In the Texas Christian versus Florida State opener, the Horned Frogs erased a 1-0 deficit three hitters into the game and wound up with a five-run first inning in their 8-1 victory. Florida State had a few rallies snuffed out, including one in the fourth inning when the first two hitters reached base.
But TCU’s Matt Purke got a double-play ground ball and a strikeout to escape the jam. After that, the Seminoles had pair of runners on in both the seventh and eighth innings but failed to score.
Purke improved to 15-0 on the season, and, although his control was spotty – he threw 65 strikes but 49 balls and he issued four walks in seven innings – he gutted his was through on a day in which he didn’t have his best stuff.
The Seminoles’ Sean Gilmartin took the loss. Although he led Florida State in starts, wins, innings and strikeouts during the season, opponents were hitting .305 off him, second-worst on the team.
TCU was making their first ever CWS appearance after six straight NCAA appearances from 2004-2009. They improved to 52-12 on the season.
In comparison to TCU’s jump from the gate, Florida’s 11-3 loss to UCLA might aptly be described as the baseball equivalent death by a thousand cuts.
There’s an old baseball trivia question about all the different ways a hitter can score from third base without a hit, and for awhile, it looked like Florida was more than happy to provide all the answers.
The Bruins scored on an error and wild pitch in the third inning, a passed ball in the fourth and another wild pitch in the sixth. In all, they scored in eight of the nine innings and rapped out 18 hits, 15 of which were singles. UCLA is now 49-14 on the season.
The support was more than enough for All-American Trevor Bauer, as he fanned eleven Gators in seven strong innings of work. Bauer led the Pac-10 in strikeouts this season.