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UCI bound for Omaha

BASEBALL: Petersen's walk-off double in the ninth inning propels Anteaters past Wichita State to the College World Series.

June 11, 2007|By Barry Faulkner

Damon Sublett followed with a ground ball that would have been the 17th groundout induced by Etheridge's trademark sinker. But shortstop Ben Orloff threw wide to first, where Taylor Holiday, stretching toward right field, was originally ruled to have kept his right toe on the bag.

At least a dozen Wichita State players bolted from the dugout, gesturing and shouting their disapproval toward umpire Jack Cox.

Cox was then engaged by Shockers Coach Gene Stephenson, who pleaded for the umpire to ask his colleagues for help.

After a brief meeting of the four umpires, Cox motioned Sublett was safe.

Serrano then took his turn barking at the umpires, but said he never received a clear explanation as to why the reversal was made.

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"I hope they got the call right, because that's all that matters," Serrano said. "But that was just another thing this team had to overcome."

It was the Shockers, however, who continued to overcome, after a swinging bunt advanced the runners to second and third for the first out, signaling the end for Etheridge.

Freshman left-hander Tom Calahan then got the second out on a liner to third base and gave way to Axelrod.

After a walk to load the bases, Tyler Hill rocketed a 1-1 fastball through the right side for a two-run single. The big hit ended a scoreless streak of 21 2/3 innings for the Shockers, halted a scoreless streak of 18 1/3 by UCI pitchers, and energized the gold-and-black-clad Wichita rooters.

Axelrod got the final out of the inning, then UCI, which had been 43-0 when leading after eight innings, went about trying to extend that impressive feat to 44-0.

Senior Cody Cipriano flied out to the center-field warning track to open the UCI ninth.

Stephenson then replaced starter Rob Musgrave with sophomore Anthony Capra.

UCI senior Matt Morris, who drove in a first-inning run with a safety squeeze bunt, then doubled and scored on Jeff Cusick's RBI single in the fourth, lined a single to right field.

Morris bolted to second on a 1-1 pitch in the dirt to move into scoring position. Petersen then provided the RBI double.

"I just wanted to battle and put the ball in play so we could have a chance to score," Petersen said.

Serrano credited Petersen and Morris.

"Bryan Petersen got the big hit, and it was huge," Serrano said. "But it came down to a read on the ball in the dirt by Matt Morris to get into scoring position, which kind of exemplifies our style of baseball."

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