North Carolina State, Texas, Tennessee and Arizona locked spots in the College World Series on Sunday, with the Wolfpack defeating No. 1 national seed Arkansas.
Two days after losing their NCAA Super Regional Opener by 19 runs, Jose Torres hit a tiebreaking home run at the top of the ninth inning of the SEC Pitcher of the Year, Kevin Koops and NC State defeated the Razorbacks 3-2 in the deciding Game 3. defeated by
Tennessee beat LSU 15–6 and Texas beat South Florida 12–4 to complete a two-game sweep, and Arizona won the three-game series with a 16–3 victory over Mississippi.
Virginia beat Dallas Baptist 4-0 and Notre Dame beat Mississippi State 9-1 to set up the third game on Monday.
No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 9 Stanford were the first teams to claim a spot in the CWS, which opens Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska.
There are two CWS opener sets: NC State-Stanford and Arizona-Vanderbilt. Texas will play Notre Dame or Mississippi State and Tennessee will face Dallas Baptist or Virginia.
This is the 21st consecutive NCAA tournament the No. 1 seed will not win a national title. This is the eighth time the top seed has not reached the CWS since the tournament went to its current format in 1999.
Arkansas (51–13) was the unanimous No. 1 team in most of the season’s polls, having not lost a best-of-three series since May 2019 and winning the SEC’s regular-season and tournament championships.
But NC State (35-18), which suffered a 21-2 loss on Friday, halted the Razorbacks’ powerful offense while winning two straight one-run games in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Two pitchers restricted Hogg to four hits in Saturday’s 6-5 victory, and three pitchers combined to restrict him to four hits again on Sunday.
Torres made all three games for the Wolfpack, starting 1-8 in Atlantic Coast Conference play and 4-9 on aggregate. He made the finals of the ACC tournament and was the No. 2 regional seed in Ruston, Louisiana, where he won three games joint 30–11.
“They are a very good group of players and are committed to each other,” said coach Elliot Avent. “They’ve been together and have been together for four years now, and when you live together, go to class together, study together and do all the social things, you bond.
“When we were 1-8 years old, they were convinced we could rebound, and they stuck with it.”
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn made a surprise move when he gave the Kopes their first start of the season on Sunday. Kopps had served as long, medium and short relief for the Hogs this season and not allowed a run in 15 1/3 innings at Regionals and Super Regionals.
Van Horn said, “We talked about how many pitches Kevin can bowl, how many innings he can bowl. Can we get him in the second innings? If we can, why not start him ? He wanted to start over, so that’s what we did.”
Kopps allowed a two-run homer from Johnny Butler and six other hits before dropping Torres’ ninth-inning homer with his 118th pitch. Kopps threw 324 pitches in 23 1/3 innings in five matches over 10 days.
2 nationally seeded Texas erased the opening two-run deficit with four runs in the second inning and two more in the third to go 6-2 against South Florida, and fans in Austin stood up “OM– A-ha” chanted. OM-A-HA” before the Longhorns’ final out.
Texas (47–15), making a record 37th CWS appearance, had a home run from Cam Williams and two doubles from Trey Faltin. South Florida was playing in its first Super Regional, advancing as the No. 4 regional seed.
3 national seed Tennessee (50-16) will head CWS for the first time since 2005. Tony Vitello has established a strong bond with fans since he was hired four years ago, and the level of excitement around his program is unprecedented.
“I wanted to get this thing where people are proud of it,” Vitello said. “The crowd here and the people on the street are speaking wherever they are.”
After scoring no home runs in their 4-2 win on Saturday, Tennessee continued its late-season power surge. Jake Rucker went deep twice, and Walls matched his season high with six homers, increasing his NCAA Tournament total to 16 in five games.
5 Arizona (45–22), who would be in the CWS for the 18th time, opened their game in the fourth inning by scoring seven runs off three pitchers. Ole Miss made its close Taylor Broadway debut, and left after hitting Ryan Holgate’s homer and two singles to open the fourth.
The Wildcats’ 16 runs were the second-most allowed by Ole Miss in 115 all-time NCAA Tournament games.
Virginia’s Griff McGarry scored 10 runs in seven innings and teamed up with Brandon Knicks and Kyle Whitten on a four-hit shutout in Columbia, South Carolina. The Cavaliers (34–25) scored all their runs in the eighth inning against the Patriots (41–17), with Jack Geloff hitting a homer and Alex Tappan hitting a three-run homer.
David Lamanna’s three-run homer in the fourth innings opened the game for Notre Dame (34-12). Aidan Tyrell hosted Mississippi State (44–16) for one run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings.
More NCAA Baseball Tournament coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-world-series