The Florida Gators jumped all over Mississippi State Bulldogâ€™s starter Luis Pollorena in the first two innings. Mike Zunino homered in the bottom of the first. Daniel Pigott connected on a two-run homerun in the second and was followed by a Vickash Ramjit solo homerun. After walking Nolan Fotana to lead off the 3rd, Pollorenaâ€™s day was done and once again the MSU bullpen would have to come up big. Just when you thought Florida was in complete control, Nick Vickerson struck again. On Saturday, he hit a walk-off two-run homerun. On Sunday, he hit a three-run homerun to get the Bulldogs back in the game (trailed 4-3).
Vickerson came up huge again the top of the 7th with two on and two out. He delivered a two strike single to tie the game at 4-4. The next batter, Brent Brownlee, delivered a two-run single, giving the Bulldogs a 6-4 lead.
After throwing 82 pitches in the game on Saturday (5.1 innings), closer Caleb Reed entered the game for Mississippi State on Sunday in the bottom of the 7th with two men on and nobody out. With one out, Preston Tucker crushed the pitch from Reed over the centerfield wall to give the Gators a 7-6 lead. It was only Tuckerâ€™s second hit of the super regional. Pigott hit another homerun in the 8th, a solo shot, to give Florida an 8-6 lead (it was the Gators 5th homerun of the game).
With Tommy Toledo on the mound (who came back from facial fractures last season), the Gators celebrated their return trip to Omaha by defeating Mississippi State 8-6. The final out came with Vickerson at the plate, as he flied out to deep left to end the game.
ASU and Texas were matched in a win and go to Omaha Game 3. The Sun Devils got on the board in the top of the first on Riccio Torrezâ€™ two-run homerun. The Longhorns tacked on a run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI ground out. Texas tied the game up at 2-2 on a balk in the 5th.
ASU only picked up two hits after the 5th inning. Texas scored the go ahead run in the 6th on Mark Paytonâ€™s RBI single. Payton would then score on Brandon Loyâ€™s RBI double to take a 4-2 lead. In the 9th, Joey DeMichele tripled with two outs, but Texasâ€™ Corey Knebel got Zach Wilson to fly out to end the game and send them to Omaha. Texas will face Florida first in the College World Series.
UConn jumped on the board early against the host South Carolina Gamecocks for the second straight day. UConn scored two runs in the bottom of the second on back-to-back RBI singles from Tim Martin and Billy Ferriter. South Carolina tied the game with single runs in the 4th and 6th innings. South Carolina starter Colby Holmes allowed two runs on five hits over just 4.1 innings. The Gamecocks bullpen was spotless again. Jose Mata, Tyler Webb, John Taylor, and Matt Price combined to throw 4.2 scoreless innings to shutdown the UConn offense.
With the game still tied at 2-2 in the top of the 8th, Christian Walker connected on a solo blast to give South Carolina a 3-2 lead. UConn starter Greg Nappo was replaced two batters after the homerun. He allowed ten hits and three runs over 7.1 innings, while striking out five.
South Carolina blew the game open in the top of the 9th, as they scored five runs to take an 8-2 lead. Price took the mound in the bottom of the 9th and struck out the final two batters to send the Gamecocks back to the CWS to defend their title. They will face Florida first in Omaha.
*For more Gamecocks coverage, check out fellow Aerys writer Katie on Cocky Country.