Baseball sweeps Florida to claim sixth College World Series Championship
TOWER LIGHTING: The Tower will be lit on the evening of Monday, June 27, in honor of the 2005 Texas Baseball team. The Tower will stay lit until dawn on Tuesday, June 28. The Littlefield Fountain will be lit from 7-11 p.m. on Monday, June 27. The Tower was not lit Sunday, June 26, because the players and coaching staff had not returned from Omaha. Traditionally the Tower is always lit when the team and coaching staff are present at the lighting.
OMAHA, Neb. -- Sophomore Kyle McCulloch turned in a solid 6.2-inning performance on the mound and the Longhorns offense put together a four-run sixth to lead No. 5 Texas to a 6-2 victory over No. 6 Florida to clinch the 2005 National Championship in front of 19,336 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium on Sunday, June 26.
With the win, The Longhorns (56-16) claimed their sixth national title overall and second in the last four seasons by winning the best-of-three championship series with the Gators (48-23) by a 2-0 margin. Notably, Texas went a perfect 5-0 during CWS play en route to the crown.
UT threatened in the bottom of the first by getting base hits from both Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) and Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas) sandwiched around a sac bunt, but Florida starting pitcher Bryan Ball induced his next batter to ground into an inning-ending double play to keep the game scoreless. An inning later, Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) led off with a single, moved to third with the combination of a sacrifice and a groundout and then scored on a RBI-base hit off the bat of David Maroul (Benbrook, Texas) to put the Horns in front 1-0. McCulloch (Houston, Texas), meanwhile, set down 12 of the first 13 batters he faced to move the game to the bottom of the fourth.
Clinging to a one-run lead, the Longhorns upped their advantage to 2-0 in the fourth as Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas) singled with one out and came around to score on a two-out, two-base error on a well-hit ball by Maroul. After a scoreless fifth for both sides, the Gators received a leadoff single from designated hitter Stephen Barton to open the sixth and eventually moved him to third on a groundout and a flyout before first baseman Matt LaPorta came to the plate as the tying run. While LaPorta turned on McCulloch's 1-1 pitch, Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) was able to haul the drive up against the left field wall to end the inning with the Longhorns still in front by two. Texas' offense then had Wheeless connect on his second home run in three games with the bases empty and one out in the bottom of the sixth before Maroul delivered his 11th home run of the season with a pair of runners on in the same inning to stake the Horns to a 6-0 lead.
Florida answered right back in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run off the bat of right fielder Brian Leclerc to make it a 6-2 contest. Still alive in the frame, the Gators then put two more runners on via a single and a walk with two outs, but Randy Boone (Yoakum, Texas), who came on for McCulloch, got his next batter to hit a pop-up to first base and end the inning. In the eighth, Florida again challenged the UT lead as LaPorta walked with one out and catcher Brian Jeroloman followed with a single to put runners on the corners. J. Brent Cox (Bay City, Texas) then came on for his CWS-record 13th career appearance and recorded a strikeout and a fielder's choice groundout to work out of the jam. Following a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Cox returned to the mound in the ninth, and after a leadoff walk, induced a double-play groundout before striking out his final batter to seal the victory and give Texas the 2005 national crown. While Cox earned his 19th save of the year to tie the school single-season record in that category by working 1.2 hitless innings, McCulloch, who matched a career-best for strikeouts with eight over 6.2 frames, picked up his 12th win of the season and Ball shouldered the loss.
Paving the way for Texas' 10-hit attack were Maroul, who earned CWS Most Outstanding Player honors after turning in a 3-for-4 effort that included one run scored and four RBI to equal a career best, Wheeless, who collected two hits to go along with a pair of runs scored and one RBI, and Teagarden who went 2-for-3 while scoring twice. Florida, meanwhile, had its offense led by third baseman Brandon McArthur, who went 2-for-3 with one run scored, and Leclerc, who drove in both Gator runs with a two-run home run. Of note, the Longhorns also had Johnston, Teagarden, Will Crouch (Austin, Texas), Wheeless, McCulloch and Cox named to the 2005 CWS All-Tournament Team for their efforts over the series. Additionally, Maroul, who went a combined 8-for-16 (.500) with three runs scored, two home runs and a team-best eight RBI over UT's five CWS contests, becomes the fifth Longhorns player to earn CWS Most Outstanding Player honors, joining Huston Street (2002), Calvin Schiraldi (1983), Mickey Reichenbach (1975) and J.L. Smith (1953).
2005 College World Series All-Tournament Team