Sorenson: Sunday Regional AccoladesColumns
Oh, this is getting good people. Good indeed. We are now officially 11/16ths of the way through the Regionals and we have programs like Stetson, Washington and Minnesota joining such blue bloods as Vanderbilt, Oregon State, Texas Tech, North Carolina, Auburn, Arkansas, Texas and Cal State Fullerton stepping forward in the pursuit of Omaha.
Day three of the regional round saw 32 more games (give or take, depending on what Mother Nature treated us) and also saw 29 teams pack up their bags and head home for the offseason. Additionally, we’ve also got some teams moving on. With tonight’s late games finally complete, here are the teams that went 3-0 in their Regionals and will be moving on to the Super Regionals next week…
SUPER REGIONAL BOUND:
After wins tonight, we’ll see you guys next week…
All hail the Dawgs, man. This was an impressive weekend performance for the Grunge-boys, who plated 27 runs in their three-game sweep of the Regional. Their reward will be that they will play a Super Regional in their own time zone, at either Stanford or Cal State Fullerton.
Former Maine head coach Steve Trimper is in just his second year in DeLand and he’s already got his program in the Super Regionals. And just like Washington above, they dominated, outscoring their opponents 29-7.
The Dores dominated Clemson, including the Super-cementing 19-6 rout, where they held DeShaun Watson to 78 yards passing and sacked him eight times. This is the seventh time in the last nine seasons that the Anchor Down boys are heading to the Super Regionals.
This was the least-surprising 2-seed to win a Regional. Yes, I called it when I saw the brackets released. Now, the Tigers make their first Super Regional appearance since 1999, the first year of the field of 64 format. Also, it looks very likely that they’ll face off with No. 1 Florida, where they lost two of three in late April.
– Texas Tech
How impressive is Tim Tadlock as the head coach of the Red Raiders? This will be the third year in his tenure that he’ll have a team headed to the Super Regionals. The previous two trips ended up in a visit to Omaha. But this one will the first Super to come on the road.
– North Carolina
It seems weird that the Tar Heels haven’t won a Regional since 2013, but here we are. The Heels had a few hairy moments but ended up going 3-and-0, including two epic wins over visiting Houston. The Heels certainly have already made amends for losing to Davidson last season… but they want more.
Boy, did John Anderson deserve this. The longtime head coach of the Gophers was actually a pitcher on the last team to win a Regional, which came in 1977 when his teammate Paul Molitor was an All American infielder. Now, unfortunately, the Gophers have to make it through Oregon State in order to make it to Omaha.
The Hogs are bad. And I mean bad in a good way. Sure they had a little bit of a panic against Dallas Baptist in the Regional final, but this is a team that could easily be a second-week-in-Omaha-type of team.
– Cal State Fullerton
How can we ever doubt these guys? Even in seasons where they don’t seem all that good, they make it to the Round of 16. They have now reached the Super Regional round for the 14th time, second-most to Florida State’s 16 Supers visits. How about that? Tanner Bibee and Blake Workman combined for 15 strikeouts in the 5-2 win over Stanford.
The Longhorns had to hold off a bases-loaded ninth inning to beat Indiana 3-2 and now advance to their 10th Super Regional in program history and their first under David Pierce. More than likely they’ll face off with Ole Miss in Oxford and have a huge rematch of the 2005 Super Regional. But boy howdy, the Rebs are still peaved about losing that series.
– Oregon State
The Beavers apparently like when the selection committee sends an SEC team to their house. This is the fourth time an SEC team has been sent to Corvallis for the Regional or Super Regional finals and they’ve won all four matchups. In the two games vs. LSU this weekend OSU outscored LSU 26-1.
THE FIVE REGIONALS STILL ALIVE
Here are the Regional finals that will take place on Monday…
– Duke at Georgia, Athens Regional.
The Devils will need to go down to Georgia and win twice.
– Florida Atlantic at Florida, Gainesville Regional.
The Owls will need a miracle (to win twice) to beat the Gators.
– UNC Wilmington vs. South Carolina, Greenville Regional.
UNCW upset the host East Carolina and will need two wins to beat the Gamecocks.
– Tennessee Tech at Ole Miss, Oxford Regional
The only hope the Eagles have here is to turn this into an offensive onslaught. Slug-in, slug-out.
– Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma, Tallahassee Regional
Two blowouts, one by each team. This is going to be an epic third game, man.
IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING, PART 1.
Here are the teams who lost winner’s bracket games Saturday night and had to make quick turnarounds to play an elimination game early today… and how they fared.
– overall record in early games: 7-7
Houston, 8-4 vs. Purdue
Clemson, 9-8 vs. St. John’s
LSU, 9-5 vs. Northwestern State.
Oklahoma State, 6-1 vs. South Florida
Louisville, 12-6 vs. Kent State
UCLA, 10-4 vs. Gonzaga
Stanford, 4-2 vs. Baylor
Texas A&M, lost 9-7 vs. Indiana
Coastal Carolina, lost 6-5 vs. UConn
Southern Miss, lost 9-4 vs. Dallas Baptist
Jacksonville, lost 12-7 vs. FAU
East Carolina, lost 9-7 vs. UNC Wilmington (though the game was delayed till late Sunday)
Army, lost 11-1 vs. North Carolina State
Samford, lost 9-8 vs. Mississippi State
IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING, PART 2.
Here are the teams who pulled off two wins in one day Sunday, forcing game sevens on Monday:
– Mississippi State.
Yep, the Bulldogs are the only program to win twice on Day 3 of the Regionals and force a game seven tomorrow. The cardiac Bulldogs barely escaped a nip-and-tuck contest with Samford, which ended in a 9-8 win and then went on to rout Oklahoma 13-5 to force a winner-take-all game seven on Monday.
So even though the Bulldogs were the only team to win twice on Monday, just to contrast this, last year’s Regionals saw seven teams win two games on Regional Sunday and extend the season to Monday. And of those seven, five ended up advancing to the Supers. Only Arkansas and Bethune-Cookman did not move on.
– Connor Kaiser, Vanderbilt
Coming into today the Commodore four-hole hitter had four home runs in his entire career. Today, the boy hit THREE in the 19-6 rout of Clemson. He hit a grand slam, a three-run job and a two-run dinger as part of a 4-for-7 day and good for 10 RBI. Those 10 RBIs ties the record for most RBI in an NCAA tournament game. Holy Toledo.
THE NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME PLAYERS:
As Mike Rooney said from the Bases Loaded studio it just seems like Vanderbilt has Clemson’s number. No two ways about it. But today was ridiculous. The Commodores didn’t just beat the Tigers, they whipped like they were Ringling Brothers Circus cruelly trying to train them. The Dores hit nine home runs. NINE. That’s an NCAA Tournament record too. My gawd. Also, this is the third straight home Regional loss for the Tigers.
FIRST PITCH OF THE DAY:
– 9:04am Pacific Time in the Georgia-Troy game from the Athens Regional.
LAST PITCH OF THE DAY:
– 12:16am Eastern Time in the LSU-Oregon State game from the Corvallis Regional.
– Austin Regional.
At 4:20pm it was 100º with a heat index of 109º.
But Austin just barely edged both Gainesville and Tallahassee in the misery meter since those two only had highs of 92º and 95º respectively but their heat indexes both reached 105º. And you know how McKethan Stadium has zero shade for the fans.
– At 9:16pm Pacific time it was 57º in Corvallis at the end of the LSU-OSU game.
As if the 12-0 arse-whippin’ wasn’t enough of a pain to the Tiger fans, can you just image how cold those thin-blooded Louisianans were in the stands at Goss Stadium?
BIGGEST MOTHER NATURE JERK MOMENT:
– End of North Carolina-Houston game.
We got down to the bases-loaded, two out, 3-and-2 count in the 8th inning and then… lightning delay! Coach Mike Fox was freakin’ livid. Aw hell, all of college baseball was completely livid. But worry not coach Fox, your boys came alive when the game resumed to take a 19-11 win and another Regional title.
THE DREADED RAIN DELAY AWARD:
– The Gainesville Regional.
Only one game got completed today as FAU downed Jacksonville 12-7, but that included a five-hour, 32-minute weather delay which lasted most of the day. The Owls raced out to a 12-0 lead and then held on, even with the lengthy delay.
Okay StitchHeads, that’s enough for today. More again tomorrow when we finish up the regional round and head toward the round of 16.