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College baseball: Indiana knocks off Florida State in Tallahassee Super Regional opener

Indiana's Kyle Schwarber (100 celebrates with teammates after hitting two-run home run fourth inning against FloridState an NCAA super regional

Indiana's Kyle Schwarber (100 celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning against Florida State in an NCAA super regional college baseball game on Saturday, June 8, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla. Indiana won the game 10-9. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

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Valpo’s Vavra picked by Twins

Tanner Vavra will get a chance to write another chapter in his inspirational story with an organization that probably knows him best.

The Valparaiso University senior second baseman was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 30th round of the Major League Baseball draft, going 890th overall.

Vavra, whose father Joe is the Twins’ batting coach, has no vision in his right eye as the result of a couple of childhood accidents. But it hasn’t kept him from putting together an impressive resume for the Crusaders.

The 5-11, 190-pounder led the Horizon League with 70 hits and 42 runs scored this season and was third in the conference batting race at .333.

That had VU coach Tracy Woodson cautiously optimistic that someone would take a flyer on Vavra.

“I was hoping,” Woodson said. “A lot of people have an issue with his eye. I think he deserves an opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how he does. He’s a kid who’s had to prove himself at every level. He’s done everything he can do. He does the little things, he’s a good athlete. A lot of guys like how he plays the game.”

Vavra was the third and final local player picked in the three-day, 40-round draft.

— Mike Clark, correspondent

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Updated: July 10, 2013 6:54AM



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Kyle Schwarber had a go-ahead two-run single in a four-run seventh inning and Indiana went on to beat Florida State 10-9 Saturday in the first game of the Tallahassee Super Regional.

Schwarber, who also had a two-run homer in the fourth, put Indiana up 7-6 with his hit in the seventh.

“When you see a hitter like this, we’re kind of used to it,” Indiana coach Tracy Smith said. “He has a very, very advanced approach. That’s what I think makes him such a special hitter. It certainly helped him today.”

Indiana (47-14) needed every run to survive a late Florida State rally in a 4-hour, 16-minute game that was far from a thing of beauty. Each team committed three errors and a combined 11 pitchers were used.

The Hoosiers provided plenty of pop with 11 hits. Crown Point graduate Scott Donley went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and Michael Basil went 2-for-5 with an RBI single, double and a run scored.

Indiana, playing in the Super Regionals for the first time, can advance to its first College World Series with a win on Sunday. If the Seminoles (47-16) win, a deciding game would be played Monday.

“I don’t think it was a particularly well-played game,” Smith said. “But I do think it’s important in a Super Regional format to get off to a good start with a win in Game 1 no matter how it happens.”

Florida State led 6-5 going into the sixth, but Indiana scored four runs against Gage Smith (4-2) and Billy Strode. They gave up three hits in the inning, but the Seminoles’ defense didn’t help in committing two throwing errors.

“It’s always frustrating when you make errors and give up runs,” said Florida State first baseman John Nogowski, who made one of the errors. “They seemed like every chance they had, a guy in scoring position, they got him in.”

Nogowski went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer in the eighth that trimmed Indiana’s lead to 10-8. He also scored three runs and Giovanny Alfonzo went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.

DJ Stewart added an RBI single in the ninth, and Florida State also had runners at second and third with just one out after Indiana’s Will Coursen-Carr tossed a wild pitch.

However, Coursen-Carr settled in and induced a pair of flyouts from Stephen McGee and Marcus Davis, Florida State’s No. 3 and 4 hitters, to end the game.

Brian Korte (1-0) pitched one-third an inning for the win.

Neither starter factored significantly in the game. Indiana’s Joey DeNato gave up four walks, hit two batters and allowed two earned runs in three innings. Florida State’s Luke Weaver gave up five earned runs on seven hits in five innings.

Florida State stranded 13 runners on base.

The Seminoles, in the Super Regionals for a sixth straight season, lost an opener before, falling to Wichita State in 2008 in Tallahassee, before rallying to win the next two games.

“It ain’t over,” Florida State coach Mike Martin said. “We are going to play our butts off tomorrow.”



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