CWS: Texas powers way to final
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Connor Rowe hit a game-winning solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, moments after Cameron Rupp tied it with a homer of his own as Texas came from behind to beat Arizona State 4-3 in the College World Series on Friday night.
Rowe sent a shot into the left-field seats off Mitchell Lambson (9-5), then sprinted around the bases with his helmet raised in his right hand as his celebrating teammates waited at home plate to greet him.
Two batters earlier, Rupp homered over the 22-foot wall in straightaway center field to tie it.
Texas (49-14-1) advanced to the CWS best-of-three finals starting Monday against LSU. The Longhorns will try to become the first No. 1 national seed to win the title since Miami in 1999.
Rowe, who batted in the No. 9 spot, hit the first walkoff homer in Omaha since Texas’ Chance Wheeless did it in a win over Baylor in 2005.
It looked as if the Sun Devils (51-14) would force a Saturday rematch for the Bracket 2 championship after they took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth on Zach Wilson’s RBI triple.
Austin Wood (6-1) got the win after throwing three innings in relief of starter Cole Green.
LSU 14, Arkansas 5
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – LSU hit four home runs and ace right-hander Anthony Ranaudo threw six solid innings as LSU eliminated Arkansas and advanced to next week’s College World Series finals.
The Tigers, who have hit nine homers in three CWS games and 102 overall, homered in three straight innings to break open a game that started 2 1/2 hours late because of rain.
Blake Dean, Jared Mitchell, Ryan Schimpf and Tyler Hanover all homered for LSU (54-16), which has won 13 straight and will play for its sixth national title and first since 2000.
Arkansas (41-24) was outscored 23-6 by LSU in two CWS games, and the Razorbacks lost four of five games overall against the Southeastern Conference-rival Tigers this season. Ranaudo (11-3) allowed four hits and had five strikeouts.
Arkansas closer Stephen Richards (6-2), in his first start since April 2007, lasted two innings. He gave up four hits and four runs, two unearned.