Michael Roth improved his post season career record to 8-0 with a complete game two-hitter to eliminate Kent State and end the best post season run in school history 4-1.
OMAHA, Neb. - Kent State scored four unearned runs and another on a wild pitch, then held off Florida's comeback bid in the ninth to eliminate the top-seeded Gators from the College World Series with a 5-4 victory Monday.
The Gators loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against shaky relievers Michael Clark and Josh Pierce.
Pierce fought back from a 3-0 count to strike out Casey Turgeon when Turgeon couldn't check his swing and got called out on an appeal to the third-base umpire. Justin Shafer flew out to right to end the game, with Pierce pumping his right fist once the ball landed in right fielder T.J. Sutton's glove.
The Gators (47-20), who reached the CWS finals last year, committed five errors in two games after coming to Omaha seventh in the nation in fielding.
Florida's Hudson Randall (9-3) left after the first inning because of heat-related symptoms. Ryan Bores (10-3) got the win for Kent State (47-19), making its first CWS appearance. Pierce earned his third save.
Kent State had 12 hits against four pitchers, but it was Florida's continuing problems in the field that allowed the Flashes to build a 5-1 lead.
George Roberts drove in runs each of the first two innings after shortstop Nolan Fontana and third baseman Josh Tobias committed errors.
Florida scored in the sixth and added two more runs in the seventh to make it 5-4.
Three outs away from a pulling the upset, Clark walked Preston Tucker on four straight pitches to start the ninth. He was 2-0 against Mike Zunino when Kent State coach Scott Stricklin called on Pierce, who also struggled with his control and put Zunino on.
After pinch hitter Cody Dent moved over the runners with a sacrifice, Pierce hit Daniel Pigott in the shoulder to load the bases.
Pierce fell behind 3-0 to Turgeon before throwing a strike. It looked like Turgeon would walk -- TV replays indicated strike two was outside -- but he couldn't hold back on his check swing on the next pitch and third base umpire Jeff Henrichs called him out.
Shafer put a good swing on Pierce's next pitch, but Sutton was able to chase down the fly to end the game.
It was 95 degrees at the start of the game, making it the warmest first pitch at the CWS since June 11, 2001. Before Monday, Kent State hadn't played a game in weather warmer than 82 degrees all season.
It was Florida's Hudson who was bothered by the heat and humidity. At one point in the first inning, Gators coach Kevin O'Sullivan made a mound visit and athletic trainers brought water to Hudson.
Hudson finished the inning with one unearned run scored against him. O'Sullivan wouldn't let him come out for the second because it was apparent he was ill.
Bores, a 27th-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers, turned in a third straight strong performance in the NCAA tournament. He worked six innings and allowed two runs on six hits.
Kent State Baseball
A large crowd of incoming Kent State University freshmen gathered to show their support for the baseball team, who took on South Carolina in the College World Series.
Kent State lives to play another day in Omaha, thanks to Mother Nature. A severe weather front moved across Omaha at 5:30 p.m. central time, sending heavy rains and lightning with it.
Kent State's game against South Carolina was postponed until 11 a.m. CT Thursday in the College World Series.
Before they ever dreamed of playing in the College World Series, three Kent State University baseball players played together at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls.
Kent State scored four unearned runs and another on a wild pitch, then held off Florida's comeback bid in the ninth to eliminate the top-seeded Gators from the College World Series with a 5-4 victory Monday.
Kent State struck quickly against the top-ranked Florida Gators Monday night in Omaha scoring four runs in the first two innings and holding on to eliminate Florida 5-4 and live to play another day.
The Kent State baseball team went thru its final practice today at Bellevue East high school in Bellevue, Nebraska. The team looked relaxed and confident on the eve of the biggest game in the history of the program.
Kent State senior lefty David Starn got off to a rocky start against sixth ranked Arkansas and it cost him today. Starn walked three batters in the first inning en route to an early Arkansas run as he struggled finding the strike zone and Arkansas went on to beat Kent State 8-1.
By plane, by car, by RV and by bus, fans of Kent State University came to Omaha to support their Golden Flashes in the NCAA College World Series.