Tennessee and Notre Dame swept their regional championships in the NCAA baseball tournament to end long waits before returning to the super regional.
The number 3 seed from Tennessee got a home run for a third straight game from Drew Gilbert and beat Liberty 3-1 in Knoxville on Sunday. The volunteers are in the supers for the first time since making the College World Series in 2005. They will host Oregon or LSU in a best of three series this week.
The National No.10 seed Notre Dame used a third consecutive monstrous offensive performance to beat Central Michigan 14-2 in South Bend, Indiana on Sunday. Carter Putz had two home runs, including a grand slam, and Niko Kavadas went deep for the fifth time in the regional to lead the Irish to Supers for the first time since 2002, also the last time they reached CWS .
Thirteen other regional finals were played on Sunday evening. Mississippi State will play VCU or Campbell on Monday after inclement weather pushed back the Starkville Regional schedule. The winner of this regional plays Notre Dame.
The Irish entered the regional with an average of 1.1 home runs per game. They finished with 15 in their three games this weekend.
They also hit 0.404 and scored 50 points, the best two in the tournament. No one was better than Kavadas, who had a grand slam across his five homers and finished 6 for 10 with 13 RBIs. Ryan Cole had three homers and had 12 points.
All but two of the 16 domestic seeds have reached the regional finals in a tournament that has produced only a few surprises so far.
The biggest happened at Gainesville Regional, where the Host Florida Gators was eliminated on Saturday and Miami got bounced back on Sunday.
This set up a final between the regional No.4 seed from South Florida and the regional No.3 seed from South Alabama. USF are set to lose Sunday night and again Monday so as not to become the first No.4 to reach the best of three super regional rounds since Davidson in 2017.
Southern Alabama, which won 19-1 over the No. 15 seeded Gators on Saturday, advanced by beating Miami 7-2 in another elimination game on Sunday.
The other unexpected clash is scheduled for Austin, where the nationally seeded Texas No. 2 faced Fairfield.
Connecticut’s 5,000-student Jesuit University grabbed national attention with its 27-0 start, and it entered the 37-3 national tournament.
With the Stags coming from the little-regarded Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and having lost twice in their league tournament, it was questionable whether they would be selected from the 64-team field.
The Division I baseball committee made him a regional No.3 seed, and they lost a two-run lead in the ninth inning to a loss to Arizona State on Friday. The Stags beat Southern on Saturday, then knocked out the Sun Devils with a 9-7 victory after wiping out a five-point deficit at the start.
“I think that justifies what we’ve done this year,” said Stags coach Bill Currier. “Our record was only against conference teams and sometimes was not heard by the bigger schools that they said we could never compete with. I feel like we got the rationale for the year we had and the type of team we are. And that’s an important thing to see on a national stage.
N ° 6 TCU is the other national seed to come out. The Horned Frogs lost 3-2 to Oregon State, which will face Dallas Baptist in the final in Fort Worth.
First seeded Arkansas faced Nebraska in a mentor-mentee match between coaches Dave Van Horn and Will Bolt.
When Van Horn took the job in Nebraska in 1998, Bolt was his first recruit. Bolt was the team captain and intermediate infielder for the 2001 and 2002 Cornhuskers University World Series teams.
Bolt, nicknamed “Little DVH” as a player because his manners resembled that of his coach, took over at Nebraska last year and led the Huskers to the Big Ten Championship this season.
The Huskers lost 5-1 to Arkansas on Saturday and beat NJIT 18-4 to reach the final.
–Freshman Drew Compton hit two of Georgia Tech’s five home runs in a 9-0 win over Indiana State.
– Michael Sandle scored twice in South Alabama’s win over Miami.
–Zach Heeke had three hits and produced five runs in Central Michigan’s 14-9 win over Connecticut.
–Marcos Castanon doubled twice and had five RBIs in UC Santa Barbara’s 13-3 win over Oklahoma State.
– Joe Acker homed and trebled to lead Nebraska’s 18-hit offense against NJIT.
WONDERS OF THE LAND
– Georgia Tech’s Andy Archer, who hadn’t pitched beyond the fifth inning since March 27, threw a hit in his first full game of his career.
–Ryan Ramsey allowed three hits and a run in eight innings in Maryland’s 2-1 win over Charlotte.
– Stephen Schoch of Virginia allowed a walk and struck out five strikes in 2 1/3 innings for his eighth save.
–Nathan Burns of Oregon State struck out six at bat in two innings and combined with three other relievers to keep TCU without a hitting after the fifth in a 3-2 win.
–UCLA’s Zach Pettway dispersed seven hits and struck nine in a 12-2 win over North Carolina.