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Michigan rides Henry's 3-hitter to win over FSU

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Franklin cranks 415-foot homer for Michigan (0:30)

Jesse Franklin unloads on a fastball and takes it 415 feet over the wall in right field. (0:30)

OMAHA, Neb. -- Jesse Franklin hit the second pitch of the game out of TD Ameritrade Park. With the performance Tommy Henry was about to give, that was all the offense Michigan needed.

Henry limited Florida State to three hits, and Franklin's homer stood up in a 2-0 win Monday night that put the Wolverines in control of Bracket 1 in their first appearance at the College World Series since 1984. The Wolverines (48-20) are 2-0 for the first time in six appearances since 1962 and need one more win Friday to reach the best-of-three finals next week.

"In the biggest game in Michigan baseball history in a long, long time, we got the best pitching performance in Tommy Henry's career,'' Michigan coach Erik Bakich said. "He was the entire storyline tonight. He gave us something magical. I don't know if there is an adjective to describe how good Tommy was, but he was better than that.''

Henry (11-5) was efficient in his second shutout of the season and Michigan's ninth. The junior left-hander mixed a slider and changeup with his fastball and threw 100 pitches, including 24 first-pitch strikes against the 32 batters he faced. He struck out 10, walked none and went to three-ball counts just twice, both times in the first inning.

The defense also was outstanding, with Christan Bullock making big plays in left field and second baseman Ako Thomas diving to rob Robby Martin of a hit in the ninth inning.

"Pure joy,'' Henry said, describing his feeling after the last out. "I'm sure everyone was feeling the exact same way. And so whether you were in the bunker all game or you hit a home run the second at-bat of the game, everyone is feeling that pure joy just because it's a special team. We're playing for each other, and we're playing for the block 'M' on our hat.''

The Seminoles (42-22), trying to win retiring coach Mike Martin's first national championship in his 17th trip to Omaha, have scored only two runs in their past 26 innings, although they managed a 1-0 victory over Arkansas on Saturday. They failed to win their first two games at a CWS for a 13th straight time since opening 2-0 in 1989.

Of the past 29 national champions, 24 won their first two games.

Mike Salvatore had two of the three hits against Henry, the No. 74 overall draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks last month.

"I can see why Tommy Henry was a second-round draft pick,'' Martin said. "That was beautiful. That was a masterpiece. He really made it tough on us. They kicked our fanny, and Tommy Henry, if I was playing Michigan next year, I'd be real glad because I know he will be gone.''

The Seminoles' best chance to score was in the first, when Salvatore took third on a wild pitch. That's when Henry started a streak of 12 straight retired batters that ended when he hit J.C. Flowers to start the fifth.

FSU starter CJ Van Eyk (10-4) lasted 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing in six starts since May 4. He struck out nine, allowed six singles and walked two after Franklin's home run. But his pitch count went over 100 in the fifth inning, when he allowed three hits in four at-bats to put the Wolverines up 2-0.

The Wolverines, like Florida State, were among the last four teams selected on Memorial Day for the 64-team national tournament that has now been pared to seven. They had lost five of seven to end the regular season and didn't make the Big Ten tournament title game. Then, they won the regional played at Oregon State and then knocked off No. 1 national seed UCLA in super regionals.

"We just figured out that we were pressing and worried about just trying to win or trying not to lose,'' Franklin said, "and now we're just playing loose and having fun at TD 'AmeriPlayground.'''

Texas Tech sends Arkansas home with 5-4 win

Tim Tadlock obviously would have preferred his team not have to play in the Monday elimination game at the CWS.

He wasn't worried how his team would react, though.

"Just kind of had a hunch after the other day,'' he said, "that they're going to be fun to watch with their backs against the wall.''

The Red Raiders were down three runs early against Arkansas before beating the Razorbacks 5-4 for their 25th come-from-behind win this season, second-most in the nation.

Cody Master's first triple of the season drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, Taylor Floyd held off Arkansas in the ninth, and the No. 8 national seed Red Raiders (45-19) bounced back from a 5-3 loss to Michigan.

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Texas Tech takes late lead with a triple

Texas Tech's Cody Masters drives a triple to right field, bringing in the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

No. 5 Arkansas (46-20) was eliminated in two games a year after making it to the CWS finals. Both of the Razorbacks' losses were by one run.

"Kind of hard to swallow,'' Hogs coach Dave Van Horn said. "But overall it was a really good year, getting a part of the [SEC] Western Division championship with a really good Mississippi State team. And getting back here, just proud of them and appreciated the effort they gave us all year.''

Masters' winning hit came after Cody Scroggins (3-2) struck out Tech star Josh Jung but walked Cameron Warren with two outs. Masters then launched Scroggins' low fastball into right center. The ball bounced off the wall, allowing Warren to score and Masters to reach third.

"I didn't have many good at-bats before that,'' Masters said, "and so whenever I was stepping on deck, just kind of took a deep breath, tried to forget everything and tried to come through for the squad that's always come through for me when it mattered.''

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Warren said it was a challenge coming all the way around from first. He actually had been put into motion before Masters' hit.

"That's the first time I've stolen in so long, and I didn't even look in, and it got so loud, and I heard it off the bat,'' he said. "I was like, 'I think it's gone, but I gotta run.'"

He got words of encouragement as he neared third-base coach J-Bob Thomas.

"I saw J-Bob at third base telling me to go,'' Warren said, "so I was like, 'Come on, big boy, you've got to score.'"

Arkansas had two runners on base with no outs in the ninth after Jacob Nesbit was hit by a pitch from John McMillon (4-3) and 9-hole batter Christian Franklin singled off Taylor Floyd. Floyd, who earned his fourth save, then retired the top three batters in the Razorbacks' order, with Matt Goodheart flying out to end the game.

The teams combined for four home runs, tying the single-game record at 8-year-old TD Ameritrade Park.

Heston Kjerstad was the first to go deep, helping Arkansas get out to a 3-0 lead on Caleb Kilian. The Red Raiders got home runs from Warren in the fourth, Easton Murrell in the fifth and Jung in the sixth to go up 4-3.

Kilian, the San Francisco Giants' eighth-round MLB draft pick two weeks ago, allowed six hits and three runs and struck out a season-high nine.

He gave way to left-handed reliever Dane Haveman to start the eighth, and the Hogs put runners on the corners with one out. Jack Kenley fouled off five straight pitches before sending a shallow sacrifice fly to left, but Kurt Wilson's throw home was wide, and Dominic Fletcher scored easily to tie it 4-4.

Kjerstad's opposite-field homer into the left-field bullpen in the second was his 17th of the year and third in eight NCAA tournament games. It also snapped a 23-inning CWS scoreless streak for the Hogs since last year.

"It's always good for someone to get the team rolling,'' Kjerstad said. "We kind of feed off each other.''

Warren's two-run homer, his 18th, was measured at 421 feet into the seats in left center. Murrell, who transferred from Arkansas after last season and was batting leadoff for the first time in place of the injured Gabe Holt, hit his first career homer to tie it. Jung's go-ahead homer was the 15th for the No. 8 overall draft pick by the Texas Rangers.

Up next

Michigan plays Friday against Texas Tech or Florida State. Florida State plays an elimination game against Texas Tech on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.