Oregon State, Louisville and Texas A&M finished super-regional sweeps today and became the first three teams to clinch spots in the College World Series.
The Beavers, the No. 1 national seed and the best team in the country all season, defeated Vanderbilt 9-2 and will return to the CWS in Omaha, Neb., for the first time since 2013. Former Punahou star KJ Harrison hit his second three-run homer in two games.
Louisville will make its third appearance in five years after a 6-2 win over Kentucky and the Aggies their first since 2011 after they erased a four-run deficit and ended Davidson’s surprising NCAA Tournament run with a 12-6 victory.
Cal State Fullerton beat Long Beach State 12-0 to even their best-of-three series and force a Game 3 to decide which team goes to the CWS.
In super-regional openers, Ryan Larson’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 11th inning gave No. 3 Florida a 2-1 win over Wake Forest; Florida State defeated Sam Houston State 7-6 on Jackson Lueck’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth; Evan Skoug’s two-run homer in the eighth lifted No. 6 TCU past Missouri State 3-2; and No. 4 LSU scored four times in the eighth to beat Mississippi State 4-3.
Oregon State’s Bryce Fehmel, making his first start since May 6, limited Vanderbilt to five hits in a complete game and outdueled possible No. 1 draft pick Kyle Wright in Corvallis, Ore.
In Louisville, Drew Ellis homered twice and Brendan McKay scattered eight hits and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings against Kentucky. The seventh-seeded Cardinals set a school record with their 52nd win, breaking the record by the 2013 team, and will come to Omaha for the fourth time in 11 years.
In College Station, Texas, the Aggies continued their postseason surge. They were one of the last four at-large teams selected for the national tournament but are 5-0 so far. Davidson, the No. 4 regional seed that knocked off No. 2 national seed North Carolina twice in regionals, led 6-2 before A&M scored seven times in the top of the eighth.
The go-ahead run scored in the eighth when second baseman Alec Acosta and third baseman Eric Jones collided trying to catch a two-out pop-up behind the pitcher’s mound. Two runs came home as the ball popped out of Acosta’s glove.
In Long Beach, Calif., John Gavin allowed seven hits in his first complete game and Fullerton’s Chris Hudgins homered and drove in four runs.
Larson, playing for the first time since getting hit in the head by a pitch May 26 in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, delivered Florida’s first walk-off victory of the season when he sent a ball up the middle with two outs in the 11th. The game in Gainesville, Florida, was delayed four hours starting in the fourth inning because of storms.
Lueck’s game-winning single in Tallahassee, Fla., continued his hot streak in the national tournament. He had a career-high four hits against the Bearkats and is 10 for 24 with eight RBIs the last six games.
In Fort Worth, Texas, Jared Janczak struck out 10 over 6 1/3 strong innings for TCU, and Skoug’s homer moved the Horned Frogs within one win of advancing to the CWS for the fourth straight year.
Alex Lange struck out 10 and limited Mississippi State to three hits in 7 2/3 innings, and Michael Papierski’s sacrifice fly brought in the tiebreaking run as LSU won in Baton Rouge, La.
A look around the country:
Sam Houston State turned what’s believed to be the first triple play in program history in the third inning against Florida State. With runners on first and second, Quincy Nieporte hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Taylor Beene. Beene stepped on the bag and threw to second baseman Lance Miles, who made the relay to first in plenty of time to get Nieporte. It was the 14th triple play in Division I this season.
Florida pitchers Alex Faedo, Brady Singer and Michael Byrne combined to strike out 23, the most since TCU struck out 25 against Texas A&M in a 16-inning super-regional game in 2015. Florida and Wake Forest had a total of 37 Ks.
TITAN OF A PITCHER
Gavin, Fullerton’s 6-foot-6, 250-pound left-hander, continues to be one of the nation’s hottest pitchers. Gavin has surrendered just two runs over 27 1/3 innings over four starts.
IT’S ABOUT TIME
Jeremy Eierman’s fourth home run of the tournament for Missouri State was the first one allowed in 78 innings by Janczak. The Horned Frogs’ sophomore has given up five homers in 159 career innings.
CELEBRATION, TAKE TWO
Louisville players were hugging each other, throwing gloves in the air and spraying Gatorade right after reliever Sam Bordner stepped on first base for what appeared to be the final out against Kentucky. Not so fast. The Wildcats’ Tristan Pompey was ruled safe because of a throwing error by first baseman Drew Ellis that drew Bordner off the bag. Bordner then got Evan White to fly out, and Cardinals got to do the obligatory dogpiles for real.