Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boss in Charge for Gators; Senior Pitcher Has Thrown Three Consecutive Complete Games for Florida

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boss in Charge for Gators; Senior Pitcher Has Thrown Three Consecutive Complete Games for Florida

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

OMAHA, Neb. -- The official capacity of Rosenblatt Stadium is 23,170, yet 24,904 fans packed into the stadium on Friday night to watch local favorite Nebraska beat Arizona State.

A similar number is expected tonight for the 'Huskers' game against Florida in the winners' bracket of the College World Series.

It will likely be the largest crowd ever to watch a Florida baseball game.

With that kind of atmosphere, in a game with such high stakes, there is no one else the Gators (46-20) want on the mound than Tommy Boss.

The senior from Dunnellon has a 14-14 career record at Florida, but the right-hander has been one of UF's best pitchers in the postseason.

He's won all three of his playoff starts -- including two this season -- and hasn't needed any help from the bullpen in any of them. He's thrown three complete games, hasn't given up more than two runs in any of the games, and struck out 13 and walked only three batters in 27 innings.

That's pretty much the definition of a big-game, pressure pitcher.

"Totally," said senior center fielder Jeff Corsaletti. "Just look at his numbers. He's as consistent as you can be.

"He's a senior veteran. He's not going to get rattled. He's not going to get shook up."

That calmness translates to his teammates. When Boss is on the mound in the postseason, everybody relaxes, left fielder Gavin Dickey said.

"We're always confident when Tommy's on the mound because we know he's going to compete as hard as he can and throw strikes and give his defense a chance to work," Dickey said. "He's one of those guys who loves the pressure situations and loves to go out and compete. He's good at it.

"He's exceptionally good at it."

Boss didn't have that reputation entering the 2004 postseason, when he had a 3-5 record and had lost his last three starts. But he threw a four-hit shutout with six strikeouts and no walks in the Gators' 11-0 win over UCLA to win the Oklahoma City Regional.

He didn't pitch in the postseason after that, and entered the 2005 playoffs with a 6-4 record. He allowed three hits, struck out six, and walked two in the Gators' 5-2 win over North Carolina in the Gainesville Regional, then gave up seven hits and struck out three in UF's 8-1 win over Florida State in the first game of the Super Regional. …

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