Six of the top eight seeds were unbeaten through two days of an NCAA baseball tournament marked by potent offenses and few surprises until Arkansas staged a dramatic comeback against No. 7 Oklahoma State on Saturday night.
No. 1 Tennessee, No. 3 Oregon State, No. 4 Virginia Tech, No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 8 East Carolina advanced to regional finals, and No. 6 Miami can clinch a spot in its weather-delayed regional with a win Sunday. Top-eight seeds that win regionals stay at home for the best-of-three super regionals next week.
Texas State opened with two wins for the first time in six all-time regional appearances after beating No. 2 Stanford 5-2 and ending the Cardinal’s 17-game win streak.
Oregon State scored in all but three innings while beating San Diego 12-3.
Arkansas was down 10-5 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, before erupting for 15 runs over the final three innings and beating the Cowboys 20-12. Oklahoma State had been 32-2 when taking a lead into the seventh.
Jalen Battles’ grand slam highlighted an eight-run eighth and was one of the Razorbacks’ seven homers.
Five teams scored at least 20 runs Saturday, and one or both teams scored in double digits in 15 of the 33 games.
Tennessee (55-7) set a program record for wins in a season with its 12-7 victory over Campbell. The Volunteers homered four times to increase their nation-leading total to 150, most by any team since 1998 and sixth all-time.
Virginia Tech beat Columbia 24-4, and its 39 runs in two games is an Atlantic Coast Conference postseason record. Texas A&M beat Louisiana 9-6 and is 2-0 in a regional for the first time since 2016.
Miami opened its regional with an 11-6 win over Canisius. Yohandy Morales became the first Miami player to homer three times in a game since 2015, and he finished 4 for 4 with five RBIs.
East Carolina beat Virginia 4-2 to extend its nation-best and program-record win streak to 20 games.
Three No. 3 regional seeds beat hosts to reach finals. Michigan continued its late-season surge with a 7-3 victory over Louisville. VCU beat North Carolina 4-3 with Connor Hujsak homering twice for a second straight game. Connecticut defeated Maryland 10-5.
Vanderbilt homered four times in a 21-1 victory over New Mexico State, matching the Commodores’ highest run total in 122 NCAA Tournament games.
Vandy played in the last two College World Series finals but entered Saturday 1-6 in its last seven and 16-18 since a 20-4 start. Spencer Jones, who had been 1 for his last 13 at-bats, went 4 for 6 with a homer, two doubles and seven RBIs.
Campbell’s Waldy Arias left the game against Tennessee in the seventh inning after getting hit in the head by Chase Burns’ 96-mph fastball. Arias was flat on his stomach while athletic trainers tended to him. He went directly to the clubhouse and later returned to the dugout.
Campbell’s Cade Kuehler had plunked Trey Lipscomb in the upper body with a breaking ball two innings earlier, right after Drew Gilbert hit a three-run homer and began his trot with a big bat flip.
55-YEAR DROUGHT ENDS
Air Force, playing in its first NCAA Tournament since 1969, beat Dallas Baptist 5-1 in an elimination game for its first regional win since 1967.
Falcons starter Doyle Gehring allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. Gehring struck out seven and has 20 over his last 14 1/3 innings.
HITTING FOR CYCLE
Coastal Carolina’s Matt McDermott hit for the cycle in a 10-8 win over Coppin State. McDermott had a single in the third inning, a double in the fourth, a solo home run in the sixth and a triple in the seventh.
After surrendering the winning run against Notre Dame on a wild pitch Friday, Texas Tech scored both of its runs on one wild pitch in a 2-0 victory over UNC Greensboro.
Jace Jung ran in from third on Alex Hoppe’s eighth-inning pitch in the dirt, and Dillon Carter came around from second when catcher Dallas Callahan sailed the ball past Hoppe covering the plate.
AROUND THE HORN
Georgia tied a school record for runs in an inning when it scored 13 in the third in a 24-1 win over Hofstra. It was the second-biggest inning in NCAA regional history. … Oklahoma’s Jimmy Crooks hit two homers in a 9-4 win over Florida. … Ty Fisher carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished with a four-hitter for his first career shutout in Georgia Southern’s 8-0 win over UNC Greensboro. … UCLA scored its most runs in an NCAA Tournament game since 2004 in a 16-2 win over Southeastern Louisiana. … Brayden Taylor and Kurtis Byrne hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning to give TCU a 3-1 win over Oral Roberts. … Oregon set a school record with 26 hits in an 18-6 victory over Southeast Missouri State.
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