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June 21, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -To Florida State's Mike McGee, pitching is hard work and hitting home runs is fun.
He mixed business and pleasure Monday, leading the Seminoles to an 8-5 victory over Florida in a College World Series elimination game.
McGee hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the third inning, laid down a squeeze bunt in the fourth and moved in from left field to pick up the save after Florida made things interesting in the ninth.
"Pitching, it's great to end the game and get the save. I like to be in control," McGee said. "But hitting the home run is the best feeling there is."
The Seminoles (48-19) will play Wednesday night against the loser of Monday night's TCU-UCLA game. The Gators (47-17) lost for the fourth time in five meetings this season with their Sunshine State rival.
Florida State took an 8-2 lead into the ninth inning but had to bring in McGee from the outfield after Preston Tucker's bases-loaded double into the right-field corner drove in three runs.
McGee gave up a single to Austin Maddox and hit Matt den Dekker, loading the bases with one out. Shortstop Stephen Cardullo caught Mike Zunino's line drive and flipped to second baseman Devon Travis for a game-ending double play.
McGee, who earned his 13th save and hit his team-leading 16th homer, said he lucked out. The pitch Zunino hit was a mistake.
"It was supposed to be a slider down in the dirt, something completely unhittable," McGee said. "It slipped out of my hand. As soon as I let go of it I felt it come up and I was, 'Oh, oh.' He hit it well. I heard a glove pop. That was a good way to get out of a game."
Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan, whose team left 10 runners on base, leaped to his feet when Zunino's line drive left the bat.
"I was hoping it would go a little left or a little right," O'Sullivan said. "He put a good wing on it. We put together a good inning there. We hit a lot of balls right at them. If we played them tomorrow maybe we would hit balls that would find their way through."
The Seminoles had 14 hits, with Tyler Holt and Jayce Boyd getting three apiece.
McGee's homer broke a 1-1 tie after Florida starter Hudson Randall walked two batters in the third. Randall (8-4) went 2 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and four hits with two walks.
The Seminoles got home runs from Holt and Cardullo. Holt's 13th of the season led off the bottom of the first inning, and Cardullo's 11th started the seventh.
Left-hander Brian Busch (6-2) went 5 1-3 innings and held the Gators to two runs and two hits, including Jonathan Pigott's homer in the fifth. Busch walked four.
Busch walked Nolan Fontana and Josh Adams to start the game and gave up an RBI single to Maddox. Busch retired the Gators in order in the second and third and doubled off den Dekker in the fourth when he caught the first of Zunino's two line-drive double plays.
Busch went to the fifth with a 5-1 lead after McGee laid down a bunt toward first base, allowing Holt to score from third on the safety squeeze.
"In the first inning I couldn't control anything," Busch said. "Any time you walk four guys and give up two runs, you're pretty fortunate."
Relievers Geoff Parker and Bennett held the Gators scoreless until Tucker's double in the ninth.
Then it was time to call on McGee.
"We've got the man in the game that we want in the game, because he's been there so many times," Florida State coach Mike Martin said. "But, yeah, I was a little anxious. I was glad when it was over."