The NCAA Baseball Super Regionals have produced loads of highlights this year, and Day 4 on Monday was no different.
Mississippi State and Virginia got things started off, with a trip to the College World Series on the line. Virginia was the No. 3 team in the country headed into the NCAA Division I baseball tournament, but found itself in a close-knit affair against the Bulldogs on Monday.
Oregon State and Kansas State followed, with the Beavers trying to bounce back from a Game 1 loss to the Wildcats.
Here's a look at how the day's action unfolded.
|Mississippi State 6||(6) Virginia 5||Charlottesville|
|(3) Oregon State 4||Kansas State 3||Corvallis|
Mississippi State Stuns Virginia
So much for rankings.
Mississippi State defeated Virginia on Monday in Charlottesville, 6-5, to advance to the College World Series. Virginia is headed home early—or staying home, however you want to look at it.
In the 6-5 victory, Bulldogs shortstop Adam Frazier and first baseman Wes Rea combined to go 3-for-8 with four RBI. Mississippi State relievers Chad Girodo and Jonathan Holder combined to allow three runs in 6.2 innings after starter Trevor Fitts was pulled in the third inning.
Virginia scored first on Monday off a home run by Brandon Downes in the second inning, but Frazier singled home C.T. Bradford in the bottom of the frame to tie it up, 1-1.
Mississippi State then pushed across two runs in the third off Rea's two-run homer before scoring two more in the fourth, highlighted by Frazier's RBI single and a throwing error by Virginia shortstop Nick Howard.
In the sixth inning, Virginia responded with two runs of its own off a double by catcher Nate Irving, decreasing the gap to two runs.
But the Bulldogs once again answered, scoring a run in the seventh off an RBI single by Bradford.
Down 6-3 in the ninth, Virginia mounted a last-gasp effort.
First, Kenny Towns scored on an infield single by Joe McCarthy. Then, Mike Papi scored on a fielding error by Holder.
With men on second and third, Fisher grounded out to third base for the third out, sparking Mississippi State's jubilant celebration.
What a game.
Matthew Stevens of the Commercial Dispatch tweeted after the outcome:
I asked MSU coach John Cohen if 5 years ago if he thought he'd be coaching a team heading to Omaha: "Yes…because it's Mississippi State."— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) June 10, 2013
Mississippi State left-hander Jacob Lindgren posted this special photo on Instagram:
Oregon State Advances to College World Series
After losing Game 1 to Kansas State in the Super Regionals, Oregon State won the next two games of the series to advance to the CWS.
On Monday, the Beavers scored a 4-3 victory over the Wildcats.
Oregon State started it off with two runs in the second inning. After Dylan Davis walked, first baseman Danny Hayes hit a two-run bomb to center field, as the Beavers took an early 2-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Oregon State struck again, this time courtesy of an RBI double by third baseman Kavin Keyes that scored Ryan Barnes.
The Beavers weren't done, though. They tacked on another run in the fifth inning off a fielding error by Kansas State shortstop Austin Fisher.
Meanwhile, Oregon State left-hander Ben Wetzler was holding the Wildcats in check, allowing just two hits through five innings.
D. Scott Fritchen of GoPowerCat.com tweeted:
Oregon State has outscored K-State 14 runs to 3 runs during the first five innings in games 2 and 3.— D. Scott Fritchen (@DScottFritchen) June 11, 2013
In the sixth inning, the Wildcats responded off an RBI single by outfielder Jared King, but that was all they were able to manage (although there was a controversial call on a phantom tag in the frame).
In the seventh inning, Kansas State had men on first and second with no outs after singles by Blair DeBord and RJ Santigate. But they were unable to score after three straight groundouts.
But eventually the Wildcats broke through in the eighth inning.
After King walked and Fisher singled, DeBord came up big, doubling down the left-field line and plating both King and Fisher.
After a strong start by Wetzler, he was replaced by Game 1 starter Matt Boyd with two outs and DeBord representing the tying run at second base.
In the next at-bat, Santigate singled to left field, but DeBord wasn't able to reach home safely, as Michael Conforto gunned him down, keeping the Beavers' lead intact.
Great throw off the trap from the Beavers left fielder. Even better play by the catcher who was...oh well, about 4 feet out blocking home— Chris Tunno (@TunesSTL) June 11, 2013
Kansas State had one last chance in the ninth. Ross Kivett singled, but never made it home.
Oregon State will face Mississippi State in the College World Series.
ESPN Stats & Info tweeted:
Oregon State:1st College World Series appearance since winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 11, 2013
Oregon State right-hander Andrew Moore celebrated:
Dogpiles are fun.. Why not do it again! We goin to OMAHA!!! #RefuseToLose love this team so much— Andrew Moore (@AndrewG_23) June 11, 2013