TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Texas A&M saved its ace for the biggest game of its season.
Michael Wacha delivered again, just as he has throughout the postseason.
Wacha allowed two runs on three hits in 7 1-3 innings as the Aggies defeated Florida State 11-2 on Monday night to advance to the College World Series.
“I knew I had to go out there and throw strikes and help this team go to Omaha,” Wacha said.
In four postseason outings, Wacha (9-3) has allowed just three earned runs in 28 1-3 innings.
“He’s the real deal,” Florida State coach Mike Martin said. “That was great stuff.”
Texas A&M (47-20), which won two of three games in the Tallahassee Super Regional, reached the CWS for the first time since 1999. The Aggies will play defending national champion South Carolina on Sunday.
“There are two things that I truly enjoy: No. 1, sitting on the bus, listening to our players laugh after we won a game on the road,” said Texas A&M coach Rob Childress, who got a Gatorade bath after the win. “No. 2, watching our guys dogpile on the way to Omaha. I sure enjoyed that one tonight.”
Kevin Gonzalez had a two-run double that was part of a six-run first inning for Texas A&M. Adam Smith added a two-run homer in the second that put the Aggies up 8-0.
“The feeling right now is so surreal,” Smith said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling.”
Stuart Tapley hit a solo home run and Rafael Lopez had an RBI double for Florida State (46-19), which was the only super regional host team that did not advance to Omaha.
Seminoles right-hander Hunter Scantling (3-3) lasted just four batters, allowing two hits, two walks and four earned runs. Of his 13 pitches, just three were strikes.
“It was tough to be in that situation,” Lopez said of the Aggies’ big opening inning. “We were just trying to put something together and hopefully try and make a comeback.”
Florida State was denied a trip to its 21st College World Series. Coach Mike Martin and the Seminoles are still searching for the program’s first national title.
“It’s a big disappointment for me,” said Martin, who’s 67. “Obviously, the end is in sight. I’m not saying when it’s going to be. But 32 years, I’ve been blessed to work at Florida State and I love this place. This will make me work even harder next year to try to get to TD Ameritrade (in Omaha).”
Florida State’s James Ramsey went 0 for 4, halting his on-base streak at 53 games.
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