Wichita State 7, Florida St. 4
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Eric Wedge drove in four runs, two on a tie-breaking single with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, to keep Wichita State alive in the College World Series Wednesday night with a 7-4 victory over top-seeded Florida State.
Wedge’s two-run bloop single to center field came immediately after a 53- minute rain delay and snapped the Seminoles’ 12-game winning streak and forced a rematch between the teams on Friday.
The winner of that game will advance to Saturday’s title game against second-seeded Texas or No. 6 Louisiana State. Florida State, 54-17, beat fourth-seeded Wichita State 4-2 in the Series opener on Sunday.
Wedge, a catcher and Boston Red Sox draft pick who leads the team with 99 RBIs, helped the Shockers to an early 3-0 lead with an RBI-groundout in the first inning and a run-scoring double in the third.
However, consecutive doubles by Rob Bargas and Buddy Cribb sparked a rally for the Seminoles that tied the game 3-3 in the sixth.
The Shockers opened the top of the eighth with three consecutive hits, including Mike McDonald’s bunt single to load the bases. It was McDonald’s second hit of the game and it led to the rain suspension when relief pitcher Ricky Kimball slipped on the wet grass and was unable to field the ball.
Wedge’s hit after the break made it 5-3. The Shockers, who finished third in last year’s Series and were second in 1982, added two runs on sacrfice flies by Pat Meares and Todd Dreifort for a 7-3 lead.
Florida State cut the margin to 7-4 when Bargas and Cribb opened the bottom of the eighth with consecutive singles and Bargas scored on Brian Gilliland’s hit with no outs. But Shocker stopper Jim Newlin came out of the bullpen to strike out three batters and notch his 18th save.
FSU starter Gar Finnvold held Wichita State to four hits over seven innings, but was pulled after Jim Audley started the eighth with a single to center.
Shocker freshman Charlie Giaudrone held the Seminoles hitless until the fifth inning when he slipped and was unable to field a bunt by Gilliland. Gilliland stole second and went to third when the catcher’s throw went into center field, then scored on an error by the shortstop Meares.
Trailing 3-1, Bargas opened the sixth in a downpour with a double down the right field line and scored on Cribb’s double to the same spot. Cribb moved to third on Brad Parker’s infield hit and scored on Gilliland’s sharp sacrifice fly to center.
Jeff Bluma, 3-1, picked up the win in relief for the Shockers. He gave up four hits and one run in two innings before leaving with no outs in the eighth and runners on first and third.
Kimball, 5-3, suffered the loss, allowing three hits and a walk while facing four batters in the eighth.
Texas will advance to the championship game with a victory Thursday night over Louisiana State. If LSU wins, the two will play again Friday to determine who plays Saturday.