Shore tosses gem, Florida beats FSU 5-0 to force Game 3 in Super Regional
GAINESVILLE — Having been a Game 1 starter most of his college career, Logan Shore relished the chance to pitch in an elimination game.
And he delivered.
Shore pitched eight scoreless innings, Peter Alonso drove in two early runs and Florida beat rival Florida State 5-0 on Sunday night to force a deciding game in their NCAA super regional.
A night after FSU's Drew Carlton tossed a two-hitter, Shore responded with another gem that evened the best-of-three series. The teams play again Monday night, with the winner advancing to the College World Series.
"He's beautiful," Seminoles coach Mike Martin said of Shore. "He just carved us up."
Shore, the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year and the 47th overall selection in the Major League Baseball draft on Thursday, gave up two hits and struck out nine in eight-plus innings. He threw 114 pitches.
The junior right-hander retired 21 of the final 24 batters he faced, giving way to closer Shaun Anderson after walking the leadoff man in the ninth. Shore improved to 12-0 in 17 starts this season and 17-0 in his last 22 starts. He now has 30 career victories, including six in the NCAA Tournament. Both marks are one shy of school records.
"He threw the ball great tonight," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "I think he was really good. I think he ran out of gas a little bit. In fact, I probably in retrospect shouldn't have let him start the ninth. But he earned the right to try to finish that thing. ... I thought that was the right thing to do."
Shore jogged to the mound as Florida fans chanted his name.
"That was a pretty special moment," he said. "It gave me chills running out there for the ninth. I'm fortunate that (O'Sullivan) went out there and let me experience that. It's something I will remember for the rest of my life."
Alonso gave Shore some breathing room with an RBI double in the first and a run-scoring groundout in the third off Tyler Holton (3-4). Alonso also scored two runs late as the Gators (51-14) extended their lead.
FSU's biggest problem was its defense. The Seminoles committed two errors and could have been charged with three more. Nonetheless, they have a chance a chance to erase those memories Monday.
Florida will send left-hander A.J. Puk, the sixth overall pick in the draft, to the mound with a spot in Omaha, Nebraska, on the line Monday. The Seminoles (41-21) will counter with freshman Cole Sands.