MISSISSIPPI STATE 5, ILLINOIS-CHICAGO 4
The Mississippi State Bulldogs held off a late rally by the Illinois-Chicago Flames to stave off elimination and kept alive their hopes of returning to the College World Series for the first time since 2013.
Mississippi State struck first in the top of the 3rd on a two-out RBI single by Ryan Gridley. But the Bulldogs gave that run right back as starting pitcher Konnor Pilkington allowed the Flames to load the bases with a base hit, a hit batsman, and a walk before UIC’s Cody Bohanek tied the game on a sacrifice fly. But after the sac fly, Pilkington settled in, retiring the next 13 batters as State added three runs in the 4th inning and another in the 5th to build a 5-1 lead.
Things got interesting, however, in the eighth inning. Pilkington — who was around 100 pitches at that point — allowed the first three batters of the inning to reach, with a two-run single by Mickey McDonald cutting the lead to 5-3 and chasing Pilkington from the game. Pilkington finished with nine strikeouts and two walks, but was charged with four runs after relievers Spencer Price and Riley Self allowed McDonald to come around to score, making the score 5-4.
But that wasn’t the end of it. In the bottom of the 9th, Self allowed a one-out single and then issued a pair of walks to load the bases. State fans could finally breathe easy when Self struck out UIC’s David Cronin on three pitches and then got Cody Bohanek to ground out to end the game.
Mississippi State now awaits the loser between Southern Miss and South Alabama in another elimination game, which will likely be played later tonight after the conclusion of that game.
KENTUCKY 14, INDIANA 9
Much like the majority of the times they’ve met on the basketball court in the past two decades, the Kentucky Wildcats took care of the Indiana Hoosiers by a large margin on Sunday afternoon.
The Wildcats were powered by a six-run sixth inning that saw Tristan Pompey double home a pair of runs before Riley Mahan unloaded a grand slam to right field. Pompey and Mahan turned Kentucky’s modest 4-1 lead into a 10-1 lead.
The Hoosiers came back with three of their own in the seventh to get back within six, but Kentucky tacked on four more in the eighth to extend their lead to 10. Indiana plated five more in the ninth, but it was far too little too late.
Zack Thompson picked up the win for Kentucky, striking out seven in seven innings. The Wildcats will now face North Carolina State later on Sunday and look to force a do-or-die game Monday night.
ARKANSAS 4, ORAL ROBERTS 3
The Arkansas Razorbacks move on after their 4-3 win over Oral Roberts, setting up an imminent showdown with the Missouri State Bears.
The Hogs picked up the win despite falling behind 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth. In the ensuing stanza, Arkansas broke out for three runs of their own to tie the game, and then took the lead in the seventh and would not relinquish it.
Chad Spanberger kept up his stellar play with yet another long ball in the contest. Spanberger’s bomb in the seventh helped vault the Hogs over the top after their previous big inning in the fifth. In that frame, Jake Arledge and Eric Cole delivered big RBI doubles that chipped away and tied the game respectively.
BETHUNE-COOKMAN 6, FLORIDA 2
Well, that’s not what the Gators were looking for.
With a chance to wrap up the Gainesville Regional with a victory, Florida took a 6-2 loss to the Wildcats to extend the Regional to a Monday evening winner-take-all game.
It was the first time in school history that Bethune-Cookman defeated the Gators.
Each side scored a pair of runs in the second inning. That would be all the offense of the day for Florida, as B-C’s TJ Densmore and Anthony Maldonado held the Gators to just two hits over the final 7.2 innings of the game.
The big blow came in the eighth inning, when the Wildcats, already up 3-2, struck for three runs off Florida’s Brady Singer and Frank Rubio.
As noted above, the teams meet again Monday night.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 7, SOUTH ALABAMA 3
A five-run third inning helped keep hope alive for Mississippi State, as the Bulldogs advance to a regional final game against Southern Miss on Monday with their 7-3 win over South Alabama.
The Bulldog offense was powered by three home runs from Cody Brown, Hunter Stovall and Harrison Bragg. Brown’s was the biggest blast of all, as he connected on a three-run shot that contributed to their big inning in the third. Stovall’s was a two-run blast and Bragg’s was a solo bomb that led off the ninth.
State got decent pitching out of Denver McQuary, before Peyton Plumlee took over and allowed just one run in four innings of work. Plumlee had five strikeouts and only one walk and two hits scattered throughout his outing
KENTUCKY 8, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 6
The Kentucky Wildcats have forced a winner-take-all game on Monday with an 8-6 victory over the North Carolina State Wolfpack Sunday evening in Lexington!
It was the second victory of the day for Kentucky, who defeated Indiana 14-9 earlier.
Kentucky starting pitcher Brad Schaenzer had a bit of a rocky outing, allowing three runs in just four innings. However, NC State starter Brian Brown didn’t fare much better, allowing six runs in 5.2 innings.
It was a balanced scoring attack for the Wildcats, as five players combined to drive in the eight runs. Riley Mahan picked up a pair of RBIs to pick up where he left off in Kentucky’s victory over Indiana earlier in the day.
Kentucky’s four-run sixth inning made a huge difference in extending their lead from one to five. The Wildcats needed that cushion, considering NC State’s Joe Dunand hit a three-run home run in the seventh to bring the Wolfpack within two. Kentucky’s Logan Salow came in and pitched the final 2.2 innings and shut the door.
LSU 5, RICE 0
LSU advanced to the Supers with their 5-0 win over the Rice Owls on Sunday!
The Tigers’ torrid run continues on, thanks in large pat to a breakout in innings 2-4. In that three inning span, the Fighting Tigers posted all five runs they amounted by night’s end, including three in the second.
Josh Smith went 2-3 on the night, standing as the only LSU batter to record more than one hit. With that said, the team picked up six on the day, with one coming from both Kramer Robertson and Cole Freeman out of the 1 and 2 spots.
FLORIDA STATE 8, AUBURN 7 (10 Innings)
Auburn would have advanced to the Supers with a victory.
They lost in pretty gut-wrenching fashion instead.
The Tigers trailed 6-2 after two innings. They trailed 6-4 going into the ninth inning.
Jonah Todd and Josh Anthony drive in three runs on two singles in the ninth, the second of which came with two outs, to put the Tigers up 7-6 going into the bottom of the ninth.
Cole Lipscomb retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth before allowing a two-out walk. No big deal, right? Just get the next guy.
Instead, Lipscomb gave up a two-out game-tying triple to Dylan Busby to tie the game at seven. Mitchell eventually got out of the inning, but the damage was done.
The Tigers got a couple runners on in the top of the tenth, but nothing came of it.
Then, the bottom of the tenth happened. Andrew Mitchell came in to relive Lipscomb and retired the first two hitters. Then he allowed a two-out walk. Then another. Then an infield single. Suddenly the bases were loaded with two outs.
After two strikes and a foul ball, Mitchell hit JC Flowers with a pitch. Run scores. Game over. Seminoles win.
As a result, there will be a winner-take-all game Monday night.
CLEMSON 6, VANDERBILT 0
Clemson’s Tyler Jackson tossed a complete game, two-hit shutout to force a winner-take-all game for the regional, as the Tigers defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 6-0 on Sunday night.
The Tigers got things started right away with an RBI double by Chase Pinder in the first inning. That lead would not be relinquished, as the Tigers held their lead from wire-to-wire, almost literally.
Vandy’s lone hits came off the bats of Ro Coleman and JJ Bleday. Neither went for extra bases, as Coleman and Bleday produced singles that wound up amounting to nothing thanks to Jackson’s dominance on the mound. The rest of Vandy’s hitters went a combined 0-for-26, and counting Coleman and Bleday’s hits, Jackson held Vandy hitters to a 2-for-32 mark at the plate.
Not too shabby. If you’re in the corner of Clemson, that is.
Weston Jackson stood out for Clemson with his bat, as the Tigers rightfielder hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. Jackson later followed with a two-RBI double in the ninth inning to tack on the Tigers’ fifth and sixth runs of the game. Jackson finished the day with a mark of 3-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored and three RBI.