NCAA baseball Regional: Oregon State moves on in winner's bracket, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona fall
Of the four Pac-12 teams in this year's NCAA baseball tournament, only Oregon State finished victorious on Friday. That means Stanford, Arizona, and UCLA all face elimination games on Saturday. Here's a rundown of the action:
Corvallis Regional Game 1: Oregon State 8, Holy Cross 2
The Beavers, the country's No. 1 team for much of the season, did nothing to cast doubt on their status as heavy favorites in this regional. Ace Jake Thompson was excellent again, holding the Crusaders to just one run on four hits over 7.2 innings. He earned a standing ovation on his way out:
— Oregon St. Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 3, 2017
Oregon State enjoyed contributions from virtually its entire lineup -- all but one of the Beavers' starting nine players recorded a hit. Once the offense got a good look at Holy Cross starter Brendan King, the 13-hit parade was on.
Oregon State, hungry for another national championship under coach Pat Casey, advances to face Yale at 7 p.m. PT tomorrow. Keep an eye on cleanup hitter Michael Gretler, who blasted his third homer of the year late Friday.
Lubbock Regional Game 1: Sam Houston State 5, Arizona 4
The Wildcats -- winners of a national title this decade and a perennial Pac-12 power -- had the advantage in pedigree over the Southland Conference's Sam Houston State, but the Bearkats had the mojo. Catcher Robie Rojas blasted a three-run homer in the sixth inning to give the underdogs the advantage, and Arizona -- try as they might with some pressure-packed rallies in the late innings -- could never fully even out the score, falling 5-4.
The Wildcats repeatedly brought the tying run into scoring position in the late innings, but Sam Houston State always had an answer defensively or on the mound. In the seventh, Rojas made an excellent tag on a play at the plate to preserve the lead for the Bearkats; in the ninth, closer Nick Mikolajchak blew a high fastball by Arizona third baseman Nick Quintana to end the game.
Arizona, which enjoyed a three-hit effort from DH Alfonso Rivas, faces Delaware in an elimination game at 12 p.m. PT tomorrow.
Stanford Regional Game 2: CSU Fullerton 4, Stanford 1
Stanford coasted through the first round of its Regional against Sacramento State on Thursday night, but the Cardinal met their match in round two Friday. Cal State Fullerton, which took two of three against Stanford way back at the very beginning of the regular season, got the best of the Cardinal again to take command of the bracket, winning 4-1.
— Stanford Baseball (@StanfordBSB) June 3, 2017
The Titans stressed Stanford left-hander Andrew Summerville throughout the entirety of his outing. The junior departed after only 4.1 innings, allowing three runs. That was more than enough for Fullerton starter John Gavin, who flummoxed a Cardinal offense that scored 10 runs against Sacramento State the night before. Gavin allowed only one run and three hits over seven full innings, striking out 10.
Stanford was one of the hottest teams in the nation entering the game, having won 22 of its previous 24 games. The Cardinal must now claw out of the loser's bracket of a regional that they're hosting: They face BYU in an elimination game at 1 p.m. PT tomorrow. A win would set a rematch with Fullerton later in the day, and a loss would mean the end of the season -- and the sunset of Stanford coach Mark Marquess' 41-year coaching tenure. He's retiring at the end of this campaign.
Long Beach Regional: Texas 3, UCLA 2
UCLA will also play the remainder of this NCAA Regional round with its backs against the wall.
Texas bested the Bruins 3-2 to open the Long Beach Regional, immediately pushing UCLA into an elimination game at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday. The Bruins will face San Diego State.
UCLA couldn't capitalize on another solid outing from its ace Griffin Canning. He allowed only two earned runs over 7.2 innings, but the Bruins never led, as Texas didn't look back after Kacy Clemens' solo homer in the third. Ryan Kreidler homered for the Bruins in the eighth, but UCLA's last-gasp ninth inning rally ended with the potential tying run on second base.
— UCLA Baseball (@UCLABaseball) June 3, 2017
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