Florida, Texas, Texas Tech, Arkansas make College World Series
June 20, 2018 | 81° | Check Traffic

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Florida, Texas, Texas Tech, Arkansas make College World Series

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Florida’s Jonathan India hit a home run against Auburn during the first inning.

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Defending national champion Florida, Texas, Texas Tech and Arkansas won their winner-take-all games in the NCAA Tournament best-of-three super regionals today and are headed to the College World Series.

The No. 1 national seed Gators beat Auburn 3-2 in 11 innings in Gainesville, Florida, when Austin Langworthy’s deep drive to right field glanced off Steven Williams’ glove and went over the fence for a walk-off home run.

Kody Clemens homered for a third straight game and fill-in starter Matteo Bocchi held Tennessee Tech to one run in a career-high five innings as the Longhorns locked up their NCAA record-extending 36th CWS appearance with a 5-2 win in Austin.

Texas Tech’s Gabe Holt, Brian Klein and Michael Davis homered, and the Red Raiders beat Duke 6-2 in Lubbock Texas, for their third trip in five years to the CWS in Omaha, Nebraska.

Arkansas’ Carson Shaddy hit a three-run homer in a five-run first inning, and the Razorbacks reached the CWS for the first time since 2015 with a 14-4 win over South Carolina in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Florida, in the CWS for the fourth straight year, prevailed in what turned into a duel between relievers Michael Byrne and Auburn’s Davis Daniel. Byrne pitched four innings, allowed one hit and struck out five. Daniel threw 5 1/3 innings of one-hit ball with six strikeouts.

Cody Greenhill entered with one out in the bottom of the 10th and faced Langworthy, who homered off him Sunday, to start the 11th. Langworthy connected on a 1-2 fastball, and it appeared Williams would make the catch, but the ball went off his glove and out.

“I just saw a pitch up and I happened to get good barrel to it and I saw it go out of the yard,” Langworthy said, “and I was stoked to put my team back to Omaha for the second straight year for me.”

Texas’ Bocchi was called on to make his fourth start of the season because the team’s No. 3 starter, Blair Henley, was unavailable after throwing three innings of relief Sunday.

David Pierce is taking the Longhorns to Omaha in his second year as coach after spending the previous five seasons at Tulane and Sam Houston State.

“It’s never been about me and it never will be, but the thing that I loved is I told these guys back in the fall I want this for you guys,” Pierce said. “But I also want it for those three coaches who have been with me for seven years. To watch all that happen today was really, really special, and I’m just so proud of our team.

“I’ve said before, we’re not always pretty; a lot of times we’re ugly. But we just figure out how to keep playing, and that’s what’s so special about this group.”

Texas Tech’s Josh Jung went 4 for 5 and Holt, the Big 12 freshman of the year, continued his postseason tear by going 2 for 4. Holt finished the super regional 7 for 12.

John McMillon and Dylan Dusek combined to pitch three innings of shutout relief, with McMillon getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth with the Red Raiders holding a 4-2 lead.

Arkansas beat up on South Carolina pitching, converting 11 hits and six walks into its highest run total since hanging 17 on Florida on March 24. Eric Cole went 3 for 3 with a homer and double, Luke Bonfield was 3 for 4 with four RBIs, and five Arkansas pitchers limited the Gamecocks to six hits.

CWS OPENERS

Games Saturday:

North Carolina (43-18) vs. Oregon State (49-10-1): Tar Heels are 1-4 all-time vs. the Beavers; all five meetings in 2006-07 CWS finals.

Washington (35-24) vs. Mississippi State (37-27): Bulldogs are 4-1 vs. Huskies; last meeting in 1998.

Games Sunday:

Texas (42-21) vs. Arkansas (44-19): Longhorns are 54-30 vs. their old Southwest Conference rival but lost two in Fayetteville in March.

Texas Tech (44-18) vs. Florida (47-19): Tech won 3-2 in the 2016 CWS in the teams’ only meeting.

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