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Florida eliminates Arizona St.

Posted: Friday, June 24, 2005

OMAHA, Neb. — Florida got a power boost after a fan interfered with a foul ball. And now the Gators are headed to the championship round of the College World Series.

Brian Leclerc, Adam Davis and Matt LaPorta homered as Florida rallied from an early 3-0 deficit and beat Arizona State 6-3 Thursday night, ending the Sun Devils' dazzling run.

Florida (48-21) moves to the best-of-three final round beginning Saturday against Texas. The Gators will be seeking their first CWS title in their fifth appearance.

Arizona State (42-25) had won three straight elimination games after losing its CWS opener, including a 6-1 win over Florida on Wednesday.

But the Sun Devils' magic finally expired. Arizona had two on with one out in the top of the ninth before Florida reliever Tommy Boss retired the final two batters to set off a Gators celebration.

In the fourth inning, home plate umpire Bill Davis called Florida's Brandon McArthur out after a fan reached for the foul ball near the screen, preventing Sun Devils catcher Tuffy Gosewisch from catching it.

Davis' ruling prompted a heated argument from Florida coach Pat McMahon. The umpires conferred, but the call stood and it seemed to spark the Gators.

Leclerc, the next hitter, hit a two-run homer off ASU starter Jason Urquidez to cut the Sun Devils' lead to 3-2.

Urquidez, making his third start of the CWS, was lifted after giving up a single to Stephen Barton in the fifth.

Jeff Corsaletti greeted reliever Brett Bordes (5-7) with a single before Davis connected on a three-run homer for a 5-3 lead. LaPorta then followed with his 26th homer of the season — tops in the nation — on a long shot to left, put Florida up by three runs.

Boss (9-4), who came in when Gators starter Alan Horne left with an upper left leg injury in the fourth inning, got the victory by pitching 5 2-3 innings of shutout relief.

The Sun Devils wasted little time getting to Horne as Jeff Larish and Travis Buck hit back-to-back doubles to start the game and make it 1-0. Buck got to third on an infield out and scampered home on Horne's wild pitch.

Larish, who homered three times in a victory over Nebraska, came through again in the second with an RBI single.

Horne, the winner in the Gators' first-round victory over Tennessee, threw a pitch to Joey Hooft in the fourth inning and then fell off the mound in pain. After staying down for several minutes, he was helped off the field.



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