Regional Recaps: Day Three

Sunday brought more surprises in the NCAA tournament, as defending national champion Texas became the second national seed eliminated, falling 6-3 to North Carolina State at the Austin regional. The Longhorns won the Big 12 Conference regular season title and earned the No. 3 national seed but failed to make the College World Series for the first time since 2002, when they won the first of their two CWS titles in a four-year span.

Fellow No. 1 seeds Kentucky, Oklahoma State and Virginia also were eliminated Sunday, a day when No. 2 seed College of Charleston and No. 3 seed Oral Roberts advanced to super-regionals for the first time in school history. Eleven teams clinched super-regional berths on Sunday, leaving five decisive games scheduled for regionals on Monday.

Clemson Regional

Mississippi State 12, Elon 3 (Elon eliminated)
Clemson 8, Mississippi State 6 (Mississippi State eliminated; Clemson wins regional)

• No. 1 national seed Clemson came back from a late deficit on Sunday against Mississippi State to take an 8-6 win and complete a three-game sweep of the Clemson, S.C., regional. Taylor Harbin, who hit two home runs in Saturday’s second game, had three RBIs on Sunday, including the game winner in the Tigers’ three-run rally. Harbin had seven RBIs in the series.

The southpaw relief hero of Saturday’s game, Justin Pigott, started the elimination game for Mississippi State on Sunday and worked eight strong innings
in the victory against Elon. Brian LaNinfa, who drove in all
five Mississippi State runs Saturday, drove in four more Sunday.

Clemson moves on to face Oral Roberts in super-regional play next weekend.

Fayetteville Regional

Oklahoma State 6, Arkansas 5 (Arkansas eliminated)
Oral Roberts 9, Oklahoma State 2 (Oklahoma State eliminated; Oral Roberts wins regional)

• Oral Roberts jumped to an early lead in the third inning and never looked back in a 9-2 victory over Oklahoma State. The Golden Eagles swept through the regional undefeated. Chad Rothford homered for Oral Roberts, and right fielder Brendan Duffy and catcher Andy Bouchie went 3-for-5 in the win.

Oklahoma State had defeated Arkansas 6-5 Sunday in a come-from-behind victory, led by a five-run sixth inning that included home runs from Corey Brown and Adam Carr. Cowboy left fielder Ty Wright secured the win with a running catch at the wall in the bottom of the ninth that robbed Brian Walker of an extra-base hit that could have scored the tying run.

Oral Roberts will face Clemson in next weekend’s super-regional, the school’s first super-regional appearance.

Lexington Regional

Kentucky 12, Ball State 9 (Ball State eliminated)
College of Charleston 7, Kentucky 4 (Kentucky eliminated; College of Charleston wins regional)

• College of Charleston claimed the first super-regional bid in school history with a 7-4 win over Kentucky Sunday in the Lexington, Ky., regional. Charleston started the game with a roll of thunder, bringing in six runs in the first inning. Outfielders Larry Cobb and Phillip Coker both homered for Charleston in the game.

Kentucky jumped out to a big lead in Sunday’s elimination game and held off Ball State, scoring nine runs in four innings against Ball State with Antone DeJesus and John Shelby combining for six RBIs. Wildcats closer Andrew Albers ended a Ball State rally with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

College of Charleston will face Georgia Tech in next weekend’s super-regional.

Atlanta Regional

Vanderbilt 5, Michigan 4 (Michigan eliminated)
Georgia Tech 8, Vanderbilt 4 (Vanderbilt eliminated; Georgia Tech wins regional)

• Georgia Tech reached its third straight super-regional with an 8-4 win against Vanderbilt in the Atlanta regional on Sunday. Matt Wieters launched two homers and Ryan Turner worked a career-high 8 1/3 innings for the victory. Wieters finished the ninth inning on the mound, facing three batters and not allowing a run.

Vanderbilt had eliminated Michigan earlier Sunday afternoon, as Pedro Alvarez hit his 21st home run (a school record) and David Macias put up three hits. Ryan Davis added an insurance run for Vanderbilt in the eighth with a solo home run.

Georgia Tech will play College of Charleston in its super-regional matchup.

Fullerton Regional

Fresno State 9, San Diego 8 (San Diego eliminated)
Cal State Fullerton 10, Fresno State 3 (Fresno State eliminated; Cal State Fullerton wins regional)

• Cal State Fullerton dominated Fresno State on Sunday just as it had dominated the entire Fullerton, Calif. regional, taking a 10-3 win for its third straight win. Blake Davis, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, led the offense, and righthander Dustin Miller wen six innings for the Titans, striking out four and allowing three runs on 10 hits. The game did feature controversy in the sixth inning. Fullerton had two runners on base when Davis hit a line drive to center field, and Fresno State’s Nick Moresi appeared to make a diving catch.  Umpires ruled he did not make the catch, however, and Davis ended up with a triple and both runners scored, making it 8-3. 

In Fresno State’s earlier Sunday game, Kent Sakamoto hit three-run homers  in consecutive innings in a 9-8 victory against San Diego. The Bulldogs scored all nine of their runs in the fourth and fifth frames, powered by Sakamoto’s six RBIs. Of the nine runs that San Diego starter Matt Couch allowed in five innings of work, only five were earned.

Fullerton will take on the winner of Monday’s Pepperdine-Missouri game in super-regional play.

Malibu Regional

Missouri 2, UCLA 1 (UCLA eliminated)
Missouri 4, Pepperdine 1

• Freshman Aaron Crow pitched his first career complete game and got his first college win Sunday in a stellar performance against Pepperdine, leading Missouri to a 4-1 win and forcing a decisive seventh game Monday in the Malibu, Calif., regional. Crow allowed one run and six hits, and Mizzou took the lead in the fifth after back-to-back two-out hits by  J.C. Field and Evan Frey. Junior John McKee launched a two-run shot to extend the lead to three in the sixth inning.

Missouri also got strong pitching from a freshman earlier Sunday in its elimination game against UCLA. Rick Zagone also notched his first complete game, allowing one run on six hits and striking out seven. UCLA starter Tyson Brummett worked 6 2/3 innings, surrenduring five hits and striking out six.  Brock Bond scored both runs for Missouri, and Evan Frey singled to bring Bond home for the winning run in the seventh.

The winner of Monday’s game will face Fullerton in super-regionals.

Chapel Hill Regional

Winthrop 5, UNC Wilmington 3 (UNC Wilmington eliminated)
North Carolina 14, Winthrop 2 (Winthrop eliminated; North Carolina wins regional)

• North Carolina advanced to its first super-regional since 2003 Sunday with  a 14-2 win over Winthrop in the Chapel Hill, N.C., regional, propelled by home runs from Jay Cox, Tim Federowicz, Josh Horton and Benji Johnson. Righthander Daniel Bard allowed two runs and struck out eight, giving him 235 career strikeouts and 23 career wins for North Carolina. Horton had four hits and four RBIs, while Federowicz and freshman Garrett Gore contributed three hits each.

Winthrop beat UNC Wilmington for the second time in the regional on Sunday afternoon, winning 5-3 before bowing in its rematch with the Tar Heels. North Carolina will face Alabama in super-regional play.

Tuscaloosa Regional

Troy 6, Southern Mississippi 5 (Southern Mississippi eliminated)
Alabama 14, Troy 5 (Troy eliminated; Alabama wins regional)

• Alabama catcher Kody Valverde continued his offensive power surge in Sunday’s 14-5 win over Troy, adding five hits to his regional performance and helping the Crimson Tide sweep through the Tuscaloosa, Ala., regional. Greg Paiml added a two-RBI single and three runs. Starter Bernard Robert went eight innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. 

Troy rallied from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Southern Mississippi 6-5 earlier on Sunday to advance to the regional championship against Alabama. Mike Felix and Josh Dew helped keep the Southern Mississippi bats in check, and Dew got his seventh save. The Trojans offense heated up with a four-run rally in the sixth, and Blake Green scored the winning run in the eighth on a two-out single.

Alabama will face North Carolina in next weekend’s super-regional.

Houston Regional

Rice 7, Baylor 2
Baylor 7, Arizona State 2 (Arizona State eliminated)

• Baylor advanced to the championship of the Houston regional against Rice with a 7-2 win against Arizona State on Sunday. Baylor shortstop Beamer Weems went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in the victory.  Starter Cory VanAllen went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) off five hits for Baylor, and reliever Jeff Mandel pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings for the save.

Rice defeated Baylor earlier on Sunday on the power of starting pitcher Eddie Degerman’s 14 strikeouts.  He surrendered five hits in eight innings, and the Rice offense gave Degerman a three-run cushion after the first inning. Tyler Henley went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Owls, and Joe Savery had two RBIs in the game.

With Rice undefeated in the regional, Baylor will have to beat the Owls twice on Monday to advance to super-regional play.

Norman Regional

Oklahoma 15, Texas Christian 6 (Texas Christian eliminated)
Oklahoma 12, Wichita State 7

• Oklahoma’s 12-7 victory against Wichita State on Sunday extended the Norman, Okla., regional to a decisive game between the two teams on Monday. Ryan Rohlinger contributed a season-high four hits, including a home run, to spark a four-run seventh inning for the Sooners. John Brownwell also pitched well, throwing 130 pitches in eight innings of relief. He allowed nine hits and five runs, struck out seven and walked two. The matchup between the two schools is made more intriguing because Gene Stephenson took the head coaching job at Oklahoma last winter, only to decide to return to Wichita State a couple of days later.

Oklahoma defeated Texas Christian earlier on Sunday 15-6, on the strength of a grand slam by Brandon Moss.  Kevin Smith, Kody Kaiser and Rohlinger also hit homers for the Sooners.

Charlottesville Regional

Evansville 15, Virginia 4 (Virginia eliminated)
Evansville 15, South Carolina 5

• With two 15-run outbursts on Sunday, third-seeded Evansville has put itself within one more win of taking the Charlottsville, Va. regional. After beating top-seeded Virginia 15-4 in the afternoon session, the Purple Aces topped undefeated South Carolina 15-5, led by Robbie Minor’s four RBIs.  After falling behind 3-0 early, the Aces jumped out for 12 runs in the third, knocking two Gamecock pitchers out of the game. The bats had remained hot from the first game, when Evansville battered Virginia freshman Jacob Thompson early to grab a lead it never surrendered.

Evansville and South Carolina now face off again on Monday to determine the winner of the regional.

Athens Regional

Georgia 15, Jacksonville 8 (Jacksonville eliminated)
Georgia 7, Florida State 1

• After losing to Florida State on Saturday, the host Georgia Bulldogs won two Sunday games in the Athens, Ga., regional, including a 7-1 rematch against the Seminoles, to force a decisive third game between the teams on Monday. Freshman Jason Leaver held Florida State to one run over five innings, while the offense scored five runs in the final three frames to put the game away. Georgia’s bats also keyed the 15-8 victory in the early game over Jacksonville, an attack led by Joey Side’s six RBIs.  

Lincoln Regional

Manhattan 6, San Francisco 4 (San Francisco eliminated)
Miami 10, Manhattan 4 (Manhattan eliminated; Miami wins regional)

• A complete game from Miami starter Scott Maine ended the Cinderella hopes of Manhattan on Sunday, as the Hurricanes won 10-4 to sweep through the Lincoln, Neb. regional. It’s Miami’s 13th straight regional title, and the Hurricanes will now take on Mississippi in super-regional play.

The Miami offense was paced by Jemile Weeks and Jon Jay, as the Canes rebounded from an early 4-3 deficit to win. Manhattan had earned a place in the evening game with a 6-4 win over San Francisco, capitalizing on four Dons errors to win. Crowds were light all day on Sunday following host Nebraska’s early exit from postseason play on Saturday.

Oxford Regional

Tulane 18, South Alabama 11 (South Alabama eliminated)
Mississippi 12, Tulane 4 (Tulane eliminated; Mississippi wins regional)

• Tulane did not have enough gas (or pitching) left in its tank late on Sunday, losing to Mississippi 12-4 as the Rebels captured the Oxford, Miss., regional. After freshman starter Lance Lynn allowed two runs in the first inning, he held the Green Wave scoreless in the next six, while his offense scored nine runs to assure a victory. Tulane couldn’t capitalize on big opportunities after dominating in the early game, a wild 18-11 win over South Alabama. Junior Mark Hamilton hit two home runs on Sunday, one in each game, to lead Tulane.  

With the win, Mississippi advances to a super-regional matchup against Miami.

Corvallis Regional

Hawaii 9, Kansas 5 (Kansas eliminated)
Oregon State 12, Hawaii 3 (Hawaii eliminated; Oregon State wins regional)

• Oregon State was all business on Sunday as the Beavers easily beat Hawaii 12-3 to sweep through the Corvallis, Ore., regional. The win capped off a dominant weekend for Oregon State in which it outscored its opponents 28-9. The Sunday victory was led by first baseman Bill Rowe, who collected six RBIs on two hits to eliminate the Rainbows. Hawaii had come back from an early 5-0 deficit in the first game to beat Kansas, thanks to a home run by right fielder Matt Inouye.

Oregon State now moves on to face Pacific-10 Conference rival Stanford in super-regionals.

Austin Regional

North Carolina State 6, Texas 3 (Texas eliminated)
Stanford 17, North Carolina State 7 (N.C. State eliminated; Stanford wins regional)

• For the second time in the Austin regional, the Stanford Cardinal beat North Carolina State, beating the Wolfpack 17-7 on Sunday to advance. The Cardinal averaged 12 runs a game in their undefeated run, and Sunday’s win was a group affair, as the first five hitters combined for 17 hits and 14 RBIs. N.C. State pulled a shocker in its first game on Sunday, eliminating host Texas with a 6-3 win. Gib Hobson pitched a complete game–on one day’s rest–in the Wolfpack’s win, while Jon Still provided offense in both games, collecting five RBIs on the day.

The Cardinal move on to play Oregon State in a West Coast super-regional clash.