College of Charleston stuns Florida 3-2
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP/WCIV) - The College of Charleston scored all of its runs in the first inning and held on to stun regional top seed Florida 3-2 in a game that ended early Saturday morning after being delayed for 3 hours and 15 minutes because of a thunderstorm.
Brandon Murray hit an RBI double and Nick Pappas had a two-run double two batters later against Florida starter Logan Shore (7-4). Shore and reliever Justin Shafer held the Cougars (42-17) scoreless the rest of the game, but the Gators (40-22) wasted two bases-loaded opportunities and went down in order in the last three innings after cutting the deficit to one.
Eric Bauer (6-2) got the victory in relief, and Michael Hanzlik retired the Gators in order on 10 pitches in the ninth for his 15th save.
"Hanzlik was as sharp as he's been all year in one of the biggest games in the history of our program," head coach Monte Lee said. "I've got to give a lot of credit to our bullpen. Bauer and Hanzlik were phenomenal."
The Gators were the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and ranked eighth in the Coaches Poll heading into Friday night. It marked the fourth time in CofC's six NCAA trips that College of Charleston has won the first game of a regional, although it was Charleston's first time doing it as a four seed against the host.
The Cougars have won 11 of their last 13, four games in a row, including a sweep of the CAA conference tournament.
"There were a couple of big keys to the game, obviously scoring three runs in the first was a huge difference in the ball game," Lee said. "They definitely made it tough on us in the middle innings.
Charleston will play Long Beach State on Saturday, while Florida will meet North Carolina in an elimination game.