona on Friday and scored at least 12 runs for the third time in four games.
Stony Brook (52-15) stunned the college baseball world by upsetting six-time national champion LSU in a three-game super regional to reach the CWS. But the Seawolves were beaten 9-1 by UCLA on Friday and outscored 21-3 in their two games in Omaha.
“It’s a hard loss,” third baseman William Carmona said, “but I look back on the season and I think we did what no one thought we could ever do, what everyone thought was basically impossible. We made it happen somehow, and I’ll never forget that.”
Martin didn’t put much stock in Stony Brook’s eight-run loss Friday. He said he considered the America East champions and No. 4 regional seeds extremely dangerous, based on their accomplishment in Baton Rouge, La., a week earlier.
“To go into Alex Box Stadium and beat LSU is a feat that all of us would wish we could do,” he said.
Florida State led 2-0 in the third when everything started to unravel for the Seawolves on a sunny, 90-degree day. Jayce Boyd’s grounder to shortstop should have been the third out, but Cole Peragine was short with his throw to first, and the ball got away from Kevin Courtney.
That allowed two runs to score, and Gonzalez followed with a three-run homer into the left-field bullpen that made it 7-0. Five of the six runs Florida State scored in the third were unearned.
The six runs were the most by a team in an inning in 19 CWS games played at TD Ameritrade Park.
“You can’t, against good teams, make the mistakes we made and expect to survive that,” Seawolves coach Matt Senk said. “That’s pretty much the bottom line.”
Gonzalez bounced back from a tough night in the loss to Arizona. He committed two errors at shortstop, got picked off first base in the 11th inning, and struck out twice.
“That Friday game was a test of my faith,” he said. “To be able to come out there and help my club the way I did just shows that I was blessed to be able to do that.”
The lead grew to 9-0 the next inning after Travis, the last batter McNitt faced, hit a drive to nearly the same spot as Gonzalez.
Six of the Seminoles’ 11 hits went for extra bases, and Florida State didn’t leave any runners on base until the eighth inning.
FSU starter Mike Compton (12-2) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. Brandon McNitt (8-4) went 3 2-3 innings and gave up nine runs, four earned.
Stony Brook, a Division I baseball program for only 12 years, came to town much celebrated for its “Shock The World” mantra after its upset of LSU on the road.
The Seawolves were the first team from the Northeast to play at the CWS since Maine in 1986, and they brought with them huge offensive numbers.
Stony Brook entered the CWS with a .335 batting average that ranked second nationally, but the Seawolves hit a combined .194 (12 of 62) in their two games.
They were eighth in scoring and came nowhere close to their 7.2 runs a game, largely because their best hitters struggled.
Travis Jankowski, a first-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres, was 1 for 8. William Carmona, who was 2 for 8, had a single and double against the Seminoles, but both came after the Seawolves trailed by at least seven runs.
Jankowski said the level of pitching he and his teammates faced against UCLA and Florida State wasn’t much different from what they saw at LSU.
“We didn’t swing at good pitches, and when we did we didn’t put good swings on them,” he said. “Against good pitching, you only get one or two mistakes a game, and when you miss them they’re going to make you pay.”