Texas A&M saved its ace for the biggest game of its season.
Michael Wacha delivered again, just as he has throughout the postseason.
Wacha allowed two runs on three hits in 7 1/3 innings as the Aggies defeated Florida State 11-2 on Monday night in Tallahassee, Fla., to advance to the College World Series.
"I knew I had to go out there and throw strikes and help this team go to Omaha," Wacha said.
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In four postseason outings, Wacha (9-3) has allowed just three earned runs in 28 1/3 innings.
"He's the real deal," Florida State coach Mike Martin said. "That was great stuff."
Texas A&M (47-20), which won two of three games in the Tallahassee Super Regional, reached the CWS for the first time since 1999. The Aggies will play defending national champion South Carolina on Sunday.
"There are two things that I truly enjoy: No. 1, sitting on the bus, listening to our players laugh after we won a game on the road," said Texas A&M coach Rob Childress, who got a Gatorade bath after the win. "No. 2, watching our guys dogpile on the way to Omaha. I sure enjoyed that one tonight."
Kevin Gonzalez had a two-run double that was part of a six-run first inning for Texas A&M. Adam Smith added a two-run homer in the second that put the Aggies up 8-0.
"The feeling right now is so surreal," Smith said. "It's an unbelievable feeling."
Stuart Tapley hit a solo home run and Rafael Lopez had an RBI double for Florida State (46-19), which was the only super regional host team that did not advance to Omaha.
Seminoles right-hander Hunter Scantling (3-3) lasted just four batters, allowing two hits, two walks and four earned runs. Of his 13 pitches, just three were strikes.
"It was tough to be in that situation," Lopez said of the Aggies' big opening inning. "We were just trying to put something together and hopefully try and make a comeback."
Florida State was denied a trip to its 21st College World Series. Coach Mike Martin and the Seminoles are still searching for the program's first national title.
"It's a big disappointment for me," said Martin, who's 67. "Obviously, the end is in sight. I'm not saying when it's going to be. But 32 years, I've been blessed to work at Florida State and I love this place. This will make me work even harder next year to try to get to TD Ameritrade (in Omaha)."
Florida State's James Ramsey went 0 for 4, halting his on-base streak at 53 games.
Virginia 3, UC Irvine 2 — Chris Taylor was feeling like he'd let his team down for his part in a play that set Virginia up for another devastating failure in a Super Regional.
Instead, given a chance to redeem himself, Taylor came through with perhaps the biggest hit in Cavaliers baseball history, a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth that lifted them to a dramatic victory against UC Irvine and back into the College World Series.
"I'm speechless right now," the sophomore shortstop said after a lengthy celebration that included a dogpile in the infield and high fives for fans in the left-field bleachers.
Virginia (54-10) was down to its last strike against Anteaters ace Matt Summers, making his first relief appearance of the season, when David Coleman singled to center on a 1-2 pitch, Jared King singled off Summers' leg and pinch-hitter Reed Gragnani walked on four pitches.
That loaded the bases, and Taylor knew Summers might be pressing to throw a strike. Still, he stood and watched as Summers' first offering went by looking like a very hittable strike.
"I was a little upset I didn't swing at it," he said. "But I'm glad I didn't swing now."
That's because he hit the next pitch up the middle, just out of the reach of diving second baseman Tommy Reyes, as pinch runners Mitchell Shifflett and Corey Hunt raced home, causing a sellout crowd at Davenport Field to erupt in celebration as the players rejoiced on the field.
The celebration included a Gatorade bath for coach Brian O'Connor, whose team will open just its second CWS appearance against California to begin pool play in Omaha on Sunday.
"Hopefully, there's one more," O'Connor said of the dousing.
Before Taylor's hit, he'd had a part in a play that could have caused Virginia to have to watch another team celebrate on the field, having stunned the Cavaliers in the deciding game.
A year ago, Oklahoma did it after bludgeoning the Cavaliers 11-0 in the third game.
UC Irvine scored in the top of the ninth with some uncharacteristic help from the Cavaliers. The run scored after a single and sacrifice attempt that catcher John Hicks threw away trying to get a force out at second base. The ball was tailing when Taylor reached for it trying to stay on the base, and it hit his glove and bounced into right as Sean Madigan headed for third.
"I should have had that ball. I really think I should have caught that ball and I felt really bad about it," Taylor said. "But I'm just glad... I got a chance to redeem myself."