More than half of the super regional field is set, as nine teams wrapped up undefeated runs through regionals Sunday—three apiece from the SEC (Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State) and Pac-10 (Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon State), two from the ACC (Virginia, North Carolina) and one from the Big West (UC Irvine).
Six of the nine teams that won regionals Sunday were No. 1 seeds, one was a No. 2 seed (Stanford), and two were No. 3 seeds (MSU and UCI). The top three national seeds plus No. 6 Vandy all won regionals, while No. 4 South Carolina and No. 5 Florida State were leading in games suspended until Monday by weather. Only one national seed (No. 8 Rice) has been eliminated.
Also noteworthy: the ACC (15-7), SEC (17-5) and Pac-10 (17-4) are a combined 49-16 so far in regionals. The Pac-10 has gone 14-1 after starting out with a 3-3 showing Friday.
Here's a regional-by-regional roundup of Sunday's action:
No. 1 Georgia Tech over No. 4 Austin Peay State, 12-2 (APSU eliminated)
No. 3 Mississippi State over Georgia Tech, 7-3 (MSU wins regional)
After Buck Farmer went the distance in Georgia Tech's rout of Austin Peay in the elimination game, the Bulldogs blitzed freshman DeAndre Smelter (2.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 ER), and the Yellow Jackets made three of their five errors in the first three innings, as MSU built a 6-0 lead. That was more than enough for Nick Routt (9 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K), who threw the first complete game of the year for Mississippi State, and his first since 2009.
In striking contrast with Georgia Tech's sloppy defensive play, MSU committed just two errors in 27 innings during a 3-0 run to the regional title. The Bulldogs head to super regionals for the first time since 2007, when they also went 3-0 at an ACC-hosted regional (Tallahassee). Since 2007, of course, the Bulldogs had fallen upon hard times, struggling through three miserable seasons, including last year's 6-24 finish in the SEC. Coach John Cohen and his staff have orchestrated a truly remarkable turnaround. Now the Bulldogs will face Florida in the Gainesville Super Regional.
For Georgia Tech, meanwhile, Sunday's finish was all too familiar—the Jackets have ended their season in a home regional three years in a row.
No. 1 Texas over No. 2 Texas State, 4-3 (Texas State eliminated)
Texas over No. 3 Kent State, 9-3 (forcing Monday rematch)
Cole Green (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) was strong for Texas in a no-decision in the elimination game, but Texas State scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth to tie the score. Texas responded in the bottom of the frame, as Kevin Lusson hit a walk-off RBI single against ace Carson Smith, who entered in relief to try to rescue the Bobcats from the jam. In the second game, the Longhorns jumped out to a 4-0 lead through two innings against David Starn, and Lusson's three-run homer in the ninth broke the game open. The 'Horns and Flashes will play again Monday in a decisive seventh game of the regional.
Chapel Hill Regional
No. 3 James Madison over No. 4 Maine, 5-2 (Maine eliminated)
No. 1 North Carolina over James Madison, 9-3 (UNC wins regional)
Force of nature Jake Lowery drove in three to lead JMU past Maine in the elimination game, then hit his 24th homer of the season to tie the nightcap against UNC in the fifth inning. But the Tar Heels stormed back with six unanswered runs and got 4 1/3 scoreless, three-hit innings from six relievers to win its fifth regional in the last six years. UNC has won its last 13 postseason home games by three or more runs, and it utterly dominated this regional, winning three games by a combined score of 27-3. Now UNC will host Stanford in the Chapel Hill Super Regional.
No. 2 East Carolina over St. John's, 6-4 (St. John's eliminated)
No. 1 Virginia over East Carolina, 13-1 (UVa. wins regional)
Corey Thompson (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI) and Brad Mincey (5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER in relief) led ECU past St. John's in the elimination game, but the top-seeded Cavaliers steamrolled the Pirates in the championship game. Leadoff man Chris Taylor (3-for-6, 2 R, 4 RBI) led Virginia's 17-hit barrage in support of Tyler Wilson (6.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K). The Cavs obliterated the three other teams in this regional, outscoring them by a combined score of 29-3 in three games. Virginia set a school record with its 52nd win of the season and won its third consecutive regional. UVa. will host UC Irvine in the Charlottesville Super Regional next weekend. The two teams last met in the 2009 Irvine Regional, which was won by the Cavs.
No. 2 Connecticut over No. 3 Coastal Carolina, 12-6 (CCU eliminated)
Connecticut over No. 1 Clemson, 7-6 (forcing Monday rematch)
UConn rode its bats to a pair of wins, setting up a decisive game seven against Clemson on Monday. Mike Nemeth (4-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) led UConn's balanced 15-hit attack in support of Brian Ward (8 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER) in the game against Coastal. The Huskies trailed Clemson 4-1 in the sixth inning and 4-3 in the eighth, when they surged ahead with three runs, capped by Tim Martin's two-run single. Clemson answered with two in the top of the ninth to tie it, but Ryan Fuller hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the frame. Connecticut figures to bring back lefthander Greg Nappo on Monday, as he threw just three innings in Saturday's blowout against Sacred Heart. Clemson coach Jack Leggett said he did not know who would throw for his team, but it won't be No. 3 starter Jonathan Meyer, whose knee is still not healthy after taking a line drive last week.
College Station Regional
No. 2 Arizona over No. 3 Seton Hall, 6-0 (Seton Hall eliminated)
Arizona over No. 1 Texas, A&M, 7-4 (forcing Monday rematch)
Arizona swept a pair of games Sunday to force a decisive seventh game of the regional Monday against the Aggies. Cole Frenzel drove in three in support of Konner Wade (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R) in the first game, as Arizona repaid Seton Hall in kind for the Pirates' shutout of the WIldcats on Friday. Nick Cunningham (5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) entered after starter Tyler Hale was hit on the elbow with a line drive in the third inning of the nightcap, and he earned the win in relief, as Arizona took control of the game with three runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings, mostly against Kyle Martin (1.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER). Cunningham had pitched just 16 innings all season and brought an ERA of 5.51 into Sunday. A&M will start freshman lefty Brandon Parrent on Monday, while Arizona coach Andy Lopez said he was leaning toward starting sophomore lefty Vincent Littelman—but that ace Kurt Heyer might be available. Don't be surprised at all to see Heyer and A&M ace Michael Wacha back on short rest, if needed.
No. 2 Stetson over No. 3 North Carolina State, 5-3 (N.C. State eliminated)
No. 1 South Carolina leads Stetson, 4-1, in the fifth inning (suspended by weather)
Tucker Donahue (3.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER) provided strong relief to lead Stetson past N.C. State in the elimination game—see Jim Shonerd's report on the College Blog for more details. The second game was suspended by severe weather, which knocked out the power at Carolina Stadium. The game is tentatively scheduled to resume at 1 p.m. Monday, assuming power can be restored.
No. 3 Georgia over No. 2 Creighton, 5-4 in 11 innings (Creighton eliminated)
No. 1 Oregon State over Georgia, 6-4 (OSU wins regional)
The elimination game was a dandy, as Creighton and Georgia exchanged two-run rallies in the eighth to force extra innings, and Brandon Stephens hit a walk-off RBI single in the 11th to give the Bulldogs the win. But Oregon State got homers from Parker Berberet and Brian Stamps and a strong relief outing from Scott Schultz (5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) to win its 11th straight postseason home game and its first regional since 2007.
One area of concern for the Beavers: lefty Josh Osich was erratic, and OSU pulled him in the second inning, during which he failed to record an out. OSU coach Pat Casey told reporters afterward that Osich has "been stiff and sore" lately and will see the trainer Monday—"and probably the team doctor. It could be nothing. I really don't know." The Beavers will face Vanderbilt in the Nashville Super Regional.
Fort Worth Regional
No. 4 Oral Roberts over No. 1 Texas Christian, 8-4 (TCU eliminated)
Oral Roberts over No. 3 Dallas Baptist, 7-2 (forcing Monday rematch)
TCU ace Kyle Winkler walked off the mound in the first inning, grabbing the triceps on his right arm, and Oral Roberts knocked around the TCU bullpen to pull off the upset. The big blow was Chris Elder's grand slam in the sixth inning, which turned a 4-3 ORU lead into an 8-3 lead. Elder went 0-for-0 with five walks and two runs scored in the nightcap, and the three hitters behind him combined for six hits and seven RBIs in support of senior lefthander Mark Guest (9 IP, 5 H, 2 ER), who entered the game with just 16 innings under his belt this season. The two teams will face off again Monday with a trip to super regionals on the line—and if Cal beats Baylor, it stands to reason that the ORU/DBU winner is likely to host it because of facility advantages (such as lights).
No. 4 Illinois over No. 1 Cal State Fullerton, 7-5 (CSF eliminated)
No. 2 Stanford over Illinois, 14-2 (Stanford wins regional)
Illinois trailed Fullerton 4-1 after five innings but stormed back to stun the top-seeded Titans in the elimination game, breaking it open on Davis Hendrickson's two-run double in the eighth. But Stanford feasted on Illinois' depleted pitching in the nightcap, pounding out 20 hits—including three homers, two of them off the bat of Ben Clowe (4-for-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI), who doubled his season homer output. Danny Sandbrink (7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) earned the win, as Stanford reached its eighth super regional—and its first since 2008, when it upset Fullerton at Goodwin field to reach Omaha. This time, the Cardinal will travel cross country to face North Carolina.
No. 2 Miami over No. 3 Jacksonville, 6-3 (JU eliminated)
No. 1 Florida over Miami, 11-4 (Florida wins regional)
Miami erased a 3-0 deficit with four runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to beat Jacksonville in the elimination game. But in the second game, red-hot Preston Tucker hit a three-run homer in the first inning for Florida, then started the Gators' eight-run third inning with a hit by pitch, then capped the rally with a two-run double. Alex Panteliodis (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) turned in a strong start for the banged-up Florida pitching staff, and Florida got three hits from Vickash Ramjit, who filled in at first base for the injured Austin Maddox. Florida ended Miami's season for the third year in a row and advanced to its third straight super regional, where it will host MIssissippi State.
No. 3 California over No. 1 Rice, 6-3 (Rice eliminated)
California over No. 2 Baylor, 8-0 (forcing Monday rematch)
Cal swept a pair of games to knock out host Rice and force a game seven Monday against Baylor. Rice made three of its five errors in Cal's decisive three-run eighth inning, and relievers Logan Scott and Matt Flemer combined to work 4.1 innings of one-hit, shutout relief for the Golden Bears. Freshman lefthander Kyle Porter (6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K) plus Kevin Miller and Justin Jones combined on a four-hit shutout against Baylor, breaking the game open with seven runs in the eighth. Chad Bunting (3-for-3, 4 RBI) homered twice for Cal in that one. Brooks Pinckard (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) was a tough-luck loser for Baylor.
Los Angeles Regional
No. 1 UCLA over No. 4 San Francisco, 4-1 (USF eliminated)
No. 3 UC Irvine over UCLA, 4-3 (UCLA eliminated)
Adam Plutko (7.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K) threw a gem to lead UCLA past USF in the elimination game. Another talented freshman, Zack Weiss (8 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K), carried a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning against UC Irvine, but the Anteaters got a leadoff walk to chase Weiss. Jordan Leyland followed with a game-tying RBI double off closer Nick Vander Tuig, and Ronnie Shaffer hit a walk-off RBI single to right field to send Irvine to its second super regional in four years. The Anteaters will travel cross country to face Virginia in the Charlottesville Regional.
No. 4 Belmont over No. 3 Troy, 5-2 (Troy eliminated)
No. 1 Vanderbilt over Belmont, 6-1 (Vandy wins regional)
Belmont scored three runs in the second and got a solid start from Nate Woods (5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) to beat Troy in the elimination game. But Vandy starter Taylor Hill (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 K) was masterful in the second game, and Jason Esposito (3-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) powered the Vanderbilt offense. The Commodores, who outscored their opponents 26-3 in three games, head to their second straight super regional, and this time they'll host it—against Oregon State.
No. 3 Alabama over No. 2 Central Florida, 12-5 (UCF eliminated)
No. 1 Florida State leads Alabama, 8-1, in the sixth (suspended by weather)
Jared Reaves (3-for-5, 3 R, 3 RBI) led Alabama's 15-hit attack in support of Jonathan Smart (8 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 2 ER) in the elimination game. But Florida State jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the second game before play was suspended by inclement weather. Play will resume Monday at noon ET.
No. 2 Arkansas over No. 3 Charlotte, 11-3 (Charlotte eliminated)
No. 1 Arizona State over Arkansas, 13-4 (Arizona State wins regional)
Arkansas jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the elimination game, and its freshman X-factor—Ryne Stanek (9 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)—turned in his second straight strong outing. But Arizona State blitzed the Hogs' depleted pitching staff in the second game, as red-hot Joey DeMichele (2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI) once again led the ASU offense, as he has all season. Mitchell Lambson (6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 9 K) was solid in his second start of the season—and his 100th career appearance. The Sun Devils head to super regionals for the fifth straight year and the seventh time in the last nine seasons. They will either host Kent State or travel to Texas.
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