Oklahoma State 3, South Carolina 1
--- by Christopher Novak
Like their peers from Starkville, South Carolina's season came to an end in their own backyard.
It took only one big inning - a three-run spurt for the Pokes in the fifth - for Oklahoma State to break the game open and put themselves in position to win. South Carolina meanwhile could only muster up one run after going scoreless for the first seven innings of the game. Their valiant efforts were futile by day's end, and as a result, the Cowboys are headed for Omaha while the Gamecocks must now only look forward to next year.
Tyler Buffett was terrific for Okie State. Despite allowing eight hits on the day, none of them resulted in extra bases and the hurler only allowed one run to be earned against him through his seven official innings of work. The lone tally for South Carolina came on a wild pitch that scored Gamecocks right fielder Gene Cone, but by then Buffett was pulled from the game as the pitch was thrown by Michael Mertz.
DC Arendas and Marcus Mooney went a combined 5-for-7 at the plate at the bottom of the order, but weren't quite assisted by their fellow Gamecock hitters at the top of the lineup. The 1-2-3-4 in the order went a combined 3-for-16 at the plate with Cone, arguably their best hitter, putting up an 0-for-4 spot in the leadoff spot. If you wanted to extend the curtain out to include the No. 5 and No. 6 spots in the lineup, then South Carolina would have gone 3-for-24 at the plate on Sunday afternoon, ending things rather miserably for all involved.
TCU 4, Texas A&M 1
--- by Tom Stephenson
Texas A&M leadoff hitter J.B. Moss got on board with a base hit in the bottom of the first inning; then, after Nick Banks reached on an error and Boomer White grounded out, the Aggies took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Ryne Birk.
For a while, it looked like that might be all the Aggies would need as starting pitcher Turner Larkins, making only his sixth start of the season, breezed through the first four innings. Through four, Larkins allowed no runs and just three hits while also striking out three. But Larkins got into trouble in the fifth, giving up a pair of singles. Then, with a runner on third, a pitch got away from A&M catcher Michael Barash, allowing TCU to tie the game at one.
But after the first-inning run, the Aggies would get just one more hit off TCU starter Brian Howard -- and none after the second inning. Howard was brilliant, and he, along with relief pitcher Durbin Feltman, would retire the Aggies' last seventeen batters of the game. With a potent offense suddenly lifeless, the Frogs just needed to push across a run to break the 1-1 tie -- which they did in the seventh inning. After a leadoff single by Josh Watson, Dane Steinhagen reached on an error. A Ryan Merrill flyout was followed by two walks, the second of which scored a run, followed by a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch that made the score 4-1. Combined with the Frogs' complete shutdown of the Aggie offense, that was enough to get TCU a victory in the deciding game of the super regional and back to Omaha for the third season in a row.
Florida 5, Florida State 0
--- by Joe Billi
The Florida Gators came out heated in the first inning after a Florida State error led to Jonathan India reaching first base safely. Peter Alonso would soon follow as he hammered a double to bring in the Gators' first run of the game.
Offense would later join the game again in the third inning when Alonso stepped up to the plate and bullied FSU's struggling shortstop to bring in Dalton Guthrie who singled to first earlier in the inning, bringing the game to 2-0.
The Seminoles' batting would be non-existent the rest of the game, totaling only two hits, and being dragged down by two errors on defense. UF on the other hand would go on to squeeze in another three runs in the eighth and ninth inning to put them in the win column and even the Best of 3 at one game apiece, setting up a decisive Game 3 for Monday.
It's safe to say that Alonso was the star of Game 2 by being involved in every run Florida would score tonight. It can also be said that Kevin O'Sullivan did a fantastic job in the eighth inning, giving Logan Shore the option to stay on the mound until the next person got on, which happened shortly after Taylor Walls stepped up to bat in the ninth. Monday could potentially be his last night in a Gators uniform.
One thing FSU proved in this game is that the last three outs are the hardest. After Shore exited the game, Shaun Anderson would relieve him, walk John Sansone, and set up what looked like a scoring situation for the Seminoles. Once aware of the escalated dangers, UF terminated FSU's current trajectory, and ended the game on a double play.
Game 3 is on Monday.
Coastal Carolina 4, LSU 3
--- by Michael Tate
After an exciting win on Saturday night, Coastal Carolina looked to finish off LSU on Sunday night in Game 2. The Chanticleers kicked off the game with a single by Anthony Marks. It would be Marks who would score on a wild pitch later in the inning. G.K. Young then singled to right field, scoring Connor Owings in the process as the Chanticleers pushed their lead up to 2-0.
After a scoreless second, LSU got on the board during the top of the third inning. Third baseman Chris Reid started the inning by drawing a walk on a full count. Next up, Cole Freeman doubled down the infield line to score Reid as LSU would put some pressure on their opponents. With the score now 2-1 in favor of Coastal Carolina, both teams played two more innings of scoreless baseball before Carolina broke that trend during the bottom of the sixth inning. Kevin Woodall Jr. would lace a single to center to score Young to give them some much-needed insurance.
With a seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead for Coastal Carolina, LSU looked to chip away at that lead. Following a pair of singles, Antoine Duplantis would hit a double to score Reid, but Coastal Carolina would narrowly avoid any further trouble to keep their lead at 3-2 for the time being. In the top of the ninth, the Tigers came out swinging. After Cole Freeman would reach base and get to second on a wild pitch, Jake Farley got in to first base after dropping a bunt and collide with Woodall Jr., Coastal Carolina's first baseman, and the game would be tied as Freeman would run through home plate.
With their backs against the wall, the Chanticleers responded in a big way in the ensuing inning. Marks was once again walked on a full count, and proceed to steal second. With a runner in scoring position, Michael Paez singled to left field, scoring Marks and sent Coastal Carolina to Omaha and the College World Series.
Effectively, LSU's terrific season came to an end, but the Tigers likely have nothing to be ashamed about.