Stony Brook joins the Omaha party
Five-eighths of the College World Series field is set, with Arizona to meet Florida State this week in Omaha and UCLA to play upstart Stony Brook in the opening round. Florida is also back at the CWS, with three spots still unclaimed. Here's a recap of Sunday's super regionals:
Game of the day
Top-seeded Florida earned a 9-8 win in 10 innings over North Carolina State in the Gainesville Super Regional to secure the Gators' third straight visit to the CWS and eighth overall. The game ended in wild fashion as Florida reliever Keenan Kish got Chris Diaz on a called third strike with Tarran Senay stranded at second base as the tying run.
As Florida celebrated, Diaz went after home plate umpire Steve Corvi, forcing Wolfpack coach Elliott Avent to restrain his junior shortstop. It was an ugly finish to an unusual game, highlighted by scoring in each of the final seven half-innings. The Gators won it with two runs in the top of the 10th against Vance Williams. A 2-hour, 23-minute weather delay in the third inning chased NC State's unbeaten ace freshman left-hander, Carlos Rodon, who worked a hitless first three innings. The Gators jumped on reliever Anthony Tzamtzis for four runs in the fourth inning after Avent argued against the restart because of the wet conditions.
NC State tied it in the fifth inning and went up in the seventh on Danny Canela's RBI single. Florida scored twice in the eighth to go back on top, but the Wolfpack evened it in the bottom half of the inning. Both teams then scored in the ninth, Canela again providing the big hit for NC State, a one-out single to make it 7-7 and force extra innings.
• Third-seeded Florida State completed its destruction of Stanford in the Tallahassee Super Regional with an 18-7 win on the heels of a 17-1 blowout on Friday. FSU scored four runs in the second inning to lead 6-0. Stanford got as close as 10-6 with a four-run seventh inning and brought the tying run to bat, but the Seminoles exploded for eight runs in the eighth inning to ice it.
The 35-run outburst in two games secures a 21st trip to Omaha for FSU and 15th under coach Mike Martin, relieving the pain of bad memories left from a frustrating history in super regional play. Florida State has played in 12 super regionals, more than any program, since the format was instituted in 1999, but had won only four before the emphatic victories over Stanford.
• Stony Brook completed perhaps the most unlikely run ever to Omaha with a 7-2 win over seventh-seeded LSU in Game 3 of the Baton Rouge Super Regional. The Seawolves never trailed and broke it open with three runs in the third inning to chase LSU starter Ryan Eades. Stony Brook outhit the Tigers 15-3 as Frankie Vanderka went the distance on the mound.
• Arkansas scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning -- on a pair of bases-loaded hit by pitches -- to beat fourth-seeded Baylor 5-4 and force a Game 3. The Razorbacks got started in the ninth as Baylor closer Max Garner walked Matt Reynolds. Brian Anderson singled with one out before Baylor shortstop Jake Miller booted Bo Bigham's grounder to spoil a potential game-winning double play. Garner then hit Jimmy Bosco to score Reynolds. Crayton Bare entered from the Bears' bullpen, and his first pitch plunked John Clay Reeves to plate Anderson and even the series.
• Oregon pulled even at one game apiece with Kent State, winning 3-2. The Ducks saved all their offense for the seventh inning, scoring on hits by Brett and Ryan Hambright. Kent State's T.J. Sutton led off the bottom of the ninth with a double, but the rally fell short against closer Jimmie Sherfy to snap the Golden Flashes' 21-game winning streak.
• Florida center fielder Daniel Pigott homered on a full-count pitch to open the top of the 10th inning, giving the Gators a lead they did not relinquish.
• Florida third baseman Josh Tobias finished 2-for-5 with a two-out single in the 10th that scored Casey Turgeon with the decisive run.
• Arkansas designated hitter Joe Serrano tripled in the first inning off Baylor starter Josh Turley, collected two hits and scored twice.
• Baylor first baseman Max Muncy reached base twice and drove in two runs in the Bears' loss to Arkansas.
• Stony Brook sophomore right-handed pitcher Frankie Vanderka struck out five and allowed two runs on three hits in a nine-inning gem as the Seawolves beat LSU.
• Stony Brook center fielder Travis Jankowski collected four hits and masterfully patrolled his position, tracking down an array of LSU fly balls.
• Stony Brook second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. His two-run double in the fourth inning put the Seawolves on top 6-1.
• Florida State third baseman Sherman Johnson homered in the second inning, a three-run shot off Stanford starter A.J. Vanegas, and finished 3-for-6 with five RBIs.
• Florida State left fielder Seth Miller punctuated the Seminoles' eight-run eighth inning with a grand slam, his third of the season.
• Stanford left fielder Stephen Piscotty was 4-for-5 with a run scored the Cardinal's loss to Florida State.
• Oregon right-hander Jake Reed fired 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, and fellow freshman Tommy Thorpe struck out four in 1 2/3 innings of one-hit relief.
• Game 2 between Oklahoma and South Carolina in the Columbia Super Regional was suspended after 5 ½ scoreless innings. OU sophomore Jonathan Gray and Carolina junior Colby Holmes dueled through a 64-minute lightning delay after the fifth inning. Ten minutes after play restarted and Gray retired the Gamecocks, heavy rain began to fall. Play is set to resume Monday at 4:05 p.m. ET, with a decisive Game 3, if necessary, to start no earlier than 7:05. Eighth-seeded South Carolina, the two-time defending national champion and winner of 20 straight postseason games, won the opener 5-0 on Saturday.
• Stony Brook joins the 2008 Fresno State team as the only No. 4 regional seeds (out of four teams) to qualify for the CWS. The Seawolves did it by upsetting Miami, Missouri State and UCF in the regional round before the stunning wins over LSU.
• Florida right fielder Preston Tucker smashed a solo homer to lead off the fourth inning, his 57th career blast and 11th in the NCAA postseason -- a school record.
• North Carolina State's Brett Austin doubled to lead off the bottom of the third inning off Florida's Jonathon Crawford, the first hit in 14 2/3 innings against the sophomore right-hander. Crawford threw a no-hitter in regional play against Bethune Cookman.
• Florida State equaled USC's 21 CWS appearances for fourth on the all-time list. USC, though, has won 12 national titles. The Seminoles? None, with three runner-up finishes. Only Arizona State (22 appearances), Miami (23) and Texas (34) have made more trips to the CWS.
• History will be made Monday in Game 3 of the Eugene Super Regional. Oregon reinstituted baseball in 2009 under coach George Horton and hasn't qualified for the CWS since 1954, its only appearance. The Golden Flashes have never been there.
What to watch Monday
Baylor seeks its fourth trip to the College World Series and Arkansas its seventh on Monday in the decisive game of the Waco Super Regional. Senior right-hander Tyler Bremer (7-1, 3.08) is scheduled to make his ninth start on the mound for the Bears against junior lefty Randall Fant (2-2, 3.26) for the Razorbacks. Fant has started 12 games this year.
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