Arizona moves to CWS finals

OMAHA, Neb. — Arizona coach Andy Lopez couldn't imagine taking a hotter team to the College World Series finals.

That's where the Wildcats are heading after their 10-3 victory over Florida State on Thursday. They'll go into the best-of-three championship round Sunday coming off nine straight wins and 16 in their last 18 games.

"I'm not sure we're invincible. In fact, I'm quite confident we're not," Lopez said. "We're playing good baseball. But, honestly, we've done that for more than a weekend or so."

Florida State gave the Wildcats lots of help, committing three of their four errors in Arizona's six-run first inning.

Freshman starter Brandon Leibrandt was pulled after he recorded just one out for the Seminoles, who used eight pitchers to tie a CWS record for a nine-inning game.

Robert Refsnyder and Bobby Brown homered in a span of three at-bats in the fourth as the Wildcats built their lead to 10-1.

"About the easiest way to sum it up is say we got taken to the woodshed today," FSU coach Mike Martin said.

Kurt Heyer (13-2) worked 7 1-3 innings while taking the national lead for wins as the Wildcats (46-17) won Bracket 1.

Arizona will be playing for its fourth national championship and first since 1986 after losing in regionals the past two years. The Wildcats did not qualify for the NCAA tournament in 2009.

"Having the experience of losing and feeling what it feels like to go back on a charter plane and nobody talks, it's a depressing feeling," Refsnyder said. "I think we're on a mission this year, myself and Kurt and the other juniors, to really get to the College World Series, and now we're in the position to win a national title. That's what we came here to do."

Arizona's surge began in early May after it lost a series at Oregon. Lopez challenged his players, and they went on to win the Pac-12 co-championship and then sweep through the regional and super regional at home.

"I grabbed the group together and said, 'Listen, if you want to win the Pac 12 or host regionals and do things that we've set as goals, we can't lose another series from here on, end of story. To be very candid with you, they've played exceptionally good baseball from that point on. And so far so good. They'll continue the process, hopefully."

South Carolina 2, Arkansas 0

At Omaha, Neb., freshman Jordan Montgomery and Matt Price combined on a three-hitter Thursday night, lifting two-time defending national champion South Carolina to a 2-0 victory over Arkansas at the College World Series.

Michael Roth of the Gamecocks threw a two-hitter against Kent State earlier in the day. South Carolina and Arkansas will play again tonight to decide which team goes to the best-of-three finals.

The Gamecocks' runs came in the second inning on Tanner English's double and Chase Vergason's single.

Montgomery (6-1) struck out six and walked one in his first outing since June 3.

South Carolina is the third team in the 63-year history of the CWS to win two full games in the same day. The last to do it was Holy Cross in 1952, when it beat Western Michigan and Penn State en route to the title.

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