Jun 21, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida State Seminoles third baseman Sherman Johnson (32) is called out after getting tagged by Arizona Wildcats second baseman Trent Gilbert (4) during the first inning during game ten of the 2012 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE
If there was any worry that the Arizona baseball team would have egos developing and focus waning after cruising through the postseason to this point, it was quickly squashed.
The Wildcats came in hot to the first inning in Thursday's victory against the Florida State Seminoles, scoring six runs in the opening frame en route to a 10-3 victory at TD Ameritrade Park. Robert Refsnyder. His Wildcats now 8-0 in the 2012 postseason, Andy Lopez's 401st win at Arizona propelled his squad to its first NCAA College World Series Finals appearance under the 11-year UA head coach.
Arizona will face either South Carolina or Arkansas, who began an elimination game for the Gamecocks following the Wildcats' win. Should South Carolina win, the two teams will play a final elimination game Friday at 6 p.m.
UA ace Kurt Heyer gave up nine hits and two earned runs in 7.2 innings on Thursday, and freshman Tyler Crawford closed out the victory by giving up one earned run and two hits in 1.2 innings.
But it was the hot bats that set the tone for the Wildcats on Thursday.
A single by lead-off man Joey Rickard and a subsequent error on a hit by Johnny Field put runners on the corners with no outs in the first. Alex Mejia knocked in one run, the first of six in the inning.
Arizona would bat around the order in the first, and the scoring burst was aided by three total Seminole errors.
As usual, the Wildcats took advantage of both errors and men on base. They scored four unearned runs on four FSU miscues and pushed 10 scores across the plates on 15 total hits.
The Wildcats mowed down the FSU pitchers; the 'Noles ran through eight different pitchers and none went through.
The Seminoles wouldn't panic, and they put up their fair share of hits, scattering __11 on the day. But they could only muster one run in the sixth inning which was answer by another Wildcat scoring burst. UA responded with a four-run fourth inning, making it the second inning of the game where the Wildcats ran through the batting order.
Now Arizona looks toward the final CWS series, their first since 1986 and the first under the tutelage of Lopez. Game 1 is scheduled for Sunday at 5 p.m. PT with Games 2 and an if-necessary Game 3 set for the same time on Monday and Tuesday.