AUBURN 5, TENNESSEE TECH 3
The Auburn Tigers are one win away from taking the Tallahassee Regional following their 5-3 victory over Tennessee Tech on Saturday night.
Despite falling behind 2-1 after three innings, a three-run fourth inning helped Auburn retake control in the game after jumping out in front in the first. TTU made things interesting after scoring a run in the seventh, but insurance was tacked on in the eighth and Auburn shut the door in the ninth to walk away victorious.
The 1-2-3 hitters for Auburn went 3-7 on the day, helping the cause in their own ways. Jay Estes went a perfect 2-2 with two walks, meanwhile, and racked up a homer, two runs scored and an RBI in the victory as well.
Casey Mize held things down for Auburn, as the Tigers hurler pitched a complete game Saturday night. Mize allowed three earned runs and seven hits in his nine innings of work, striking out 12 while walking just one in an excellent performance. It took Mize just 99 pitches to get through the complete game effort, so while he did allow two home runs and three XBH, Mize was able to be efficient in helping lead the Tigers to their win.
Auburn now awaits the winner of Tennessee Tech-Florida State, which goes down Sunday afternoon.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE 5, KENTUCKY 4
Kentucky is put on the brink of elimination after their 5-4 loss to North Carolina State.
The Wildcats will have to defeat the Indiana Hoosiers on Sunday if they want to make it out of their own regional round with the loss on Saturday, as they now will be tightroping through the final day of weekend play.
With the score tied at 2 in the fifth inning, NC State erupted for three runs to help break the game open in their favor. A triple by Wolfpack third baseman Evan Mendoza and a single by catcher Andy Cosgrove helped do the damage for NC State, and they would be then tasked with keeping UK stymied.
But runs would be scored by the Kentucky offense in the seventh and ninth innings to tighten things up. Evan White homered in the final inning to cut the deficit to one, but a groundout by Zach Reks and a popout by Kole Cottam sealed the deal for the Wolfpack as Kentucky’s late rally was ultimately cut short.
White and Tristan Pompey hit a combined 4-8 out of the 1 and 2 holes but success as hard to come by elsewhere. The rest of the club combined to hit 4-24 in the loss as a usually spirited offense couldn’t quite get it done. Sean Adler and Austin Staley did their job on the mound, this after Michael Bienlien lasted only 0.1 innings after he allowed a run, a hit, and two walks.
Adler scattered six hits and three walks over 7.2 innings of work, but kept damage to a minimum, allowing only two earned runs and posted five strikeouts. Staley allowed the White home run, but that was the only hit allowed in the final inning.
VANDERBILT 9, CLEMSON 4
The Vanderbilt Commodores advanced to the regional final with a 9-4 win over the Clemson Tigers on Saturday night.
The teams traded zeroes for the first three innings before Vanderbilt started the fourth inning with three hits in a row, with a Jason Delay double scoring the game’s first run and Harrison Ray adding another on a sacrifice fly. Delay came around to score on a two-out double by Will Toffey, which gave Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead.
After a scoreless fifth, Vanderbilt started the sixth inning inauspiciously with two quick groundouts. But Ray kept the inning alive with a walk, and then the Commodores strung together four consecutive hits with Jeren Kendall delivering a two-run double that made the score 7-0 and chased Clemson starter Charlie Barnes, who surrendered 7 runs (all earned) on 13 hits and a walk.
The Commodores added two more runs in the eighth and ninth inning to back up starter Kyle Wright, who went seven innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out nine. Clemson did all of its damage after Vanderbilt had built a big lead.
Vanderbilt advances to Sunday’s regional final, where it will meet the winner of the elimination game between Clemson and UNC Greensboro.
FLORIDA 5, SOUTH FLORIDA 1 (12 INNINGS)
What a night in Gainesville!
The Gators outlasted their rivals from the south to pick up a 2-1 lead in 12 innings and advance to Sunday’s Regional Final against the winner of Sunday’s South Florida/Bethune-Cookman game. Obviously by having to face a team that’s playing its second game of the day, this is a giant advantage for the Gators.
Each team got on the board with an RBI single in the fourth and fifth inning, respectively, and that was it until the 12th.
Florida pitchers Alex Faedo and Nick Byrne combined for 12 innings, seven hits, and 18 strikeouts. A thoroughly dominant display.
The Gators exploded for four runs in the top of the 12th, thanks to a throwing error, a fielder’s choice, and an RBI single, as USF pitcher Andrew Perez appeared to run out of gas.
TEXAS A&M 3, IOWA 2
The Aggies maintained their winning ways on Saturday with their 3-2 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes. With the victory, A&M moves on to the final round of the Houston Regional, where they’ll try to get to the Supers by defeating Iowa again or have a matchup looming with the Houston Cougars.
Cole Bedford represented the entirety of the Aggies offense in the win over the Hawkeyes. Bedford hit a three-run blast in the fourth inning that propped them up over the top after falling behind 1-0 in the second.
A home run by Jake Adams cut the lead to 3-2 in the fifth, but Texas A&M’s pitching kept Iowa stymied throughout.
MISSOURI STATE 5, ARKANSAS 4
The Razorbacks have their backs against the wall following Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Missouri State in the Fayetteville Regional.
Hunter Steinmetz hit a solo home run on Blaine Knight’s second pitch of the game to put the Bears up 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. The lead wouldn’t last long, though, as Jack Kenley would knot the game up with an RBI single in the top of the second. Once again, the lead wouldn’t last long. This time for Missouri State, it was Justin Paulsen sending one into the bleachers to put the Bears up 3-1.
The Razorbacks would, again, knot it up. In the top of the fifth, Dominic Fletcher doubled home a run and then a Jax Biggers fielder’s choice plated Arkansas’ third run.
Arkansas pitchers Matt Cronin and Dominic Taccolini had a rough go of things in the bottom of the sixth, though, as Cronin gave up a HBP and a walk before Taccolini surrendered the two runs.
This time, there was no coming back for Arkansas. They got one back in the seventh on a wild pitch, but that would be it.
The Razorbacks will now need to win twice on Sunday if they want to win the Regional, first against Oral Roberts, then against Missouri State.
LSU 11, SELA 6
What a strange game.
After surrendering a first inning run to Southeastern Louisiana, the LSU Tigers roared back for four of their own.
The problem? SELA grabbed four more in the top of the second to go up 5-4. That’s right, nine combined runs in the first inning and a half.
The Tigers would tie it back up at five in the bottom of the third on a Beau Jordan single. After a couple more scoreless innings each way, the thunder came for LSU. Zach Watson led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run, Kramer Robertson notched an RBI single and Cole Freeman hit into a fielder’s choice as part of a three run inning for the Tigers, putting them up 8-5.
They weren’t done, yet. In Watson’s next at-bat, he did it again, this time sending a two-run home run to left field and giving LSU a 10-5 lead.
That was more than enough for the Tigers, who would give up a seventh inning solo home run and pick up another run of their own on a wild pitch en route to the 11-6 victory.
LSU moves on to the Regional Final where they’ll await the winner of Sunday’s Rice/SELA game.