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Stony Brook heads to Omaha for first time

Stony Brook heads to Omaha for first time
Sunday's college baseball action saw two of the usual suspects -- top seeds Florida and Florida State -- advance to the College World Series.

But it wasn't all chalk. Far from it, in fact.

In one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history, No. 4 seed Stony Brook took down perennial giant Louisiana State University, 7-2, in a decisive Game 3. The Seawolves are headed to Omaha for the College World Series for the first time in their history.

Stony Brook became just the third No. 4 seed in history to reach the College World Series since the current format was implemented in 1999 -- when the Seawolves weren't yet in Division I.

The phrase "David vs. Goliath" may not have done this matchup justice. The Tigers have played in the College World Series 15 times while the Seawolves have only ever played in 15 postseason games. The Tigers' six titles rank second in college baseball history.

But the resilient Stony Brook side rallied to win two straight after dropping the series opener on a 12th-inning walk-off hit. Sunday's victory was largely thanks to starter Frankie Vanderka, who tossed a complete-game three-hitter, allowing two runs.

Seawolves center fielder Travis Jankowski, taken by the Padres as the 44th overall selection on Monday, went 4-for-6 and scored twice.

The Seawolves, Gators and Seminoles joined UCLA and Arizona as the teams that have already qualified for the College World Series, which begins Friday. Three more series are slated to wrap up on Monday.

Daniel Pigott's go-ahead solo home run in the top of the 10th inning on Sunday propelled Florida to a rain-soaked 9-8 victory over a feisty North Carolina State squad that wouldn't go away. It's Florida's third consecutive trip to the College World Series.

The Wolfpack came back to tie the score in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings, before the homer hit by Pigott -- a Reds draftee -- started a two-run 10th for Florida. NC State scratched one run across in the bottom of the frame, but Florida's Keenan Kish got Pirates Draft pick Chris Diaz to strike out looking with the tying run on second.

Florida catcher Mike Zunino, who was drafted third overall by the Mariners, went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Brian Johnson, who was taken 31st by the Red Sox, went 2-for-5 with a homer.

Florida State had a relatively easy time disposing of Stanford, scoring 35 runs in the two games, including an 18-7 victory Sunday. The Seminoles were led by Angels draft pick Sherman Johnson, who went 3-for-6 with five RBIs.

Unlike the Gators and 'Noles, Baylor couldn't capitalize on its chance to advance past the Super Regional round. After losing Game 1 on Saturday, the Razorbacks extended the series with their dramatic win in Game 2.

Trailing by a run with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Arkansas loaded the bases and scored the tying and winning runs on consecutive hit-by-pitches.

After Baylor closer Max Garner plunked Jimmy Bosco on a 2-2 pitch, the Bears went to the bullpen, calling on Clayton Bare. He hit Arkansas' John Clay Reeves with his first pitch.

Oregon held off Kent State, 3-2, to extend its season at least one more day. Closer Jimmie Sherfy entered the game with a runner on second base and struck out a pair of Golden Flashes, each on his trademarked slider.

South Carolina and Oklahoma had a scoreless tie suspended in the sixth inning due to rain. With the two-time defending champion Gamecocks ahead in the series, 1-0, the game will resume on Monday.

Friday's scores
LSU 5, Stony Brook 4 (12 innings; suspended top 12th, completed Saturday)
Arizona 7, St. John's 6 (10 innings)
Florida State 17, Stanford 1

Saturday's scores
Stony Brook 3, LSU 1
Arizona 7, St. John's 4
Florida 7, NC State 1
Baylor 8, Arkansas 1
Stanford at No. 3 Florida State PPD (rain)
South Carolina 5, Oklahoma 0
Kent State 7, Oregon 6

Sunday's schedule (All times ET)
Florida 9, NC State 8
Arkansas 5, Baylor 4
Florida State 18, Stanford 7
Oklahoma 0, South Carolina 0 (susp.)
Stony Brook 7, LSU 2
No. 5 Oregon 3, Kent State 2

Monday's schedule
No. 8 South Carolina at Oklahoma (resuming suspended game), 4 p.m.
Arkansas at No. 4 Baylor, 7 p.m.
Kent State at No. 5 Oregon, 7 p.m.
Oklahoma at No. 8 South Carolina (if necessary), 7 p.m.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for