Following a captivating Friday of action that saw four teams take one step closer to the College World Series, all 16 remaining teams took to the diamond looking for a crucial win to secure that berth.
Vanderbilt, Texas, Louisville and UC Irvine all won their opening game of the super regionals on Friday, each team is looking to clinch on Saturday. As for the other side of the bracket, all eight teams will take the field for the first time after taking their respective regionals.
With a trip to Omaha on the line, all 16 teams will put it on the line to reach the ultimate goal of winning the College World Series.
Here's a look at the results along with a breakdown from each game in the super regionals.
|Texas Tech||College of Charleston||1-0 Texas Tech|
|Louisville||Kennesaw State||7-4 Louisville|
|Oklahoma State||UC Irvine||1-0 UC Irvine|
|La.-Lafayette||Ole Miss||9-4 La.-Lafayette|
Maryland 5, Virginia 4
The historic run by Maryland just continues in the NCAA tournament. In their first appearance since 1971, the Terrapins are making the most of it with a regional win and now have a win over fellow ACC rival Virginia in the Charlottesville super regional.
Unlike several No. 1 seeds during this year's tournament, the Cavaliers have remained a strong competitor for the College World Series. But on Saturday, the Terps were too much for the Cavs as they staked their claim with a 5-4 win.
Much of the early offense for Maryland came from the bat of Tim Lewis, who delivered with an RBI single in the first inning. NCAA Baseball provides a look at the hit that tied things up early on:
Sophomore starter Nathan Kirby, who came into the day with a 9-1 record and a 1.36 ERA in 15 appearances, came unraveled against the Terps. Kirby lasted just 4.2 innings, surrendering seven hits and five earned runs in the loss.
Douglas Doughty of the Roanoke Times notes the poor outing was one of Kirby's worst of the season:
Shortest stint of the season for #UVa left-hander Nathan Kirby in 16 starts. On hook for first loss since March 22 (and second overall).— Douglas Doughty (@DoughtySports) June 7, 2014
As for the Terps, Charlie White and Jose Cuas paced the offensive attack in the win. White finished with two singles, a double and two runs from the leadoff position while Cuas notched another two hits and a run.
White's day wasn't just memorable on the diamond, as he was selected by the MLB draft during the game, as Maryland Baseball notes:
Maryland is now one step closer to clinching its first ever berth to the College World Series while the Cavaliers now need two consecutive wins to make the trip to Omaha.
The Terrapins have been on a huge run after a great showing at the ACC Tournament and a regional win, but face an experienced team that knows how to rally back from a deficit. After a tight first game that came down to the final frame, expect Sunday's game to be just as enticing.
Texas Tech 1, College of Charleston 0
Two of the most surprising teams to advance to the super regionals, both Texas Tech and College of Charleston came into the day looking to secure another huge win.
NCAA Baseball notes the rare occurrence for the two teams to make it out of the regional round:
For Texas Tech, the No. 2 seed out of the Coral Gables regional earned hosting duties and made the most of it.
Leadoff batter Stephen Smith did it all for the Red Raiders, going 2-for-4 with the lone run scored on a Tyler Neslony triple. NCAA Baseball provides a look at the final scene in Lubboch:
The Red Raiders were only able to put just one run on the board in the third inning, but that would be more than enough for starter Chris Sadberry. The Texas Tech ace put on a masterful performance in Lubboch, as Aaron Fitt of Baseball America points out:
Chris Sadberry struck out 8 over 8 innings of 4-hit, shutout ball, leading Texas Tech to a 1-0 win vs. CofC. Arms keep doing it for TTU.— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) June 7, 2014
On the other side, Taylor Clarke allowed just one run on five hits scattered over eight innings. The tough-luck loss for Clarke came during a nearly complete-game performance as he wasn't trotted out for the win in the final frame.
Head coach Monte Lee provides his thoughts on the starter's performance, per Andrew Miller of the Post and Courier:
Monte Lee: "Obviously tough loss for us. Taylor Clarke did everything we could ask of him."— Andrew Miller (@APMILLER_PandC) June 7, 2014
Texas Tech comes away with the win, but College of Charleston still showed the same resiliency from the regionals. With similar pitching performances from starters throughout the remainder of the series, the Cougars will need help from the bats.
After getting a tough draw in Miami's regional, Texas Tech is just one win away from the College World Series. Both teams are in search of its first appearance in Omaha, but only one will finally come away with the pivotal berth for the program.
Texas 4, Houston 0
After just two games during the Austin super regional, Texas secured the first berth to the College World Series with a convincing 4-0 win over Houston.
The Longhorns relied once again on its pitching staff to get the job done, just as it did on Friday. ESPNU notes the return of legendary coach Augie Garrido to the CWS stage:
Starter Parker French got the job done during the course of six innings, scattering just five hits for no runs over that span. French also faced just 27 batters and lowered his ERA during the season to 2.31.
Following French's outing, the bullpen finished up the shutout to end the Cougars' season. Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game noted the pitching is a strength for the Longhorns heading to Omaha:
This is a familiar place for Texas, who comes in with six national championships in baseball. Add on the fact that the Longhorns have finished as the runner-up an additional six times and it appears Texas might yet again be a dangerous team in the College World Series.
ESPN Stats & Info points out the visit is also a historic one for the Longhorns:
Texas: advances to College World Series for 35th time, most of any school— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 7, 2014
As for Houston, the Cougars are bounced from the super regionals, but end a huge year with a 48-17 record. After making the NCAA tournament, the Cougars made a huge statement by coming from the loser's bracket to defeat SEC Champion LSU twice in the Baton Rouge regional.
Despite the loss, Fitt shares his thoughts on the potential program-changing year for Houston:
With Texas moving forward and Houston packing it up after a historic year, both programs head in separate directions. But as Texas looks to make its 35th trip to Omaha, Houston will look to make the tournament for a third time in program history next season.
Louisville 7, Kennesaw State 4
The Louisville Cardinals entered this game fresh off a dramatic come from behind win over Kennesaw State on Friday.
They made sure it was deja vu all over again on Saturday.
The Owls once again took the early lead against the Cardinals. A two-run double from the star catcher helped the underdogs to a two-run lead through three innings, as ESPNU noted:
That'll Pentecost 'em. Just like that, @KSUOwlsBaseball take back the lead on Max Pentecost's 2run double. He's got all 3 RBI for the Owls— ESPNU (@ESPNU) June 7, 2014
However, the Cardinals weren't done yet. Once again they showed their ability to come through in the clutch. Once again it was Nick Solak who played the role of hero for the Cardinals. The prodigious freshman crushed a two-run jack in the fifth inning that gave the Cards a 5-4 lead, per NCAA Baseball on Twitter:
The Cardinals would go on to score two more runs in the sixth to put the finishing touches on the win, though they wouldn't need them.
The win was a big one for Louisville. The program will be headed to its second consecutive World Series, it's third since Dan McDonnell took over the reigns in 2007.
TCU 3, Pepperdine 2
While some teams were punching their tickets to Omaha on Saturday, TCU and Pepperdine began their series with a thrilling Game 1 on Saturday.
Thanks to a clutch performance from closer Riley Ferrell it was the Horned Frogs who claimed the 1-0 lead in Fort Worth, Texas.
With his team clinging to a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning, the star closer took the mound with runners on second and third. Rather than cede a run that would make things interesting for TCU, he struck out the first batter he faced and got the third out of the inning on a grounder.
He proceeded to strike out the side in the ninth inning to seal the deal for the No. 7 national seed. Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News put the performance in perspective:
TCU closer Riley Ferrell enters in 8th inning with one out, throws 18 pitches, strikes out 4 of 5 batters.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) June 7, 2014
The Waves might be kicking themselves for the blown opportunity, but all isn't lost quite yet. Pepperdine will trot out season wins leader Aaron Brown to the mound for Game 2 on Sunday.
La.-Lafayette 9, Ole Miss 5
Game 1 of the Super Regional Series between La.-Lafayette and Ole Miss turned out to be the game of the day for fans of offensive baseball.
The Rebels got the action started with a three-run second inning highlighted by an Errol Robinson single.
But the 3-0 lead wouldn't last long. The Ragin' Cajuns put on a power show in the bottom of the third. Tyler Girouard put the finishing touches on the five-run inning with a moonshot:
The offensive onslaught forced a short day on the mound for Rebels starter Chris Ellis. He was taken out of the game after just 2.2 innings pitched.
The substitution didn't help Ole Miss much, though. Lafayette once again took advantage of mistakes on the mound with a three-run inning in the fifth capped by a home run blast from Dylan Butler. Fitt had the update:
With the win, Lafayette is now just one win away from returning to the World Series for the first time since 2000.
UC Irvine 1, Oklahoma State 0
UC Irvine scored eight runs to upset the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Game 1 of their Super Regional Series. This time around, the bats were a lot less active.
The Anteaters scored just one run in the opening frame. As it turns out, that's all they would need.
The scrappy California squad rode a dominant performance on the mound from Andrew Morales to a 1-0 victory that ensures their spot in Omaha among the country's top teams.
The second round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals was stellar on the mound from the outset. He ended up taking the Anteaters the whole nine innings, only giving up five hits and striking out eight batters while just walking two.
As Trent Shadid of The Oklahoman noted, between Morales on the hill and a deflated Cowboys team from the Game 1 loss, this one was decided before it started.
What an outstanding pitching performance from Andrew Morales. Last night's loss really hurt #OKState. Didn't have much of a chance tonight.— Trent Shadid (@Shadid13) June 8, 2014
UC Irvine booked it's first trip to Omaha since 2007, as noted by Fitt:
FINAL: Andrew Morales throws a complete-game shutout, and UC Irvine beats Oklahoma State 1-0 to reach the #CWS for the first time since 2007— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) June 8, 2014
With the Texas Longhorns waiting in the wings, Irvine will have to continue to find ways to win against Big 12 schools if it wants to continue its magical run.
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