CWS roundup: Arkansas returns to Series for first time since 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Andrew Darr’s two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Arkansas to a 9-8 NCAA super regional win Saturday over Florida State and a berth in the College World Series.
Darr, who was hitting just .215 coming in, had four of Arkansas’ 10 hits, including his fourth homer.
Arkansas (39-22) returns to the CWS in Omaha, Neb., for the first time since 2004 when it also beat Florida State in the super regionals.
The Seminoles (45-18) had taken an 8-7 lead in the top of the ninth when Stephen Cardullo singled in two runs and then scored a short-lived go-ahead run on Jason Stidham’s single.
Arkansas’ Stephen Richards (6-1) got the win despite giving up three runs in the ninth. Jack Posey (0-1) took the loss.
LSU 5, Rice 3
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louis Coleman pitched eight strong innings, Derek Helenihi drove in two runs and LSU beat Rice to win the super regional and clinch the Tigers’ 15th College World Series appearance.
Coleman scattered nine hits, struck out five and kept Rice from scoring in the seventh and eighth innings while LSU (51-16) clung to a two-run lead. Matty Ott pitched the ninth, striking out Brock Holt with a man on base to wrap up his 16th save.
Helenihi drove in a run in the fourth inning with a single, and hit a solo homer in the sixth for the Tigers’ final run.
Ryan Berry (7-2) took the loss for Rice (43-18), which fell two victories short in its bid for a fourth straight CWS appearance.
Cal St. Fullerton 11, Louisville 2
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) – Jared Clark homered and drove in three runs and Noe Ramirez struck out a career-high 10 over eight strong innings, sending Cal State Fullerton to the College World Series.
Fullerton (47-14) has yet to be challenged in five NCAA tournament contests, winning them by a combined score of 64-11. The four-time NCAA champion Titans, who last won it all in 2004, will head to Omaha for the 16th time and third in the last four years.
Ramirez gave up two solo homers to Louisville’s Chris Dominguez but allowed only one other hit. The Cardinals (47-18) managed just eight hits in the two games.
North Carolina 10, East Carolina 1
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Alex White struck out a career-high 12 batters while getting plenty of help at the plate as North Carolina beat East Carolina to open their NCAA super regional series.
Kyle Seager had four hits and a home run for the Tar Heels (46-16), the No. 4 national seed. North Carolina went ahead with a pair of runs in the third inning, then blew the game open with seven more in the sixth. The Tar Heels can clinch their fourth straight trip to the College World Series by beating the Pirates again Sunday.
Brandon Henderson hit a solo home run in the second for the Pirates (46-19), who didn’t get much else against White. Seth Maness took the loss, allowing 13 hits and six earned runs in five innings.
Virginia 4, Mississippi 3
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) – Robert Morey pitched four hitless innings after giving up two runs on his first three pitches and Virginia took advantage of an eighth-inning error to keep its bid for the College World Series alive with a win over Mississippi.
An errant throw by second baseman Evan Button helped Virginia (47-13-1) to a two-run eighth inning when Franco Valdes drove in one run and John Barr beat out a double-play attempt to put the Cavaliers ahead.
The defensive difficulties wiped out a nearly perfect outing by starter Drew Pomeranz, who struck out 10 despite a blistered finger in his bid for his third postseason win but finished with a no decision for the Rebels (44-19).
Barr had two RBIs for the Cavaliers.
Southern Miss 9, Florida 7
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Corey Stevens drove in three runs, reliever Jonathan Johnston pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings and Southern Mississippi beat Florida in their super regional opener.
The Golden Eagles (39-24) are one win away from their first College World Series berth.
Southern Miss won for the 11th time in its last 14 games, a hot streak that started shortly after coach Corky Palmer announced his retirement. Now, the Eagles need another victory to give Palmer a storybook send-off in Omaha, Neb.
Johnston allowed just two baserunners en route to his first win this season. Collin Cargill pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
Patrick Keating (4-4) took the loss for Florida (42-21).
Texas 10, TCU 4
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Michael Torres hit two home runs and had four RBIs to lead top-seeded Texas past TCU 1in the opening game of the best-of-three super regional series.
Torres, who was 4 for 5, hit a solo home run in the second inning, giving the Longhorns (45-13-1) a 3-1 lead. His 3-run homer in the seventh broke the game open, giving Texas a 10-4 lead.
Chance Ruffin (10-2) struck out seven in his third complete game of the season. Texas also broke an NCAA record with seven sacrifices.
Kyle Winkler (7-1) gave up five hits and four earned runs for the Horned Frogs (39-17). Taylor Featherston hit a homer in the first inning to give TCU a quick 1-0 lead, and Matt Vern added a two-run shot in the sixth.
Arizona St. 7, Clemson 4
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – Carlos Ramirez singled three times and drove in three runs to help Arizona State beat Clemson in its super regional opener.
After the Tigers rallied from two down to tie it, Matt Newman doubled off the center-field fence to bring home Ramirez for the go-ahead run in the seventh inning. Ramirez’s bases-loaded single brought in two more in the eighth as the Sun Devils (48-12), seeded fifth nationally, won for the 15th time in 16 games.
Mike Leake (16-1), the NCAA leader in victories, got the win against Clemson (44-21) despite one of his shakiest outings. He allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits in eight innings. Graham Stoneburner (7-4) took the loss.