Next up for Tech: Gators no-hit Bethune-Cookman

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida pitcher Jonathan Crawford earned himself a chunk of history Friday night, throwing a no-hitter against Bethune-Cookman in the second game of the NCAA Gainesville regional. The Gators defeated the Wildcats 4-0, with Florida second baseman Casey Turgeon saving the no-hitter with a leaping grab of a line drive for the final out of the game.

“I guess the stars aligned for me,” said Crawford, who needed only 98 pitches to take care of the Wildcats.

Crawford’s teammates mobbed him in the center of the infield after the final out. It was the first no-hitter in NCAA tournament play since 1991, when Florida pitcher John Burke no-hit Furman. It came on the same night of another rarity – Kent State’s 20-inning win over Kentucky in the Gary, Ind., regional. Both seem to point to the impact of rule changes instituted prior to the 2011 season to deaden bats.

“This is a night that doesn’t come around very often,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I’m going to let them enjoy it.”

The win placed Florida in the winner’s bracket, where the Gators will face Georgia Tech Saturday at 7 p.m. at McKethan Stadium.

It’s a moment to be cherished for Crawford, who was left off the Gators’ College World Series roster last season. Crawford is Florida’s No. 3 starter, behind Hudson Randall and Brian Johnson. Randall, a Dunwoody High grad, will start against Tech.

Turgeon also provided the offense, driving in all four runs. His fifth-inning three-run home run gave the Gators more cushion than they’d need on Crawford’s spotless night.

Said Crawford of his game-ending catch, “I jumped as high as I could and luckily I caught it.”

Crawford faced the minimum 27 batters; he walked one batter, Jake Welch, but he was erased caught stealing second base by Florida catcher Mike Zunino. Fueled with adrenaline, Crawford was throwing well in excess of 90 miles per hour in the ninth inning.

O’Sullivan said that prior to the game, pitching coach Brad Weitzel alerted him to Crawford’s crispness warming up in the bullpen.

“The pen was the best he’s thrown this year,” O’Sullivan said, repeating Weitzel’s report, “and he might throw a no-hitter.”

O’Sullivan said Weitzel is unsparingly honest in his assessment of his pitchers’ warm-up sessions in the bullpen, but had never before made such a prediction.

O’Sullivan’s assessment of Georgia Tech: “They’re obviously one of the hottest teams in the country right now. The middle of their lineup, they swing the bat really well with (Brandon) Thomas, (Daniel) Palka and obviously (Jake) Davies. They’ve got one of the better leadoff hitters in the country with (Kyle) Wren and (Sam) Dove is probably one of their most unsung heroes on the team and one of those guys who just keeps getting hits. Mott Hyde, he’s been a guy who’s been starting for them for a long time.

“I know they’ve had some injuries pitching-wise, but I know Buck Farmer is one of the better pitchers in the ACC. He’s got a really good arm, he’s got pitch ability. He’s got a change-up and a breaking ball he goes to in fastball counts. He’s very competitive and obviously they didn’t have to use a lot of their pen today. They’ve still got Zane Evans they can close with and probably (Alex) Cruz, as well.

“It’ll be a very difficult game, there’s no question. It’ll probably be very similar to a Friday night-type game in the SEC or ACC. Both teams are going to have to play well and it’ll be a heck of a ballgame.”

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

17 comments Add your comment

Ohio Jacket

June 1st, 2012
11:37 pm

First! Go bees!

GTSteve

June 2nd, 2012
12:22 am

Should be an awesome game, I will be tuned in

GTJACKET

June 2nd, 2012
8:17 am

It is great to see the Beesball team coming together at the right time. Go Jackets and chomp on the Gators tonight.

kots

June 2nd, 2012
8:40 am

on tv? where?

Ken Sugiura

June 2nd, 2012
8:49 am

ESPN 3. online only.

Crazy Robert

June 2nd, 2012
9:13 am

Since the Jackets are playing the #1 seed I hope most of the game will be shown on ESPN1, 2 or U. Glad they got that no-hitter out of their system last night… GO TECH!!!!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

June 2nd, 2012
10:06 am

@ Ken……I assume you are already aware of this, but if not, you might like to know that the Augusta paper used your writeup for its coverage of the Friday opener. Tech usually at best gets reports from the “wire service” for Augusta coverage of any athletic event at Tech, and that was what all that was used for both Clemson and USC in this morning’s paper. Unfortunately, USC’s game got front page (sports section) coverage, and both the Tech and Clemson games were stuck on page 6 (par for the course for Tech coverage in Augusta), but nevertheless, Tech got the best (and only personal) writeup. I’m glad the Augusta readers got the chance to sample your good work. I guess you’ve really made the big time now…..LOL

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 2nd, 2012
10:51 am

Let’s do what the dawgs can’t, Beat UF!!!

Stephen CC

June 2nd, 2012
11:58 am

Let’s do this, Jackets!!!!

yeller bug

June 2nd, 2012
1:53 pm

What’s up with this Dunwoody kid pitching fo FL tonight? His dad went to Tech. He gave up calculus and thermo to hang out with pretty girls on nice beaches at a party school? What was he thinking?

5150 UOAD

June 2nd, 2012
2:21 pm

I Hate that the Winners bracket late tonight. The loser has to play early tomorrow and a 2nd game. The Winners should have played early and the loser late.

5150 UOAD

June 2nd, 2012
2:27 pm

CoC is killing B-Cook 7-0

5150 UOAD

June 2nd, 2012
2:44 pm

Miami is getting killed 7-0 and will be GONE in 2 games……I hope Morris is crying. LOL

5150 UOAD

June 2nd, 2012
4:46 pm

Miami 2
Missouri St 12

OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5150 UOAD

June 2nd, 2012
6:15 pm

Clem&sons 3
So Carolina 2
Come on Tigers.

5150 UOAD

June 2nd, 2012
6:31 pm

bottom of the 8th
Clemson 4
So Carolina 3
0 outs
man on 2nd

Ken Sugiura

June 2nd, 2012
7:01 pm