CWS BASEBALL: Arizona State defeats Gators 6-1

Previously undefeated Florida dropped a 6-1 decision to Arizona State in Bracket One of the College World Series in Omaha on Wednesday afternoon. The Gators and Sun Devils will play tomorrow at Rosenblatt Stadium with the winner advancing to the Championship Game of Division I NCAA Baseball.

Arizona State junior Erik Averill did a fantastic job of locating his fastball, while mixing the curve and change. He allowed five hits and walked none, while striking out seven. The southpaw held the top five hitters in Florida's batting order (Corsaletti, Davis, LaPorta, Jeroloman, and McArthur went a combined one for twenty in the game.

The Sun Devils scored in the bottom of the first when right fielder Travis Buck blasted Bryan Ball's 1-0 offering over the right field wall.

ASU scored again in the fourth inning. Ball walked the first two batters (Travis Buck and Collin Curtis) of the frame. Buck was driven in on Seth Dhaenens sacrifice to give the Devils a 2-0 lead.

The Gators (47-21) scored their only ruin of the game in the fifth. Right fielder Gavin Dickey singled to right field. He moved to second on Justin Tordi's sacrifice bunt. Designated hitter Jared Kubin then lifted a single to left that scored Dickey, and cut the Devils lead to 2-1.

Jeff Larish hit a leadoff double to the gap in the sixth, and eventually scored on Curtis' infield single giving Arizona State a 3-1 lead.

The Sun Devils broke the game open in the seventh. Ball went 2-0 on the leadoff hitter Dhaenens and Coach Pat McMahon went to the pen for left hander Mike Pete. Joey Hooft singled up the gut, Rocky Laguna grounded out to the mound, but advanced both runners. J.J. Sferra followed with a two-run single scoring Dhaenens and Hooft. Arizona State had jumped out to a 5-1 lead. They scored the final run in the eighth.

Ball (7-5) picked up the loss. He pitched six innings, gave up four earned runs and allowed three strikeouts. He was pretty solid overall against a Sun Devils team that has gotten hot in the tourney. However, the Florida hitters were not able to solve Averill and provide any run support for Ball.

The start time for tomorrow's game is unavailable until the conclusion of the Texas/Baylor contest later tonight.


Florida Head Coach Pat McMahon

(opening statement): "It's a tough loss as all losses are. Erik (Averill) pitched very, very well for them. He did a masterful job of keeping us off stride."


(on his team's approach to the game): "I'm extremely proud of our effort today. We tried to do everything we possibly could to compete and be successful."


Designated Hitter Jared Kubin

(on facing Erik Averill): "He threw three pitches in the strike zone and threw his changeup any time he wanted. He had great command of that pitch today."


Left fielder Gavin Dickey

(on facing Erik Averill): "He didn't throw that hard but he kept us off-balance. We weren't able to drive a lot of balls that were thrown up there."


(on Averill's pace of play on the mound. Was it a distraction?)

That probably had something to do with the game but that's not an excuse. You can't hit until he throws it up there. The kid pitched a great game. Hat's off to him."


Starting pitcher Bryan Ball

(on the team's approach to the game): "I never go out on the field not wanting to win. That's never the case at all."


Arizona State Head Coach Pat Murphy

(opening statement): "What can you say? Erik Averill. Nine innings, five hits, no walks against a team of that magnitude? Erik Averill. Unbelievable. That's all I have on my mind. Ask me who is going to be pitching tomorrow? Erik Averill.


(about whether he was surprised Averill went nine innings): "He told me before the game what he could give me. He said I'm going nine. I listened to him. A CG at the College World Series at this time against a team that's in the driver's seat is pretty special."


(about his ability to comeback): "This group is a tremendous group of guys who played hard. Utah Valley State beat us. Remember that? Since that game, they realized we had to do more than play hard. Most important thing is to play well. It's to the point if they don't know how to play by now, they've been through everything.


Arizona State Starting Pitcher Erik Averill

(about his performance): "I was trying to get as many innings as I could. I know the bullpen has been tired lately. I only threw 73-74 pitches three days ago. I took it pretty easy. I played catch other than yesterday."


Arizona State Right Fielder Travis Buck

(about his team's performance after yesterday's game): "It was just as fun as yesterday. We're going out and playing and hearing our fans for the first time in about a week. We feed off our fans, but more importantly we feed off each other."


Arizona State Left Fielder Colin Curtis

(about a possible letdown): "We came out and we were prepared. We were musical today. Whatever that means. We were laid back, but prepared and focused. We came out with the same level of intensity as before.


(about the double): "Yesterday that pop fly that went foul gave me life at bat. Today I hit the ball and heard (Coach) Murph yell at me so I took off. I tried to get to second in case he missed it and he did. I like to look at the field vertically because there are a lot of holes."

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