TEXAS A&M 4, HOUSTON 3
The Aggies have won the Houston Regional!
For the third straight year, Texas A&M heads to a Super Regional after sweeping through the Houston Regional, defeating the Houston Cougars 4-3 in the final.
The Aggies were paced by a dominant performance from starting pitcher Stephen Kolek. Kolek lasted 8.1 innings and allowed just five hits, striking out nine along the way.
A&M got on the board in the very first inning with a two-run single from Blake Kopetsky. That was all they would muster until Nick Chrouby’s two-out triple scored George Janca to extend the lead to 3-0. Baine Schoenvogel led off the top of the ninth inning with a solo home run to give the Aggies some insurance, which they would end up desperately needing.
Up 4-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Kolek headed back out looking for a complete game shutout. The shutout hopes were dashed after a one out solo home run from Corey Julks. After Grayson Padgett followed up with an infield single, Kolek’s day was brought to an end in favor of Kaylor Chafin. Chafin hit the first batter he faced to bring the tying run to the plate with one out in the form of Lael Lockhart. Lockhart hit a groundball to third that Janca couldn’t handle, and all runners were safe. After a single and a sacrifice fly, it was suddenly 4-3 as Texas A&M turned to Cason Sherrod. Sherrod was able to get Connor Wong to strike out to seal the deal for the Aggies.
Texas A&M will face Davidson in the Super Regional.
FLORIDA 6, BETHUNE-COOKMAN 1
The Florida Gators are on to the Super Regionals after their 6-1 win over Bethune-Cookman on Monday.
The Gators and their adversary were deadlocked at 0 for five whole innings before UF erupted for three runs in the sixth. From there, Florida scattered three runs over the next three innings - one apiece in each - and kept BC held down apart from one run allowed in the seventh.
Austin Langworthy had a terrific day at the plate. Florida’s leftfielder went 2-4 with a double and a home run, showing off some power at the plate.Nelson Maldonado went 3-4 out of the cleanup spot while Jonathan and Dalton Guthrie combined to go 4-9 at the dish.
Langworthy also picked up the win on the mound after pitching four innings in the game.
Florida now will face Wake Forest in the Supers later this week.
FLORIDA STATE 6, AUBURN 0
The Auburn Tigers have been eliminated from the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
After having a chance to wrap up the Regional Sunday evening and losing on a walk-off hit by pitch, the Tigers got blanked by the Seminoles Monday night.
Florida State pitcher Will Zirzow pitched a whale of a game, recording a complete game shutout, allowing just two hits and striking out 11. Zirzow faced just two over the minimum.
Former Tigers David Ross and Tim Hudson were in attendance for the loss.
The Tigers Super Regional drought will be extended another year, as it has been since 1999 since Auburn made it there.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 8, SOUTHERN MISS 1
Mississippi State forced a winner-take-all game against Southern Miss following the Bulldogs’ 8-1 win over the Golden Eagles on Monday night.
The heart of the order showed out for State as Ryan Gridley, Cody Brown and Jake Mangum went 6-12 at the dish against Southern Miss pitchers. Hunter Vansau fared well as well, as the Bulldogs’ rightfielder went 3-4 at the dish himself.
Brent Rooker and Josh Lovelady each homered in the win as well, as the Bulldogs certainly flexed their muscles.
Hitting wasn’t the only area where State was strong though. Jacob Billingsley shut the Golden Eagles down in a complete game effort, allowing six hits and one earned run. Billingsley posted five strikeouts, but while he had four walks, he was able to finagle his way out of trouble.
MISSOURI STATE 3, ARKANSAS 2
The Arkansas Razorbacks have been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.
Following their waterlogged marathon victory Sunday evening, the Razorbacks couldn’t quite finish the job against the Missouri State Bears on Monday, falling by a 3-2 margin.
The Razorbacks couldn’t get anything going at the plate, as two players (Eric Cole and Jared Gates) combined for all five Arkansas hits.
Jeremy Eierman provided the big blow for Missouri State, hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning to unbreak the tie and put the Bears up 3-1. Arkansas got a run back in the seventh, but that was all they could muster.
Arkansas’ first trip back to the Super Regionals since 2015 will have to wait at least one more year.
VANDERBILT 8, CLEMSON 0
The Vanderbilt Commodores advanced to the Super Regionals following their 8-0 win over Clemson on Monday.
Will Toffey racked up two home runs and five RBI in the blowout win, excelling out of the leadoff spot with two hits in his five at-bats. Toffey’s blast, of the two-run variety, put Vandy on the board initially in the third inning. Toffey’s second dinger was of the three-run variety and helped to bring the lead up to 6-0 after Connor Kaiser’s RBI single.
The 1-2-3 hitters for Vandy were more than successful in against Clemson, racking up a 7-15 mark at the plate. Ro Coleman shined brightest, going 3-5, outdoing his teammates by a hit.
Matt Ruppenthal, Reed Hayes and Jackson Gillis were tasked with keeping runs off the board from the mound. That’s exactly what they did.The three combined to allow just four hits over the nine-inning affair, posting nine strikeouts and four walks with only one hit going for extra bases.
KENTUCKY 10, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 5
For the first time in school history, the Kentucky Wildcats are going to the Super Regional!
Needing to win three games in 36 hours, the Wildcats got the job done in dramatic fashion.
After surrendering two early runs, Kentucky put up a four spot in the fourth thanks to a Marcus Carson double, a Connor Heady fielder’s choice, and an Evan White single to grab a 4-2 lead.
The lead wouldn’t last long, though. NC State tied it up in the bottom of the fourth, then took a one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth.
Fortunately for Kentucky, their offense continued to find success against the Wolfpack’s pitching. In the seventh inning, Luke Becker reached on an error and drove a run in to tie it, and Kole Cottam’s two-run double put Kentucky on top.
The Wildcats added three insurance runs in the top of the ninth for the 10-5 victory. They’ll face Louisville in the Super Regional, in what should be a huge series for the Commonwealth.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 8, SOUTHERN MISS 6
Mississippi State’s journey continues on after defeating Southern Miss for the second time on Monday.
The Bulldogs won 8-6 over the Golden Eagles to take the Hattiesburg Regional, setting up a matchup with the LSU Tigers in the Supers!
Trailing5-1 in the fifth, Mississippi State cut into the deficit by scoring three runs in the stanza. Southern Miss fired right back with a run in the bottom frame though to push the lead up to 6-4. State refused to quit though, as they chipped away and scored a run in the seventh to cut USM’s lead to 6-5.
It was then, in the eighth, that the Diamond Dawgs took over. Two runs were scored in the stanza to give them the lead, and after an insurance run in the ninth, State sealed the deal despite allowing the tying run to come to the plate.
Brent Rooker hit yet another home run and went 2-4 in the contest. Jake Mangum went 2-5, as the duo collected four of State’s 11 hits in the victory. Southern Miss wasn’t too far behind with 10, but were unable to capitalize in some spots to make their opponents pay.