Miami 4, Fullerton St. 3
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ A two-run error by Fullerton State shortstop Nate Rodriguez keyed a three- run seventh inning that carried top-ranked Miami to a 4-3 victory over the fifth-ranked Titans in the second round of the College World Series Sunday night.
The win gave Miami (55-8) a few days off, while Fullerton State (43-16) fell into a losers bracket game Tuesday against Florida State (49-20). The winner of that game would face Miami on Wednesday.
Florida State, beaten 7-2 by Fullerton in a first-round game Friday, stayed alive on Sunday by eliminating California 5-4 in a losers round game.
With the score tied 1-1, Miami loaded the bases in the seventh against Fullerton’s James Popoff (12-3), who had retired 10 consecutive batters before running into trouble.
Miami’s Dave Berg grounded sharply into the hole and the ball bounded off Rodriguez’s glove for an error that allowed two runs to score. Charles Johnson singled home a run to make it 4-1.
Johnathen Smith singled in a run in the first for Miami, and Fullerton tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the inning by working Hurricanes starter Jeff Alkire (14-2) for three walks and a fielder’s choice.
Alkire, who threw a pair of four-hit, complete-game victories in regional play, allowed only two infield hits until Phil Nevin singled to left in the eighth. But Alkire walked nine and struck out one by the time he left for reliever Danny Graves with two on and none out in the eighth.
Graves’ first pitch bounced in the dirt, allowing Chris Powell and Nevin to move up. Powell, who had walked, scored on Jason Moler’s grounder and Nevin made it 4-3 when Steve Sisco sliced a single to right.
Graves retired the side in order in the ninth for his third save of the season.