Augie Garrido was already the only coach to win national championships in four different decades. On Sunday, he became the only coach to lead teams to the College World Series in five different decades. Garrido's Texas Longhorns clinched their 34th trip to Omaha with a somewhat controversial win against Arizona State. Defending national champion South Carolina also punched its ticket back to Omaha, and Florida won a thrilling back-and-forth game against Mississippi State to punch its ticket. And in the late game, California clinched its first CWS trip since 1992. So six CWS spots are secure (North Carolina and Vanderbilt advanced Saturday), with two more to be determined in rubber games Monday.
Here's a roundup of Sunday's fantastic slate of games:
Austin Super Regional
Texas over Arizona State, 4-2 (Texas wins series 2-1)
Texas had to come from behind in order to win its fifth consecutive elimination game. The Sun Devils jumped on Texas starter Sam Stafford (4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER) for a pair of runs in the first inning, but the Longhorns battled back, scoring a run in the bottom of the frame and tying the game on a controversial balk by Mitchell Lambson (5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) in the fifth. An inning earlier, an Arizona State rally was cut short by suspect umpiring, as hitter's interference was called on a fourth ball, and the umpires forced Joey DeMichele to return from third base to first, where he was when the play started. Texas surged ahead with two in the sixth, as Mark Payton and Brandon Loy drove in runs. Nathan Thornhill, Hoby Milner and Corey Knebel combined to work five innings of two-hit, shutout relief for the 'Horns.
Charlottesville Super Regional
UC Irvine over Virginia, 6-4 (series tied 1-1)
For the second straight day, the action in Charlottesville was interrupted a weather delay—this time for four hours, 18 minutes in the fifth inning, with Virginia leading 3-0. Virginia sent starter Tyler Wilson (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) back to the mound when play resumed, and the Anteaters got to him for a run in the sixth, then scored five runs over the next two innings against the UVa. bullpen, highlighted by Jordan Leyland's go-ahead two-run double in the eighth. Andrew Thurman (4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) picked up the win with strong relief for UCI. Expect Will Roberts against Crosby Slaught in Monday's decisive third game.
Columbia Super Regional
South Carolina over Connecticut, 8-2 (South Carolina wins series 2-0)
UConn struck first for the second day in a row, getting to Colby Holmes (4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER) for two runs in the second inning. But South Carolina scored single runs in the fourth and sixth to tie it, then went ahead on Christian Walker's eighth-inning homer against Greg Nappo (7.1 IP, 10 H, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), and broke it open with five runs in the ninth against the UConn bullpen. After its perfect run through regionals and super regionals, South Carolina has won 11 consecutive postseason games, dating back to last year's College World Series. Jim Shonerd has more details here.
Gainesville Super Regional
Florida over Mississippi State, 8-6 (Florida wins series 2-1)
After Florida routed the Bulldogs by 10 runs in Friday's series opener, the next two games were packed with enough drama to make this one of the great super regionals of the 64-team era. On Sunday, Florida jumped out to a 4-0 lead through two innings against Luis Pollorena, but the Bulldogs fought back from behind for the second straight day. Nick Vickerson, who hit a walk-off homer Saturday, cut Florida's lead to one run with a three-run homer in the fourth, and he delivered a game-tying RBI single in the seventh. MSU surged ahead on Brent Brownlee's two-run single later in the frame, but Florida did not roll over against a two-run deficit with its season down to nine outs. Preston Tucker put the Gators back ahead for good with a three-run homer to center field in the bottom of the seventh, propelling Florida to Omaha for the second straight season.
Santa Clara Super Regional
California over Dallas Baptist, 6-2 (Cal wins series 2-0)
Cal finished off a dominating super regional sweep to earn its first trip to Omaha since 1992. For the second straight day, Cal used the long ball to take an early lead it would never relinquish, as Chadd Krist hit a two-run homer in the first. Erik Johnson (6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) and three relievers held DBU's potent offense to four hits, a day after Cal shut out the Patriots on three hits. For more, see this College Blog post.
Tallahassee Super Regional
Florida State over Texas A&M, 23-9 (series tied 1-1)
The Seminoles scored five runs in the first and built their lead to 8-0 by the third inning, but Texas A&M made things very interesting with six runs in the bottom of the third. FSU just kept on scoring against the A&M bullpen, scoring at least three runs against all five Aggies pitchers. Justin Gonzalez (2-for-3, 3 R, HR, 6 RBI), Jayce Boyd (4-for-4, 5 R, HR, 3 RBI) and Stuart Tapley (3-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI) led the onslaught for the Seminoles, who will turn to Hunter Scantling in Monday's rubber game against A&M ace Michael Wacha.
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