Oklahoma State 5, South Carolina 1
--- by Christopher Novak
The South Carolina Gamecocks couldn't stop the schneid that the SEC has been rolling on since the beginning of the Super Regionals on Friday. The Gamecocks fell down 2-0 in the early goings of the game and were not able to surmount the deficit as they fell 5-1 to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Game 1.
The Pokes picked up their two runs in the third off the bats of Ryan Sluder and Corey Hassel. Sluder took Braden Webb deep on a 2-1 count to draw first blood. That was followed by Hassel, who singled to drive in J.R. Davis to cushion the first run scored. The Cowboys held serve throughout the rest of the game and would break out for three more runs in the top of the ninth. The blow was struck by Collin Theroux who hit a three-run home run on a full count that effectively minimized South Carolina's chances in the ball game.
Thomas Hatch was given the ball and tasked with keeping Oklahoma State in front. So he did, as Hatch threw seven scoreless innings and allowed zero XBH on Saturday afternoon. He struck out three batters, issued two walks and just four hits to be scattered in his outing. Garrett Williams and Trey Cobb would come in for relief with Cobb being the only one to be tagged with a run in the two innings he threw: A solo shot by Dom Thompson-Williams.
Florida State 3, Florida 0
--- by Jordan Rinard
The rain might not have been steady in Gainesville, but the pitching sure was consistent between the one-seed Florida Gators and the hated in-state rival Florida State Seminoles in a game that saw the road team put down more key hits against the vaunted UF pitching staff in a 3-0 victory. Florida has to find a way to warm its bats up by tomorrow as it squares off against Florida State at 6 p.m. at McKethan Stadium as the series continues.
The Seminoles drew first blood in the top of the fourth inning when starting pitcher Alex Faedo walked a runner across the plate, and FSU added a couple more runs in the following inning when reliever Dave Dunning allowed an RBI double and an unearned run scoring on a fielding error by second baseman Deacon Liput. Florida State threatened again in the seventh with runners at second and third, but reliever Nick Horvath induced a groundout to shut the door and give the Gators a chance late in the game.
Florida's pitching gave the offense plenty of chances in the game, as the staff only allowed three runs on six hits in the game. Faedo had a team-high seven strikeouts in four innings of work while the four other pitchers more than held their own on the mound with three hits allowed between them.
However, it's hard to win games at this stage of the postseason with only two hits and no walks on the day. Centerfielder Buddy Reed and left fielder Danny Reyes had the only hits for the Gators as Drew Carlton, the starting pitcher for the ‘Noles, had a dominant outing in a complete game effort as he struck out five and retired 19 consecutive batters to close out the game.
Arizona 6, Mississippi State 5
--- by Thomas Stephenson
Needing a win to force a Game 3 in the super regional, the Mississippi State Bulldogs built a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the eighth inning behind two homers and three RBI by Brent Rooker to go along with a solid outing by starting pitcher Austin Sexton, who worked 5.1 innings, struck out six, and allowed just one run on seven hits and a walk.
But Arizona was not done. In the bottom of the eighth, Zach Gibbons and Alfonso Rivas started the inning with back-to-back infield singles. That brought up Ryan Aguilar, who was 0-for-2 before taking a 1-0 pitch over the right-field fence to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 5-4. Then full-blown panic set in for the Mississippi State faithful as the next two Wildcat batters got singles, giving the Wildcats runners on first and second with still nobody out. But relief pitcher Reid Humphreys worked out of the jam, retiring the next three batters to hold the lead at one run.
However, Humphreys couldn't hold the lead in the ninth: after Cody Ramer led off the inning with a double, Alfonso Rivas scored him on a bloop single two batters later. After another single and a walk, Arizona had the bases loaded with one out, but relief pitcher Blake Smith managed to get out of the jam and force the game into extra innings.
But the Bulldogs eventually ran out of lives. In the 11th inning, Arizona once again got the bases loaded -- but this time, Cesar Salazar knocked a grounder through the right side of the infield, scoring Kyle Lewis and sending Arizona to the College World Series with a 6-5 win. Mississippi State ends its season with a 44-18-1 record.
Texas A&M 7, TCU 1
--- by Christopher Novak
The bleeding finally stopped for the SEC late Saturday night as Texas A&M got themselves and the conference in the win column.
A&M tacked three early runs in the very first inning of Game 2 on Saturday night. J.B. Moss led the game off with a home run and the margin was widened after Ryne Birk scored on an error. Joel Davis then hit a single to bring Michael Barash in, leading A&M to go into cruise control.
The homers wouldn't stop there for the Aggies. Barash, Jonathan Moroney and Hunter Melton would all go deep for solo homers later on in the game. Austin Homan, meanwhile, would opt to get an XBH of a different variety as he would hit an RBI double in the sixth following Moroney's homer.
Kyle Simonds was nearly impeccable on Saturday night as his pitching performance would help save A&M's season from ending. Simonds, who was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, went 7.2 innings allowing only one run, four hits, one extra bases - a double hit by Luken Baker. Simonds struck out six and issued three walks before he was pulled in the eighth inning. Jace Vines would pitch the remaining 1.1 innings of the game and strike out two Horned Frogs batters en route to the victory for Texas A&M.
Game 3 is set to take place on Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET.
Coastal Carolina 11, LSU 8
--- by Christopher Novak
The LSU Tigers couldn't join the Texas A&M Aggies in the winner's circle and instead would fall right in line with the defeated.
The lead lead would change hands a few times by the end of the fifth inning. Coastal Carolina went up 1-0 in the top of the second, and two innings later, LSU would respond with three runs in the fourth. Coastal tied the affair up at four in the following inning before LSU retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth.
However, things would then begin to fall apart for the Tigers.
A walk to Anthony Marks and a wild pitch would lead to a Chanticleer run to be scored after Michael Paez laced a single that scored Marks. Then, following a double by Connor Owings, a wild pitch would be thrown that would lead to another run. Three batters later, Seth Lancaster would bring Owens home with a single. A sac fly one batter later following a pitching change by LSU, and Coastal Carolina had put a four spot on the board.
The Chanticleers weren't done though. The following inning, Owings went deep with a two-run homer that scored him and Marks to extend the lead. The following batter, Zach Remillard, would go back-to-back as he'd smack a solo homer to left field to put the Chanticleers up 9-4.
By night's end, the final score was 11-8 in favor of Coastal Carolina who can win the Baton Rouge Super Regionals if they score another victory on Sunday. For LSU, like so many others in the SEC, they stand with their backs against the wall and their seasons on the line. With Mississippi State being eliminated on Saturday and all SEC teams facing elimination, it's a very important Sunday in the SEC if they want to send even one team to Omaha.