No. 1 North Carolina wins again in regionals
Teams began staking claim to the hot seat in each regional in the NCAA Baseball Tournament on Saturday, winning their first two games to put themselves in position to advance to the Super Regionals with a victory on Sunday.
No. 1 North Carolina won again, Florida State registered its second big victory in its home Tallahassee Regional, and Indiana, Louisville, LSU, Kansas State, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Oregon State, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Virginia did the same in their home regionals. The only non-top seeds to step into the driver's seat at their respective sites were Oklahoma and Rice.
Each will await the winner of the other two teams remaining after Saturday's action for the right to advance through the double-elimination regional to the next round, which will consist of a best-of-three series.
In early games Saturday, teams that lost their openers either advanced to Sunday's play or were eliminated.
In the Los Angeles Regional, one of the teams with several players projected to be selected in the First-Year Player Draft next week lived to fight another day. Third baseman Kris Bryant, No. 3 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, went 1-for-3 as San Diego stayed alive with a 6-3 victory over crosstown rival San Diego State. Right-hander Dylan Covey (No. 68) earned the victory for the Toreros, who will face Cal Poly in an elimination game Sunday, with the winner taking on UCLA that evening.
Virginia Tech, the top seed in the Blacksburg Regional, bounced back with a 9-1 victory over Coastal Carolina. Shortstop Chad Pinder (No. 49) contributed to the barrage by going 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. The Hokies now must get through Connecticut before dealing with the Sooners, who beat the Huskies 5-3 on Saturday behind 5 2/3 solid innings from lefty Dillon Overton (No. 71).
Pinder wasn't the only prospect to help his team live to fight another day. Arkansas' Ryne Stanek (No. 12), Mississippi's Bobby Wahl (No. 30) and Georgia Tech's Buck Farmer (No. 100) all pitched their teams to season-preserving victories to stay afloat in the losers bracket.
In perhaps the wildest game of the day, No. 4 seed Columbia did the Ivy League proud, scoring five runs in the eighth inning to tie No. 3 New Mexico and eventually winning 6-5 on Nick Crucet's 13th-inning RBI single. Lobos first baseman D.J. Peterson (No. 11) went 2-for-6 with a double and an RBI, but it wasn't enough to prevent elimination at the Fullerton Regional.
Rice also pulled off the upset over host Oregon at the Eugene Regional, scoring a run in the first inning, then holding on for a 1-0 win behind Jordan Stephens' 11-strikeout shutout. The Ducks will face San Francisco on Sunday afternoon, looking to advance to a rematch with the Owls.
For North Carolina, left-hander Kent Emanuel (No. 69) pitched 7 2/3 innings to get the victory in an 8-5 win over Towson, allowing five earned runs on nine hits while striking out eight. Third baseman Colin Moran (No. 6) went 1-for-4, and senior first baseman Cody Stubbs hit his ninth homer of the year.
In other action involving top Draft prospects, right fielder Hunter Renfroe (No. 28) drove in a run in Mississippi State's 6-2 win over South Alabama, second baseman JaCoby Jones (No. 63) walked twice and score a run as LSU earned an 8-5 win over Sam Houston State, and center fielder Jared King (No. 74) doubled and knocked in two for Kansas State in a 7-1 win over Bryant. Cal State Fullerton's Michael Lorenzen (No. 45) went 1-for-4 at the plate and played center field before taking the mound to record the game's final two outs and lock down the save as the Titans topped Arizona State, 1-0.
Here are Saturday's results and Sunday's schedule:
NCAA Baseball Championships
Alabama 3, Savannah State 2
Florida State 11, Troy 0
Alabama vs. Troy
Florida State vs. winner of early game
Clemson 10, Saint Louis 2
South Carolina 19, Liberty 3
Liberty vs. Clemson
South Carolina vs. winner of early game
Virginia Tech 9, Coastal Carolina 1
Oklahoma 5, Connecticut 3
Virginia Tech vs. Connecticut
Oklahoma vs. winner of early game
Chapel Hill Regional
Florida Atlantic 14, Canisius 6
North Carolina 8, Towson 5
Florida Atlantic vs. Towson
North Carolina vs. winner of early game
UNC-Wilmington 9, Army 5
Virginia 2, Elon 0
UNC-Wilmington vs. Elon
Virginia vs. winner of early game
Georgia Tech 5, East Tennessee St. 1
Vanderbilt 10, Illinois 4
Illinois vs. Georgia Tech
Vanderbilt vs. winner of early game
Raleigh (N.C.) Regional
Mississippi 8, Binghamton 4
N.C. State 1, William & Mary 0
Mississippi vs. William & Mary
N.C. State vs. winner of early game
Oklahoma St. 7, Bowling Green 3
Louisville 6, Miami (FL) 4
Oklahoma St. vs. Miami (FL)
Louisville vs. winner of early game
Bloomington (Ind.) Regional
Valparaiso 5, Florida 4
Indiana 15, Austin Peay 6
Valparaiso vs. Austin Peay
Indiana vs. winner of early game
Manhattan (Kan.) Regional
Arkansas 3, Wichita St. 1
Kansas St. 7, Bryant 1
Bryant vs. Arkansas
Kansas State vs. winner of early game
Corvallis (Ore.) Regional
Texas A&M 6, UT-San Antonio 1
Oregon State 3, UC Santa Barbara 2
UC Santa Barbara vs. Texas A&M
Oregon State vs. winner of early game
Starkville (Miss.) Regional
Central Arkansas 6, Mercer 5
Mississippi St. 6, South Alabama 2
South Alabama vs. Central Arkansas
Mississippi St. vs. winner of early game
Baton Rouge (La.) Regional
La.-Lafayette 15, Jackson State 1
LSU 8, Sam Houston St. 5
Sam Houston St. vs. La.-Lafayette
LSU vs. winner of early game
Eugene (Ore.) Regional
San Francisco 4, South Dakota St. 3
Rice 1, Oregon 0
Oregon vs. San Francisco
Rice vs. winner of early game
Los Angeles Regional
San Diego 6, San Diego State 3
UCLA 6, Cal Poly 4
Cal Poly vs San Diego UCLA vs. winner of early game
Fullerton (Calif.) Regional
Columbia 6, New Mexico 5 (13 innings)
CSU Fullerton 1, Arizona State 0
Arizona State vs. Columbia
CSU Fullerton vs. winner of early game