South Carolina 23, Rhode Island 2
--- by Jordan Rinard
The Gamecocks dominated throughout the contest with their bats and sent the Rams packing as they advanced in the tournament with a 23-2 win. South Carolina has to make a quick turnaround with a 6 p.m. matchup looming against UNCW.
USC didn't waste any time to get rolling with a two-RBI single from third baseman Jonah Bride in the first inning, but Bride ended up getting tossed out of the game in the inning for violating the collision rule at home plate. Bride is not expected to be suspended for their next game. Rhode Island answered with a groundout RBI in the bottom of the inning, and the Gamecocks retaliated with a RBI-single from right fielder Gene Cone to set the score at 3-1 heading into the third inning.
The pitchers for the Rams turned out to be no match for South Carolina's offense, especially in the fifth inning where USC put eight runners across the plate. Catcher Chris Cullen kicked off the scoring with a sac-fly, while a balk and another hit by cone pushed the lead to 10-2. Designated hitter Alex Destino delivered a three-run jack in the inning and a RBI-triple from third baseman DC Arendas closed out the scoring in the fifth, setting a pace which the Rams were unable to match.
Adam Hill did great work on the mound against Rhode Island, allowing two runs on three hits during seven innings and 123 pitches of work, while also striking out six. Tyler Haswell shut the door on any kind of late rally by the Rams with no hits, no walks, and two strikeouts to close out the final two inning of the game.
Arendas was one of many who had good day at the plate, going 4-4 (including his three-run homer) and a walk. Cone and Destino each had three hits on the day, while center fielder TJ Hopkins was everybody's favorite teammate with a team-high five RBIs. The team pounded Rhode Island pitchers to the tune of 22 hits, 21 RBI, and three dingers as well as stealing two bases and receiving seven free passes on the day.
South Carolina 10, UNCW 1
--- by Christopher Novak
With their backs against the wall, the Gamecocks soundly defeated the UNCW Seahawks to force a decisive elimination contest on Monday evening in Columbia. South Carolina's prodigious offensive effort continued on Sunday night after the team scored 23 runs against Rhode Island earlier in the day. The Gamecocks shelled UNCW for 10 runs in a game where a loss would have forced them to watch another team celebrate in their own dwelling.
Though the offense was a major highlight, pitcher Tyler Johnson was perhaps the biggest story. Johnson, in the biggest game of the season to date for the Gamecocks threw a complete game and allowed just one run to score on him. He issued just one walk and fanned a total of 11 batters Sunday night, omitting just two XBH all night in an outstanding effort.
Four Gamecock batters had two or more hits on the night with Gene Cone leading the way. Cone had three hits in his four at bats against UNCW with a double and three RBI. While South Carolina didn't register any long balls, they were able to strike for three doubles on the night and 13 hits in all.
Florida 10, Georgia Tech 1
--- by Michael Tate
The Florida Gators put on an impressive performance against the overmatched Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets en route to punching their ticket to the Super Regionals.
Not only did the Gators bring their gloves, they also brought their bats. In the top of the first inning, Peter Alonso singled to right field to give the Gators their first hit of the game. Next up, JJ Schwarz was walked, setting the stage for Mike Rivera who then singled to left field, scoring Alonso to give the Gators a 1-0 lead.
After three consecutive scoreless innings, the top of the fifth inning brought on more runs for the Gators. Nelson Maldonado doubled to put himself in scoring position. First baseman Jonathan India soon singled, scoring Maldonado to put the Gators up by two runs. The always reliable Alonso then proceeded to smack a double that would then score India, and Schwarz would hit a two-bagger two batters later, eventually putting them up 4-0.
If that were not enough, the Gators still had their eyes set on more. In the top of the sixth, Danny Reyes brought Deacon Liput home with a single. Alonso netted himself a big hit, a two-run single that would soon be compounded with an RBI single by Schwarz.
The game would be well in hand when two runs were scored by Liput and Buddy Reed in the ninth. Although Georgia Tech would avoid the shutout in the ensuing bottom half of the ninth, a comeback attempt was too much to bargain for as the Gators closed the door and now will head to the Supers, where they will meet in-state rival Florida State.
LSU 4, Rice 2
--- by Christopher Novak
LSU finally played a winner's bracket game Sunday night after delays and postponements ran rampantly in Baton Rouge this weekend. The Tigers made the wait worth it for their fans as they scooped up a 4-2 victory over the Rice Owls to put them in position to win the Baton Rouge regional.
With Greg Deichmann and Michael Papierski leading the way for the LSU offense, the Tigers scored four runs in the first inning and that would prove to be all they needed with just one swing of the bat. Deichmann brought Bryce Jordan, Kramer Robertson and Antonie Duplantis home with the rare inside the park GRAND SLAM to put a four spot on the board. Deichmann would finish 1-for-3 while the aforementioned Papierski was 2-for-4 on the night.
Alex Lange threw eight strong innings to give the Tigers a big boost on the mound. Lange struck out 10 batters and allowed only two XBH, a double and a home run by Rice's Grayson Lewis. Lange had five hits scattered against him and just two earned runs coming in the fifth and sixth inning. Hunter Newman shut the door in the ninth to pick up his seventh save on the year while Duplantier of Rice was the pitcher of record for the Owls.
The Tigers will face either Rice again or Southeastern Louisiana depending on Monday's results.
Texas A&M 8, Minnesota 2
--- by Christopher Novak
The College Station Regional belongs to its home dweller. Texas A&M finished off an unblemished weekend with an 8-2 victory over Minnesota to win their regional and move on to the Super Regionals.
The Aggies didn't put the game out of reach early or have a big inning or anything of that sort. Instead, they meticulously took down the Gophers little by little as the game went on. Two runs in the second, two runs again in the fourth, one run in the seventh, and then three in the ninth. It was a methodical performance that kept the suffering on the side of the Gophers who were outmatched by A&M from start to finish.
Five combined RBI were brought in by Michael Barash, Ryne Birk and Joel Davis. Davis picked up a two-RBI triple in the top of the second inning while Birk and Barash waited until the final inning to do their damage via a single and a sacrifice fly. Other runs were credited to Nick Banks, Hunter Melton and Austin Homan.
Texas A&M's victory now sets them up against an in-state foe in the Supers. The TCU Horned Frogs stand between A&M and a trip to the College World Series in what's sure to be an excellent series of baseball.
Mississippi State 4, Louisiana Tech 0
-- by Michael Tate
The Mississippi St. Bulldogs faced off against Louisiana Tech late on Sunday night in the Starkville Regional.
The first inning of the game was filled with groundouts and strikeouts by both teams, and it wasn't until the bottom of the second inning that the Bulldogs began to let their bats do the talking. Jacob Robson singled to the shortstop to put the first Bulldog on base for the day, and after a steal, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, Ryan Gridley was up with the bases loaded. He reached base on a fielding error by the pitcher and scored Rooker in the process. That would be the only run of the inning giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 after two innings of play.
An inning later, Jake Mangum doubled to left centerfield. Gavin Collins would then score Mangum after a single to right, and the relentless Rooker would follow with a single to score Collins after some shifty baserunning. With the score now 3-0 in favor of Mississippi St., the Bulldogs would tack on one more run in the fifth inning which would prove to be the difference as the Bulldogs picked up a 4-0 victory over Louisiana Tech.
With the victory, Mississippi State advances to the Supers, where they will meet the winner of the Lafayette regional which is down to the Ragin' Cajuns and Arizona Wildcats.