'Noles Fall

The College World Series field is finally set, and it won't include the No. 1 national seed for the second consecutive year. No. 6 <b>Texas dumped </b> top-ranked <b>Florida State </b> 6-5 in Super Regional action Monday at Dick Howser Stadium. The defending CWS champion Longhorns (48-18) mixed power with finesse to make Texas coach <b>Augie Garrido </b> the all-time winningest coach in Division I history, as well as send the disappointed Seminoles (54-13-1) searching for answers.

The College World Series field is finally set, and it won't include the No. 1 national seed for the second consecutive year.

No. 6 Texas dumped top-ranked Florida State 6-5 in Super Regional action Monday at Dick Howser Stadium.

The defending CWS champion Longhorns (48-18) mixed power with finesse to make Texas coach Augie Garrido the all-time winningest coach in Division I history, as well as send the disappointed Seminoles (54-13-1) searching for answers.

"You will not hear me a negative word out of my mouth about this team," FSU coach Mike Martin said.

"I have never been prouder of a group of young men in my29 years with this program. They came up short against a team that outplayed us for two days. They were better than we were. They played great baseball."

FSU has dropped three consecutive Super Regional series, losing at home last season to Notre Dame as the nation's top seed.

The Seminoles lost Sunday's opener 8-3. Deficiencies were easy to pinpoint. FSU pitchers walked eight hittters, the Seminoles went 1-for-13 with runners in scroing position and they also stranded 11 runners.

Also, FSU did not have shortstop Stephen Drew Monday. Drew was out with a strained right hamstring suffered in the first game. Plus, Seminole first baseman Jerrod Brown played with a fractured cheekbone suffered in a collision Sunday. He is scheduled for surgery next week.

Outfielder Tony McQuadetweaked his right hamstring on a seventh-inning double but stayed in the game. Also, third baseman Chris Hart aggravated his lower back while diving for a ground ball in the eight inning. He also remained in the game.

Despite jumping to an early 2-0 advantage, the Seminoles did not have enough answers for the Longhorns and trailed 6-5 heading into the eighth inning. Enter Texas reliever Huston Street.

Street, who worked three innings and threw 77pitches Sunday and also starts at third base, earned his second consecutive save and 14th of the season.

"Good gracious – Street needs to have a Street named after him," Martin said.

"Call it Street Way out there in Austin. What a warrior he is. What a great display of competitiveness. Sure, it's disappointing but my gosh, nothing is going to take away from what these young men have accomplished. We had a great year. A tremendous year."

Street retired four consecutive FSU hitters, three on strike outs, before the Seminoles made it interesting in the top of the ninth. The Seminoles put runners on first and second with two outs when McQuade walked and Blake Balkcom followed with a sharp single to left field.

However, Street coaxed FSU catcher Tony Richie , who had belted a home run and RBI single in his previous two at-bats, to ground out back to the mound to end the game. Texas will make its NCAA-best 30th CWS appearance and will open against Miami Saturday.

"I was looking for that pitch and I think I pulled off (of it) a little bit," Richie said of his last-bat. "I thought I tried to hit it out of the ballpark instead of just getting a base hit. I mean, I didn't try to hit it out of the ballpark. ... it's just one of those things. He made a great pitch though. I hit his pitch."

Tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the third, Texas parlayed back-to-back home runs from Taylor Teagarden and Curtis Thigpin to go in front for good at 5-2. The Seminoles also lost starting pitcher Matt Lynchin that inning with two outs to a blister on his left middle finger.

"I thought it was fine but that inning that I came out it feld kind of wierd," Lynch said. "The last pitch I threw was a two-seamer away that kind of cut on me. I looked and felt the skin rip.They cut it off and I tried to keep throwing but the skin underneath it was so sensitive, it stung like crazy."

The Seminoles used three relievers -- Rhett James, Hunter Jones and Daniel Hodges -- after using six Sunday. Texas out-hit the Seminoles 9-8.

FSU pulled within 5-3 in the top of the fourth on Bryan Zech's two-out double. However, Texas answered in the bottom of the frame on Eric Sultemeier's third hit of the game, a two-out single to left field, pushing the Longhorns' advantage to 6-3.

Tony Richie's 12th home run of season cut Texas' in the fifth and two-out single in the seventh cut the deficit to 6-5.

The Seminoles led 1-0 in the top of the first. Blake Balkcom tripled down the left-field line and scored when Texas shortstop Omar Quintanilla misplayed a Richie ground ball.

FSU made it 2-0 in the second on Chris Hart's fourth home run of the season. Texas, however, tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of the inning when Street walked with the bases loaded and Tim Moss was hit by a pitch. The Longhorns did not hit a ball out of the infield, loading the bases on an infield hit and two bunts.

McQuade said the Seminoles could not blame their elimination on injuries or bad luck.

"That happens," McQuade said. "We can't blame anything or anyone. You can't predict an injury. You know it's tough that we didn't have 100 percent out there for both games. But that doesn't take anything away from what Texas did.They had to come here on the road. They had to sit in the hotel when it rained. For them to come out and play like the way they did, they earned it."


Nole Digest Top Stories