Texas A&M swept its NCAA super regional and advanced to the College World Series, and Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Texas won Saturday to even their best-of-three series.
Connecticut, Mississippi, Arkansas and Auburn won their super regional openers to move within a win of making the CWS, which begins Friday in Omaha, Nebraska.
No. 5 national seed Texas A&M beat Louisville 4-3 for a second straight one-run win and returns to the CWS for the first time since 2017, the next step in a turnaround season under first-year coach Jim Schlossnagle.
A year after failing to even qualify for the Southeastern Conference Tournament, Texas A&M posted the second-best record in the conference and now has won five straight in the NCAA Tournament.
The super regional sweep in College Station, Texas, came one year and two days after the Aggies hired away Schlossnagle from TCU, where he had led the Horned Frogs to five CWS in 18 years.
“At this time a year ago I was waking up consistently at 3:30 in the morning in a full body sweat,” he said. “I had just left a place that was so comfortable. To be sitting here going to the College World Series, every single ounce of credit goes to the players.”
Relievers Will Johnston, Brad Rudis and Jacob Palisch combined to limit Louisville to five singles in 4 1/3 shutout innings, and the Aggies scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
“I’m glad we won, but I’m really glad to see us win a game that’s not 15-7,” said Schlossnagle, who got a cooler of water poured over him as the team celebrated outside the dugout. “I’ve been saying all year long, you’re going to run into great pitchers. It’s good to see us match that up and play good defense.”
Luc Lipcius became the third Tennessee player in program history to hit two homers in an inning when he connected twice in an eight-run fifth in the No. 1 Volunteers’ 12-4 victory over Notre Dame in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Evan Russell also homered in the fifth, and he and Lipcius now share the Vols’ career record with 39, one more than Todd Helton’s 38 from 1993-95.
“It’s really cool after the fact that it happened,” Lipcius said, “and Todd Helton is one of the greats of Tennessee and of all time and it’s really cool two old guys are hanging out at the top.”
Nick Biddison hit two of No. 4 Virginia Tech’s single-game record five homers and six Hokies pitchers combined to strike out 14 in a 14-8 victory over Oklahoma in Blacksburg, Virginia.
“I felt like it was an exercise in toughness for our guys,” said Hokies coach John Szefc, whose team bounced back from a 5-4 loss in Game 1.
Texas came back from a five-run deficit to beat No. 8 East Carolina 9-8 on Dylan Campbell’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth in Greenville, North Carolina.
Campbell also hit a tiebreaking homer in the bottom of the eighth for the Longhorns, who entered the inning trailing 7-4.
“There’s a lot of fight in this team,” Texas coach David Pierce said. “This team has proven it from the day we started it until right now. We’re not going to give in, not going to go away.”
UConn scored eight runs in the second inning and then survived No. 2 Stanford’s home run barrage to hold off the Cardinal 13-12, matching the most runs scored against the Cardinal this season.
The Huskies, trying to get to Omaha for the first time since 1979, withstood Stanford’s four homers in the ninth after entering the inning up 13-6. The Cardinal finished with eight homers, their most in a game since 2004, with Brock Jones connecting three times.
Mississippi scored seven runs on five hits in the sixth inning on its way to a 10-0 win over Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
Dylan DeLucia and Jack Dougherty combined on the shutout, with DeLucia allowing four hits in 5 2/3 innings and Dougherty giving up no hits the rest of the way.
Arkansas’ Connor Noland threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 4-1 victory over North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Noland threw 61 of 89 pitches for strikes while allowing only six hits and a walk.
Peyton Stovall homered to start the Razorbacks’ three-run fifth inning, and Brady Slavens followed with the first of his RBI singles.
Sonny DiChiara and Bobby Peirce homered and Auburn held No. 3 Oregon State to one run over the last eight innings in a 7-5 victory in Corvallis, Oregon.
Auburn starter Trace Bright got only two outs as the Beavers scored four times in the first. John Armstrong, Tommy Sheehan and Carson Skipper combined to allow two singles and three walks the next 7 1/3 innings.
More AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25