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FSU, Alabama advance in College World Series

OMAHA, Neb. -- Chris Chavez was on target for Florida State. So were Marshall McDougall and Matt Diaz.

Chavez went the distance while McDougall and Diaz hit consecutive home runs in the third inning as Florida State beat Cal State-Fullerton 7-2 on Wednesday night in the College World Series.The Seminoles (55-13) advanced to play Stanford (50-13) on Thursday. The Titans (50-14) were eliminated.

Chavez (8-5), a right-hander making his third start, usually pitches from the bullpen. He threw five innings in relief of Nick Stocks to get the victory in Florida State's series-opening defeat of Texas A&M.

Chavez was called into the rotation after freshman right-hander Blair Varnes, the usual No. 3 starter, ruptured a knee ligament during a postgame pileup when the Seminoles beat Auburn earlier this month.

Against the Titans, Chavez improved as his pitch count increased. After allowing a run in the fifth, Chavez retired 12 out of the last 13 batters he faced, including the last seven. From the sixth inning on, he walked one.

As if to prove he wasn't slowing down, Chavez struck out the side in the ninth on 10 pitches. David Bacani was caught looking on the last pitch.

Chavez allowed seven hits and one earned run, walking three and striking out six.

The Seminoles went ahead in the second and didn't look back. Jeremiah Klosterman walked and went to third on Karl Jernigan's double and Brett Groves singled brought in for a 2-1 lead.

McDougall and Diaz stretched it to 4-1 in the third. McDougall hit a homer to left center and, about one minute later, Diaz hit his shot into the left field bleachers.

The Seminoles added three runs in the fourth.

Fullerton used three pitchers after starter Jon Smith (7-1) allowed four runs in the first two innings.

ALABAMA 6, RICE 5: Sam Bozanich's two-out bloop single in the bottom of the ninth brought in the winning run as Alabama beat Rice 6-5 on Wednesday in the College World Series.

With runners on second and third, Bozanich hit a 1-2 pitch into shallow right that fell in front of outfielder Stephen Bess.

As G.W. Keller jogged in from third, Alabama players ran from their dugout to celebrate.

Bozanich, who got the game-winning hit off Rice ace lefty Mario Ramos (13-3), also scored the tying run, and right-hander Justin Smith tied a career-high with 12 strikeouts for Alabama (53-15).