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No. 1 Florida hands Ga. Tech first loss in NCAA regionals; FSU cruises past Samford

Florida State’s Sherman Johnson celebrates his leadoff home run against Samford in the first inning of Saturday’s game, which FSU won, 8-1.

Florida State’s Sherman Johnson celebrates his leadoff home run against Samford in the first inning of Saturday’s game, which FSU won, 8-1.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Mike Zunino and Preston Tucker homered, and top-seeded Florida beat Georgia Tech, 6-2, in the Gainesville Regional on Saturday night.

The game had plenty of drama. Umpires reversed a strikeout call at the end of the third inning, sending Georgia Tech back to the dugout and Florida back on the field. Tech’s Jake Davies eventually struck out, making the call moot, but he tipped his hat to Florida fans booing him. Zunino, who was involved in the disputed call, homered to open the fourth.

Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall was ejected in the fifth while arguing an aggressive slide at second base.

In the seventh, Tech catcher Zane Evans yelled at Florida shortstop Nolan Fontana following a play at the plate. Fontana kicked Evans’ facemask after getting thrown out trying to score.

Zunino’s solo shot in the fourth sparked a three-run inning that was key in a testy game. Tucker added a towering, two-run shot in the ninth.

Florida State 8, Samford 1: Brandon Leibrandt pitched eight scoreless innings and James Ramsey hit a grand slam as Florida State defeated Samford, 8-1, on Saturday in the Tallahassee Regional.

Leibrandt (11-2) scattered three singles, just one after the first inning. The freshman left-hander, whose father is former big league pitcher Charlie Leibrandt, fanned a career-high 10 batters before leaving after throwing 110 pitches.

Ramsey, the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, hit his first grand slam in the seventh inning off Samford’s Joseph Burns, who relieved Josh Martin (12-2) to face Ramsey.

Sherman Johnson scored three times and also homered for Florida State (45-15). Jayce Boyd added two hits and two RBI for the Seminoles.

The Seminoles play the winner of today’s elimination game between Samford (40-22) and Mississippi State (40-23), which eliminated UAB 8-1 earlier Saturday.

C.K. Irby’s two-out, ninth inning single off reliever Hunter Scantling spoiled Florida State’s shutout bid.