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College World Series : A Wedge Shot Helps Wichita State in 7-4 Win

Times Staff Writer

Eric Wedge and Ricky Kimball each spent 56 minutes trying not to think about it.

When Wednesday night’s College World Series game between Wichita State and Florida State was suspended by rain in the eighth inning with the score 3-3, Wedge was at the plate for Wichita State with the bases loaded and Kimball was on the mound for the top-seeded Seminoles.

“I didn’t go in there (the dugout) and have a brainstorm too much,” Wedge said. “I just wanted to hit the first good pitch.”

Once play resumed, Wedge jumped on Kimball’s second offering for a two-run single that keyed Wichita State’s 7-4 victory before a crowd of 11,561 at Rosenblatt Stadium.

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“You get to sitting around and thinking about it,” Kimball said of the delay. “and you go over every pitch in the book.”

Wichita State’s victory avenged a 4-2 loss to Florida State in a second-round game Sunday.

Florida State (54-17) and Wichita State (66-15) will meet again Friday to decide the East Division representative for Saturday’s national-championship game.

Texas (53-17), which is unbeaten in the tournament, faces once-beaten Louisiana State (55-16) tonight in a West Division game.

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Wedge, who was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the third round of the draft, drove in four runs Wednesday. He drove in a first-inning run with a groundout to second base and had a run-scoring double in the third.

Todd Dreifort put the Shockers ahead, 3-0, in the fourth when he walked, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error by Florida State catcher Pedro Grifol and scored on a wild pitch by Florida State starter Gar Finnvold (10-4).

Brian Gilliland started Florida State’s scoring in the fifth, coming home from third on a fielding error by Wichita State shortstop Pat Meares on a ground ball hit by Rocky Rau.

The Seminoles tied the score with a two-run sixth inning keyed by Buddy Cribb’s run-scoring double and Gilliland’s sacrifice fly to center field that scored Cribb from third.

Following Wedge’s single off Kimball in the eighth, Wichita State scored its final runs on fly balls by Meares and Dreifort.

Relief pitcher Jeff Bluma (3-0) earned the win while Jim Newlin pitched the final two innings to record his nation-leading 18th save.

Wedge’s double against Florida State gives Wichita State 199 doubles for the season, tying the Shockers’ own NCAA record set in1985.

Newlin’s save against Florida State was his third of the tournament, which ties a World Series record.

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Tonight’s West Division game between Texas and LSU features a matchup between two of the best college pitchers in the nation.

Sophomore right-hander Kirk Dressendorfer (17-2) starts for Texas against LSU’s junior right-hander, Ben McDonald (14-3).


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