Wednesday, June 3, 1987
Scott Coolbaugh and Mike Patrick hit run-scoring doubles in the top of the 10th inning to keep Texas alive in the College World Series with a 6-4 victory over Florida State.
The hits by Coolbaugh and Patrick, combined with a clutch pitching performance by Curt Krippner, helped the No. 1 Longhorns come out winners in a classic CWS matchup.
"We've been involved in some great games here and we've seen some great games here," Texas Coach Cliff Gustafson said. "But for sheer drama and thrills, I think it would be hard to top this one."
Texas improved its record to 60-10 while joining Louisiana State, Oklahoma State and Stanford in the tournament's final four.
The Texas victory ended Florida State's season at 55-18. It also made a loser of Seminole ace Richie Lewis for the second time in extra innings in this year's tournament.
Lewis lost the Seminoles' opening game against Louisiana State when five unearned runs in the 10th inning ruined an otherwise sterling performance for the 5-foot-10, 176-pound right-hander. He held LSU to five hits and a run in the first nine innings.
Tuesday, Lewis struck out 13 Texas batters, including seven in the last three innings. But the Longhorns collected 10 hits, with Coolbaugh and Patrick getting the game's two biggest in the final inning.
Brian Cisarik bunted for a single to open the Texas 10th and stole second base. Coolbaugh then ripped a drive down the left-field line, giving Texas its fourth lead of the ballgame.
Lewis, a junior who was the pitching star of the Seminoles' runner - up finish here a year ago, came back to strike out Kevin Garner and retire Todd Haney on a groundout.
Patrick padded the Longhorn lead with his double.
"It was exciting to face a guy with as big of a reputation as Lewis," Patrick said. "I've never seen a guy that size throw that hard and that well. I was just trying to make contact."
Krippner, the losing pitcher in Tuesday night's game, then finished off the Seminoles. He gave up a single to Marc Giordano to open the 10th but got Don Erickson to hit into a double play. He then caught Deion Sanders looking at a called third strike to wrap up his 14th win.
Krippner, who threw nine innings against Stanford, pitched the final three innings in relief of Mark Petkovsek.
"Why did we use Krippner?" Gustasfon said. "This was a do-or-die ballgame for us, and when we got to the late innings, I wanted to have the guy who's been our workhorse and our ace out there.
"My only concern was how he felt after throwing nine innings the night before. We sent him down to warm up and he said he felt good. He wanted to pitch."
Krippner, a junior right-hander, held Florida State to one hit in the final three innings. He struck out three and bailed the Longhorns out of a jam in the eighth.
Texas, which grabbed 1-0 and 2-1 leads earlier in the game, took a 4-2 advantage in the top of the eighth when Todd Haney doubled in a run and scored on a single by Patrick.
Florida State, as it had all night, came right back. Giordano opened the bottom of the eighth with a double and scored on Erickson's single to center field. Erickson advanced to second on the play on center fielder Elanis Westbrooks' error.
Gustafson called for Krippner. Sanders advanced Erickson to third with a sacrifice bunt. The game was tied for the third time moments later when Erickson scored on a passed ball.
Krippner struck out Rafael Bournigal for the second out, but walked Ronald Lewis. Lewis stole second, a theft that boosted Florida State Coach Mike Martin's confidence.
"When Ronnie stole second, I felt like we were going to get a base hit and win it right there," Martin said.
Instead, Krippner got Edwin Alicea to fly out to right field to keep the game tied.
The game started dramatically as Westbrooks, who had homered just once in his first 160 at-bats, launched the first pitch from Lewis over the fence in right-center field.
Florida State tied the game in the bottom of the first when Ed Fulton blasted his 19th homer. Texas moved back in front when Brian Johnson, the No. 9 hitter in the Longhorn lineup, doubled in the third inning to drive in Rusty Crockett.
The lead lasted only two batters into the bottom of the third.
Alicea hit his 16th homer of the season, a 370-foot shot to right field, to forge a 2-2 deadlock.
The game remained tied until the eighth as both teams squandered basesloaded scoring chances. Texas loaded the bases in the fourth inning, but pitcher Lewis escaped by striking out Crockett and Johnson and retiring Westbrooks on an infield grounder.
"That was vintage Richie Lewis," Martin said. "Obviously, both clubs had chances to blow it wide open early and couldn't get the job done."
Florida State's chance came in the fifth when Ronald Lewis and Alicea opened the inning with singles. Petkovsek walked Jose Marzan to load the bases, then fell behind Fulton 2-0. Out came Gustafson for a little chat with his pitcher.
"I told him that he was doing the same thing that got him into trouble in other games this season," Gustafson said. "He was trying to be too fine. I told him to go right after them. Those guys are no better hitters than the guys he's been facing all season."
Petkovsek came back to get Fulton on a line drive to shortstop Coby Kerlin. Petkovsek wiggled out of trouble, striking out Barry Blackwell and getting Giordano to ground out.
"When Jose walked to fill the bases, I said to myself that we were going to get at least two runs out of the inning," Martin said.
"But then we didn't score. To me, that was the key to this ballgame."
Martin said wasted opportunities have haunted his club all season.
"It's been a thorn in our side," he said. "We've let a lot of opportunities go to waste this year.
"But I really thought we'd beat Texas tonight. They lost last night and we had Richie Lewis on the mound for us. I thought we had everything going for us."