Ten teams punched their tickets to super-regionals with 3-0 performances in regionals this weekend, while "if-necessary" games became necessary in six other regionals. Here’s a look back at Sunday’s action and a peek ahead to Monday’s decisive contests. All times are Eastern.
Georgia over Lipscomb, 14-3 (Lipscomb eliminated)
Georgia over Georgia Tech, 8-0
7 p.m.: Georgia Tech vs. Georgia
Georgia won a pair of games Sunday to force a decisive game Monday against the rival Yellow Jackets. Senior righthander Nick Montgomery was brilliant in his third start of the year Sunday night against Tech, striking out nine in a complete-game, four-hit shutout. That gives Georgia’s deep staff an extra day of rest, and the Bulldogs can throw the kitchen sink at the Jackets on Monday. Either sophomore lefthander Alex McRee or freshman righty Justin Grimm figures to get the start against Georgia Tech sophomore righthander Zach Von Tersch. The Bulldogs have the momentum, the deeper pitching staff and the home-field advantage, so you have to like their chances Monday.
Ann Arbor Regional
Kentucky over Michigan, 12-6 (Michigan eliminated)
Arizona over Kentucky, 5-3 (Arizona wins regional)
Arizona won the battle of the Wildcats behind a strong outing from junior lefthander Eric Berger (7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 11 K). Freshman Bobby Coyle’s two-run homer in the second spotted Berger to a lead he would not relinquish, and the three-headed bullpen monster (Ryan Perry, Daniel Schlereth and Jason Stoffel) finished things off for a third straight day. That’s a major league bullpen, and it gives Arizona a real chance in next weekend’s super-regional at Miami.
Baton Rouge Regional
Southern Mississippi over New Orleans, 8-2 (New Orleans eliminated)
Louisiana State over Southern Mississippi, 11-3 (Louisiana State wins regional)
Has any team ever been hotter than LSU is right now? The Tigers easily extended their epic winning streak to 23 games by winning three games against Texas Southern and Southern Miss by a combined score of 36-9. LSU broke open a 3-2 game Sunday with six runs in the sixth, capped by Blake Dean’s three-run triple. The Tigers will host UC Irvine in a super-regional next weekend, in what will most assuredly be the final send-off for Alex Box Stadium. If you predicted in February that the final weekend at the Box would come in super-regional play, then pat yourself on the back and call yourself Nostradamus.
UNC Wilmington over Elon, 15-11(Elon eliminated)
North Carolina over UNC Wilmington, 7-3 (North Carolina wins regional)
The Tar Heels cruised to their third straight super-regional, winning three games by a combined score of 28-12. Sophomore outfielder Tim Fedroff went 9-for-11 on the weekend to claim tournament MVP honors and further bolster his burgeoning All-America credentials; he’s now batting .402/.468/.654 with 12 homers and 67 RBIs. The Tar Heels will host their second straight super-regional next weekend against Coastal Carolina.
College Station Regional
Houston over Illinois-Chicago, 14-11 in 11 innings (Illinois-Chicago eliminated)
Houston over Texas A&M, 4-3
7:30 p.m.: Texas A&M vs. Houston
Few good teams fly under the radar as much as Houston, which defied the odds and forced a decisive game against Texas A&M to be played Monday night. The Cougars coughed up a four-run lead in the ninth inning in their first game Sunday against UIC, but they kept their composure and won it with three in the 11th, highlighted by catcher Chris Wallace’s two-run double. Then, against a Texas A&M team that hammered Houston 22-4 just yesterday, UH freshman righthander Jared Ray delivered a complete-game victory, allowing just three runs on five hits and six walks while striking out four. The Cougars don’t have a lot of fresh arms remaining, but sophomore righthander John Touchton lasted just 1 1/3 innings against the Aggies on Saturday and should be able to come back. Expect to see ace lefty Wes Musick back on two days’ rest, as well. The Aggies figure to counter with sophomore righthander Scott Migl.
East Carolina over Alabama, 16-1 (Alabama eliminated)
Coastal Carolina over East Carolina, 24-11 (Coastal Carolina wins regional)
The Chanticleers slugged their way to their first super-regional, winning three games by a combined score of 47-23. Coastal wrapped up Sunday’s game early with a 13-run explosion in the second inning, highlighted by David Sappelt’s grand slam. That was one of five Chanticleer homers on the day, with two coming courtesy of David Anderson. The ball doesn’t fly out of the park quite the same way in Cary, where Coastal will be playing next weekend in a super-regional against North Carolina. But the Chanticleers also have plenty of speed and won their only game in Cary against UNC earlier this year.
Coral Gables Regional
Mississippi over Missouri, 9-6 (Missouri eliminated)
Miami over Mississippi, 11-2 (Miami wins regional)
After winning a pair of tightly contested games against Bethune-Cookman and Missouri in the first two days of the regional, Miami cruised to an 11-2 win over Ole Miss on Sunday. Five Hurricanes posted two-hit games in a balanced attack against the Rebels, and sophomore lefty Eric Erickson (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) settled down after Mississippi’s two-run first. The Hurricanes will host Arizona in next weekend’s super-regional.
Cal State Fullerton over Virginia, 4-1 (Virginia eliminated)
Cal State Fullerton over UCLA, 11-8
11 p.m.: UCLA vs. Cal State Fullerton
The Titans won two games Sunday to force a decisive game against UCLA on Monday. Junior righty Cory Arbiso (9 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) was masterful in the win against the Cavaliers, helping keep the bullpen fresh for the nightcap. Fullerton went to that bullpen in the fifth inning against the Bruins and got 2 1/3 solid innings apiece from relievers Michael Morrison and Adam Jorgenson. Titans coach Dave Serrano joked afterward that he was getting his arm rubbed down and thinking of giving himself the ball Monday; indeed, Fullerton could use him, because it is running low on fresh arms. Expect to see lefthanders Kevin Rath (1-0, 6.48) and Jason Dovel (3-3, 5.15) and righty Ryan Ackland (1-1, 2.10) at some point Monday, and don’t be surprised if Jeff Kaplan comes back after throwing just three innings in Saturday’s loss to the Bruins. UCLA, meanwhile, got a horrible outing from lefthander Gavin Brooks (1.1 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB) on Sunday, forcing coach John Savage to dip into his bullpen early. Righties Matt Drummond (3 IP, 3 ER) and Dan Klein (2.2 IP, 3 ER) logged significant innings Sunday, leaving Savage to choose between inconsistent righthander Garett Claypool (1-2, 4.13) and freshman lefty Rob Rasmussen (0-1, 4.91) for the start Monday.
Texas over St. John’s, 4-3 (St. John’s eliminated)
Rice over Texas, 7-4 (Rice wins regional)
Three Rice pitchers limited Texas to six hits–including a three-run homer by Kyle Russell, his 19th of the year–as the Owls reached their fourth straight super-regional. Righthander Bobby Bell (3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R) was sensational in relief for the second time this weekend, and the Owls broke a 4-4 tie with three runs in the seventh, with Jimmy Comerota’s RBI single providing the go-ahead run. Rice could host Texas A&M in next weekend’s super-regional for the second straight year, or the Owls could face arch-rival Houston. Should be a dandy either way.
Oral Roberts over Nebraska, 8-0 (Nebraska eliminated)
UC Irvine over Oral Roberts, 8-0 (UC Irvine wins regional)
Right fielder Sean Madigan went 3-for-5 with five RBIs in support of righthander Bryce Stowell (7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 13 K), who was superb for UC Irvine in its second win over Oral Roberts in three days. The Anteaters surrendered just two runs over their final two games to advance to their second straight super-regional. They’ll travel to Baton Rouge to face Louisiana State next weekend, in an epic clash of small ball against neo-Gorilla Ball. Just three Tigers have more than five home runs, but two of them have at least 19. Just one Anteater has more than four homers (Francis Larson with seven).
Long Beach Regional
San Diego over Long Beach State, 5-1 (Long Beach State eliminated)
San Diego over Fresno State, 15-1
9 p.m.: Fresno State vs. San Diego
San Diego got a pair of dominant starts from lefthander Ricardo Pecina (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) and righty Kyle Blair (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 9 K) to force a decisive game against Fresno State. Center fielder Josh Romanski paced USD’s 13-hit attack in the nightcap, going 4-for-5. The Toreros have allowed just two total runs in their three victories this weekend, and they’re not out of quality arms yet. Freshman lefthander Sammy Solis (3-1, 3.89) figures to get the start today; just imagine if Matt Couch hadn’t been lost for the year early. Fresno State doesn’t have the same depth, but closer Brandon Burke has yet to pitch this weekend, so expect him to carry much of the load today.
South Carolina over James Madison, 7-5 (James Madison eliminated)
North Carolina State over South Carolina, 2-1 (North Carolina State wins regional)
The Wolfpack reached its second-ever super-regional on the strength of sublime pitching and air-tight defense. N.C. State’s bullpen allowed just one hit over 11 scoreless innings on the weekend, including five brilliant innings in a one-run game Sunday. N.C. State will either host Georgia Tech next weekend or travel to Athens to face Georgia. Meanwhile, South Carolina’s Justin Smoak, Reese Havens, James Darnell and co. almost certainly end their collegiate careers without a trip to Omaha.
Stanford over UC Davis, 8-4 (UC Davis eliminated)
Stanford over Pepperdine, 13-1
4 p.m.: Pepperdine vs. Stanford
The Cardinal trailed by a run heading into the ninth against UC Davis before exploding for five runs to stay alive, with Brent Milleville’s two-run homer providing the go-ahead run. Stanford carried that momentum right into the second game, scoring four runs in the first and out-hitting Pepperdine 15-6, led by sophomore outfielder Toby Gerhart (4-for-5, 3 2B, HR, 2 RBI). Freshman righthander Danny Sandbrink threw his first career complete game and earned his second career win for the Cardinal, giving the rest of the staff some relief. Expect to see a healthy dose of David Stringer today for the Cardinal, while Pepperdine figures to counter with lefthander Robert Dickmann or lefty Scott Alexander, who threw just 1 1/3 innings in relief against the Aggies on Saturday.
Oklahoma State over Texas Christian, 9-8 (Texas Christian eliminated)
Wichita State over Oklahoma State, 11-7 in 10 innings (Wichita State wins regional)
Wichita State swept through Stillwater to reach its second straight super-regional. WSU’s much-maligned bullpen came through Sunday, shutting out the Cowboys over the final four innings to allow the Shockers to force extras with two in the ninth, then win it on Clinton McKeever’s 10th-inning grand slam. The Shockers will either travel to Tallahassee to face Florida State next weekend, or they will face Tulane, probably in Wichita.
Florida State over Bucknell, 24-9 (Bucknell eliminated)
Florida State over Tulane, 17-8
7 p.m.: Tulane vs. Florida State
After avenging their regional-opening loss with 24 runs on 25 hits against Bucknell, the Seminoles kept swinging hot bats against Tulane, scoring 17 runs on 14 hits–including two Buster Posey home runs. Posey went 3-for-5 with five RBIs and is now batting .472 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs; can you say Player of the Year? FSU started Ryan Strauss (5.2 IP, 6 ER) against the Green Wave and figures to bring back Matt Fairel or go with Bo O’Dell today. Something tells me we could see Shooter Hunt on two days’ rest at some point for Tulane, but it might not matter who starts for either team; since being shut out by Bucknell’s Mathew Wilson, the Seminoles have scored 58 runs in three games. Kind of puts Wilson’s feat into perspective.
Oklahoma over Vanderbilt, 11-10 (Vanderbilt eliminated)
Arizona State over Oklahoma, 12-0 (Arizona State wins regional)
After beating Vandy on Aaron Baker’s walk-off, two-run homer in Sunday’s first game, Oklahoma was simply overmatched by top-seeded Arizona State, which outscored Oklahoma 27-3 over the final two days en route to its second straight super-regional. The Sun Devils used a balanced 15-hit attack Sunday in support of senior lefthander Josh Satow (7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K), who is pitching his best when it matters most. ASU will host San Diego or Fresno State in next weekend’s super-regional.
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