College baseball fans will remember Saturday for many years to come because of the epic clash between Texas and Boston College in the Austin Regional, but it was a great day of college baseball for a number of reasons. Here’s a quick look back at the day’s action, plus a look ahead to Sunday. All times are Eastern.
(2) Elon over (4) Georgia State, 4-3 (Georgia State eliminated)
(3) Southern Mississippi over (1) Georgia Tech, 10-7
3 p.m.: Elon vs. Georgia Tech.
7 p.m.: Southern Mississippi vs. winner of early game
Pitching was the story in the Elon win, as flame-thrower Jimmy Reyes struck out 14. In the second game, Tech coach Danny Hall made another curious move. A day after starting ace Deck McGuire against Georgia State instead of saving him for Game Two, Hall inserted freshman Connor Winn (who had started five career games before today) at second base for his defense. Winn made three of Tech’s five errors, leading to six unearned runs. I still think whoever wins that Elon/Georgia Tech game is capable of bashing its way to super regionals, but give Southern Miss credit for being the best team in this regional through two days.
(4) Army over (2) Texas State, 7-4 (Texas State eliminated)
(1) Texas over (3) Boston College, 3-2 (25 innings)
1 p.m.: Army vs. Boston College
7 p.m.: Texas vs. winner of early game
You might have heard about that Texas-BC game (and if you haven’t, click the link above). That seven-hour game ended after 2 a.m. EDT, and the Eagles must now turn around to face Army in less than 12 hours. Given the circumstances, you’ve got to figure the Black Knights have a shot, but I’ll take John Leonard and the Eagles to force a rematch with Texas. The Longhorns are in much better shape on the mound and should take care of business Sunday night.
Baton Rouge Regional
(2) Minnesota over (4) Southern, 11-8 (Southern eliminated)
(1) Louisiana State over (3) Baylor, 3-2 (10 innings)
2 p.m.: Minnesota vs. Baylor
7 p.m.: Louisiana State vs. winner of early game
Sophomore righty Anthony Ranaudo (9 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 14 K) turned in a stellar start in a no-decision against Baylor, and the Tigers won on Austin Nola’s RBI single in the 10th. A scout who was in Baton Rouge said Ranaudo leaned on his heavy fastball for the first seven innings, but his curveball was outstanding also, particularly in the late innings. I don’t see Minnesota or Baylor beating Louis Coleman in the nightcap Sunday.
Chapel Hill Regional
(3) Kansas over (4) Dartmouth, 16-0 (Dartmouth eliminated)
(1) North Carolina over (2) Coastal Carolina, 14-5
1 p.m.: Coastal Carolina vs. Kansas
5 p.m.: North Carolina vs. winner of early game
Baseball Americans were on hand for the Kansas and North Carolina victories—see those reports for details. Coastal couldn’t get it done with lefty Cody Wheeler on the mound today, so I don’t see the Chanticleers or Jayhawks beating UNC senior righty Adam Warren on Sunday night.
(4) Tennessee Tech over (2) Alabama, 6-2 (Alabama eliminated)
(3) Oklahoma State over (1) Clemson, 3-2
3 p.m.: Clemson vs. Tennessee Tech
7 p.m.: Oklahoma State vs. winner of early game
Lower seeds won the day in Clemson, as Tennessee Tech sent Jake Smith-less Alabama packing, and Oklahoma State lefty Andrew Oliver (7.1 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) made good in his long-awaited postseason start. I was thrilled to see Oliver perform so well after being deprived of a chance to pitch in regionals last year when he was ruled ineligible on the eve of the NCAA tournament. Oklahoma State’s in the catbird seat, but you never know which Tyler Blandford will show up Sunday. Don’t count out Clemson, which has plenty of pitching depth but needs enigmatic Chris Dwyer to be on his game Sunday, whichever game he works.
Forth Worth Regional
(2) Texas A&M over (4) Wright State, 6-4 (11 innings; Wright State eliminated)
(1) Texas Christian over (3) Oregon State, 13-1
3 p.m.: Texas A&M vs. Oregon State
8 p.m.: Texas Christian vs. winner of early game
Joe Patterson saved A&M’s bacon Saturday, tying the game with an RBI single in the ninth inning and winning it with a two-run homer in the 11th. TCU pounded out 17 hits against Oregon State and got a strong outing from Kyle Winkler (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER). TCU looks real strong through two games, and you get the sense nothing is going to keep the Horned Frogs from breaking through to super regionals.
(4) Utah over (2) Georgia Southern, 11-10 (Georgia Southern eliminated)
(1) Cal State Fullerton over (3) Gonzaga, 7-4
5 p.m.: Utah vs. Gonzaga
9 p.m.: Cal State Fullerton vs. winner of early game
Check the College Blog for details on the two Saturday games. Utah and Gonzaga are both good clubs, but the Titans are playing at such a high level right now; expect them to wrap this one up Sunday evening.
(3) Jacksonville over (2) Bethune-Cookman, 8-7 (Bethune-Cookman eliminated)
(1) Florida over (2) Miami, 8-2
1 p.m.: Miami vs. Jacksonville
6:30 p.m.: Florida vs. winner of early game
Miami’s Chris Hernandez went 11-0 last year to win national Freshman of the Year honors. Saturday, he lost his fifth game of 2009, allowing six runs over 5 1/3 innings. Florida got a strong start from senior lefty Stephen Locke (7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 ER). I wouldn’t be shocked if Miami forced an if-necessary game Monday, but I think Florida winds up winning this regional one way or the other. Pitching depth is not a strength for Miami, and at some point soon it’s going to become a significant factor.
(1) East Carolina over (4) Binghamton, 11-7
(4) Binghamton over (3) George Mason, 11-6 (George Mason eliminated)
(2) South Carolina over (1) East Carolina, 12-2
2 p.m.: East Carolina vs. Binghamton
6 p.m.: South Carolina vs. winner of early game
The Pirates and Bearcats each had to play twice today because their opener was postponed by bad weather. The Pirates did rap out 14 hits against Blake Cooper in their second game of the day, but they allowed 17, and South Carolina made its hits count. Justin Dalles and Adam Matthews homered twice apiece for the Gamecocks and combined to drive in nine runs. South Carolina’s in better position, obviously, but this one’s still up for grabs; I foresee a lot of offense Sunday.
(3) Xavier over (4) Sam Houston State, 9-6 (Sam Houston State eliminated)
(2) Kansas State over (1) Rice, 7-6
3 p.m.: Rice vs. Xavier
7 p.m.: Kansas State vs. winner of early game
K-State righty A.J. Morris (9 IP, 13 H, 6 R, 5 ER) improved to 14-1 by beating old high school teammate Ryan Berry (8 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 3 ER) in a game that featured three runs for each team in the ninth inning. The Owls have fired their two best bullets (Berry and Mike Ojala) and find themselves in the loser’s bracket, but it seems like it would be a mistake to count out Rice in a regional at Reckling Park.
(3) San Diego State over (4) Fresno State, 4-1 (Fresno State eliminated)
(2) Virginia over (1) UC Irvine, 5-0
7 p.m.: San Diego State vs. UC Irvine
11 p.m.: Virginia vs. winner of early game
See the College Blog for details of Saturday’s action. Virginia has senior righty Andrew Carraway going Sunday, and piching depth is not a strength for either the Aztecs or the Anteaters.
(3) Vanderbilt over (4) Indiana, 10-0 (Indiana eliminated)
(1) Louisville over (2) Middle Tennessee State, 3-2
3 p.m.: Middle Tennessee State vs. Vanderbilt
7 p.m.: Louisville vs. winner of early game
It wasn’t meant to be for chic sleeper pick Indiana, as lefty Matt Bashore (4.1 IP, 8 R, 7 ER) was hit hard and fireballing freshman Sonny Gray (8 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K) dominated for Vandy. In the winner’s bracket, Louisville came from behind with single runs in the eighth and ninth to beat MTSU. Louisville is clearly in the driver’s seat, but any of the three remaining teams could still win this one, as Vanderbilt has plenty of quality arms left, and MTSU can get its big bats going at a moment’s notice.
(3) Washington State over (4) Wichita State, 3-2 (Wichita State eliminated)
(2) Arkansas over (1) Oklahoma, 17-6
2 p.m.: Washington State vs. Oklahoma
8 p.m.: Arkansas vs. winner of ealry game
Washington State stayed alive behind a strong outing from Chad Arnold (7.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 10 K). In the nightcap, Arkansas’ long-dormant bats exploded for the second straight day, with first baseman Andy Wilkins (4-for-6, 4 RBI, 2 2B) leading the way. The Razorbacks seemed to regain some momentum with a couple of wins against Florida in the SEC tournament, and it sure seems like their second-half swoon is a distant memory now.
(2) Missouri over (4) Monmouth, 9-0 (Monmouth eliminated)
(1) Mississippi over (3) Western Kentucky, 7-4
2 p.m.: Missouri vs. Western Kentucky
6 p.m.: Mississippi vs. winner of early game
Missouri fell into the losers’ bracket after choosing a committee approach over starting Kyle Gibson in its opener against Western Kentucky. Gibson (8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K) breezed against Monmouth Saturday, keeping the Tigers alive. But Ole Miss is in control here after rapping out 13 hits in support of Phillip Irwin (6.2 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K).
(3) Ohio State over (4) Marist, 6-4 (Marist eliminated)
(1) Florida State over (2) Georgia, 8-2
12 p.m.: Georgia vs. Ohio State
4 p.m.: Florida State vs. winner of early game
Check the College Blog for details about Saturday’s action. I like Florida State’s chances to win this regional on Sunday.
(4) Kent State over (3) Cal Poly, 10-9 (Cal Poly eliminated)
(1) Arizona State over (2) Oral Roberts, 4-1
4 p.m.: Kent State vs. Oral Roberts
9 p.m.: Arizona State vs. winner of early game
Kent State nearly coughed up a 10-2 lead in the ninth inning Saturday, as Cal Poly rallied for seven runs in the final frame before running out of gas. In the nightcap, ASU righty Mike Leake carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and was one out away from his third straight complete-game shutout before allowing a run. He had to settle for his third straight complete game, during which he allowed just five hits and two walks while striking out a career-high 15. Arizona State fans better realize how lucky they are to have had the opportunity to watch Leake do his thing for the last three years. Something tells me they’ll get to watch him pitch in Tempe one more time next weekend.
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