Indiana advances to first College World Series, will play Louisville
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Indiana is making its first trip to the College World Series. And the Hoosiers have broken a long CWS drought for the Big Ten along the way.
Sam Travis hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning to break open a tie game as Indiana defeated Florida State 11-6 on Sunday in the Tallahassee Super Regional.
Indiana (48-14) is in the NCAA postseason for just the third time and was playing in its first Super Regional. But the Hoosiers played with plenty of poise on the road, sweeping the Seminoles.
"This is certainly uncharted territory for us,'' Indiana coach Tracy Smith said. "We're thrilled, we're happy but we feel like we have a lot of work left to do.''
Indiana is the first Big Ten team since Michigan in 1984 to reach the CWS. It's been 29 years, and Smith remarked that he was a senior in high school.
The Hoosiers have won the Big Ten regular-season title, conference tournament and then claimed their regional. But the fact that Indiana had to go on the road and win a Super Regional in front of a vocal, pro-Florida State crowd was not lost on Smith.
"I don't think there's a better preparation for our team going forward,'' Smith said. "That was a tremendous atmosphere. I think it makes the statement that it's not a fluke. People don't understand what Northern schools have to go through to get to this point.''
Will Coursen-Carr (5-0) pitched four innings of relief for Indiana, allowing just an earned run in the ninth inning. Coursen-Carr has earned the win in the Big Ten championship game, Bloomington Regional title game and in Sunday's Super Regional clincher.
Indiana scored four runs in the first inning, the 28th time in 62 games that they have pushed at least one run across in the opening frame. Travis had a sacrifice fly, Scott Donley had an RBI double, Michael Basil had an RBI double and Casey Smith had an RBI single.
For Tracy and Casey Smith, the season has been special. Father and son have enjoyed the ride together, and it continues at the CWS in Omaha, Neb.
"I'm doing this with my dad; I can't even put it into words,'' Casey Smith said. "And it's 2013, I'm 20 and he's 13 (referring to their jersey numbers). I think it's the magical year.''
The magic ran out for Florida State (47-17), which tied the game in the top of the fifth inning when Coursen-Carr hit Casey Smit with the bases loaded. But Indiana responded with Travis' home run and added a run in the seventh and three more runs in the eighth to put the game away.
A day after Florida State stranded 13 runners on base, the Seminoles left 14 on base Sunday.
"Somebody, somebody pick us up,'' Florida State coach Mike Martin said. "Credit them for making pitches when you needed to make them. It's just part of the game that makes it interesting every night.''
Scott Sitz (10-2) allowed seven runs, six of them earned, in 4.1 innings for Florida State.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jeff Thompson surrendered one run in seven strong innings to make two early runs stand up in Louisville's 2-1 victory over No. 2 overall seed Vanderbilt in a NCAA super regional on Sunday, sending the Cardinals to the College World Series for the second time.
The Big East Conference pitcher of the year struck out nine, allowed three hits and threw 124 pitches. Zak Wasserman and Sutton Whiting drove in runs in the second inning for the Cardinals (51-12).
Left-hander Cody Ege earned his first career save by striking out Mike Yastrzemski with runners on the corners for the final out. Louisville set a program-record for single-season wins, has yet to lose this postseason and is making its first trip to the CWS since 2007.
Vanderbilt freshman Zander Wiel homered in the sixth inning to account for the only extra-base hit of the series. The Commodores (54-12) stranded 11 runners for the second straight game. Vanderbilt won the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship, but lost to the same team twice for the first time all season.
Louisville jumped in front with two runs in the second. Wasserman drove in Jeff Gardner with a single through the right side as Kyle Gibson stopped to let the baseball pass through. Gibson later scored on Whiting's single past the second base bag. Wasserman was thrown out at third to end the inning. The Cardinals stranded nine runners.
Vanderbilt starter Tyler Beede (14-1) lasted 2 2-3 innings in his shortest outing of the season. The nation's leader in wins suffered his first loss. The right-hander allowed five hits, walked three and exited the third inning with the bases loaded. Freshman Carson Fulmer took over and induced Gibson into an inning-ending groundout on the first pitch.
Fulmer stayed in the rest of the game, allowing two hits in 5 1-3 scoreless innings.
Vanderbilt squandered big innings twice. In the second inning, the Commodores loaded the bases with one out. But Spencer Navin looked at strike three and Jack Lupo popped up to second on the first pitch.
Thompson settled in to retire 10 of the next 11 batters. With two outs in the fifth, Tony Kemp singled to left field and Xavier Turner drew a walk. But Thompson got out of the jam by getting Yastrzemski to swing at ball four, a 93 mph pitch that was up and in.
With two outs in the sixth, Wiel hit his fifth home run of the season. The designated hitter cranked a 1-1 pitch from Thompson over the 35-foot wall and just inside the left-field foul pole. Third base umpire Jeff Heinrichs pointed to fair territory, finally giving Commodore fans a reason to cheer.
Joe Filomeno took over in the eighth but hit a batter and walked a batter to put runners on first and second with two outs. After his first pitch to Vince Conde, Filomeno left the game with an apparent injury to his left (throwing) arm. Kyle Funkhouser replaced him and Conde smacked a hard shot to third. But Ty Young slid to his left, scooped up the ball and popped up quickly to throw out Conde.
That set up an eventful ninth. Louisville closer Nick Burdi gave up a one-hit single to pinch hitter John Norwood. Louisville then turned to Ege, who hadn't allowed a run in 14 straight innings.
After giving up a single to Turner, he fanned Yastrzemski on a 2-2 count. Gibson spiked the ball and a dog pile ensued on the pitcher's mound.
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