Saturday Roundup: SEC Bounces Back

The Southeastern Conference’s 4-5 performance in regional openers Friday received plenty of attention, but the league had a much better Saturday, going 8-1. The only SEC team to lose in the second day of postseason action was Florida, which was eliminated from the Bloomington Regional. Not to be outdone, Atlantic Coast Conference teams went 7-1 Saturday, making them 12-4 overall in the tournament—and all eight are still alive.

Teams in the Pac-12 and Big West went a combined 7-0 Friday, but Saturday’s slate featured all three Big West teams facing off against Pac-12 powers, and the Pac-12 won two of them. The Pac-12 went 2-2 Saturday, as Oregon dropped its winners’ bracket game against Rice—just the second top seed to lose a game through two days of the tournament.

Overall, No. 1 seeds are 28-2, with 14 of the 16 top seeds sitting pretty at 2-0. We said in this week’s College Podcasts that we thought the top seeds were much stronger across the board than the other teams in most regionals, and we thought more No. 1s would win regionals this year than usual. So far, that prediction is looking strong. The only non-No. 1 seeds to go 2-0 so far are second-seeded Rice and second-seeded Oklahoma, in Eugene and Blacksburg, respectively. Just four No. 4 seeds remain alive (Columbia, Central Arkansas, Valparaiso, Connecticut).

It was a long day and night in Fullerton, so we’re going to let the game stories linked below suffice as roundups for three of the regionals our staffers covered in person (Chapel Hill, Fullerton and Raleigh).


Hosted by North Carolina (No. 1 national seed) • Boshamer Stadium • Chapel Hill, N.C.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Florida Atlantic 14, Canisius 6; Canisius eliminated | Florida Atlantic Eliminates Canisius
Game 4: North Carolina 8, Towson 5 | Plucky Towson Pushes Tar Heels

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Florida Atlantic vs. Towson, 1 p.m.
Game 6: North Carolina vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m.


Hosted by South Carolina • Carolina Stadium • Columbia, S.C.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Clemson 10, Saint Louis 2; Saint Louis eliminated
Game 4: South Carolina 19, Liberty 3

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Clemson vs. Liberty, 1 p.m.
Game 6: South Carolina vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games were lopsided in Columbia. Steve Wilkerson (2-for-5, 2 R, 5 RBI) doubled his season home run total entering the game by going deep twice in support of ace Daniel Gossett (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K), as Clemson stayed alive with a blowout of Saint Louis. In the second game, Kyle Martin (3-for-5, 3 R, 4 RBI, HR) led South Carolina’s 19-hit, three-homer barrage in support of Jordan Montgomery (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K), as South Carolina cruised to its 26th straight home win in postseason play (including a 15-0 mark at Carolina Stadium). South Carolina’s 19 runs were the second-most in a postseason game in school history, behind only the 21 runs it scored in 1998 against Florida Atlantic.


Hosted by Vanderbilt (No. 2 national seed) • Hawkins Field • Nashville

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Georgia Tech 5, East Tennessee State 1; East Tennessee State eliminated
Game 4: Vanderbilt 10, Illinois 4

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Georgia Tech vs. Illinois, 3 p.m.
Game 6: Vanderbilt vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m.

Buck Farmer (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K) was dominant, and the Yellow Jackets handed ETSU ace Kerry Doane (7 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) just his second loss of the season. In the nightcap, the top three hitters in Vanderbilt’s lineup—Tony Kemp, Xavier Turner and Mike Yastrzemski—went a combined 10-for-26 with eight runs, five RBIs, three doubles, a triple and three stolen bases to lead VU’s 17-hit barrage against Illinois. Carson Fulmer (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K) earned the win with sterling relief of Tyler Beede (4 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K).


Hosted by Louisville • Jim Patterson Stadium • Louisville

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Oklahoma State 7, Bowling Green 3; Bowling Green eliminated
Game 4: Louisville 6, Miami 4

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Oklahoma State vs. Miami, noon
Game 6: Louisville vs. Game 5 winner, 4 p.m.

Tanner Krietemeier and Randy McCurry had two RBIs apiece to lead the Oklahoma State offense in support of Tyler Nurdin (7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K), as the Cowboys staved off elimination. Miami’s Bryan Radziewski kept Louisville off the board until the seventh, when the Cardinals rallied for six runs, capped by Jeff Ratajczak’s three-run double. Jeff Thompson (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) was strong in a no-decision for Louisville, which held off Miami’s comeback bid in the eighth.


Hosted by Oregon State (No. 3 national seed) • Goss Stadium • Corvallis, Ore.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Texas A&M 6, UT San Antonio 1, UT San Antonio eliminated
Game 4: Oregon State 3, UC Santa Barbara 2

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Texas A&M vs. UC Santa Barbara, 3 p.m.
Game 6: Oregon State vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m.

Cole Lankford (5-for-5, R, 2 RBI, 2B) led Texas A&M’s 12-hit attack behind Parker Ray (8.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K), as the Aggies stayed alive. They earned a rematch Sunday against UC Santa Barbara, which gave Oregon State all it could handle but came up short, as the Beavers broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the ninth on Danny Hayes’ bases-loaded walk. OSU’s dynamite freshman righty, Andrew Moore (8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K), improved to 13-1 on the season. The game drew a Goss Stadium-record crowd of 3,535.


Hosted by Kansas State • Tointon Family Stadium • Manhattan, Kan.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Arkansas 3, Wichita State 1; Wichita State eliminated
Game 4: Kansas State 7, Bryant 1

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Arkansas vs. Bryant, 3 p.m.
Game 6: Kansas State vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m.

Six Razorbacks recorded two-hit games in support of Ryne Stanek (7.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 3 K), as Arkansas knocked out Wichita State. The Hogs will get another crack at Bryant, as Kansas State broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by Jared King’s two-run double. Senior lefty Joe Flattery (5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) was a big key for K-State in the postseason, and he delivered a strong outing Saturday. Nate Williams and Jake Matthys followed with a combined four innings of one-hit, shutout relief.


Hosted by Louisiana State • Alex Box Stadium • Baton Rouge, La.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Louisiana-Lafayette 15, Jackson State 1; Jackson State eliminated
Game 4: LSU 8, Sam Houston State 5

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Sam Houston State, 3 p.m.
Game 6: LSU vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m.

Louisiana-Lafayette’s fearsome offense busted out with 15 runs on 19 hits Saturday, led by three apiece from Dex Kjerstad, Tyler Girouard and Chase Compton. Cajuns ace Austin Robichaux (8 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) was strong. LSU’s day got off to an inauspicious start, as the Tigers made three errors in Sam Houston State’s five-run first inning, making Aaron Nola throw more than 40 pitches in the frame. But Nola (7 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) settled down and blanked the Bearkats thereafter, and LSU chased Caleb Smith (2.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB) in the third, then erased a 5-4 deficit with four runs in the eighth. Alex Bregman, who was questionable for the game after colliding with Raph Rhymes on Friday, went 3-for-6 with two runs, a double and an RBI to lead the LSU offense, making up for his two errors. The Tigers might be college baseball’s best defensive team, but they had to overcome five errors Saturday.


Hosted by Virginia Tech • English Field • Blacksburg, Va.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Virginia Tech 9, Coastal Carolina 1; Coastal Carolina eliminated
Game 4: Oklahoma 5, Connecticut 3, 12 innings

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Virginia Tech vs. Connecticut, 1 p.m.
Game 6: Oklahoma vs. Game 5 winner, 5:30 p.m.

Mark Zagunis (4-for-5, 3 RBI) and Andrew Rash (3-for-5, HR, 3 RBI) led Virginia Tech’s 14-hit attack in support of a dominant Devin Burke (9 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), as the Hokies broke open a close game in the late innings to eliminate Coastal Carolina. In the second game, UConn scored a run in the eighth to tie it, but Oklahoma won it with two runs in the 12th, as Max White delivered an RBI triple and scored. Dillon Overton (5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER) was solid in a no-decision for OU, which got strong relief work from Kyle Hayes (2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R).


Hosted by Cal State Fullerton (No. 5 national seed) • Goodwin Field • Fullerton, Calif.

Saturday, June 1

Game 3: Columbia 6, New Mexico 5, 13 innings; New Mexico eliminated | Frantic Comeback Helps Columbia Stun New Mexico

Game 4: Cal State Fullerton 1, Arizona State 0 | Garza’s Gem Leads Titans To Late-Night Win Over Devils

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Columbia vs. Game 4 loser, 7 p.m.
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 11 p.m.


Hosted by UCLA • Jackie Robinson Stadium • Los Angeles

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: San Diego 6, San Diego State 3; San Diego State eliminated
Game 4: UCLA 6, Cal Poly 4

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: San Diego vs. Game 4 loser, 5 p.m.
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 9 p.m.

San Diego overcame an early 2-0 deficit by capitalizing on two walks, two errors and a hit batsman to score five runs in the fifth, and Dylan Covey (7.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) turned in a strong start, as the Toreros eliminated their crosstown rivals. In the nightcap, Cal Poly built a 4-0 lead through four innings against Nick Vander Tuig (6 IP, 9 H, 4 ER), and Poly’s Matt Imhoff (5.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) carried a no-hitter into the sixth, but the Bruins busted out with four runs in the sixth to tie it, capped by Kevin Williams’ three-run triple. UCLA added two more in the sixth against Cal Poly stopper Reed Reilly, and Bruins relievers James Kaprielian and David Berg nailed down the win by combining to work three perfect innings, striking out six.


Hosted by Virginia (No. 6 national seed) • Davenport Field • Charlottesville, Va.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: UNC Wilmington 9, Army 5; Army eliminated
Game 4: Virginia 2, Elon 0

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: UNC Wilmington vs. Elon, 1 p.m.
Game 6: Virginia vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m.

UNC Wilmington jumped out to a 9-1 lead through four innings and cruised to a 9-5 win. Matt Keeler (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI) led UNCW’s balanced 16-hit attack, and the Seahawks ended the game with a strike-’em-out, tag-’em-out, tag-’em-out triple play. In the second game, Virginia won another tight, low-scoring affair, as Kenny Towns and Nate Irving drove in both Virginia runs in the fourth inning. Scott Silverstein (6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K) and two relievers combined on an eight-hit shutout.


Hosted by Mississippi State • Dudy Noble Field • Starkville, Miss.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Central Arkansas 5, Mercer 4; Mercer eliminated
Game 4: Mississippi State 6, South Alabama 2

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Central Arkansas vs. South Alabama, 3 p.m.
Game 6: Mississippi State vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m.

Central Arkansas built a 3-1 lead when play was delayed one hour, 15 minutes by rain in the fifth inning, then tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Mercer rallied back with three in the seventh and another in the ninth to force extra innings, but Jonathan Davis scored the winning run on a throwing error by Mercer right fielder C.J. Reed in the 11th. It was an ironic and cruel end to the season for Mercer, which led the nation with a .982 fielding percentage heading into the tournament. Central Arkansas registered the first NCAA tournament win in program history, earning it a rematch Sunday against South Alabama, which built a 2-0 lead against Mississippi State through four innings Saturday but could not hold on. The Bulldogs stormed ahead with four runs in the fifth, highlighted by Brett Pirtle’s go-ahead two-run single, and Ross Mitchell (5.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K) improved to 12-0 with characteristically stellar relief work.


Hosted by Florida State (No. 7 national seed) • Dick Howser Stadium • Tallahassee, Fla.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Alabama 3, Savannah State 2; Savannah State eliminated
Game 4: Florida State 11, Troy 0

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Alabama vs. Troy
Game 6: Florida State vs. Game 5 winner, 5 p.m.

Alabama knocked out Savannah State 3-2 behind Mike Oczypok (7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K). The Tigers made things interesting in the eighth, scoring two runs and putting the tying run on third base with one out, but a poorly executed squeeze resulted in Jason Wynn getting thrown out at the plate, preserving Alabama’s lead. Florida State broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the fifth and piled on with six in the ninth to beat Troy. Luke Weaver (8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 14 K) was masterful for the Seminoles, who rapped out 11 hits and drew eight walks.


Hosted by Indiana • Bart Kaufman Field • Bloomington, Ind.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Valparaiso 5, Florida 4; Florida eliminated
Game 4: Indiana 15, Austin Peay 6

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Valparaiso vs. Austin Peay, 1 p.m.
Game 6: Indiana vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m.

Valparaiso overcame a 4-1 hole with four runs in the seventh to eliminate Florida. The Gators out-hit the Crusaders 13-6, but Valpo took advantage of three walks (two with the bases loaded) and an error in the fateful seventh. In the winners’ bracket game, Kyle Schwarber, Sam Travis, Scott Donley and Michael Basil combined for eight hits, seven runs and 14 RBIs to power Indiana to a 15-6 thrashing of Austin Peay.


Hosted by Oregon (No. 8 national seed) • PK Park • Eugene, Ore.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: San Francisco 4, South Dakota State 3, 13 innings; South Dakota State eliminated
Game 4: Rice 1, Oregon 0

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: San Francisco vs. Oregon, 3 p.m.
Game 6: Rice vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m.

San Francisco stayed alive with a white-knuckle, 13-inning victory against gritty South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits tied it up with a run in the eighth, and the teams exchanged runs in the 10th to keep the game going. USF finally took the lead for good with a run in the 13th on a sacrifice fly. In the late game, Rice’s Jordan Stephens (9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K) turned in a masterpiece to out-duel Tommy Thorpe (7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). The Owls scored their only run on Shane Hoelscher’s RBI double in the first.


Hosted by North Carolina State • Doak Field • Raleigh, N.C.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Mississippi 8, Binghamton 4; Binghamton eliminated | Bobby Wahl Keeps Ole Miss Alive
Game 4: N.C. State 1, William & Mary 0 | Carlos Rodon Answers The Bell For Wolfpack

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Mississippi vs. William & Mary, 1 p.m.
Game 6: N.C. State vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m.