TCU Beats Florida State, Nabs First CWS Victory

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ensign beedrill/flickr

    Undefeated freshman Matt Purke limited Florida State to four singles and one unearned run over seven innings and Omaha newcomer TCU scored five times in the first inning on its way to an 8-1 victory in the opening game of the College World Series on Saturday.

    The Horned Frogs (52-12) advanced to a Monday night game against the winner of Saturday night's Florida-UCLA game. The Seminoles (47-19), at the CWS for the 20th time, have lost five of their last six CWS openers and will play the Florida-UCLA loser in a Monday afternoon Bracket 1 elimination game.

    TCU is the first team to win its CWS debut since Georgia Tech in 1994 -- a team that featured future Boston Red Sox stars Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek.

    Jason Coats' double into the left-field corner gave the Horned Frogs a 2-1 lead before Seminoles' starter Sean Gilmartin recorded an out.

    Jantzen Witte scored on Brance Rivera's suicide-squeeze bunt in the third and Bryan Holaday hit his 14th homer in the fourth to make it 7-1.

    Tyler Holt lined Purke's first pitch of the game into left field for the only ball hit out of the infield by Florida State until Devon Travis' grounder up the middle in the seventh.

    The Seminoles' only run came in the first. Holt came around from first base when TCU third baseman Jantzen Witte picked up Sherman Johnson's short bouncer and threw into the right-field bullpen.

    Purke (15-0), who turned down a $4 million offer last year as the Texas Rangers' top draft pick, mixed his new changeup with a fastball in the mid 90s and a devastating curveball. He struck out four of six batters after Florida State scored its run and finished with seven strikeouts. He walked four to match his season high.

    Other than Holt's base hit to left and Travis' ground single, all the Seminoles could muster against Purke was Johnson's bunt single and Mike McGee's nubber in front of the plate that was scored a hit.

    Eric Marshall pitched two innings of scoreless relief, with Holt grounding out to third to end the game and set off the Frogs' celebration in the field.

    TCU, the first team to score at least five runs in its first-ever CWS game since Wichita State in 1982, gave Purke plenty of cushion.

    Jerome Pena and Holaday led off the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles against Gilmartin (9-8) before Coats hit the go-ahead double. Joe Weik and Aaron Schultz added RBI singles and Taylor Featherston a sacrifice fly.

    Hunter Scantling relieved Gilmartin to start the fourth and gave up Holaday's long ball into the left-field bleachers.

    The defensive play of the game came in the second. Florida State's Stuart Tapley hit a hard grounder that bounced off Witte at third and caromed to Featherston at short. Featherston bare-handed the ball and threw out Tapley.

    The Seminoes, down 5-1 in the third, caught a tough break when Holt was doubled off second base. Holt had taken off on a hit-and-run when McGee hit a high pop-up to second. Holt had reached third base and turned the corner before realizing he needed to get back to second. He failed to re-touch third on his way back. Purke appealed the play, threw to third, and Holt was out, ending the inning and snuffing any momentum the Seminoles might have had.

    Florida State has never won a CWS title in its 19 previous trips to Omaha. The Seminoles have advanced to the championship round three times, losing in 1970 to USC, in 1986 against Arizona and again in 1999 to ACC rival Miami.