Originally created 05/26/98

Tech knocked out; Series pairings set

OMAHA, Neb. -- It was a sweep for the Sunshine State as the NCAA baseball committee on Monday awarded Florida the No. 1 seed for this week's College World Series.

The Gators (46-16) got the nod over No. 2 Miami (50-10), No. 3 Florida State (53-18) and No. 4 Southern Cal (44-16).

"You could just about put these teams into a hat and throw them out," said Wake Forest athletics director Ron Wellman, the NCAA baseball committee chairman. "That's how close they are."

The determining factors were overall records, head-to-head competition and how the teams fared over their last 15 games, Wellman said.

Florida played four teams that qualified for the College World Series, going 2-1 against Florida State, 2-2 against Miami, 2-1 against LSU and 3-0 against Mississippi State.

"Florida played some additional teams that are in the College World Series, and that probably was a factor," Wellman said.

Two-time defending champion LSU (46-17) was seeded fifth, putting three teams from the Southeastern Conference in the same bracket. Mississippi State (41-21) was seeded eighth. The other teams are sixth-seeded Arizona State (38-22) and seventh-seeded Long Beach State (41-21-1).

Friday's first-round pairings are Florida State-Arizona State, Miami-Long Beach State. On Saturday, Southern Cal plays LSU and Florida plays Mississippi State.

The championship game is June 6.

Arizona State was the last team making the field after it defeated Georgia Tech 3-1 in Wichita, Kans., on Monday, a day after the game was postponed because of rain.

Ryan Mills pitched a three-hitter and Mikel Moreno homered as the Sun Devils knocked out the Yellow Jackets (41-22).

The Sun Devils took a 1-0 lead in the first as Willy Bloomquist led off with a single, moved to second on Rudy Arguelles' sacrifice bunt and scored on Jeff Phelps' double down the right field line.

Bloomquist doubled to lead off the third inning and scored on a single by Arguelles up the middle.

The Yellow Jackets (41-22) scored their only run in the bottom of the fourth on Eric McQueen's home run.

Arizona State received some insurance in the fifth as Moreno smacked an inside fastball from Georgia Tech starter Cory Vance into the left field stands.

Mills (7-3) struck out nine and walked four in earning the win.

Vance (6-4) gave up six hits, three runs and struck out four for the loss.

LSU is attempting to become the only the second team to win at least three straight titles. Southern Cal won five in a row from 1970-74.

"The defending champion aspect is not considered," Wellman said. "We only consider what has been accomplished this year."

Miami coach Jim Morris, whose team was ranked first in the final Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls, said seeding often has little bearing on the tournament.

"It doesn't mean you're going to win it," said Morris, the only coach to reach the CWS in each of his first five seasons.


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