National champions Vanderbilt and Stanford swept their NCAA Super Regionals and became the first team to lock a spot in the College World Series
Defending national champions Vanderbilt and Stanford entered their NCAA Super Regionals on Saturday to become the first team to lock a spot in the College World Series.
Jack Leiter gave Vanderbilt another brilliant pitching performance in a 4–1 victory over East Carolina to send the Commodores to the CWS in Omaha, Nebraska for the fifth time since 2011.
Stanford will be in the CWS for the first time since 2008, when Alex Williams hit a two-hitter and Brock Jones home three times in a 9–0 victory at Texas Tech.
North Carolina State came back from a 21-2 loss on Friday to beat No. 1 national seed Arkansas 6-5 and even its best-of-three series, and Mississippi State won 9-8. With opened his Super Regional against Notre Dame.
Dallas Baptists went within the victory of their first CWS appearance, beating Virginia 6–5. Tennessee defeated LSU 4-2 in the All-SEC Super Regional.
In Saturday night’s game, Arizona were trying to wrap up their series against Mississippi, while South Florida was played in Texas.
Leiter, who makes the most 1-2 pitching tandem in the country with Kumar Rocker, went in seven innings and restricted East Carolina (44-17) to a single and Josh Moylan’s homer.
Rocker and Leiter combined for 21 strikes, allowing five hits in 14 1/3 innings and one run on six walks for Vandy (45-15) at Super Regionals.
“That’s why you come to Vanderbilt, for moments like this,” said Leiter, the son of retired longtime major league pitcher Al Leiter. “The season would have seemed incomplete if we didn’t make it this far.”
Like Brandon Beck on Friday, Williams handcuffed one of the nation’s top offensive teams at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders had a total of three runs and nine hits in two matches. Williams scored 10 runs in his first full game of the season and one in the second game of his career.
Jones made a home in the first inning, hit a Grand Slam in the sixth and went deep again in the eighth. Tommy Troy also built a home for the Cardinal.
“I think we’re going to shock the world again,” Jones said. “We’re not satisfied. We’re not here just to go to a super and just go to Omaha. We’re trying to figure out the whole thing.”
No. 9 national seed Stanford (38–15) played the underdog for his series at No. 8 Texas Tech (39–17), which had hosted and won all of its previous Super Regionals.
The Cardinals were just 5-11 in the pandemic-less 2020 season and finished fifth in the Pac-12 in the Presidency. It took him time to make it to the top 20 polls by mid-April. He appeared in each of his regular-season series.
“Everyone was waiting for us to hit midnight and it probably wouldn’t be as good as what we were playing,” said coach David Esker. And that never happened.
NC State (34-18) defeated Arkansas (50-12) in the fourth inning with Jose Torres, Luca Tresh and Wojtek Mensik to beat single homers 2-1 in the space of four batsmen. Sam Highfil and Evan Justice combined to limit the Razorbacks to four hits, with Justice receiving a strikeout to finish seventh with a tying run at third base.
Logan Tanner hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and Landon Sims played two perfect innings for his 10th save for Mississippi State (44-15). Notre Dame (33-12), the country’s top fielding team, made four mistakes.
Andrew Benefield gave Dallas Baptiste (41-16) the lead with his seventh-inning homer and Ray Gaither, Peyton Sherlyn and Zane Russell combined for four innings of two-hit shutout relief against Virginia (33-25) .
Chad Dallas scored a career-high 12 and the Volunteers (49–16) scored three runs in the sixth inning to take the lead against LSU (38–24). With another win, Walls would move to CWS for the first time since 2005 and send Tigers coach Paul Menieri into retirement.
More AP NCAA Baseball Tournament coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-world-series