2023 College Baseball Conference Tournament Roundup (May 24)

Image credit: Brayden Taylor (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)

Here’s a look at what happened in college baseball conference tournaments on Wednesday.


It has been a relatively quiet day in the ACC to this point, but Pittsburgh beat Notre Dame, 9-5, in what was a far more notable result for the Fighting Irish than it was for the Panthers. Notre Dame was a “bubbly” team coming into the conference tournament, but it may be sitting on the wrong side of it after the loss. It stands at 30-23 overall and 15-15 in the ACC, and its metrics aren’t exactly eye-popping with an RPI of 53, an abysmal non-conference SOS of 275 and a sub-.500 record against RPI top-50 teams. The Fighting Irish have one last chance to strengthen their resume tomorrow against No. 1 Wake Forest (45-9, 22-7). 

For Pittsburgh, it must win the conference tournament to sneak its way into the Field of 64. The Panthers belted five home runs on the day, but Noah Martinez‘s go-ahead, three-run shot in the third inning proved to be the difference-maker.

Virginia continued to strengthen its case for a top-eight national seed with a 15-1 run-rule win over Georgia Tech. Nine different Cavalier hitters had at least one hit, while seven different batters drove in at least one run. Projected top-20 overall draft pick Kyle Teel led the way, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBIs. 


No. 7 Clemson boosted its case for a top-eight national seed on Wednesday night by dispatching of Virginia Tech, 14-5. Caden Grice led the way with his 15th homer of the season as part of a four-RBI day.

Big East

No. 23 Connecticut dispatched of Georgetown, 5-4, to advance to the winner’s bracket of the four-team tournament. The Huskies trailed 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning but used a pair of RBI singles courtesy of Dominic Freeberger and Jake Studley to take the lead for good.


Zack Fogell turned in three innings out of the bullpen, allowing one earned run and striking out three.

Big 12

Much like the regular season, the Big 12 conference tournament has already had its fair share of chaos in just the first day. Texas Christian earlier demolished Kansas State, 16-3, behind Brayden Taylor‘s 3-for-5 day in which he doubled twice, homered and drove in six runs.


Between its series win last weekend over Kansas State and today’s victory, the Horned Frogs are pretty safely on the right side of the bubble. As for Kansas State,  it has some work to do to play its way back into the Field of 64. The Wildcats’ RPI is a modest 56, and similar to Notre Dame their non-conference strength of schedule (154) and record against RPI top-50 teams (11-13) are pretty big dings against their tournament resume. Kansas State must make a run out of the loser’s bracket to breathe new life into its tournament hopes.

Kansas doubled up No. 13 Texas, 6-3, to send the Longhorns to the loser’s bracket. With the score tied at two in the seventh inning, Janson Reeder crushed a go-ahead grand slam to give the Jayhawks the lead for good. 


Texas is safely in the tournament, but its hosting aspirations took a serious hit as its RPI sunk to 26. The Longhorns will need to win the conference tournament to have any chance of hosting at this point.

Oklahoma took down two-seed Oklahoma State, 9-5, in what was a big win for the Sooners’ resume. Between a top-35 RPI, 13 wins against RPI top-50 teams and a strong non-conference strength of schedule (21), Oklahoma is in a solid spot as far as making the tournament goes. As for Oklahoma State, it feels like the Cowboys will have to make a run out of the loser’s bracket to get back into the hosting conversation. Their RPI of 24 has them on the outside looking in, and even a conference championship might not make the Cowboys a lock for a top-16 seed. 

The game itself was without a ton of fanfare, as Oklahoma jumped out to a 7-0 lead thanks to a trio of RBI singles, a pair of sacrifice flies and a run coming across on a wild pitch. Freshman Easton Carmichael had a nice day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Dakota Harris drove in a pair of runs. Carter Campbell was fantastic out of the bullpen, allowing one earned run on three hits across four innings pitched to close the game. Oklahoma Thursday takes on Texas Tech, while Oklahoma State has a tough matchup with West Virginia.


In the night cap, Texas Tech soundly beat West Virginia 6-2 thanks to solo home runs by Gavin Kash and Austin Green, a two-RBI day from Nolen Hester and a perfect 3-for-3 performance from catcher Hudson White. The Red Raiders were in control of this one from the first pitch to the final out and like Oklahoma, should feel pretty good about their tournament resume after the key win. As for West Virginia, its RPI fell to 22 and is on the wrong side of the hosting bubble at this point. The only real path for the Mountaineers to host is if they were to come out of the loser’s bracket and take home the conference title. West Virginia and Oklahoma State are in a nearly identical spot, so tomorrow’s game between the two should help make the Big 12 hosting picture a bit more clear. 

Conference USA

The C-USA has delivered the upset of the day to this point, as No. 7 seed Middle Tennessee State defeated No. 2 seed Texas-San Antonio, 5-1. DJ Wright (2-for-4, three RBIs) and JT Mabry (1-for-3) each hit home runs, while junior Eriq Swan was excellent in his start. Swan fired six innings, allowed only one earned run on three hits and struck out nine. With the loss, UTSA is now in the loser’s bracket, and it must run the table in order to make the NCAA Tournament.


Pac 12

Arizona and No. 17 Oregon State faced off earlier in what was a roller coaster of a game. Oregon State jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first, but Arizona’s Chase Davis cut the lead in half with one swing of the bat, sending a no-doubt home run way over the wall in right field. 


It was a back-and-forth game until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Arizona exploded for six runs to take a 12-8 lead, with the big blow being a Kiko Romero three-run home run.


Oregon State scored two runs in both the seventh and eighth inning to tie the game, but Romero again came through in the clutch as he delivered a walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth to lift Arizona to a 13-12 win. 


While it was a tough loss for the Beavers, they are safely in the tournament. As for eighth-seeded Arizona, it will need to win the Pac-12 tournament to sneak its way into the tournament. Certainly a difficult task, but the Wildcats are playing their best baseball of the season and have won six of their last seven games. 


The SEC Tournament is a spectacle unto itself each year, with plenty of high-end draft talent and marquee matchups. No. 5 Louisiana State this morning took care of No. 22 South Carolina, 10-3. Thatcher Hurd turned in his second consecutive strong outing, allowing three earned runs across 5.1 innings with four strikeouts. Hurd was cruising through five innings before a rough start to the sixth inflated his stat line. Nate Ackenhausen was lights-out in relief with six strikeouts across 3.2 shutout innings. Getting Ackenhausen back healthy to anchor the back end of the LSU bullpen will be a huge key as it heads into postseason play.


It was a balanced attack offensively for the Tigers, who had eight different hitters record at least one hit. 

For South Carolina, it is in a decent spot as far as hosting is concerned, but it will need to beat Texas A&M in Thursday’s elimination game to feel confident. 

Speaking of Texas A&M, it lost 6-5 to No. 3 Arkansas in a hard-fought, 11-inning game. The Aggies led 4-1 in the seventh inning, but Jared Wegner, in his first game back from injury, hit a go-ahead grand slam to give the Razorbacks a 5-4 lead.  


The Aggies tied the game at five in the ninth inning thanks to an Austin Bost solo home run, which is where the score would stay until the bottom of the 11th inning. Kendall Diggs this season has come through time and time again with clutch hits, and today he added another one with a walkoff home run in the 11th inning. 


The 11-inning thriller between Texas A&M and Arkansas was going to be tough to top, but Alabama and No. 2 Florida did just that. The Gators got out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a Josh Rivera two-run home run, but the Tide responded with three unanswered runs, with the big blow being a Colby Shelton home run, to take a 3-2 lead into the later innings. 


Florida tied the game in the eighth inning after Michael Robertson laid down a bunt and Dale Thomas came all the way around from first to score after an errant throw. 


The game would remain tied until the top of the 11th inning, when veteran outfielder Tommy Seidl laced a go-ahead, bases-clearing double over the head of Tyler Shelnut in right field. 


While Alabama seemed to have taken control of the game and was on its way to a big-time win, Florida was able to rally for four runs in the bottom half of the inning to stun the Crimson Tide. Josh Rivera hit an RBI single and just three pitches later BT Riopelle belted a walkoff, three-run home run to dead center. 

Not a whole lot changed as far as tournament implications are concerned as Florida is still comfortably a top-eight national seed and Alabama, with its RPI of 11 and 17 quad-one wins, is in a strong spot to host as well. 

No. 6 Vanderbilt defeated No. 20 Auburn, 6-4, to close out what was an incredibly exciting day in Hoover. It was a close game until the seventh inning, but Davis Diaz delivered his second RBI single of the game to extend the Commodores’ lead to 4-2. Vanderbilt would tack on two more runs in the eighth thanks to a Jonathan Vastine RBI single and Calvin Hewett sacrifice fly. Auburn made it interesting in the ninth after Bryson Ware walloped a two-run home run to cut the four-run lead in half, but Patrick Reilly proceeded to set down the next three Auburn hitters in order to seal a key victory for the Commodores. Both Vanderbilt and Auburn are in a great position to host, with the Commodores being in a prime position to secure a top-eight national seed. Auburn Thursday takes on rival Alabama in the baseball version of the Iron Bowl, while Vanderbilt clashes with Florida in what has the potential to be an instant classic. 


In the Southland Conference, No. 6 seed McNeese State and No. 1 seed Nicholls played a 14-inning marathon. The game was tied at two in the sixth inning and stayed that way until Edgar Alvarez’s walkoff single won it for the Colonels in the bottom of the 14th inning. 


In the WAC, No. 2 seed Sam Houston State needed a walkoff grand slam from Justin Wishkoski to defeat five-seed Abilene Christian 11-7 in 11 innings. ACU scored two runs in the seventh inning to tie the game at seven, which was where the score stood until Wishkoski’s extra-inning heroics. 


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