The first round of the NCAA Baseball tournament is in the books. Let’s look around at some of the major games from yesterday as we prepare for the winner’s round and elimination game tonight.
Duke beat Texas A&M 8-5 in the first game. Duke used two 4-run innings to take a 8-1 lead into the ninth before the Aggies staged a late comeback that ultimately fell short.
The #15 Mountaineers beat Fordham in front of a school record crowd of 4,355. The Mountaineers starter Nick Snyder threw 5 innings and weekend starter Kade Strowd came on in relief and threw 4 innings for the win.
A&M will play Fordham at 2 PM on Saturday and Duke will play West Virginia at 7 PM.
If the Mountaineers are lucky enough to make it out of Morgantown with 3 wins, then they will play the winner of the Nashville Regional (Vanderbilt, Indiana State, McNeese State, Ohio State).
Indiana State beat McNeese State 6-5 for the program’s first tournament win since 1995.
#2 Vanderbilt beat Ohio State 8-2 behind junior right-hander Drake Fellows’ complete game.
McNeese State will play Ohio State in the elimination game while Vanderbilt will play Indiana State tonight in the winner’s game. Keep an eye on the Commodore’s who are the national #2 seed and one of the best programs in the country this year.
Big 12 Teams
The Mountaineers were one of five Big 12 programs to earn NCAA tournament bids - Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor were the others - and one of three to earn hosting rights. Texas Tech earned the #8 national seed, meaning if they win, they would host a Super Regional, so let’s check in on them first.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders, one of the nation’s best hitting teams, pounded Army 11-2 in the opening game, jumping out to a 8-0 lead before Army even scored. The win was head coach Tim Tadlock’s 20th win in the Tournament.
Lubbock was also a hotbed for offense in the Dallas Baptist-Florida game that Dallas-Baptist won 11-8. The two teams combined for 27 hits in the affair.
Tech will play DBU while Florida will play Army in the loser-goes-home game.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys earned the #9 seed, meaning they will play the winner of the Lubbock Regional in the next round of the Tournament, setting up an all Big-12 Super Regional.
The Cowboys shut out Harvard 2-0 behind Jensen Elliot’s 7 strong innings. The Cowboys only allowed 4 hits to a team with 5 hitters hitting close to .300.
Me just writing to tell you Nebraksa beat UConn 8-5 doesn’t do this game justice. The Husker struck out 16 times, the Cornhusker pitchers allowed 19 (!) hits and the team was down 3-0 in the second inning. All of this should have led to a Huskies victory, yet, Nebraska prevailed.
OSU will play Nebraska while Harvard will play UConn.
Baylor is playing in the #1 overall seed UCLA regional. The Bears, who finished 2nd in the Big 12 this year, lost to Loyola Maramount 3-1. The Bears face Omaha with their Tournament lives on the line.
The Horned Frogs, unlikely tournament entries with a lackluster resume, upended the Cal Bears 13-2 in the opening round of the Fayetteville Regional. The Horned Frogs face the Razorbacks with a chance to upend the Regional early.
Elsewhere in the Tournament
Cincinatti upset Oregon State 7-6 in the Corvallis Regional. Oregon State is the reigning National Champs but Cincinatti hitter A.J. Bumpass went 5-5 including a 9th inning triple and a homerun to upend the Beavers.
North Carolina used a walk-off rundown to beat UNC Wilmington 7-6 in the Chapel Hill Regional.