Evansville Baseball

Here comes the super regions. And their various storylines are… well, super cool.

Seven of the eight national races will be there. But so will Evansville, only the ninth No. 4 regional seed to survive forever. Florida State is in its 18th Super Regional, which is impressive with only around 25 contests in this format. Evansville and West Virginia are their first. It will be the second for Kansas State, Clemson hasn’t had it in 14 years, Georgia in 16 years.

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Ten No. 1 seeds won their regionals, but five of the No. 3 seeds. Unless otherwise, the home field provided security. Arizona quickly got off its feet in two games, the last push coming in a 7-0 blanking by Dallas Baptist. Arkansas was 34-3 at home this season until losing 7-6 to Kansas State and then Southeast Missouri State. UC Santa Barbara is 27-0 this season against the no-name Oregon team in the world. The Ducks beat the Gauchos twice last weekend, allowing just one run in 18 innings.

Five SEC teams play. It means don’t do six. Among the most surprising losses were Arkansas at home, South Carolina losing for the first time in 41 years at James Madison, and the Vanderbilt pitchers allowing 23 runs in two losses. LSU’s national title defense ended in Chapel Hill, but it took a 10-inning loss against the Tar Heels to do so. The Tigers had a lead in the ninth but couldn’t hold it.

In fact, the past four national champions — LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt — are all gone. But 2018 winner Oregon State will be there this week, as will 2017 champion Florida and 2015 winner Virginia. They represent five of the past 32 Men’s College World Series titles. There are no teams anywhere that have won 27.

Super Regionals: 8 Super Regional hosts and game times have been announced for the 2024 NCAA Division 1 Baseball Championship.

It’s a baseball Sweet 16 created in a variety of ways, often with unusual heroes.

No. 1 national seed Tennessee hit the most homers allowed — 12 — to cruise through its own regional. The Vols have 159 home runs for the season, 13 more than any other hitter in the country. “That’s a long streak,” Southern Mississippi coach Christian Ostrander said as he watched the business end of the Tennessee offense, the Vols hit five homers in a 12-3 Sunday romp. “You can’t hold your breath.”

Here’s what he meant: Catcher Cal Stark homered twice and drove in four runs Sunday. It was Tennessee’s ninth of the season.

Connecticut committed one error in four innings to win in Norman, while the Huskies were two-and-out, both of which ended in extra-inning losses to shake off the Big East rivalry. UConn was one of the No. 3 seeds to advance from regionals, but it shouldn’t be that surprising. Just two years ago, the Huskies won 50 games and swept Stanford in the Super Regional.

The Kentucky pitchers have allowed one run in their last 21 innings, including a shutout of Indiana State. No one has done that against the Sycamores since April 2022, 139 games ago. “There’s a way to go in the SEC to survive,” Indiana State coach Mitch Hannas said. “You see that 3-1 in a wrecking ball. 2-0 with a broken ball.

He mentioned Kentucky’s Mason Moore, who threw six shutout innings at the Sycamores Sunday to run his NCAA Tournament hitless streak to 20.1 innings over two years. Moore wasn’t even in the ballpark the day before, recovering from a stomach virus at home and taking IV treatments.

“My phone goes off at 7:36 (Saturday afternoon),” Wildcats coach Nick Mingion said. “It’s Mason’s text message. He said: ‘Look! Just to update you, I am feeling better and back to normal. I’m ready to throw and win the ballgame tomorrow, coach,’” he said.

What he did.

Kansas State swept three games at Fayetteville Regional by a combined score of 33-12. Oregon, on the other hand, has won its three games at Santa Barbara by a total of five runs. That’s not much margin for error, but the Ducks’ pitchers haven’t done much. Their three starters have allowed just three runs in 23 innings. This is a fast-paced Oregon team in the Pac-12 tournament that has scored just four total runs in two losses.

Florida slipped into the NCAA Tournament with a 28-27 record and a 13-17 SEC mark. But who saw Ashton Wilson coming? In the year As of late May 12, the sophomore reserve outfielder had eight at-bats and just two hits this season, but injuries opened up a spot late in the year and he reached Stillwater territory with a .231 batting average. He then homered and drove in five runs, hitting .429 and was named the region’s player of the year. Florida rolled, winning three elimination games and moving into the Super Regional with a 32-28 record at Clemson.

“Ups and downs throughout the year, but none of that matters, we’re in the postseason,” Gators star Jack Cagliano said in a TV interview.

🥇College baseball’s regular season awards, as chosen by Michelle Chester

Evansville beat East Carolina 6-5 on a three-run homer by Mark Shallenberger, a psychology graduate student who had already done his undergraduate work. The 2024 Cinderella of the pageant has been crowned, and she’s headed to Knoxville this weekend. Should anyone really panic at Purple Aces? Three of those games ended in the seventh inning in the mercy run rule, winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament 4-0. The MVC team that stayed with them was Indiana State, while Hannah Evansville was unimpressed by East Carolina, the fourth seed and all. “We knew Evansville was good. I think the committee is just good people who don’t know Evansville. They are as good as the people we have seen,” he said.

Like well, eh, Tennessee? “Watch it, because it’s going to be a great series,” Hannas said.

Clemson stranded 34 runners in three games, but still won the region and pulled off an excellent sneak ball trick to kill the Coastal Carolina threat and ensure plenty of online clicks to watch it. Georgia had to stop the Yellow Jackets on base to finish 8-7 and eliminate Georgia Tech 8-6 after extra innings and over four hours. That was a lot of crisis management for one weekend. “I think it’s important to tell the players that they can’t hit the panic button all the time,” coach Wes Johnson said.

Virginia turned to its former Cavalier quarterback to win the region against Mississippi State. In the year In 2021, Jay Woolfolk started at Virginia against Notre Dame and was 18-for-33 for 196 yards and two interceptions. The Cavaliers lost 28-3. Now a full-time pitcher, he has struggled for control this season, walking 34 batters in 44.2 innings. That’s one reason he hasn’t started a game since March 17, but manager Brian O’Connor went to Woolfolk to finish the stretch and pitched eight innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and just one walk in a 9-2 victory. “You give guys an opportunity like Jay Woolfolk had tonight, and you see what they’re made of,” O’Connor said. “Jay Woolfolk will probably have that for the rest of his life.”

Then there’s West Virginia. Enter this name in the good-stuff-get-small-packages file.

Derek Clarke.

Born on Christmas Day, the sophomore transfer lefty is 5-9. Maybe. But West Virginia stood tall to throw a four-inning complete game at Dallas Baptist to start in the regional, then finished with two strikeouts against Grand Canyon. By the final K, the Mountaineers were in their first super regional.

“We represent a lot of people,” coach Randy Mazzee said. “Not only our university and community, but the 1.8 million people in the state of West Virginia.” One more feel-good item on this mountain: Mazzei is retiring and making history.

North Carolina State is back in the Super Regional, hoping to get to Omaha and erase some painful memories. In the year Remember what happened there when the Wolfpack reached the finals in 2021? Sent home under covid protocols.

Texas A&M will be there, with a regional sweep including an extra Enix win over Texas, and for the Aggies, what could be sweeter than that? Coach Jim Schlossnagle aims to build a true powerhouse against Texas A&M, which includes full houses. So it’s sensitive to attendance numbers like last weekend’s clincher against Louisiana. “I hope whoever is in charge of the attendance figures can pay my respects because 7,600 people are a joke,” he said.

Brackets: Check out the updated tournament bracket ahead of the Super Regionals

They all created super regional matches with different flavors. Tennessee Power vs Evansville.

Florida State, which went from 23-31 to 46-15 in a year, was eager to beat Connecticut and cap off its recovery with a trip to No. 24 Omaha, where the Seminoles still haven’t won a title.

Kansas State and West Virginia — members of the Big 12 that have never seen the Men’s College World Series — are trying to make breakthroughs in rival ACC baseball strongholds, Virginia and North Carolina.

Oregon State and Oregon, competing this school year as the last survivors of college team sports, are accused of turning off the lights on the Pac-12 for good, trying to save themselves and their league an extra week at Kentucky and Texas A&M.

Georgia, looking to win its first Super Regional since 2008 over North Carolina State. Clemson, trying to stop a second Florida blowout, is a team with the lowest winning percentage in Men’s College World Series history in Omaha.

Well, there’s plenty of intrigue to unravel this weekend, with 16 teams just two good days away from Omaha. Only if it doesn’t rain now.