NCAA baseball roundup
Texas A&M 4, Louisville 3
Dylan Rock drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning and No. 5 overall seed Texas A&M beat 12th-seeded Louisville on Saturday to win the College Station Super Regional and become the first team to earn a berth in the College World Series.
Texas A&M (42-18) is heading to its seventh CWS looking for its first championship. Louisville (42-21-1) has made five CWS appearances — four of them since 2013 — without a title. The Aggies beat the Cardinals 5-4 in Friday's opener.
Jacob Palisch took the mound in the ninth for the Aggies after Brad Rudis gave up a lead-off single to Christian Knapczyk. Palisch struck out Metzinger swinging on a full count for the first out and Dalton Rushing flied out to left field for the second. Knapczyk took second on a wild pitch, but Palisch struck out clean-up hitter Jack Payton swinging to end the game with his fifth save.
Louisville jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Rushing's two-run homer. The Aggies pulled even in the third on Rock's bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly by Austin Bost.
The Cardinals took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on Payton's two-out RBI single, but Ryan Targac homered to left-center on the first pitch from Riley Phillips in the sixth to knot the score at 3-3.
The Aggies rallied in the ninth after Trevor Werner was hit by a pitch from Ryan Hawks (5-3) with one out. Jack Moss singled Werner to third and Rock followed with his sac fly.
Tennessee 12, Notre Dame 4
Luc Lipcius hit two home runs in an eight-run fifth inning and No. 1 overall seed Tennessee rolled to a victory over Notre Dame to stay alive in the Knoxville Super Regional.
Tennessee (57-8) and Notre Dame (39-15) will play a third game on Sunday with a berth in the College World Series on the line. The Fighting Irish beat Tennessee 8-6 on Friday. Tennessee is looking for its second straight and sixth CWS appearance overall. The Vols have never won the event, finishing second in 1951. Notre Dame has made two CWS appearances — 1957 and 2002.
Tennessee was clinging to a 1-0 lead — on Trey Lipscomb's RBI double in the first inning — heading into the top of the fifth. Lipcius homered off Notre Dame starter John Bertrand (9-3) on a 1-1 pitch to lead off. Cortland Lawson doubled and moved to third on a single by Seth Stephenson. One out later, Jordan Beck hit a three-run shot to make it 5-0. After Lipscomb popped out, Evan Russell homered to left field. Jackson Dennies relieved Bertrand and walked Jared Dickey before yielding a single to Christian Moore. Lipcius made it 9-0 with a three-run shot.
Jorel Ortega had a RBI double in a three-run seventh to cap the scoring for the Volunteers.
Jack Zyska hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth for Notre Dame. The Irish were held to seven hits — two for extra bases — after hitting four homers in their first-round win.
Chase Dollander allowed just two runs on five hits in seven innings to up his record to 10-0 on the season. He struck out five.
Tennesse played without its clean-up-hitting center fielder Drew Gilbert. Gilbert was suspended for a game after being ejected for arguing a strike call in the fifth inning on Friday. Pitching coach Frank Anderson, who was tossed for running on to the field, also missed the game.
Will Johnston (3-1) worked a scoreless 1 2/3 innings to get the win.
Mississippi 10, So. Mississippi 0
Tim Elko drove in the first run of the game with a single and added a two-run double in a seven-run sixth inning to power Mississippi to a romp over No. 11 overall seed Southern Mississippi in the first round of the Hattiesburg Super Regional.
Ole Miss (36-22) and Southern Miss (47-18) will play again on Sunday. A win by the Rebels would send them to the College World Series. If the Golden Eagles win it would force a deciding game on Monday. Ole MIss is aiming for its sixth CWS appearance but just its second since 1972. The Rebels have never won the event. Southern Miss has made just one appearance — in 2009.
The Rebels took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on Elko's single and a sacrifice fly by Kemp Alderman. Garrett Wood made it 3-0 with a RBI double in the fourth.
Ole Miss broke the game open in the sixth. Justin Bench was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the first run. Jacob Gonzalez singled in a run and back-to-back doubles by Elko and Kevin Graham pushed the lead to 9-0. Hayden Dunhurst singled in Graham for the final run.
Dylan DeLucia (6-2) pitched 5 2/3 innings in a start for the Rebels, allowing only four hits and two walks while striking out nine. Jack Dougherty permitted only one baserunner — on a hit by pitch — in the final 3 1/3 innings to notch his second save.
Hurston Waldrep (6-2) was tagged with the loss for the Golden Eagles. He allowed five runs — four earned — on six hits and four walks in five innings. Twelve of the 15 batters Waldrep retired were by strikeouts.
Texas 9, East Carolina 8
Dylan Campbell drove in the winning run with a two-out bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning and No. 9 overall seed Texas overcame a five-run deficit to beat No. 8 seed East Carolina and stay alive in the Greenville Super Regional.
The win by Texas (46-20) forces a Sunday showdown with East Carolina (46-20) with a berth in the College World Series on the line. East Carolina (47-19), hosting a super regional for the first time, had won 23 of its last 24 games before faltering against the Longhorns. The Pirates beat the Longhorns 13-7 on Friday.
Texas (45-21) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Eric Kennedy reached on a one-out single and stole second with two outs. Murphy Stehly drove in Kennedy with a single, stole second and scored on a throwing error by Pirates third baseman Alec Makarewicz.
Bryson Worrell got East Carolina on the scoreboard and cut the lead in half with a lead-off home run in the fourth.
Worrell doubled in two runs to ignite a five-run fifth, capped by freshman Jacob Jenkins-Cowart's three-run homer to give the Pirates a 7-2 lead.
Texas stormed back. Lead-off batter Douglas Hodo III hit a two-run homer in the seventh to get the Longhorns within three. Murphy Stehly and Autin Todd led off the eighth with singles off new Pirates' reliever Ben Terwilliger. Skyler Messinger followed with a three-run shot to end Terwilliger's day. Carter Spivey entered and retired his first batter before surrendering a solo shot to Campbell that put the Longhorns up 8-7.
Jacob Starling hit a two-out solo homer in the top of the ninth off Texas reliever Andre Duplantier II (3-1) to tie the game.
Freshman Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman (1-1) started the ninth for East Carolina and yielded a lead-off single to Ivan Melendez. Todd was walked intentionally after a successful sacrifice bunt by Mitchell Daly. Messinger popped out before Silas Ardoin drew a walk to load the bases and set the stage for Campbell.
Arkansas 4, North Carolina 1
Peyton Stoval sparked a three-run fifth inning with a lead-off home run, Connor Noland threw 6 2/3 shutout innings and Arkansas upset No. 10 overall seed North Carolina in the first round of the Chapel Hill Super Regional.
Arkansas (42-19) and North Carolina (42-21), both making a 10th super regional appearance, will play again on Sunday. A win by the Razorbacks would send them to their 11th College World Series in search of their first title. A win by the Tar Heels would force a winner-take-all game on Monday. The two schools are playing for the first time in 33 years.
The Razorbacks took the lead for good in the top of the fifth. Stoval hit the first pitch out to right-center field for his ninth home run of the season. Zack Gregory walked, Braydon Webb singled and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch by UNC starter Max Carlson (4-3). Slavens singled to center to drive in Gregory and Evan Wallace followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Webb.
Gregory walked and scored on a single by Slavens in the seventh to make it 4-0. Vance Honeycutt drove in the lone run for the Tar Heels with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.
Noland (4-2) yielded six hits and a walk, striking out six. Hagen Smith pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.
North Carolina has been to a super regional in three of the past four seasons. The Tar Heels have made 11 CWS appearances but never won it. They were the runner-up in 2006 and 2007. The Razorbacks have also never won the title have, finishing second in 1979 and 2018. The only other time UNC and Arkansas played was in the 1989 CWS — a 7-3 win by the Razorbacks.
The Razorbacks are the only team with four straight super regional berths. Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn has led the Hogs to 18 postseason appearances in his 20 seasons at the helm. Nine super regional berths have come under Van Horn.
Virginia Tech 14, Oklahoma 8
Nick Biddison hit two of No. 4 overall seed Virginia Tech's five home runs, including one to lead off the game, and the Hokies stayed alive in the Blacksburg Super Regional with a victory over Oklahoma.
The win by Virginia Tech (45-12) forces a winner-take-all game with Oklahoma (40-22) on Sunday for a berth in the College World Series. The Sooners beat the Hokies 5-4 in Friday's opener. The Sooners are aiming for their 11th CWS appearance — winning the event in 1951 and 1994. Virginia Tech has never been to the CWS and just won its first regional tournament.
Gavin Cross and Cade Hunter hit two-run shots in the third to put Virginia Tech ahead 5-0.
Oklahoma scored three in the bottom of the third — on a RBI single by Blake Robertson and a two-run single by Jimmy Crooks — and added another run in the fourth on a solo homer by Brett Squires to get within 5-4.
The Hokies pulled away with a four-run fifth — sparked by Tanner Shobel's lead-off home run. Carson Jones' two-run single in the sixth led to three runs and a 12-5 lead. Biddison capped the scoring with a solo homer in the ninth.
Jonah Hurney (6-1) pitched four shutout innings in relief to get the win. He allowed just two hits, striking out seven.
David Sandlin (8-4) took the loss for Oklahoma, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out six.