Coastal Carolina sends Florida to elimination game


Coastal Carolina shortstop Michael Paez throws to first after forcing out Florida's Jonathan India to complete a double play during the second inning Sunday of the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. (Nati Harnik/The Associated Press)

Published: Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 11:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 11:46 p.m.

OMAHA, Neb — Top-seeded Florida entered the College World Series as favorites to win its first national title in school history.

But the road to that championship became more difficult following a numbing 2-1 loss Sunday night to Coastal Carolina before 19,696 at TD Ameritrade Park.

One more loss and a dream season for the Gators (52-15) will come to a disappointing end. The Gators will next play Tuesday against No. 5 Texas Tech (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2) in an elimination game. Texas Tech lost 5-3 to TCU earlier Sunday afternoon. Sophomore righty Alex Faedo will start for the Gators.

Cleanup hitter Zach Remillard drove in both runs for Coastal Carolina (50-16), one on a reversed-call, RBI double in the third inning and another on an RBI triple to center field in the sixth. That was enough for Coastal Carolina right-hander Andrew Beckwith (13-1), who allowed just one run on seven hits in a complete-game effort. He struck out seven.

“Obviously their starting pitcher was really good,” Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. “He didn't misfire. He pretty much hit every spot. He mixed from angle to angle. He deserved to win tonight.”

Junior righty Logan Shore (12-1) had his 17-game win streak dating back to last season snapped. Shore left after allowing five extra base hits in five innings, matching the high that the junior ace let up this season. Shore last served up five extra base hits in a March 11 game against Harvard.

Shore dodged trouble in the first two innings, stranding Michael Paez at third after a one-out triple in the first and Billy Cooke at second after a one-out double in the second.

But in the third, Florida was done in by the first replay review in CWS history. With runners on first and second and two outs, Remillard lofted a drive deep down the right field line beyond the reach of Florida right fielder Nelson Maldonado. First base umpire Jeff Doy initially called the ball foul. But under a recently instituted NCAA CWS rule that allows replay review of fair and foul balls, umpires conferred with a command center of review officials stationed down the third base line. After a delay that lasted more than five minutes, umpires reversed the call, awarding Remillard a double that scored Anthony Marks from second base, putting Coastal Carolina up 1-0.

The reversed-call double snapped UF's 24.2 inning postseason pitching scoreless streak. The replay rule, which came into effect in 2012, can also determine whether a home run is fair or foul, whether or not a ball is caught in the field of play and spectator interference rules.

“It looked foul to me, but obviously with the replay, they showed it was fair,” Shore said. “It was unfortunate, but I was just trying to get out of the inning after they called it fair.”

Florida tied the score in the fifth inning. Deacon Liput doubled down the first base line with one out, ending a string of nine straight batters retired by Beckwith. The freshman second baseman then moved to third on a groundout by Maldonado then scored when Jeremy Vasquez, pinch-hitting for Ryan Larson, belted an RBI single up the middle to tie the score at 1.

But Shore was unable to maintain the momentum. Connor Owings led off the inning with a walk, then came around to score on Remillard's RBI triple to put the Chanticleers up 2-1. Centerfielder Buddy Reed went a long distance to try to track down the drive to the warning track, but appeared to misjudge it with his glove.

Shore took responsibility for the go-ahead hit.

“My approach going into the game was good, really it just came down to executing a couple of pitches,” Shore said. “I didn't execute them. The fastball that ended up going over Buddy's head was supposed to be inside and I left it over the middle of the plate and they made me pay. That's what good teams do and that's what good hitting teams do.”

Florida used a combined four relievers, including lefty A.J. Puk, to keep the score at 2-1. But Florida could generate little in the late innings. The Gators were unable to get a runner to reach base after the sixth inning, with their final 10 batters going down against Beckwith.

“He was throwing from over the top a lot, throwing down low and he was just keeping us off balance all night and we couldn't adjust,” Vasquez said.

— Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or kevin.brockway@gvillesun.com. Also check out Brockway's blog at Gatorsports.com.

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