Tide falls just short in NCAA Regional

Some holes are just too deep to dig out of. <br><br>In a thrilling NCAA Regional championship game, regional three-seed Florida Atlantic outlasted national No. 3 seed Alabama, winning 6-5 to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals. Florida Atlantic improves to 46-19 while Alabama ends its season at 51-15.

Trailing 5-4 in the top of the eighth, FAU's Mike Valdes doubled down the right field line scoring L.J. Biernbaum to tie the game at five. It appeared as though FAU had taken the lead on a would be sacrifice fly from Shaen O' Connor, but home plate umpire Ron Sebastian ruled out Jeremiah Creech for leaving left third base early leaving the game tied at five.

FAU refused to be denied however as Jeff Fiorentino drove in Derek Hutton with a single to right field for the game winning run ending the scoring at 6-5.

Tim McNab picked up the win for FAU improving his record to 3-2. Taylor Tankersley took the loss for the Tide dropping his record to 8-5.

Alabama placed eight players on the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team. Florida Atlantic had four players on the team led MVP L.J. Biernbaum. The infield for the all-tournament team consisted of: catcher Jeremy Brown (UA), first base Rusty Brown (FAU), second base Peter Stonard (UA), third base Mike Cox (FAU) and shortstop Adam Pavkovich (UA). The outfield consisted of Biernbaum, Chad White (UA) and Gabe Somarriba (FAU). Starting pitchers for the team were Brent Carter (UA) and Jeffrey Norris (UA) while Taylor Tankersley (UA) was the all-tournament relief pitcher.

FAU took the first lead of the game in the third inning when shortstop Bobby Spano and Somarriba reached on infield singles and then scored on a two out single to left centerfield by Biernbaum.

Alabama answered back in the bottom of the third inning when Stonard lined a base hit just over the outstretched glove of FAU second baseman Hutton to score Travis Garner making the score 2-1.

Hearod continued Alabama's comeback in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run just inside the left field foul pole evening the score at two.

FAU would retake the lead in the fifth inning when Fiorentino hit a two-run home run off of Alabama reliever Jared Woodward making the score 4-2. Hearod's big game continued in the bottom of the sixth as he hit his second homer of the day, a towering three-run shot off of reliever Greg Eubanks, over the scoreboard to give Alabama a 5-4 lead.

That would be all the runs the Tide would score, however, as Jim Cooney and Tim McNab combined to hold the Tide to one hit over the last 3.1 innings of the game.

Florida Atlantic vs ALABAMA (Jun 02, 2002)



Box score (NCAA)

                            NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional
                          Florida Atlantic at ALABAMA
              Jun 02, 2002 at Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Sewell Thomas)

Florida Atlantic 6 (46-19)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Somarriba, Gabe cf.......  5  2  2  0   0  0  3  0   0
Fiorentino, Jeff lf......  5  1  2  3   0  1  4  1   0
Cox, Mike 3b.............  5  0  2  0   0  1  0  3   1
Biernbaum, LJ rf.........  4  1  2  1   0  0  2  0   1
Brown, Rusty 1b..........  3  0  0  0   0  1  5  1   2
 Creech, Jeremiah 1b.....  1  0  0  0   0  0  5  0   0
Pali, Matt dh............  3  0  1  0   0  2  0  0   0
 Valdes, Mike ph.........  1  0  1  1   0  0  0  0   0
O'Connor, Shaen c........  4  0  0  0   0  0  4  2   1
Hutton, Derek 2b.........  3  1  0  0   1  0  2  2   1
Spano, Bobby ss..........  3  1  1  0   0  0  1  3   0
Lopez, Nelson p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Eubanks, Greg p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Cooney, Jim p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 McNab, Tim p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 37  6 11  5   1  5 27 12   6

ALABAMA 5 (51-15)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Scott McClanahan cf......  4  0  0  0   0  0  3  0   0
Travis Garner rf.........  4  1  0  0   0  1  1  0   0
Peter Stonard 2b.........  4  0  1  1   0  1  1  1   0
Jeremy Brown c...........  4  0  1  0   0  0  5  1   1
Brent Boyd 1b............  3  1  0  0   1  1  8  2   0
Chad White lf............  3  1  0  0   1  1  4  2   0
Beau Hearod dh...........  3  2  3  4   0  0  0  0   0
Adam Pavkovich ss........  4  0  0  0   0  1  2  3   2
Allen Rice 3b............  4  0  1  0   0  0  2  3   1
Josh Baker p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Jared Woodward p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Taylor Tankersley p.....  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 33  5  6  5   2  5 27 12   4

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Florida Atlantic.... 002 020 011 -  6 11  3
ALABAMA............. 001 103 000 -  5  6  3
-------------------------------------------

E - COX,M(21); BROWN,R(7); SPANO,B(15); White(4); Pavkovich(23); Baker(1).
DP - FAU 1; ALABAMA 2. LOB - FAU 6; ALABAMA 4. 2B - VALDES,M(7). HR -
FIORENTINO,J(11); Hearod 2(12). HBP - Hearod. SH - SPANO,B(5). SB -
SOMARRIBA,G(7); Garner(26).

Florida Atlantic       IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Lopez, Nelson.......  5.2  4  4  3  2  1 21 24  70
Eubanks, Greg.......  0.0  1  1  1  0  0  1  1   4
Cooney, Jim.........  1.2  0  0  0  0  1  5  5  15
McNab, Tim..........  1.2  1  0  0  0  3  6  6  28

ALABAMA                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Josh Baker..........  2.2  5  2  2  0  1 13 13  47
Jared Woodward......  4.2  4  3  2  0  4 19 19  62
Taylor Tankersley...  1.2  2  1  1  1  0  5  7  25

Win - MCNAB,T (3-2).  Loss - Tankersley (8-5).  Save - None.
WP - MCNAB,T(4); Woodward(3). HBP - by LOPEZ,N (Hearod). Pitches/strikes:
LOPEZ,N 70/42; EUBANKS,G 4/2; COONEY,J 15/10; MCNAB,T 28/21; Baker 47/28;
Woodward 62/43; Tankersley 25/15.
Umpires - HP: Ron Sebastian  1B: Dale Luker  2B: Bob Gustin  3B: Bob Homolka
Start: 5:17 pm   Time: 2:46   Attendance: 3859
Game notes:
Game 7 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional
EUBANKS,G faced 1 batter in the 6th.
Game: NCAA07


Play-by-Play

                            NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional
                   Florida Atlantic at ALABAMA - Play-by-Play
              Jun 02, 2002 at Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Sewell Thomas)


Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Florida Atlantic.... 002 020 011 -  6 11  3
ALABAMA............. 001 103 000 -  5  6  3
-------------------------------------------

Florida Atlantic starters: 2/cf SOMARRIBA,G; 25/lf FIORENTINO,J; 21/3b COX,M; 16/rf
BIERNBAUM,L; 17/1b BROWN,R; 33/dh PALI,M; 14/c O'CONNOR,S; 9/2b HUTTON,D; 24/ss
SPANO,B; 18/p LOPEZ,N;
ALABAMA starters: 24/cf McClanahan; 11/rf Garner; 1/2b Stonard; 14/c Brown; 6/1b
Boyd; 36/lf White; 5/dh Hearod; 4/ss Pavkovich; 26/3b Rice; 20/p Baker;

Florida Atlantic 1st - SOMARRIBA,G reached on a fielding error by lf (1-2).
SOMARRIBA,G advanced to second. FIORENTINO,J flied into double play lf to ss to 1b
(0-0); SOMARRIBA,G out on the play. COX,M singled through the left side (1-1).
BIERNBAUM,L grounded out to 2b (1-1). 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.

ALABAMA 1st - McClanahan grounded out to 3b (0-1). Garner grounded out to ss
(0-0). Stonard grounded out to 2b (0-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Florida Atlantic 2nd - BROWN,R grounded out to 3b (2-0). PALI,M singled down
the rf line (2-2). O'CONNOR,S flied out to cf (2-0). HUTTON,D flied out to rf (1-0).
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

ALABAMA 2nd - Brown singled to shortstop (1-2). Boyd flied out to cf (0-0).
White out at first 1b to p (1-1); Brown advanced to second. Hearod hit by pitch
(0-0). Pavkovich flied out to cf (0-1). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Florida Atlantic 3rd - SPANO,B singled up the middle (1-1). SPANO,B advanced
to second on a throwing error by p. SOMARRIBA,G singled to second base (2-2);
SPANO,B advanced to third. FIORENTINO,J lined out to ss (0-0). COX,M struck out
swinging (3-2). SOMARRIBA,G stole second. BIERNBAUM,L singled to center field, RBI
(3-2); SOMARRIBA,G scored; SPANO,B scored. Woodward to p for Baker. BROWN,R grounded
out to 3b (2-1). 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

ALABAMA 3rd - Rice flied out to lf (0-0). McClanahan grounded out to ss
(3-1). Garner reached on a throwing error by 1b (0-2). Garner stole second. Stonard
singled to right field, RBI (3-2); Garner scored, unearned. Brown flied out to lf
(0-0). 1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.

Florida Atlantic 4th - PALI,M struck out swinging (1-2). O'CONNOR,S popped up
to ss (0-0). HUTTON,D flied out to cf (1-1). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

ALABAMA 4th - Boyd flied out to cf (0-0). White grounded out to c (3-1).
Hearod homered down the lf line, RBI (3-1). Pavkovich popped up to ss (0-0). 1
run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Florida Atlantic 5th - SPANO,B fouled out to 3b (1-1). SOMARRIBA,G singled to
left center (2-1). FIORENTINO,J homered to right center, 2 RBI (0-2); SOMARRIBA,G
scored. COX,M singled to right field (0-1). BIERNBAUM,L flied out to lf (2-2). COX,M
advanced to second on a wild pitch. BROWN,R struck out swinging, grounded out to c
unassisted (0-2). 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

ALABAMA 5th - CREECH,J to 1b for BROWN,R. Rice singled through the left side
(0-0). McClanahan grounded into double play 3b to 2b to 1b (0-0); Rice out on the
play. Garner struck out swinging (2-2). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Florida Atlantic 6th - PALI,M struck out swinging (1-2). O'CONNOR,S grounded
out to 3b (1-2). HUTTON,D flied out to cf (1-0). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0
LOB.

ALABAMA 6th - Stonard reached on a throwing error by ss, grounded out to 1b
unassisted (3-1). Brown flied out to rf (1-1). Boyd walked (3-0). White walked
(3-0); Boyd advanced to second. EUBANKS,G to p for LOPEZ,N. Hearod homered to left
field, 3 RBI (2-1); White scored; Boyd scored. COONEY,J to p for EUBANKS,G.
Pavkovich reached on a fielding error by 3b, out at second lf to 2b (0-0). 3
runs, 1 hit, 2 errors, 0 LOB.

Florida Atlantic 7th - SPANO,B out at first 1b to p (3-2). SOMARRIBA,G popped
up to 2b (0-0). FIORENTINO,J struck out swinging (2-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors,
0 LOB.

ALABAMA 7th - Rice flied out to rf (1-2). McClanahan flied out to lf (1-1).
Garner grounded out to 3b (2-0). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Florida Atlantic 8th - COX,M grounded out to ss (0-0). BIERNBAUM,L singled
through the right side (2-1). CREECH,J reached on a fielder's choice (0-0);
BIERNBAUM,L advanced to second on a fielding error by ss. Tankersley to p for
Woodward. VALDES,M pinch hit for PALI,M. VALDES,M doubled down the rf line, RBI
(1-2); CREECH,J advanced to third; BIERNBAUM,L scored, unearned. O'CONNOR,S flied
into double play lf to c to 1b to 3b (1-1); CREECH,J out on the play. 1 run, 2
hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

ALABAMA 8th - Stonard struck out swinging (1-2). MCNAB,T to p for COONEY,J.
Brown flied out to lf (1-1). Boyd struck out swinging (1-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0
errors, 0 LOB.

Florida Atlantic 9th - HUTTON,D walked (3-2). SPANO,B grounded out to 1b
unassisted, SAC, bunt (1-0); HUTTON,D advanced to second. SOMARRIBA,G flied out to
lf (2-2). FIORENTINO,J singled to right field, RBI (0-0); HUTTON,D scored.
FIORENTINO,J advanced to second on the throw. COX,M grounded out to ss (1-2). 1
run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

ALABAMA 9th - White struck out swinging, out at first c to 1b (1-2). Hearod
singled to right field (0-1). Hearod advanced to second on a wild pitch. Pavkovich
struck out swinging (3-2). Rice grounded out to ss (1-2). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0
errors, 1 LOB.

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