Written by: William M O’Shea
Razorbacks win 4-1, shut down Tar Heel offense
Connor Noland was at his best Saturday against the No. 10 ranked Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. The senior ace got himself in a bases loaded jam with one out, but came away unscathed.
That would be the closest the Tar Heels would get to Noland all game, as he tossed 6 ⅔ innings of shutout baseball the rest of the way. After giving up only one run last week in the regionals, he now
posts a 0.66 ERA over nearly 14 innings on the bump this postseason.
UNC’s Max Carlson started off hot as well, but the Razorbacks finally got to him in the fifth with a solo shot from freshman Peyton Stovall. Arkansas tacked on two more that inning, and another in the seventh. Brady Slavens had a two-RBI day and they would coast from then on.
A solo home run from freshman phenom Vance Honeycutt would get the Tar Heels on the board for his 25th of the year, but that would be it in Chapel Hill. Arkansas looking to avenge an early exit last year in the regional as the No. 1 overall seed, find themselves a win away from Omaha.
Hokies beat Sooners 14-8, tie series at 1-1
Oklahoma limited Virginia Tech to just four runs yesterday, but that would not be the case in Game 2. Nick Biddisson hit one out on just the second pitch of the game, and the Hokies would not surrender the lead the rest of the way.
Two-run homers from future big leaguers Gavin Cross and Cade Hunter in the third would give them a 5-0 cushion. Freshman pitcher Drue Hackenberg was taken out in the third after a two-out Sonner rally brought in three to make the lead just two.
The Hokies would pile on nine more runs, and blow the game wide open over the next few
innings. Eight of the nine Tech starters had at least one RBI, with the only outlier in Jack Hurley going
2-for-4 with a walk. They combined for 16 hits, in a game that used up 13 pitchers combined for
Oklahoma rallied in the eighth, but came up short against one of the most electric offenses in
the nation. Biddison added another long ball in the ninth, the fifth of the day for the Hokies and the
nail in the coffin for Game 2 in Blacksburg. The Hokies win 14-8, setting up a Game 3 with a trip
to the College World Series on the line.
Longhorns walk it off in Game 2, late rally erases five-run deficit over ECU
ECU found themselves down two in the first, running into two outs on the base paths and a
fielding error. The Pirates, like they did yesterday to Pete Hansen, got to southpaw Lucas Gordon
early. Bryson Worrell homered in the fourth, his sixth in six postseason games so far.
The next inning, Worrell would bring in two more with a bases loaded double, forcing Texas to break into their vulnerable bullpen. Jacob Jenkins-Cowart hit a three-run moonshot on just the third pitch by the bullpen on the day, blowing the game wide open…for the time being.
The Pirates added one more to give them a 7-2 lead. But in the seventh, a two-run bomb by Douglas Hodo III and a three-run shot the next inning by Skylar Messinger would tie the game for Texas.
Just two batters later, Dylan Campbell would make the already quiet ECU “Jungle” completely silent with a solo bomb to give the Longhorns their first lead since the first inning. In the top of the ninth, with two outs and nearly all hope lost, second baseman Jacob Starling muscled one over the wall, tying the game back up and erupting Greenville.
But in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and the bases loaded, Campbell would come up clutch yet again, singling to deep right and walking it off for the Longhorns. ECU was only a few outs away from their first trip to Omaha, but somehow find themselves in a Game 3 that’ll define their season and program going forward.
Tennessee reminds us why they may be the best team ever, steamroll over Notre Dame 12-2
After a shocking upset last night by the Irish, by way of the long ball, Tennessee came out firing on all cylinders. A double in the top of the first by Trey Lipscomb gave them a 1-0 lead off Irish ace John Michael Bertrand, who carried a 2.27 ERA into the day.
The crafty lefty put three zeroes on the board until the fifth, when the Volunteers erupted for three home runs by Luc Lipcius, Jordan Beck, and Evan Russell.
The long balls put up a 6-0 lead and ended Bertrand’s day, but the No. 1 overall seed wasn’t done just yet. That same inning, Luc Lipcius hit a three-run homer, for his second of the inning, and ended the game before it even reached the halfway mark.
They did all of this without Drew Gilbert (1.150 OPS, 70 RBIs), who was serving his one game suspension after getting ejected last night. Up 9-0, Tennessee cruised from then on, with sophomore Chase Dollander tossing seven innings of two-run ball.
Notre Dame’s offense took a huge step back from last night, besides Jack Zyska’s 4-for-4 day with two singles, a double, and a home run. He would account for more than half of the Irish’s 7 total hits.
With their back against the wall, Tennessee responded incredibly, beating Notre Dame with a final score of 12-4. Heading into Game 3, depth widely favors the Volunteers, who will look to close the door on the little bit that Notre Dame has left.
Aggies clinch first berth to Omaha, beat Louisville 4-3
Texas A&M was projected to finish second-last in the SEC West, per the league’s coaching poll in the preseason. In Jim Schlossnagle’s first year at the helm, they not only defied that narrative, but hosted and swept the regional and super regional tournament.
Louisville’s Dalton Rushing put them up by two runs in the first, with a stadium-clearing home run off Micah Dallas. In the third, Cardinals starter Riley Phillips walked Dylan Rock with the bases loaded, before the next batter Austin Bost tied it up with a sac fly to deep center.
In the fifth, Jack Payton singled, scoring Ben Metzinger to get them back in the lead. However, like the night before, the Aggies came back with the long ball, with Ryan Targac hitting his 15th of the year. The next inning, Dylan Rock came through with an RBI sac fly and College Station started to feel a taste of Omaha not too far away.
In the eighth, Troy Claunch was clutch yet again, hosing pinch runner Chris Seng on the move to second base. It would be his second caught stealing of the game.
The Aggies gave freshman Brad Rudis the ball for the eighth and ninth, but with a runner on first and Ben Metzinger clawing into a full count, Jim Schlossnagle made a gutsy decision to go to make a pitching change.
Yes, this isn’t a typo…Jacob Palisch entered the game in the bottom of the ninth with a full count on the batter already. It would pay off as he got Metzinger to chase a breaking ball in the dirt, punching him out. Louisville out-hit Texas A&M 13-5, with Christian Knapczyk accounting for 4 of them. The Aggies clinch their seventh College World Series appearance in program history, winning 5-4.
Rebels run Southern Miss off the field, crush them 10-0
Hattiesburg would be the host of our only in-state affair between Ole Miss and Southern Miss. The No. 11 ranked Golden Eagles hold the second-best ERA in the NCAA at 3.17, but you could throw that stat out the window for Game 1 of this series.
The Rebels got to Hurston Waldrep early, spotting two in the third and one more in the 4th. Down three in the fifth, Reece Ewing almost hit a grand slam to give them the lead, but was just a couple feet foul. The fly ball was so close that it took five minutes to review, but Ewing struck out on
the next pitch and the momentum came to an abrupt halt.
In the sixth, Ole Miss would break the game open on two RBI doubles from Tim Elko and Kevin Graham, putting up seven in the sixth (the most Southern Miss gave up in an inning all year). Dylan DeLucia punched out nine threw 5 ⅔, with Jack Dougherty getting the last 10 outs on just 36 pitches. It was all Ole Miss in Game 1. Rebels win 10-0.