All eight super regionals were in action Saturday, and two of them were resolved with teams clinching College World Series berths. Fans in Omaha are plenty used to seeing North Carolina jerseys, as the Tar Heels are headed to the CWS for the fifth time in the last six years. But Vanderbilt also clinched a trip to Omaha on Saturday, for the first time in school history. Two other super regionals (Austin and Gainesville) were pushed to decisive third games Sunday. Here's a roundup of Saturday's action:
Austin Super Regional
Texas over Arizona State, 5-1 (series tied 1-1)
Cole Green (5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) and four Texas relievers shut down the Arizona State offense to force a third game Sunday. In a game filled with missed opportunities as a result of over-aggressive play on the basepaths, Texas broke open a 2-1 game on Jordan Etier's three-run homer in the ninth. Arizona State will start Mitchell Lambson on Sunday against Sam Stafford.
Chapel Hill Super Regional
North Carolina over Stanford, 7-5 (UNC wins series, 2-0)
UNC carried a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning, when the Cardinal scored four runs to make the Tar Heels sweat. After a 3 1/2-hour rain delay, the Tar Heels got an insurance run in the ninth and closed out another perfect run at home through the postseason to Omaha. Teddy Cahill has more details.
Charlottesville Super Regional
Virginia over UC Irvine, 6-0 (UVa. leads series 1-0)
In another game interrupted by a rain delay (of one hour, 24 minutes in the fourth), Virginia cruised to a dominating win, as Danny Hultzen (5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K) and Cody Winiarski (3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) combined on a four-hit shutout. Jared King (3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI) led the Virginia offense against Irvine ace Matt Summers (6 IP, 9 H, 5 ER).
Columbia Super Regional
South Carolina over Connecticut, 5-1 (South Carolina leads series, 1-0)
Michael Roth (8.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) added to his postseason legend and lowered his season ERA to 1.02, as the Gamecocks overcame a shaky start to beat Matt Barnes (4.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) and UConn. Scott Wingo (2-for-5, 2 RBI) led South Carolina's balanced 10-hit attack. Jim Shonerd has more details.
Gainesville Super Regional
Mississippi State over Florida, 4-3 (series tied 1-1)
In the day's most dramatic finish, Nick Vickerson greeted reliever Steven Rodriguez with a first-pitch, walk-off, two-run homer to left field, turning MSU's 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 win. MSU closer Caleb Reed (5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) turned in a gritty and outstanding effort in relief of Nick Routt (3.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER), keeping most of the MSU staff fresh for Sunday's rubber game—when it will start Luis Pollorena. Florida got a strong outing from Karsten Whitson (6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K), and coach Kevin O'Sullivan was uncertain who would start Sunday. He was hoping to have lefty Brian Johnson available, but he still had not been cleared to pitch Saturday after suffering a concussion in the SEC tournament, leaving Alex Panteliodis as an option.
Nashville Super Regional
Vanderbilt over Oregon State, 9-3 (Vanderbuilt wins series 2-0)
Aaron Westlake launched a trio of two-run homers, including one to cap Vandy's four-run sixth inning to break open a game that had been tied 2-2 at the start of the frame. Anthony Gomez had four hits and two RBIs to help lead the offense, and Will Clinard (4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) picked up the win with stellar relief of Grayson Garvin (4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). The Beavers got a solid outing from freshman Ben Wetzler (4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), but their bullpen simply could not hold back the fearsome Vanderbilt offense. In its third trip to super regionals (and second in a row), Vandy finally breaks through to the College World Series for the first time. The Commodores were utterly dominant in their unbeaten run through the postseason, outscoring their opponents 46-7 in five games.
Santa Clara Super Regional
California over Dallas Baptist, 7-0 (Cal leads series 1-0)
Justin Jones (6 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Logan Scott (3 IP, 2 H, 0 R) combined on a three-hit shutout, and the Golden Bears got three-run homers from Chad Bunting and Marcus Semien against DBU ace Brandon Williamson (7.2 IP, 10 H, 7 ER). For more details, see this College Blog post.
Tallahassee Super Regional
Texas A&M over Florida State, 6-2 (Texas A&M leads series 1-0)
The Aggies overcame a 2-1 deficit against first-round pick Sean Gilmartin (7 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) with four runs in the seventh, highlighted by Brandon Wood's go-ahead two-run single. Ross Stripling (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) became the nation's lone 14-game winner, and Kyle Martin and Nick Fleece followed with one scoreless inning apiece to close out the win. Texas A&M will turn to Michael Wacha on Sunday, needing one win to reach Omaha for the first time since 1999.
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