Top-ranked Miami earned a few days off for coach Ron Fraser, who is hoping his last season at the school will end with his third College World Series championship.
The Hurricanes (55-8) used a two-run fielding error by Cal State-Fullerton shortstop Nate Rodriguez to spark a three-run seventh inning in a 4-3 victory Sunday night.The win moves Miami, the 1982 and '85 champion, to Wednesday's 3:06 p.m. MDT contest, where the 'Canes will wait for the winner of Tuesday's elimination game between Fullerton (43-16) and Florida State (49-20).
The Seminoles, who lost to Fullerton 7-2 in Friday's first round, snapped a five-game CWS losing streak dating back to 1989 and eliminated California 5-4 earlier Sunday. The Bears (35-27) were the first team out of the 1992 tournament, having lost 4-3 in 13 innings to Miami Friday night.
Rodriguez's backhand attempt to stop Dave Berg's hard grounder skipped into left-center with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of a 1-1 game. Miami scored two runs on the play and added another on Charles Johnson's RBI single one out later.
The three-run cushion was enough for Jeff Alkire and Danny Graves, who held Fullerton to four hits. Alkire (14-2) allowed two balls out of the infield, including a single with Chris Powell aboard in the bottom of the eight. Powell was Alkire's ninth walk of the game.
"This was probably the worst control I've had all season," Alkire said. "I really hate to say this, but I think the rest (since throwing two four-hit, complete games in the regionals) hurt me."
Graves, a freshman, came on but bounced his first pitch for a wild pitch to let Powell and Nevin move up. Powell scored on Jason Moler's ground out and Steve Sisco singled Nevin in to make it 4-3 before Graves retired the final four.
"I think the game was well-pitched on both sides," said Fullerton coach Augie Garrido, whose starter James Popoff (12-3) scattered three singles after a three-hit first-inning. Popoff went to the bench after a single, two walks and Berg's grounder in the seventh.
Garrido said he believes his team has a good attitude to come back against Florida State Tuesday night. Seminole coach Mike Martin feels the same about his club.
"Hey, we're still in this thing," Martin said after snapping his CWS losing streak.