Commentary

Surprises stir up NCAA tournament

Originally Published: June 3, 2012
By Jason King | ESPN.com

Here's a quick recap of Day 2 of the NCAA baseball tournament. Teams that fight off elimination Sunday afternoon will have to play a second game Sunday night, so the day will certainly be taxing for a number of schools.

Game of the day

Vanderbilt trailed No. 1 seed NC State 8-3 in the eighth inning before rallying for a 9-8 win in Raleigh. The Commodores scored five runs in the eighth for an 8-8 tie and then won it an inning later when Tony Kemp drove in Connor Castellano with with a walk-off single. Kemp was in a 1-for-20 slump before delivering the big hit.

Biggest surprise

Even though it wasn't listed as one of the top eight national seeds, Miami was still given a No. 1 seed and a chance to host a regional in Coral Gables. It didn't matter, as the Hurricanes were eliminated with a 12-2 loss to Missouri State. Miami lost to Stony Brook 10-2 on Friday, meaning the Hurricanes were outscored 22-4 in two games. Miami became the first No. 1 seed since San Diego in 2007 to go 0-2 in the NCAA tournament.

[+] EnlargeDanny Bethea
AP Photo/Sara D. DavisDanny Bethea blasted St. John's past UNC on Saturday.

Biggest upset

St. John's standout Danny Bethea blasted a three-run walk-off home run against North Carolina All-America closer Michael Morin to catapult the Red Storm to a 5-4 win. The victory, which occurred before a stunned crowd of 3,710 in Chapel Hill, was the second straight for St. John's, which will play either North Carolina or East Carolina on Sunday night. North Carolina is the tournament's No. 6 overall seed.

Star performances

Florida's Preston Tucker hit his school-record 10th postseason home run in the Gators' 6-2 victory over Georgia Tech.

UCLA pitcher Nick Vander Tuig carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, where he surrendered a leadoff double to New Mexico's Trey Porras. UCLA defeated the Lobos 7-1 and will play either Creighton or New Mexico on Sunday night.

Big 12 Player of the Year Josh Ludy went 4-for-4 with a double and a home run to help Baylor stave off elimination with an 11-6 win over Texas-Arlington. Ludy left the game in the ninth inning because of cramping but is expected to be fine.

In two victories in the Waco Regional, Dallas Baptist catcher Duncan McAlpine is a combined 6-for-9 at the plate with six RBIs and two home runs. Dallas Baptist plays either Baylor or Oral Roberts on Sunday night.

Florida State freshman Brandon Leibrandt, the son of former major leaguer Charlie Leibrandt, struck out 10 hitters in eight shutout innings to lead the Seminoles to an 8-1 win over Samford. James Ramsey hit a grand slam for Florida State.

Ryan Stanek pitched seven shutout innings in Arkansas' 1-0 victory over Rice in Houston. He allowed just five hits while striking out four to defeat the host Owls, who got an outstanding effort from pitcher Austin Kubitza. He allowed only two hits before yielding to reliever J.T. Chargois in the eighth.

Appalachian State pitcher Ryan Arrowood struck out nine in seven-plus innings of work in a 5-4 win against Oklahoma. He didn't allow a hit until the seventh inning.

UNC-Wilmington catcher Drew Farber had four hits, including a home run, and five RBIs to help his squad defeat Sacred Heart 13-4.

Other notables

• Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn picked up his 400th career win.

• SEC teams went 8-0 Saturday and are now 14-2 in the NCAA tournament.

• Kent State won its 19th straight game by defeating No. 1 seed Purdue 7-3. The Golden Flashes got a complete game from pitcher Ryan Bores.

• Central Florida has taken control of the Coral Gables, Fla., regional thanks, in part, to Jeremy Matos, who went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs in Saturday's 9-8 victory over Stony Brook.

• South Carolina's 5-4, 12-inning victory over Clemson extended the Gamecocks' postseason win streak to an NCAA-record 18 games.

• Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall was ejected in the fifth inning of his team's 6-2 loss to Florida for arguing with an umpire.

• Oregon coach George Horton got a victory against his former team when the Ducks defeated Cal State Fullerton 7-5 on Saturday. Horton coached the Titans from 1997-2007 and led them to the NCAA title in 2004.

• Jerrick Suiter had five hits -- including a home run -- to lead TCU to a 28-12 victory over Dayton. The Horned Frogs fell behind 9-6 in the fifth inning before erupting for 22 runs over the final four innings.

• Kentucky bounced back from Friday's 21-inning loss to Kent State to defeat Valparaiso 8-1. The Wildcats advance to face No. 1 seed Purdue in an elimination game in Gary, Ind.

Sunday's intriguing matchup

The must-see elimination game Sunday features the top two seeds in the College Station regional. Host Texas A&M, the No. 1 seed, was upset by Ole Miss on Saturday and will try to stave off elimination when it faces No. 2 TCU. The Horned Frogs opened the NCAA tournament with a loss to Ole Miss on Friday.