LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) – Arizona, UC Santa Barbara and Texas Tech clinched regional titles in the NCAA Tournament on Monday, leaving three spots open for the best-of-three super regionals set for this weekend.
Arizona beat Louisiana-Lafayette twice on the Ragin’ Cajuns’ home field to wrap up a four games-in-36 hours odyssey that put the Wildcats in super regionals for the first time since they won the national title in 2012. Arizona followed a 6-3 win in the afternoon with a 3-1 victory at night.
Santa Barbara eliminated Xavier with a 14-5 victory in the Nashville Regional to earn its first super-regional berth.
No. 5 national seed Texas Tech defeated Dallas Baptist 5-3 in the Lubbock Regional to advance for the second time in three years.
Coastal Carolina and North Carolina State were playing Monday night in the Raleigh Regional final. LSU was playing Rice in Baton Rouge needing one win to clinch the regional. A Rice win would force a second game Tuesday.
South Carolina’s final against UNC-Wilmington in Columbia was postponed until Tuesday because of rain, meaning there will be at least one regional extending to Tuesday for the first time since 2011.
The top six national seeds have advanced, with the possibility of a seventh if No. 8 LSU wins. No. 7 Clemson was eliminated Sunday.
Here are the super regional matchups so far, with the NCAA to announce dates and times after the last regional final:
– Florida State (40-20) at No. 1 national seed Florida (50-13).
– UC Santa Barbara (40-18-1) at No. 2 Louisville (50-12).
– Boston College (34-20) at No. 3 Miami (48-11).
– TCU (48-15) at No. 4 Texas A&M (48-14).
– East Carolina (37-21-1) at No. 5 Texas Tech (44-17).
– Arizona (42-21) at No. 6 Mississippi State (44-16-1).
– North Carolina State (38-21) or Coastal Carolina (46-16) vs. No. 8 LSU (44-18) or Rice (37-23).
– Oklahoma State (39-20) vs. South Carolina (45-16) or UNC-Wilmington (41-18).
– Austin Bush and Clay Fisher each hit three-run homers in UC Santa Barbara’s nine-run fourth inning against Xavier.
– Texas Tech’s Orlando Garcia hit a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie against Dallas Baptist. Garcia, batting out the No. 9 hole, finished with two doubles and three RBIs.
– Hunter Kopycinski was 3 for 3 with five RBIs in Rice’s 15-0 elimination-game win over Southeastern Louisiana in Baton Rouge.
MARVELOUS ON MOUND
– Arizona’s Kevin Ginkel, who worked 1 2/3 innings for the save in the afternoon game, went 5 2/3 as the starter in the nightcap and allowed four hits and one run. Ginkel appeared in the Wildcats’ last three games, throwing 110 pitches over nine total innings.
– Arizona’s Nathan Bannister, coming off two days’ rest following a 96-pitch outing Friday, threw 102 pitches over seven innings in the 6-3 win that forced the second game against Lafayette. Bannister gave up five hits and three runs.
– Will Gilbert pitched a career-long eight innings of relief, striking out nine and allowing one earned run on five hits and a walk in NC State’s 8-1 win over Coastal Carolina, which forced a second final.
– Rice’s Ricardo Salinas and Willy Amador combined on a three-hit shutout against Southeastern Louisiana.
AVENT TOSSED, SUSPENDED
North Carolina State coach Elliott Avent was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the third inning of the Wolfpack’s day game against Coastal Carolina. He continued to argue after getting tossed, which led to a two-game suspension under college baseball rules. The Wolfpack scored six runs the next inning and won 8-1 to force a second game for the regional title.
Avent sat out the night game and, if the Wolfpack won, would have to miss the first game of super regionals. A Wolfpack loss would mean he would have to sit out the first game of the 2017 season.
HOME RUN BINGE
More home runs have been hit in regional play than in the entire 2015 tournament. There were 167 homers in 97 games through Monday night. That compares to 150 in 136 tournament games through the College World Series last year.
This year’s total also is the highest since new bat standards went into effect in 2011.
Photo Courtesy: The Daily Advertiser