Kentucky Beats Top-Seeded Purdue, 6-3
|Kentucky 6, Purdue 3
|Samford 3, Mississippi State 2
|South Carolina 4, Clemson 3
|Arkansas 5, Sam Houston State 1
|N.C. State 6, Vanderbilt 5
|Florida 15, Georgia Tech 3
|TCU 5, Ole Miss 2
|LSU 6, Oregon State 5 (10 innings)
|Kent State 3, Kentucky 2
GARY, Ind. - With the No. 11 Kentucky pitching staff in need of a strong start, sophomore southpaw Corey Littrell delivered 7.1 innings in a winning effort, leading the Wildcats to a 6-3 win over No. 14 Purdue, eliminating the host Boilermakers and advancing to the NCAA Gary Regional Final, on Saturday afternoon at U.S. Steel Yard.
Kentucky (45-17) has now shattered the school record with its 45th win, eclipsing the 44 wins in 2006 and 2008. The Wildcats have now equaled their best NCAA Tournament finish in program history, also done in 1988, 2006 and 2008. UK will now need to beat Kent State at 8 p.m. ET at U.S. Steel Yard to force the if-necessary game on Monday at 1 p.m. ET with the Flashes. The two teams have already squared off in a classic 21-inning marathon on Friday night, a 7-6 Kent State win that forced the Wildcats to fight back into the championship round from the loser’s bracket.
Littrell (9-2) worked 7.1 innings for a pitching-depleted UK team after playing the 21-inning game on Friday. He allowed seven hits and three runs, walking two and striking out seven. He was replaced by senior Alex Phillips in the eighth, who got the final two outs of the inning and finished off the game for his eighth save of the year, the second-most saves in UK single-season history, just behind the record nine saves from sophomore Trevor Gott.
The elimination of Purdue is the second consecutive Big Ten host site that the Wildcats have eliminated in the NCAA Tournament. UK eliminated the host Michigan Wolverines in 2008 in the first ever NCAA Ann Arbor Regional.
The Wildcats charted an 11-hit attack in the game, including hanging a four run inning in the fourth. UK was led by a three-hit game from Thomas McCarthy and a two-hit game from Luke Maile and Zac Zellers. UK also got hits from Matt Reida, Cameron Flynn, J.T. Riddle and Austin Cousino. Michael Williams added a sacrifice fly and a pair of sacrifice bunts.
Purdue (45-15) starter Robert Ramer (6-1) worked 3.1 innings, allowing four hits and four runs – two earned – striking out two. Blake Mascarello replaced him in the fourth working 3.2 innings, allowing six hits and one run, walking one and striking out one. Nick Wittgren worked two innings, allowing one hit and one run.
Ramer took the hill for the Boilermakers to start the game and got off to a quick start, striking out the first two outs and forcing a fly out to center to retire the Wildcats in order. Purdue took an early lead in the bottom of the first, sparked by two-out hits. Eric Charles reached on balls with one out and scored on a two-out triple just out of the reach of Cousino diving into right center. Barrett Serrato followed Kevin Plawecki’s triple with a double into the left center gap, scoring Plawecki and increasing the Boilermaker lead to 2-0 after one.
Ramer retired the first two UK hitters of the second before Zellers found his way on with the Wildcats’ first hit of the afternoon, a single through the left side. Zellers would be stranded as Ramer forced an infield fly out to end the top half.
Littrell retired the first two batters in order in the bottom of the second before handing a free pass to Talbott. Littrell’s second walk of the day wouldn’t do any damage as Tyler Spillner lined out to Reida at short to end the inning.
Kentucky sat down in order in the top of the third, but Littrell matched Ramer in the bottom half, sitting down the Boilermakers in order.
The Wildcats seized the lead with a four-run inning in the top half of the fourth. McCarthy led off the Wildcats, reaching second on an error by the center fielder as he had trouble finding the ball in the sun. Maile singled through the left side and Williams’ sac bunt put runners on second and third with one out. Flynn stepped up for Kentucky, knocking a two-RBI single into right field, bringing McCarthy and Williams home to tie the game at two. Zellers knocked a double to the warning track in left field, bringing Flynn around from first to give Kentucky their first lead of the day and force Purdue to make a call to the bullpen. Mascarello took over and retired the first batter of the inning before plunking McConkey to give Kentucky runners on first and third with two outs. Reida delivered with an infield single up the middle that brought home Zellers to increase Kentucky’s lead to 4-2 through three and a half.
Littrell found a groove in the bottom of the fourth, retiring the side for a second consecutive inning, including striking out two.
McCarthy and Maile led off in the bottom of the fourth with consecutive singles before moving to second and third with one out on a sacrifice bunt from Michael Williams, his second of the day. Following a groundout, Zellers reached first to load the bases but Kentucky wasn’t able to convert on the opportunity as Mascarello forced a groundout to third to end the inning and leave three stranded.
Miller singled into right field to begin the Boilermakers’ fifth inning but wouldn’t let the leadoff single do any damage. Littrell struck out two and forced a groundout to Riddle at second to end the fifth with Kentucky still holding onto a 4-2 lead.
Following a quick two outs to start the inning, Cousino sparked Kentucky with a perfect bunt pushed passed the Purdue pitcher and first baseman for a base hit. Cousino stole second before McCarthy knocked his second single up the middle to bring Cousino home and add a run for Kentucky. The Wildcats boasted a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Littrell recorded a quick bottom half of the sixth, sitting the Boilermakers down in order. The Wildcats didn’t make much of the top of the seventh, going down in order.
Sean McHugh singled through the middle with one out in the bottom of the seventh but Littrell erased the single, forcing a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Riddle laid down a nice bunt to the right side for a base hit, bringing about a pitching change for Purdue as Wittgren took the mound. McConkey sacrificed Riddle over to second to give Kentucky a runner in scoring position with one out but Wittgren left Riddle stranded, forcing a line out into a left field and a ground out to first.
Purdue cut into Kentucky’s three run lead in the bottom of the eighth with three base hits. Spillner led off with a single up the middle. Cameron Perkins knocked a one-out single into left field to give Purdue runners on first and third with one out. A single into left field from Plawecki cut into the Wildcats’ lead, scoring Spillner to bring the Boilermakers within two runs of Kentucky. UK head coach Gary Henderson decided it was time to go to the bullpen, bringing Phillips to the mound. Phillips shut the Boilermakers down, leaving two runners stranded and preserving the Kentucky lead at 5-3.
Kentucky added one insurance run for Phillips in the top of the ninth as McCarthy scored for the second time of the day. McCarthy led off Kentucky with his third single of the day before advancing to second on a bobble in right field. Maile stepped up and lined out to right, allowing McCarthy to tag and reach third with one out in the top of the ninth. Williams smoked a liner into center, allowing McCarthy to score on the tag and give the Wildcats one additional insurance run.
Phillips came back on in the final inning and closed the door, clinching the 6-3 win for the Wildcats, forcing two strikeouts and an infield pop out to end the game.
MSU Baseball Concludes Season with loss in Tallahassee Regional
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Mississippi State saw its first 40-win baseball season since 2005 come to a close Sunday afternoon as the 14th-ranked Baseball Bulldogs dropped a 3-2 decision to Samford in an elimination game of the Tallahassee Regional played at Florida State’s Dick Howser Stadium.
The Bulldogs could not duplicate the magic of last week’s remarkable run to a Southeastern Conference tournament championship. Instead, MSU wraps up the campaign with a 1-2 record in its second straight regional tournament appearance under fourth-year head coach John Cohen.
“I am really proud of our kids,” Cohen said. “I thought our kids competed well. I think we have the basis for a really good future in our program, even though that doesn’t help us right now. I think the way our kids competed down the stretch for this season, I am really proud.”
For MSU, it is their 18th 40-win season in program history. Meanwhile, Samford (41-22) will now need to beat top-seed Florida State (45-15) twice to secure the regional tournament title.
In a contrast to Friday’s 5-0 opening-round defeat to Samford, MSU actually built an early 2-0 lead Sunday with single scores in the first and fourth innings. However, some miscues in the bunting game and the running game prevented the Maroon and White from enjoying a larger margin.
In the first inning, Adam Frazier opened the contest with a leadoff single. Frazier stole second base, prior to Demarcus Henderson drawing a walk. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. However, the Bulldogs got only Frazier home on a groundball out.
An inning later, Wes Rea started things with a leadoff double. Matthew Britton followed with a single, placing runners at first and third bases. A failed bunt attempt saw Rea taken down the plate. A strikeout and groundout ended that threat.
The lead pushed to 2-0 in the fourth inning. This time, Luis Pollorena had a leadoff single. Rea and Britton followed with back-to-back hits, as Britton’s single brought home Pollorena. This time the offense stalled there with another failed bunt attempt, a flyout and a groundout.
MSU stranded five base runners the rest of the way as the Southern Conference champions posted their second victory in a first-ever regional tournament competition.
Samford pulled within a run in the fourth inning. Brandon Miller and C.K. Irby started things with back-to-back hits. A popped-up bunt attempt and groundout followed. Tommy Corbin followed with a run-scoring single. However, MSU outfielder Hunter Renfroe posted his 10th outfield assist of the season to nab Irby at the plate to end the inning.
Samford grabbed the lead for good in the seventh inning. After a pair of outs to start the inning, the Bulldogs turned to Jonathan Holder. A true freshman from Gulfport, Holder had not allowed a run in a school-record 27.1 innings of work.
On this day however, Holder was touched for a single by Phillip Ervin and a bad-hop RBI-double by Miller. A throwing error followed allowing Samford to plate an unearned run to grab the lead for good.
In the MSU ninth inning, A one-out walk to Sam Frost opened the door. Frazier followed with a double down the left field line. A strikeout of Henderson and fly to right field by Brent Brownlee ended this final threat for the Maroon and White.
In one inning of work, Holder (2-1) took the loss. In his second start, Jacob Lindgren worked four-plus innings, allowing eight hits and one run, with three strikeouts and a walk. Ross Mitchell, Ben Bracewell and Chad Girodo followed Holder to the mound, while Nick Routt finished the eighth inning.
Samford reliever Joseph Burns (4-1) worked 1.2 innings to earn the win. Burns allowed no hits and struck out a pair. Starter Kyle Putkonen worked 6.1 innings, allowing eight hits and two runs (both earned), with five strikeouts and a walk. C.K. Irby worked around the danger in the ninth inning for his 10th save.
MSU finished with nine hits. Frazier, Rea and Britton each had multiple hits. For the season, Frazier hit safely in 53 of 64 games, including 14 of the final 15, while posting a team-best .371 average.
Samford finished with 12 hits. Zeth Stone, Brad Moss, Miller and Irby each had multiple hits for these Bulldogs.
Losing only seniors Caleb Reed and Brownlee, as well as the possibility of some draft-eligible players, MSU does conclude the season with its best conference win total since 2003, its best overall win total since 2005, its seventh-ever conference tournament championship and its 32nd-ever regional tournament appearance.
South Carolina tops Clemson, returns to super regionals
COLUMBIA, S.C. - For the third straight year, South Carolina will play in the NCAA Super Regional. The Gamecocks jumped on rival Clemson early on Sunday en route to claiming the Columbia Regional title with a 4-3 victory at Carolina Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of 8,242.
South Carolina (43-17) will host the winner of the Charlottesville Regional next week in its 10th Super Regional appearance in the last 13 years. The victory is the Gamecocks’ NCAA-record 19th consecutive postseason win. Carolina has now won 22 straight postseason games at home, including an 11-0 mark all-time at Carolina Stadium.
With the loss, Clemson concludes its season with a 35-28 record.
One of the keys to Carolina’s win was the stellar regional debut of freshman starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery. The Sumter, S.C., native worked 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs and five hits and fanning six batters to improve his record to 5-1. He kept Clemson’s bats under control for most of the day as he retired 12 straight batters at one point during the game. Junior Tyler Webb closed things out for the Gamecocks to pick up his third save of the season, allowing one run and two hits and striking out four in 2 1/3 innings on the mound.
Clemson starter David Haselden (4-2) was tagged with the loss after surrendering three runs and three hits in 2/3 of an inning.
Carolina tallied 10 hits on the afternoon, as LB Dantzler, Tanner English and Chase Vergason led the charge with two hits each. The multi-hit game is English’s team-leading 21st of the season. Freshman Joey Pankake added his third triple of the year, and freshman Connor Bright contributed a double, which is the first extra base hit of his career.
Seven Tigers recorded one hit apiece with Thomas Brittle and Spencer McGibbon each tallying a double to lead the way.
The Gamecocks came out swinging early and put together a three-run outburst in the top of the first inning. Pankake ignited the offense as he narrowly missed hitting a leadoff home run off the center-field wall and turned it into a triple. Evan Marzilli followed with a sacrifice fly to left field, and Pankake slid under the tag at home to score Carolina’s first run. Marzilli’s sac fly was his eighth of the season, which moves him into a tie with Jim Curl (1981) and Jim Pankovits (1974) for first all-time in a single season at Carolina. Christian Walker then drew a walk and later scored on a single to left by regional MVP Adam Matthews, and Bright made it a 3-0 game with a run-scoring double off the wall in left.
Carolina pushed its lead to 4-0 in the sixth. English doubled, advanced to third on a Clemson throwing error by the left fielder and then scored on a single by Vergason to give the Gamecocks a four-run cushion.
Clemson cut Carolina’s lead in half in the bottom of the sixth, as Brittle delivered a RBI double and scored two batters later on a groundout by Phil Pohl.
The Tigers made things interesting in the ninth by pulling to within 4-3 on a two-out RBI single by Spencer Kieboom, but Webb was able to get Brad Felder to fly out to right to end the game and send the Gamecocks to the Super Regional.
The Gamecocks will take on either Appalachian State, Oklahoma or Virginia in the Super Regional. Virginia and Oklahoma are playing in an elimination game tonight. The winner will face Appalachian State on Monday in the final at 4 p.m. with the if necessary game to follow at 8 p.m. The NCAA will announce dates, times, sites and television coverage for the Super Regionals late Monday night. Check back with GamecocksOnline.com for latest updates with information on next week’s Super Regional.
Razorbacks Down Sam Houston State
HOUSTON – The University of Arkansas baseball team was the beneficiary of great pitching all weekend and got their bats going on Sunday night to down Sam Houston State, 5-1, to win the NCAA Houston Regional and advance to a NCAA Super Regional.
The Arkansas win improves the Razorbacks to 42-19 on the year and puts the Razorbacks into a Super Regional matchup for the third time in four years. Sam Houston State ends its season at 40-22 on the year.
Arkansas struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the first. With one out, Dominic Ficociello singled to center field and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. A ground out to first by Matt Reynolds advanced Ficociello to third with two out. Brian Anderson then hit a chopper to the shortstop, whose throw to first was high, allowing Ficociello to score and putting Anderson on second after the two-base throwing error. A passed ball advanced Anderson to third and he scored on an infield single off the bat of Bo Bigham.
The Razorbacks added a run in the top of the second. Matt Vinson led off the inning with a single to center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Wise. Joe Serrano then doubled to left field on the 11th pitch of his at bat, scoring Vinson to give Arkansas a 3-0 lead.
Sam Houston State had its first scoring chance of the game in the bottom of the third. With one out, Jessie Plumlee and Corey Toups hit back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second with one out. A fielder’s choice ground out by Colt Altwood put runners on the corners with two down. Luke Plucheck then hit a hard liner, but right at shortstop Tim Carver who made a leaping catch to end the inning.
Arkansas stretched the lead to 4-0 with a run in the top of the fourth. Derrick Bleeker reached on a two-base throwing error by the Sam Houston State shortstop to start the inning. A single to left by Vinson put runners on first and third. Wise then hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Bleeker from third.
The Razorbacks tacked on their fifth run of the game in the top of the sixth. With one out, Wise doubled to the left-center field alley. A single to left by Serrano advanced Wise to third with one out. Carver then hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Wise.
Arkansas’ pitching gave up just five runs over three games and of those, just one was earned. The Razorback pitching staff went 25 innings between game 1 and game 3 without allowing a run to cross the plate.
Four Razorbacks were named to the all-region team, Carver, Reynolds, Ryne Stanek and Serrano. Stanek was also named the outstanding player of the regional. Arkansas will play the winner of the NCAA Waco Regional which has yet to be determined. Baylor and Dallas Baptist are still playing with Baylor needing two wins to advance and host Arkansas.
Vandy rally falls short, Pack forces Game 3
Raleigh, N.C. – Vanderbilt erased an early five-run deficit but the No. 16 North Carolina State Wolfpack scratched out a run in the eighth to win 6-5 and force a winner-take-all game tomorrow at Doak Field.
The Commodores (35-27) pushed two runs across in the seventh inning to tie the game 5-5. But the Pack responded in the bottom of the eighth to regain the lead. A one-out single from Brett Austin started the rally and Matt Bergquist’s single through the right side plated the winning run. NC State (42-18) pitcher Ryan Wilkins then worked a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts to finish off the win.
The Pack raced out to an early lead scoring in four of the first five innings, including a pair of home runs. A solo shot in the bottom of the first inning from Ryan Mathews and a two-run homer in the third from Trae Turner made it 3-0 through three innings. NC State tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth before the Dores jumped on the comeback trail again.
A sacrifice fly off the bat of Spencer Navin scored Conard Gregor, who reached on a one-out double, to put VU on the board for the first time. Tony Kemp led off the sixth with a walk and came around to score on Mike Yastrzemski’s triple. A groundout to short scored Yastrzemski and cut the Wolfpack lead to 5-3. Connor Castellano singled to open the seventh and was followed by a walk to Kemp. With runners on second and third, Yastrzemski’s bouncer to second scored Castellano to get Vandy within a run. Gomez came up with another clutch hit, ripping a double to score Kemp and tie the game.
The Dores looked to have a rally started in the eighth when Navin led off with a crisp single to left field. But a ground out to second and double play ended the inning. Navin was thrown out on the backside of the double play at third trying to advance on a ground ball to third base.
Drew VerHagen (6-3) took the loss despite four solid innings out of the bullpen. The big right-hander allowed two runs on five hits, retiring eight straight batters before allowing Austin’s single in the eighth inning. Wilkins (4-2) picked up the win with two scoreless innings of work. Vanderbilt starter Kevin Ziomek lasted 3.1 innings giving up four runs on five hits. NC State starter Anthony Tzamtzis allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits over 6.2 innings.
The Commodores and Wolfpack will play in a winner-take-all game tomorrow night at 6 p.m. CT. The winner of the Raleigh Regional will advance to play top overall seed Florida next weekend in Gainesville, Fla.
No. 1 Florida Overpowers No. 24 Georgia Tech, 15-3, To Capture Gainesville Regional
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Junior Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) and senior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) drove in four runs apiece, while junior left-hander Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) allowed one run in five innings as top-seeded Florida (45-18) exploded for seven runs on six hits with two out in the fifth frame on its way to a 15-3 victory over second-seeded Georgia Tech (38-26) to claim the NCAA Gainesville Regional on Sunday night at McKethan Stadium. The Gators set the tone by tallying four runs in the first inning and three in the second stanza.
Freshman second baseman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) was voted as the event’s Most Outstanding Player after batting .600 (6-for-10) over UF’s three victories, with five RBI, four runs, two doubles, two walks and a homer.
The Gators notched their fourth-straight Regional title under fifth-year head coach Kevin O’Sullivan and secured their sixth Super Regional berth in school history, all in the past nine years (2004-05-09-10-11-12). UF captured its 10th NCAA Regional and has swept the last five Regionals it has hosted (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
Next weekend, UF will host the winner of the Raleigh Regional, with Vanderbilt (35-27) and North Carolina State (42-18) playing a winner-take-all contest tomorrow night to determine who will be coming to the Sunshine State. Start times and dates for next weekend’s eight best-of-three series around the country will be announced by the NCAA late Monday night.
“Obviously we’re excited about moving on,” O’Sullivan said. “Brian Johnson gave us a great start, especially early on – we got out to an early 7-0 lead, and Brian kept on throwing strikes. We kept tacking on runs there, which I thought was important. Georgia Tech has the type of offense where they can get a walk, then a single and the next thing you know there is a three-run homer. We needed to keep distancing ourselves and I thought we did a nice job there. We got some work out of the pen too. We’re excited about moving forward, and just waiting to see who we play,”
After Johnson retired the Yellow Jackets in order to begin the game, the Gators used a pair of two-out, two-run hits by Pigott (2-for-4) and freshman Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) off of senior Jake Davies (1-4) to build a 4-0 lead. Senior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) (2-for-4) and Zunino (1-for-3, three runs) had drawn back-to-back one-out walks and a grounder by Johnson advanced both runners into scoring position. Pigott opened the scoring with his 13th double just inside of the first-base bag to drive in his teammates and Turgeon (2-for-3) followed with a walk. A throwing error by Davies on a failed pickoff attempt at second base enabled Pigott to take third and Turgeon to reach second base. Shafer chopped a single up the middle that expanded the lead to four runs.
Zunino cranked a three-run homer into the left-field bleachers in the second inning to boost the Gators’ lead to 7-0. Junior Nolan Fontana (2-for-4, three runs) singled into center field with one down and Tucker sliced a single through the right side of the infield before Zunino blasted his SEC-leading 18th dinger for his second-straight outing with a big fly. The All-American now has seven career homers in NCAA Tournament play.
Johnson set down the first seven Georgia Tech hitters of the contest before senior Evan Martin (2-for-3, two runs) belted his first homer of the year to left field for a 7-1 count.
Freshman Josh Heddinger replaced Davies prior to UF’s third at bat after the starter yielded seven runs and five hits in two innings.
Zunino collected his fourth RBI of the night with a sacrifice fly in the fourth that increased the Gators’ margin to 8-1. Fontana had drawn a leadoff walk, stolen second for his team-leading 13th theft in 14 attempts and advanced to third on a fly-out to right field by Tucker. Zunino lofted Heddinger’s first pitch to straightaway center field for his team-leading ninth sacrifice fly, matching the single-season school mark shared by Fontana (2011), Mark Kiger (2000) and Brad Wilkerson (1997).
The Gators tacked on seven more runs, their most in an inning this season, with two down in the fifth to put the game out of reach. Turgeon had poked a one-out double down the right-field line and junior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) drew a two-out walk before freshman Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) blooped a double into left field to score both of his teammates. Fontana then singled into right field to score Tobias for an 11-1 margin. A base-hit by Tucker pushed Fontana into scoring position and Heddinger struck out Zunino on a pitch that should have ended the inning. However, a wild pitch allowed Zunino to reach base, filling the bags full of Gators, and Johnson earned a free pass to score Fontana. Pigott sliced a two-run single into right field and Turgeon added another RBI single to put Florida up 15-1 and end the night for Heddinger (2.2 IP, 6 H, 8 R).
Johnson (8-4) worked five innings, giving up three hits and a run with four Ks, before freshman Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) took the mound in the sixth. GT junior Sam Dove connected on his third homer of the year with one down for a 14-2 score.
After sophomore Karsten Whitson (Chipley, Fla.) threw a scoreless seventh with a couple of strikeouts, the Jackets completed the scoring in the eighth on a pinch-hit sacrifice fly by freshman A.J. Murray. The sac fly brought across Martin, who had a leadoff triple off of freshman reliever Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.).
Senior Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) (0.1 IP) and junior Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) (1.0 IP) closed out the victory for the Gators, who held an 11-6 advantage in hits and did not commit any errors.
Rebels Fall To TCU 5-2, Set Up Decisive Game Three Monday
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Rebels grabbed an early lead, but couldn’t stave off a surging Horned Frog team who got some timely hits down the stretch on Sunday night as Ole Miss (37-25) fell to TCU (39-20) by a score of 5-2.
The Sunday night loss sets up a winner-take-all game between the Rebels and Horned Frogs at 6:30 p.m. on Monday night at Blue Bell Park.
R.J. Hively (5-6) took the loss for the Rebels, working 5.2 innings and allowing four runs – three earned – on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Brandon Finnegan (4-4) picked up the win for the Horned Frogs, working a career-best 7.1 innings and allowing two runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
“TCU just played better than we did tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “When you get to this point of the season, you aren’t going to sneak through. Brandon Finnegan was tremendous for them tonight and we couldn’t catch up to his fastball. It was a gutsy performance from R.J. (Hively) tonight, but we have to help him more than we did.”
Ole Miss got on the board in the first inning when Tanner Mathis scored from second on a single through the left side from Matt Snyder. Mathis opened the home half of the first with a walk before advancing to second on a sac bunt from Auston Bousfield. The Snyder hit drove him home and gave the Rebels the 1-0 lead after the first inning of play.
TCU took the lead in the fourth inning when Derek Odell hit a two-run home run to right field that scored Josh Elander from second. Elander reached on a walk and stole second before Hively would strike out the next two batters. Odell then sent his first offering over the wall to put the Horned Frogs on top 2-1.
The Horned Frogs continued to build on the lead in the fifth inning, pushing a third run across with a sac fly to center field from Kyle Von Tungeln. Brance Rivera scored on the play after opening the inning with a double to left and moving to third on a sac bunt. The sac fly from Von Tungeln made it 3-1 in favor of TCU.
Ole Miss had a chance with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, but TCU got out of the inning when Kevin Cron reached over the rail and into the visiting dugout to snag a foul fly to end the inning and keep the Horned Frogs in front 3-1.
TCU pushed the lead out to 4-1 in the sixth inning when Josh Gonzales delivered a two-out single through the right side with two men on to drive in Odell from second. Odell reached on a single and moved to second on a double steal attempt, but the Rebels couldn’t get out of the inning before he came home on the single from Gonzales to push the lead to three runs.
Ole Miss cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth when John Gatlin delivered an RBI single to shallow right that clipped off the glove of a diving right fielder. Yarbrough scored on the play after he and Snyder reached on a walk and a single then advanced on a sac bunt from Will Allen.
The Horned Frogs took the lead back out to three runs in the seventh with a bases loaded sac fly to left field from Kevin Cron that put the score at 5-2 before Ole Miss would get out of the inning.
Despite holding the Horned Frogs in check the rest of the way, the Rebels could get nothing else across the plate down the stretch as TCU picked up the win.
LSU beats Oregon St. 6-5 to win regional
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Alex Edward hit a game-tying double in the ninth, Austin Nola scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the 10th, and LSU outlasted Oregon State 6-5 on Sunday night to win the NCAA tournament's Baton Rouge regional.
Oregon State, playing as the home team on LSU's field, led 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth, but Tigers relievers Nick Rumbelow, Chris Cotton and Nick Goody shut out the Beavers the rest of the way.
Raph Rhymes was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer for LSU (46-16), which will host a super regional next weekend against the winner of Monday night's game between Stony Brook and Central Florida in Coral Gables, Fla.
Cotton (7-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win and Goody struck out the side in order in the bottom of the 10th for his 11th save.
Reliever Dylan Davis (1-1) took the loss for the Beavers (40-20).
Campbell lifts Kent State to NCAA Super Regional
GARY, Ind. (AP) -- Evan Campbell hit a three-run home run and Kent State held off a Kentucky rally to defeat the Wildcats 3-2 on Sunday night.
The victory gave the Golden Flashes (44-17) their first NCAA regional crown in school history. Kent State will travel to Oregon for the Super Regionals.
Campbell's three-run blast was the first home run in more than 64 innings of play at the U.S. Steel Yard over the weekend.
The championship game was defined by strong starting pitching from both team as Kentucky's Chandler Shepherd and Kent State's Tyler Skulina kept the opposition scoreless through the first seven innings.
The Wildcats (45-18) answered Campbell's three-run home run with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, but were unable to complete the rally.