Bethune-Cookman beats Florida to force deciding game


But the Gators finally put a stop to it and will play host to Wake Forest (42-18) on either Friday or Saturday in the first of a best two-of-three series, with the victor advancing to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., on June 17-27. Days and game times will be announced Tuesday.

Nelson Maldonado started things off with a one-out single, his first of two hits of the game.

The Wildcats (36-25) had not beaten the Gators during 31 tries prior to Sunday.

Bethune coach Jason Beverlin tried to argue that Rivera inteferred with the play but home plate umpire Heath Jones ruled otherwise and Langworthy followed with his homer to score Rivera and Nelson Maldanado, who had hit a one-out single up the middle before the error.

Rivera could have been called for player interference after almost colliding with Rodriguez, obstructing the Rodriguez's view and running inside the base path, but Bethune-Cookman coach Jason Beverlin said he thought Rivera's actions were unintentional. "That being said, it was a play we need to make". "We needed that because we were playing a little tense at the beginning". Hunter Stovall's two-run homer scored the Bulldogs' first two runs. His performance on the mound offered a sigh of relief for O'Sullivan and his thin pitching staff.

Alexis Herrera (4-1) went five innings and allowed three runs on eight hits while Joseph Calamita got his third save of the season. McMullen and Langworthy had pitched this year, if not in situations quite so pressurized; Bethune-Cookman had to turn to Nate Sterijevski, a hero at the plate on Sunday, for its final three innings of work - which quadrupled Sterijevski's seasonal workload from one inning to four.

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"It was a weird play", O'Sullivan said.

Now, the Gators move on to a Gainesville Super Regional where they will meet sweet-swinging Wake Forest, a team that is far more likely to turn contests into slugfests.

Byrne recorded his second save of the weekend to extend his school record with 16 saves on the season.

"He's done it for us all year for us", India said. "That was a great at bat by him to come through like that for us".

Kevin Merrell was the lone bright spot for the USF offense, as he was responsible for three of the Bulls four runs including the solo shot in the first and a two-run, two-out single in the second inning that tied the game 3-3. Zach Reks and Riley Mahan each had two RBI, Tristan Pompey had three hits and Kentucky forced a deciding game in the Lexington Regional with an 8-6 victory over North Carolina State. "It was a heck of a ride".

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