Auburn eliminates No. 2 ranked Stanford, comeback to win 6-2
With Notre Dame’s upset over No. 1 Tennessee in the super regional round, the Cardinal became the new favorite to win it all. But when you’re the top dawg, you have a target on your back, and the SEC West hit that target in Omaha. After getting crushed 17-2 by Arkansas in their first game, Stanford didn’t perform when it counted most on Monday.
Stanford got out to an early 2-0 lead, with RBI doubles from Brett Barrera and Adam Crampton in the first and second. They got their best starting pitching performance since the regional round, as Drew Dowd went four innings of scoreless ball. Even more impressive facing a Tiger offense with eight righties in the order, as he struck out six.
After Ole Miss held Auburn to just one run in the opening game, it was starting to look like Stanford would do the same. But in the sixth, the Tigers woke up. They got the bases loaded for clean-up hitter Bobby Peirce, who would draw a walk, bringing in their first run of the game. Two batters later, with two outs, Cole Foster hit a bases-clearing double off the wall in center, giving them a two-run lead at a crucial point in the game.
In the seventh, Brody Moore and Bobby Peirce drove in two more insurance runs, and that would be all they needed to hold on and advance. Stanford’s top reliever Quinn Mathews gave up all six runs.
Trace Bright got credited for the win, despite never pitching with the lead. He would go five innings, allowing only two while punching out eight. Closer Blake Burkhalter shut the door, getting the final seven outs, five of them being punchouts.
Ole Miss continues to dominate, crush Arkansas 13-5
The night cap of Monday featured the two 1-0 teams in the “SEC West” side of the bracket. Ole Miss was the biggest long shot to hoist the trophy in Omaha, yet they now find themselves in the driver’s seat to head to the College World Series final.
The Rebels came out strong, getting two on the board early. Razorback starter Zack Morris was unable to get out of the first, walking three-straight batters before Coach Dave Van Horn pulled the plug.
Michael Turner cut the deficit in half with an RBI double. But Ole Miss senior superstar Tim Elko responded with a towering two-run shot to left the next half inning to make 4-1.
Another two runs from Arkansas in the bottom of the second would be the closest they got to tying it up. Two in the third, four in the fifth, and three more in the eighth turned a possible shootout into a one-sided slaughter.
Leadoff hitter Justin Bench went 4-for-6 , scoring four runs while driving in two more. Calvin Harris (not the DJ… I think) also had a great night, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a walk.
Despite scoring 13 runs, the player of the game was undoubtedly freshman pitcher Hunter Elliot. One of my four freshman phenoms heading into the World Series, the lefty dominated a potent Razorback offense that put up 17 against Stanford on Saturday. He went 6 1/3, and only gave up one earned run.
Ole Miss extends their undefeated postseason (7-0), and are firing on all cylinders… not bad for the last team to get a tournament berth. Rebels beat Razorbacks, 13-5.