Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas (Mandy Sorenson)

SHARE

On The Mark: Running Super Regional Roundup

Roundup

Want to get in-depth coverage? Subscribe to D1Baseball


Monday 7:45 PM CT

Super Regional Final Thoughts

So what will we remember when we look back at the 2019 super regionals?

I think it starts with Mike Martin’s run through a second SEC venue, arguably the toughest, on Florida State’s run to Omaha. The Seminoles were one of the final teams invited to the field of 64 and now they are one of eight left standing with a chance to win the title. Sitting in front of them is yet another SEC power Arkansas with ace Isaiah Campbell looming. However, if FSU can rough up Georgia and Emerson Hancock, they can beat anyone.

Kumar Rocker’s dominance isn’t going to be forgotten. The freshman got the ball the day after Duke pounded Vandy’s former unbeaten ace Drake Fellows and demolished the ‘Dores 18-5. Facing elimination, all Rocker did was flip a curve ball that the Blue Devils couldn’t take and couldn’t hit (Doesn’t leave many other options, huh?). He nailed down a complete game no-hitter. And perhaps just as impressively, he struck out nineteen. Put the two together and you have one helluva night no one will forget. Now, what does he do for an encore in Omaha?

UCLA did not lose a series all season. They likely exhaled when instead of conference nemesis and defending national champion Oregon State, they drew a Michigan team that was an NCAA bubble team. No one told Michigan that they couldn’t hang with the top ranked Bruins. Their pitching kept UCLA’s lineup at bay throughout the series. And this wasn’t a case of Michigan playing over their heads with a perfect weekend. They made their share of defensive gaffes but their offense and pitching overcame them. For UCLA, it is one of those seasons where they will regret not getting to match up with the other top ranked squads in Omaha. In this sport, you don’t have to be the best all season. Once you get in the postseason, it only matters who is the best that day.

We have been wondering what the new Dudy Noble Field would look for a Mississippi State super regional. We got it and y’all, no one was disappointed. The packed stadium looked and sounded like concert (not that bully Justin Bieber, either) as the fans were into every pitch. And they had plenty to cheer for as the hometown Dogs handled Stanford and are headed back to the CWS. Seeing Jake Mangum go out with a “Jake Mangum single” back up the middle was appropriate as was 2018 postseason hero Elijah MacNamee hitting a ninth inning home run that brought the house down.

Auburn has a bit of a 2018 Mississippi State thing going on and they will finish their season in Omaha as well. They are piecing things together on the mound. They are getting big walkoff home runs. They are getting talented hitters to exceed their regular season production during the postseason. Now they head to the CWS and it is hard to ignore the coaching job Butch Thompson has done. He’s not just a genuine guy people like anymore. Guess what? Nice guys don’t always finish last.

Arkansas has to be tired of reading and hearing about that darn, botched foul ball that gave Oregon State new life and cost the Hogs a title. They head back to the scene of the crime and fortunately, this time their tough luck will be the secondary story in the opener as most everyone focuses on Florida State and Martin’s heartwarming story. Can Arkansas write a different ending this year?

Texas Tech and Oklahoma State played one of the best super regional series in recent memory. Close throughout with exciting finishes, it really was one of those deals where you hate someone has to lose. Now the Red Raiders are back as one of the favorites. Why not, they have the offense. They have the pitching. They have the CWS experience. This is a club that may not get all the attention but are playing as well as anyone.

Louisville just flat out demolished East Carolina taking a two-game sweep. They played early in the weekend and frankly, the games weren’t competitive which has caused some of us to kind of forget about them. This team won the ACC. They won’t sit quaking in a bracket with three SEC opponents. They may not have the stars that they have had in years past or that Vandy or Mississippi State have this year, but this is a team that understands how to play at this level.

Bring on the games.


Monday 7:10 PM CT

Hogmaha

Arkansas is headed back to Omaha where they have unfinished business. Judging by Monday’s effort, they will come in fairly confident. Arkansas pounded Ole Miss 14-1 in the third and final game of the super regional scoring four in the second, three in the third and then adding five more in the sixth. If Ole Miss had any visions of a comeback, that sixth inning dashed them.

Heston Kjerstad went 3-for-4 for a homer, two doubles and four RBI’s. Casey Opitz added three more hits, a homer and four RBI’s. Trevor Ezell also had three hits as the trip combined for nine of the Razorback’s twelve hits. Cody Scroggins received starter Patrick Wicklander in the second inning and was just what was needed. He worked 4.1 innings of two-hit, shutout ball before Jacob Kostyshock and Matt Cronin added three more scoreless frames.

Ole Miss was held to seven hits with Cooper Johnson and Tyler Keenan getting two each.

The Hogs now face off with Florida State in the CWS opener this weekend.


Monday 7 PM CT

War Damn 13

It was over before North Carolina ever swung the bat.

Tar Heel starter Joey Lancelotti couldn’t find the strike zone and walked the first four Auburn hitters. The three arms who would follow in the inning found a lot of Auburn bats. Before the inning ended, Auburn had 13 runs on nine hits, five walks and an error. Judd Ward added a three-run homer.

How do you come back from spotting a team thirteen runs before ever get a chance to score? They did score seven, which many days is enough to win.

In the end, Auburn snatched a 14-7 victory and makes their first trip to Omaha since 1997.

Tanner Burns got the start for Auburn and worked two hitless, scoreless innings. Richard Fitts ate up the middle with a 5.1 inning stint. Ward, Eduard Julien and Rankin Woley led the Tigers with three hits each in the 18 hit attack.

Aaron Sabato had a pair of home runs for the Heels and Ashton McGee added another. Will Sandy quieted the Auburn bats with 5.2 innings of one-run relief.

Auburn now heads to the CWS where they will face SEC mate Mississippi State in the opener.

 


11:55 PM CT

Shocker In Westwood

UCLA didn’t lose a series all season. Until their last one.

Michigan rolled into Jackie Robinson Stadium and took it to the Bruins taking game three 4-2 to clinch the three-game series. The Bruins had forced a game three with a marathon, twelve inning victory the evening before. There would be no classic UCLA comeback Sunday as Michigan grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fifth and held on to their lead the rest of the way.

The Wolverines got a double and a triple from Christian Bullock, who scored a pair of runs in the game. Michigan win despite getting just six hits. Tommy Henry started and checked the Bruins for seven innings. He allowed seven hits but didn’t walk a batter and managed to get the outs when he needed them. He struck out six and allowed UCLA’s only two runs.

UCLA got the tying run to second base in the ninth. Jeremy Ydens had a one-out single and Noah Cardenas reached on a hit batsman off Michigan reliever Benjamin Keizer. Pinch-hitter Jake Moberg, who scored the winning run for UCLA Saturday, flied to deep center advancing both runners.  Keizer got Matt McLain to ground out to short to end the threat. UCLA finished the evening 0-8 with runners in scoring position.

Nick Nastrini started for UCLA and allowed only one hit and a pair of runs in four innings. He walked two and struck out four. Kyle Mora worked 3.2 innings in middle relief and allowed a run on four hits. Nate Hadley, pitching in his third game of the series, worked the final 1.1 and allowed a hit and a run. Offensively, Jake Pries homered for UCLA and Ydens had three hits.

Michigan advances to the College World Series for the first time since 1984. Their opening round game will be against Texas Tech.


11:25 PM CT

Cowbell With Your Omaha Steak?

Mississippi State is heading back to Omaha. Last season the Bulldogs surprised everyone winning a road regional in Tallahassee and a road super regional in Nashville. This year, they were favored to return to the CWS and unlike some other favorites, they lived up to the lofty expectations.

The Bulldogs defeated Stanford 8-1 to complete a two-game series sweep Sunday evening in front 11,597 fans. Dustin Skelton ripped a bases loaded triple in a four-run third inning that provided the margin. SEC career hits king Jake Mangum played his final home game and left with three hits. He singled and scored in a ninth inning at bat.

Elijah MacNamee, last season’s postseason hero, capped his MSU career with a long ninth inning, three-run home run setting off a wild scene for the home fans, most of whom stuck around for the celebration.

With normal second starter J.T. Ginn nursing arm soreness, senior Peyton Plumlee got the start. He allowed a leadoff home run to Kyle Stowers and didn’t allow another hit for 6.2 innings. He left after the pair of hits, one run allowed, with one walk and six strikeouts. Jared Liebelt worked a scoreless 1.2 before turning it over to Cole Gordon for the final inning.

Stanford starter Erik Miller last only 2.2 innings with two hits allowed but four walks. He allowed four runs and struck out five. Closer Jack Little was really good in a long relief session. He allowed five hits and no runs with five strikeouts and no walks.

Mississippi State heads the College World Series where their opening game will come against the winner of Monday’s North Carolina/Auburn contest.


9:45 PM CT

11’s Story Continues

This is starting to become the story Hollywood makes movies about. A veteran coach in his final season. A team that has struggled all season but does just enough to sneak into the postseason. Then they catch fire, winning for the beloved catch. They are a buzzsaw, hitting, pitching, fielding, you name it, all at levels never achieved all season.

Florida State is going to Omaha in Mike Martin’s fortieth and final season as their head coach. They clinched the berth in dramatic fashion Sunday night in front of a raucous crowd at LSU. The teams battled all evening and then some, reaching the theatric twelfth inning walkoff 5.4 victory.

The biggest difference in the game may have been the starting pitching. For the second consecutive game, LSU dipped into their relief corps earlier than desired. Starter Landon Marceaux went 3.2 innings before leaving after eight hits and two runs, one earned. They were bailed out by a heroic relief outing from Devin Fontenot who hurled 6.2 innings and struck out eleven before finally surrendering the final run on an RBI single by FSU three-hole hitter Drew Mendoza, who got the hit with a runner on second, two outs and first base open.

FSU received an impressive start from lefty C.J. Van Eyk. He went 7.1 innings and allowed eight hits and four runs and seemed to pitch better than his line. Reliever Antonio Velez was basically untouchable in relief. He worked the final 4.2 innings and scattered four hits and struck out six as he kept LSU off the scoreboard.

Mike Salvatore led FSU with three hits. Mendoza and Matheu Nelson had two hits each. For LSU, Antoine Duplantis went four-for-six as he finished his career as the school’s career hit leader. He also added a home run.

Now, Florida State heads to the College World Series where their opening game will come against the winner of Monday’s Arkansas versus Ole Miss game.


8:55 PM CT

Red Raiders Win A Classic

They battled back and forth for three entire games. One wins, one loses. That’s the way this works. In the end, Texas Tech’s Dave Haveman struck out the potential winning runner in Oklahoma State’s Colin Simpson to end the game and give the Red Raiders an 8-6 victory. The victory gave the Red Raiders the series two games to one and sends them back to Omaha for the fourth time in six years.

All-American shortstop Josh Jung slugged a pair of home runs and Kurt Wilson and Braxton Fulford added a homer apiece for Texas Tech. Fulford and Dylan Neuse joined Jung with two hits. For OSU, Simpson, Trevor Boone and Cade Cabbiness all hit home runs. Christian Funk’s two hits led the seven hit Cowboy attack.

Bryce Bonnin started for Tech and worked 4.1 innings of five hit, three run ball. He fanned six and walked three. John McMillion allowed two hits and three runs in 3.2 innings of middle relief. He struck out six and walked two. Haveman struck out two and walked one in a scoreless ninth.

Texas Tech will open their CWS play against the winner of tonight’s UCLA and Michigan game.


8 PM CT

Omaha Bound

After getting curb-stomped Friday night 18-5, Vanderbilt had to bounce back with consecutive wins to reach their College World Series goal. After no-hitting Duke Saturday night, the Commodores cruised to a 13-2 victory Sunday to claim their trip to Omaha.

Vandy hit five home runs in the victory, including a pair from leadoff man Austin Martin. Pete Demarco, Stephen Scott and Julian Infante joined the home run club. Mason Hickman started on the mound for Vandy and allowed three hits and two runs in four innings. He struck out nine and walked three. Patrick Raby struck out four in his two scoreless innings of relief and Zach King worked the final two scoreless frames.

Michael Rothenberg and Rudy Maxwell each homered for the Blue Devils. Rothenberg had three hits.

Vanderbilt will face Louisville in their CWS opening game next weekend.

 


Sunday 5:40 PM CT

Exchanging Blowouts

After losing 11-2 Saturday, Ole Miss had to sit and think about the loss. The Rebels came out and delivered a whipping of their own Sunday defeating Arkansas 13-5. Ole Miss took used twelve hits and took advantage of eight walks to put up a pair of three-run innings, a two-run inning and along with a five-spot.

The Rebels slugged four home runs in the game. Cole Zabowski went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI’s. Tyler Keenan had a pair of hits with a home run, a triple and four RBI’s. Grae Kessinger and Cooper Johnson also homered.

Doug Nikhazy started for Ole Miss and worked five innings. He allowed ten hits and five runs, walked one and struck out eight. Houston Roth saved the bullpen with four scoreless relief innings. He allowed just two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out a pair.

Arkansas got a home run from Dominic Fletcher, three hits (two doubles) from Matt Goodheart and a two hits from Casey Martin. Connor Noland started for the Hogs and lasted just an inning with three hits and four runs allowed. Kole Ramage, Kevin Kopps and Elijah Trest worked in relief.

The teams meet Monday at 4 PM ET in a winner-take-all final. Gunnar Hoglund should go for Ole Miss against Arkansas’s Patrick Wicklander.


Sunday 3 PM CT

Heels Even Series With Shutout

North Carolina scored two runs in the first inning and that was twice as many as they needed in a 2-0 victory over Auburn. The UNC victory evens the series setting up a game three Monday at 1 ET with a trip to the CWS in the balance.

North Carolina controlled the game, much as they did in game on Saturday. But instead of a memorable Auburn comeback, this time the Tar Heels  slammed the door on the Tiger offense limiting them to six hits. Austin Bergner started and went 4.2 innings and allowed only four hits. He did walk four and struck out five, which got his pitch count up ending his day in the fifth inning at 96 pitches. Austin Love was superb in relief with 4.1 innings of two-hit ball to complete the shutout. He did not walk a batter and struck out six.

Ike Freeman’s two-RBI single in the first inning accounted for all of the game’s scoring. Danny Seretti and Ashton McGee had two hits each for the Heels. Conor Davis and Stephen Williams had two hits each for the Tigers.

Bailey Horn started for Auburn and lasted 3.1 innings. He allowed only three hits but walked six. Ryan Watson provided 2.2 scoreless relief innings while Elliot Anderson worked the final three frames.

Neither team has a ton of pitching left for Monday. Auburn may go with Richard Fitts who pitched well in relief against Georgia Tech last Saturday  and has not yet thrown. Ace Tanner Burns could also see a role in limited innings and closer Cody Greenhill would be available after working Saturday.

UNC could opt to throw Will Sandy for a few innings and then mix and match with Hansen Butler, Caden O’Brien and Joey Lancellotti. Regardless, neither team will hesitate to use the rest of their staffs in this one final game with an Omaha ticket to the winner.


Sunday Action


1:15 AM CT

Crisis Averted In Westwood

UCLA staved off elimination with a 5-4, twelve inning victory over Michigan to even the series.

In the twelfth inning, UCLA’s Kevin Kendall laced a double just past the outstretched dive of Michigan center fielder Jesse Franklin to score pinch-hitter Jake Moberg from first to break the tie and lift UCLA to the win.

Michigan jumped out to a 3-1 lead took a 3-2 lead into the eighth before UCLA tied it. The Bruins took the lead in the ninth inning on a two-out dropped fly ball. Michigan responded to tied it in the bottom of the ninth  when Jimmy Kerr doubled and came around to score on a sac fly.

UCLA received three Michigan errors and two intentional walks in the eleventh inning and somehow did not score thanks to a one-hop line drive double-play and a ground out.

UCLA started Jack Ralston who went six innings of seven hit, three run ball. Closer Holden Powell entered in the eighth and worked the last five innings of the game. He pitched five innings and threw 77 pitches in the marathon contest. He allowed only two hits and a single run.

Jeff Criswell started for Michigan after getting the save the night before. He pitched 5.1 innings and allowed seven hits, two runs with one earned and walked four. Michigan walked ten batters and committed five errors in the game. UCLA went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

Michael Toglia hit his 17th home run of the season while Jeremy Ydens had a pair of hits for the Bruins. Joe Donovan homered for Michigan and flirted with a walkoff hitting a ball that died at the wall in the bottom of the ninth. Jordan Nwogu, Jimmy Kerr and Blake Nelson all had two hits for the Wolverines.

The teams meet again Sunday at 9 PM ET in a winner-take-all game three with a trip to the CWS on the line.


11:30 PM CT

Unhittable!

With his team facing elimination against a club that pounded out 18 runs the night before, Kumar Rocker took it upon himself to make sure his team plays another day. The freshman Rocker threw a complete game, no-hitter and struck out an astonishing nineteen Duke hitters in a 3-0 Vanderbilt victory.

Working quickly, Rocker flashed a mid-nineties fastball and dominating curve ball that the Blue Devil hitters never could gauge. He struck out four batters in the fourth and struck out the side in both the fifth and the ninth inning. He walked two and finished with 131 pitches.

Duke starter Bryce Jarvis was really good himself but no one was going to beat Rocker Saturday. Jarvis allowed five hits and one run in seven innings. He struck out nine and walked four.

Harrison Ray led Vandy with three of their ten hits. The teams play again Sunday at 2 PM ET in a winner-take-call game three with an Omaha trip in the balance.

Mississippi State center fielder Jake Mangum stole away a first inning grand slam and those four runs ended up being the difference in the Bulldogs’ 6-2 victory over Stanford. Game one of the series was contested in front of 13,132 fans in Starkville. MSU starter Ethan Small worked six innings and pitched in and out of trouble throughout. Small allowed five hits and one unearned run. He struck out eight and walked two. Colby White, Jared Liebelt and Cole Gordon each worked an inning to close the game.

Dustin Skelton led the MSU lineup with a pair of doubles and RBI’s. Josh Hatcher, Tanner Allen and Jordan Westburg also had two hits for the Bulldogs.

Stanford starter Brandon Beck was chased after three innings. MSU touched him up for seven hits and five runs. Stanford’s bullpen shut down the Bulldogs the rest of the way. Maverick Handley, Tim Tawa and Christian Robinson each had a pair of hitters for the Cardinal.

The teams meet again Sunday at 9 PM ET.


9 PM CT

Thriller in Lubbock

The biggest lead of the night in Lubbock was two runs as Oklahoma State and Texas Tech played another wild one. The game ended in the bottom of the ninth as Noah Sifrit scored on a wild pitch to life OSU to a 6-5 victory. The Cowboys’ win evens the series and sets up a winner-take-all game three Sunday evening at 6 PM ET.

Colin Simpson hit his 16th home run of the season and drove in three to lead the OSU offense. Hueston Morrill went 3-for-3 with a homer, three runs scored and two RBI’s. The duo combined for five of the team’s seven hits. Dru Baker went 2-for-3 with a home run for Texas Tech. Gabe Holt, Dylan Neuse and Braxton Fulford each had two hits for the Red Raiders.

Caleb Killian started for Tech and went six innings. He allowed five hits, three runs with eight strikeouts. Cowboy starter Parker Scott also worked six innings and allowed only four hits and two runs.

 


6 PM CT

Hey, Hey, Hey! It’s Reese Albert

Florida State was hitless in the sixth inning, down by four. The Seminoles broke up the no-hitter and scored a run in the sixth, then tied the game on Reese Albert’s three-run, no-doubt home run in the seventh. The Notes took the lead on a bases-loaded sac fly from Tim Becker in the eighth and extended the lead in the ninth as Albert led off with another home run.

Closer J.C. Flowers moved in front center field and retired the final six outs to get the save and give Florida State the 6-4 victory. LSU got the go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth. Flowers coaxed a pop up from Antoine Duplantis to seal the win.

FSU starter lasted 4.2 innings and left with his team down. Chase Haney and Antonio Velez helped FSU win the battle of the bullpens as each put up a zero before Flowers worked the final two innings.

LSU starter left after two hitless, scoreless innings although he did walk three. He left with arm soreness, according to LSU coach Paul Mainieri. Todd Peterson work 4.1 innings of relief and allowed three hits and two runs. He also walked three contributing to ten walks as a Tiger staff.

Albert finished with four RBI’s with his two home runs. FSU only had six hits as a team but coupled with the ten walks and the home runs, that was enough. LSU’s Josh Smith and Chris Reid had a pair of hits each to account for half of LSU’s eight hits. The teams play again Sunday at 6 PM ET.


 

2:50 PM CT

Another Auburn Comeback

Trailing 5-2 in the eighth inning, Auburn’s hopes looked dim. Nine runs later, they upset North Carolina 11-7 to take game one and are now one win away from their first CWS since 1997.

North Carolina jumped on Auburn starter Jack Owen for three first inning runs. Auburn cut the Tar Heel lead to 3-2 in the fifth on a Stephen Williams two-run homer before UNC added single runs in the fifth and seventh. Auburn exploded in the eighth to grab their first lead as Rankin Woley getting the big blow with a bases-loaded double. The Tigers added another four in the ninth inning highlighted by Edouard Julien’s three-run homer.

North Carolina scored a pair and got the tying run to the plate but Tiger closer Cody Greenhill got Ashton McGee to fly out to center to end the threat.

UNC starter Tyler Baum worked 6.1 innings and allowed only four hits and two runs. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. Five UNC relievers all struggled to match Baum’s effectiveness. Joey Lancelotti took the loss. Tiger starter Jack Owen allowed eight hits and four runs in his five inning stint. Elliott Anderson worked two innings to get the win and get them to Greenhill who pitched the final two innings for a save.

The teams now square off Sunday at 11:30 ET.


2:30 PM CT

First Omaha Plans Secured

Louisville jumped all over East Carolina with four separate three-run innings in route to a 12-0 drubbing and berth in the CWS. With three early inning outburst, the only drama that remained was whether starter Bobby Miller would get a no-hitter. He took it into the ninth before Thomas Francisco busted it up as the second hitter of the ninth. Miller (7-1) departed after that hit with a final line of eight innings, one hit, no runs, two walks and five strikeouts.

Offensively, the Cardinals used 14 hits and five walks in their dozen run outburst. Drew Campbell and Justin Lavey each had three hits while Lavey added three RBI’s. Henry Davis added a pair of hits and RBI’s as well as the bottom third of the Louisville lineup combined for eight of their 14 hits.

Louisville now heads to the CWS where their opening round opponent will be the winner of the Nashville Super Regional, where Duke leads Vanderbilt by a game.

Arkansas jumped out to a 6-1 second inning lead and cruised to an 11-2 game one super regional victory in Fayetteville Saturday. The Razorbacks hit three home runs and got a strong pitching effort from ace Isaiah Campbell in the victory. Campbell went 8.1 innings and allowed five hits and two runs. He struck out seven and walked one to move to 12-1 this season. Jack Kelley hit a three-run home run, his thirteenth, and Trevor Ezell added three hits with a home run and a pair of doubles while Matt Goodheart added two hits including a home run to lead the Razorbacks’ offense.

Thomas Dillard had two of the Rebels’ five hits to pace their lineup. Starter Will Ethridge lasted 3.1 innings and surrendered six hits and eight runs, six earned. The teams meet again Sunday at 3 PM ET as the Rebels try to extend the series while Arkansas is a win away from Omaha.

 


11:15 AM CT

How Much Does Game One Matter?

We had a pair of big upsets last night as Michigan beat top seed UCLA and Duke dismantled second-seed Vanderbilt. If history is any indication, winning game one is a huge advantage in the three-game series.

In the last five years, the teams that won game one are 34-6.

20187-1
20177-1
20166-2
20158-0
20146-2

The six teams to lose game one and win the next two:

  • 2018: Texas over Tennessee Tech
  • 2017: Cal State Fullerton won at Long Beach State
  • 2016: Top overall seed Florida over Florida State
  • 2016: Texas Tech over East Carolina
  • 2014: Ole Miss won at UL-Lafayette
  • 2014: Virginia over Maryland

Obviously, winning these next two games can be done. Someone does it almost every season and two of the past five years, two have done it. UCLA and Vanderbilt (along with East Carolina and Oklahoma State) are hoping to add their names to list.


Saturday Updates


12:45 AM CT

Looking Ahead To Saturday

Here is the schedule sorted by start times for Saturday.

  • noon ET Auburn at North Carolina (ESPN2)
  • noon ET East Carolina at Louisville (ESPNU)
  • noon ET Ole Miss at Arkansas (ESPN)
  • 3 PM ET Florida State at LSU (ESPN)
  • 3 PM ET Stanford at Mississippi State (ESPN2)
  • 6 PM ET Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (ESPNU)
  • 9 PM ET Duke at Vanderbilt (ESPNU)
  • 9 PM ET Michigan at UCLA (ESPN2)

12:35 AM CT

Rough Night To Be A Favorite

They waited three hours in the rain to play. Then the storm came. A Blue Devil storm blew into Nashville and bounced heavily favored Vanderbilt to the wayside with an 18-5 victory. Duke not only chased Vandy ace Drake Fellows from the game, handing him his first loss of the season, they handed the SEC champions their worst loss of the season and most runs allowed in their 100 game NCAA tournament history.

Duke entered the tournament as one of the last four teams invited to the field and played well beating Texas A&M twice and host team West Virginia to win the Morgantown Regional. Their hot streak continued Friday evening with 18 runs on 15 hits. They had a four run third and then a ten run eighth inning (top half lasted 40 minutes) that destroyed any hope the Commodores had to make a run.

Fellows (12-1) struggled to find the strike zone in his four inning stint. He gave up seven hits and seven runs – five earned – and walked four. It took him 90 pitches to get those twelve outs. Ethan Smith was solid in three innings of relief but the game got away when Hugh Fisher and AJ Franklin were roughed up in that ten-run eighth.

Duke starter Ben Gross (8-4) went 5.1 innings and gave up seven hits and five runs. He struck out seven and walked five. Offensively, the Blue Devils got a three-run home run from Kyle Gallagher who finished with two hits and four RBI’s. Joey Loperfido and RJ Schreck each had three hits while Erickson Nichols went 2-for-4 with four RBI’s.

The teams meet Saturday for game two at 9 PM ET.


11 PM CT

Wolvereeeeeeennnnnns!

For the second time in as many weeks, top ranked UCLA is a game away from elimination. In last weekend Los Angeles Regional, the Bruins lost to Loyola Marymount and had to win the next three games to advance. They got it done but history repeated itself with a 3-2 loss to Michigan Friday evening.

The Wolverines made the plays as starting pitcher Karl Kauffmann baffled the UCLA hitters. He carried a one-hit, shutout into the ninth inning with his team up 3-0. Most expected the Bruins would rally and they did, scoring two on a Michael Toglia bases loaded single that sent the tying run to third with one out. Michigan coach Erik Bakich called on Jeff Criswell in relief. Criswell, normally a starter making his first relief appearance of the season after 16 starts, got a popup and a strikeout to end the game.

Kaufmann (10-6) ended up pitching 8.1 innings and allowed four hits and two runs. He struck out eight and walked a pair. Jesse Franklin had two hits for Michigan and drove in two of their runs.

UCLA starter Ryan Garcia pitched really well once again but this time picked up the tough luck loss, his first of the season after ten wins. He worked 7.2 innings and allowed five hits, three runs – two earned, with one walk and eight strikeouts.

The teams meet again Saturday at 9 ET.

 


7:10 PM CT

Delayed In Nashville


6:50 PM CT

Jung Guns Down Cowboys

Josh Jung was drafted eighth overall in the draft Monday. He might have had a better day Friday. Well, that might be a stretch but the Texas Tech shortstop hit a home run and seemed to make every key defensive play in the Red Raiders’ 8-6 victory over Big 12 rival Oklahoma State in the super regional opener in Lubbock.

Texas Tech would jump out to a lead but Oklahoma State would rally each time to cut the lead. Micah Dallas started for Tech and went five innings. He allowed four hits, three runs, two earned, struck out nine and walked one. John McMillion worked the final two innings to pick up the save.

Cody Masters joined Jung on the homer list. Dylan Neuse, Brian Klein, Kurt Wilson and Jung led the attack with two hits each. Alex Garcia had two hits and homer to lead Oklahoma State. Trevor Boone also added two hits for the Cowboys.

Texas Tech now needs one more win for Omaha. The teams meet Saturday at 6 PM ET.

 


3:30 PM CT

Pirates Grounded In Louisville

For three innings, we had a really compelling, interesting contest as East Carolina visited Louisville to kick off the nation’s super regional action. Then the Cardinals burst through with innings of four, five, three and two to cruise to a game one victory 14-1.

Reid Detmers was the pitching star in the game. The Louisville starter logged seven innings of five-hit ball and allowed only one run. He struck out six and walked two to improve to 12-4 on the season. ECU starter Jake Agnos was perfect for three innings but the wheels came off in the fourth. He allowed five hits and four runs to go along with five strikeouts and a walk to drop to fall to 11-3 on the season.

Louisville was led offensively by three-hole hitter Tyler Fitzgerald who went 4-for-5 with four runs scored and a pair of RBI. Louisville had 18 hits and six doubles in the win. Spencer Brickhouse had two of ECU’s seven hits, including a home run, his 15th of the season.

The teams meet again Saturday at 3 PM ET with the Cardinals needing one more win for a trip to Omaha.

Update: The second game of the series has been moved up to noon ET on Saturday at Jim Patterson Stadium.


Friday 12 CT 

Historical Super Regional Numbers

Some notes and numbers looking back the past few seasons of Supers.

There was much gnashing of teeth (especially mine) about the five intra-conference No. 1 seeds paired up for potential super regionals. The way it materialized, only two of those ended up happening. Arkansas and Ole Miss face of along with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. With Florida State upsetting Georgia, Auburn upsetting Georgia Tech and Michigan knocking off Oregon State, that changed the matchups and minimized the conference rematches.

Last season was the first season of seeding the top 16. Last season there ended up being three intra-conference matchups (all SEC) but none of them were paired No. 1 seeds, as No. 2 seeds Auburn, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State crashed the party.

In the past six years, there have been 10 intra-conference super regional matchups. Five of those have come in the past two seasons, four of them among SEC programs.

The top-eight national seeds that advanced to the supers last season all advanced to the CWS as Florida, Oregon State, Arkansas and North Carolina all won. Of the other four matchups, the road teams surprisingly won two of them with Washington winning at Cal State Fullerton and Mississippi State winning at Vanderbilt.

In 2018, all five national seeds that played in the super regionals won and seven of the eight home teams won.

This was a stark contrast to 2016 when four of the seven national seeds lost in the supers and five of the eight home teams lost. In 2017, three of the seven national seeds lost in the supers and the road teams won half of the eight matchups.

What will this year bring?

Join the Discussion

SHARE