Oklahoma and Kansas State punched tickets to the NCAA Baseball Championship Super Regional field with victories on Sunday. Both the Sooners and the Wildcats went 3-0 at their respective regionals as the Big 12 posted an 8-2 mark on the weekend.
This marks the fourth straight year the league has sent a pair of teams to Super Regional play and 12th overall since the format began in 1999. The Wildcats are making their first-ever appearance while this marks Oklahoma’s fourth overall and third in the past four years (2006, ‘10, ‘12). The Big 12 has had a total of 29 Super Regional appearances and is 37-34.
Oklahoma (43-19), which defeated Coastal Carolina, Connecticut and Virginia Tech in the Blacksburg Regional this past weekend, will travel to Baton Rouge to face No. 4 national seed LSU (55-9). K-State will also face a national seed in No. 3 Oregon State (48-11) in Corvallis. The Wildcats defeated Wichita State, Bryant and Arkansas en route to their Super Regional berth.
Official selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced on www.NCAA.com/cws, Monday, June 3 at approximately 10 p.m. CT. Super Regionals are played in a best-of-three series with the eight winners advancing to the 67th Men’s College World Series beginning Saturday, June 15, at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Neb.
Oklahoma State, which went 2-2 in the Louisville Regional, was eliminated by the host Cardinals this afternoon to end the Cowboys’ first season under head coach Josh Holliday with a 41-19 mark.
NCAA REGIONAL RESULTS
Friday, May 31
No. 18 Oklahoma 7, Coastal Carolina 3
Miami (Fla.) 7, No. 18 Oklahoma State 0
No. 13 Kansas State 20, Wichita State 11
Saturday, June 1
No. 18 Oklahoma State 7, Bowling Green 3
No. 18 Oklahoma 5, Connecticut 3 (12)
No. 13 Kansas State 7, Bryant 1
Sunday, June 2
No. 18 Oklahoma State 7, Miami (Fla.) 1
No. 8 Louisville 12, No. 18 Oklahoma State at 3
No. 18 Oklahoma 10, No. 16 Virginia Tech 4
No. 13 Kansas State 4, No. 12 Arkansas 3
Super Regionals: Friday, June 7-Sunday, June 9
Oklahoma at LSU
Kansas State at Oregon State
No. 18 Oklahoma 10, Virginia Tech 4 (Blacksburg Regional)
The Oklahoma Sooners left the Commonwealth of Virginia much like they have in recent years: dogpiling on the mound after advancing through an NCAA Tournament round.
The Sooners opened a one-run game with a six-run ninth inning to defeat host and Blacksburg Regional No. 1-seed Virginia Tech, 10-4, Sunday at English Field.
Oklahoma won its second straight NCAA Regional championship. The Sooners claimed the Charlottesville, Va., Regional title, following four straight elimination-game wins, in 2012 and a Super Regional victory at the same site in 2010.
It was part of an improbable run through the postseason as the Sooners got all the breaks they didn’t receive through most of May. OU lost nine of its last 11 games heading into its regular-season finale, leaving them a questionable pick for the NCAA tournament field. But the Sooners have won eight straight since, including a four-game sweep of the Big 12 Championship.
Eddie Campbell (2-5) retired 16 of his first 17 batters before a light rain began falling and the Sooners started hammering the Virginia Tech starter in the top of the sixth.
Garrett Carey singled up the middle, Craig Aikin was hit by a pitch and Jack Mayfield singled through the left side to load the bases with one out. Max White split the left side with a single to plate the Sooners’ first run. Then, Matt Oberste grounded to Sean Keselica, but the first baseman’s throw to force out Aikin at home was low and OU tied the game on the error.
Hector Lorenzana smacked his 1-1 offering into left field in the next at-bat to plate Mayfield for the go-ahead run. White overran the bag at third and was put out on the cut-off for the second out of the inning. The Hokies changed to reliever Jake Joyce, but the result stayed the same as the Sooners advanced the runners one more time.
Anthony Hermelyn hit to deep short, leaving a sliding Chad Pinder without a play at first, but Oberste overran third and was engaged in a pickle that changed gloves three times before catcher Chad Morgan overthrew third, allowing a fourth Sooner run to score.
The Hokies’ rally in the bottom of the inning was stifled by two defensive highlights at the plate.
With two runners in scoring position, Carey barehanded Andrew Rash’s chopper to throw out Mark Zagunis sliding into home. Rash, who scored Virginia Tech’s second run with a solo homer in the fourth inning, and Tyler Horan held scoring positions as Morgan belted a 3-1 pitch up the middle. Horan scored from third, but White charged the hit and let it fly to Hermelyn as Rash barreled into the Sooners’ catcher, who managed to contain the ball during the collision to keep the game-tying run from touching home plate.
The momentum seeped from Virginia Tech the next two innings as Kyle Hayes shut down the Hokies’ bats in relief, allowing just one hit while striking out two of the batters he faced through the first out of the ninth.
Oklahoma turned a tight game into a rout quickly in the ninth. Kolbey Carpenter and Taylor Alspaugh hit one-out singles and then the Sooners bunted in two insurance runs as the deflated crowd filed out of the stadium.
Carey’s suicide squeeze was hit into no-mans land on the first base side, scoring Carpenter from third. Aikin’s bunt died in front of the mound, but Joyce deferred to Morgan for the fielding and the Virginia Tech catcher threw wide at first, allowing Alspaugh to score on the two-base error.
With first base open, Oberste was intentionally walked. However, Lorenzana doubled down the right field line for the final two RBIs.
White, who batted 8-for-16 with four RBIs and three runs scored in three games, earned Most Outstanding Player honors for the regional. Hermelyn, Lorenzana and Jonathan Gray, who pitched a complete-game victory against Coastal Carolina, were also named to the all-tournament team.
Despite Sunday’s score, it wasn’t an easy road for the Sooners. OU rallied from a 3-0 deficit against No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina Friday and then outlasted No. 4 seed Connecticut in extra innings.
All three victories in the Blacksburg Regional were program first against their respective opponents.
No. 13 Kansas State 4, No. 12 Arkansas 3 (Manhattan Regional)
Kansas State’s bullpen team of Gerardo Esquivel, Nate Williams and Jake Matthys tossed 7.1 scoreless innings and the Wildcats scored two seventh-inning runs to advance to their first-ever Super Regional with a 4-3 victory over Arkansas Sunday night in the championship round of the 2013 NCAA Manhattan Regional at Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State, which set a school record by winning their 44th game this year and enter the NCAA round of 16 with a 44-17 record, found itself in an early 3-0 hole in the bottom of the first when Arkansas left fielder Brian Anderson stroked a two-RBI single before Matt Vinson capped the frame with a two-out RBI single through the right side of the infield.
Looking for more, Arkansas loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning, but Esquivel came out of the bullpen to induce an inning-ending pop out. The ball caught by shortstop Austin Fisher began a streak for Esquivel of retiring 13 of the 14 batters he faced, including one via strikeout.
Kansas State rewarded the junior right-hander in the seventh inning when Ross Kivett and Tanner Witt led off the frame with walks against Michael Gunn (1-1). After the Razorbacks brought in Jalen Beeks and K-State bunted Kivett and Witt into scoring position, Arkansas elected to intentionally walk Jared King. However, on his second pitch, Beeks bounced a ball over the plate and to the backstop, allowing Kivett to score the tying run.
Arkansas took off the intentional walk and began pitching to King, but a 3-1 pitch went wild again as Witt scored the eventual winning run.
Williams entered the game in the seventh inning and sat the Razorbacks down in order. After the right-hander walked a batter to begin the eighth, Matthys entered for a 32nd time this season to toss two scoreless frames with the final out coming on a fly ball to left field as K-State celebrated behind the mound.
Esquivel, who earned a spot on the all-regional team, earned the win in his second-straight appearance after tossing 4.1 innings with a walk and a strikeout. The Chicago, Ill., product continually found the strike zone as 35 of his 49 pitches went for strikes and he threw a first-pitch strike to 12 of the 14 batters he faced.
Williams issued a walk in an inning-plus, while Matthys allowed two hits and struck out a batter in his two scoreless frames. Matthys’ 32nd outing out of the bullpen set the single-season school record, while he earned his ninth save of the year to tie for fifth in school history.
The Wildcats were led offensively by Shane Conlon, who went 2-for-4. Arkansas’ Joe Serrano was the only other player in the game with multiple hits by going 2-for-5.
Esquivel was joined on the all-regional team by Blair DeBord (catcher), Conlon (first base), Kivett (second base), Witt (outfield) and King (outfield). Kivett, who went 6-for-12 with two homers and five RBI, was named the most valuable player.
No. 18 Oklahoma State 7, Miami (Fla. 1)/No. 8 Louisville 12, No. 18 Oklahoma State 3 (Louisville Regional)
Oklahoma State advanced to the NCAA Louisville Regional final Sunday with a 7-1 win over Miami, but Louisville ended the Cowboys’ season by knocking them off by a 12-3 margin at Jim Patterson Stadium.
In an elimination game against second-seeded Miami, OSU notched its 18th come-from-behind win of the season. Jarrett Higgins and Gage Green each drove in two runs, while Mark Robinette earned his sixth win of the season on the mound.
Faced with the task of beating host Louisville twice to advance to a Super Regional, OSU sent senior Kenton Bevacqua to the mound against the Cardinals.
The southpaw retired UL’s first seven hitters, but got into trouble in the third, beginning when the southpaw hit Zak Wasserman with a pitch. After getting a pair of outs, the Cardinals began a trend of two-out RBIs on a single by Nick Ratajczak to plate the game’s first run.
After another hit-by-pitch, UL cleanup hitter Coco Johnson, who was named the regional’s most outstanding player, put the Cards up 3-0 with a two-RBI single.
The Cowboys plated their first run on a Green sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third, but UL answered with two more runs off Brendan McCurry in the fourth and another in the fifth.
OSU added runs in the fourth and fifth innings to trim its deficit to 6-3, but that was as close as the Cowboys would get as they finished the contest with 12 runners left on base.
The eighth inning would seal the Cowboys’ fate as Louisville rallied for six runs on five hits. OSU finished with nine hits in the contest, with Fish and Victor Romero collecting three apiece.
Earning NCAA Louisville Regional All-Tournament Team honors for the Cowboys were Randy McCurry (shortstop) and Gage Green (OF).