Only four games were on the schedule to open Super Regional play on Friday, but only two of them turned out to be any good.
VCU 2, Miami 3
The Rams were the only four-seed to make it out of the first weekend, and a lot of people were questioning whether or not they would be competitive with the Canes this week.
Well, it turns out that they at least were in game one.
VCU had won 13-straight before dropping a game to Dallas Baptist on Monday, but still, the Rams were winners of 14 of their last 15 before heading to Coral Gables, and they could have easily taken Friday afternoon’s game as well.
In the sixth inning, VCU was looking to start a rally after a 90-minute rain delay, and it appeared they had runners on first and second with no out. But a controversial interference call was made on Matt Davis, giving Miami a free out.
“The rule is that it doesn’t matter if it’s accidental. It doesn’t matter what happens if the runner impedes the progress of fielding the baseball, the runner’s out,” head coach Shawn Stiffler said after the game. “I had felt like [Matt Davis] ran straight through the baseline. The explanation from the second base umpire was that our athlete did try to avoid it from his eyes and he was the one who made the call.”
The Rams would score one run in the inning, making it a 3-2 ballgame, but the controversial call kept them from tying up the game, if not taking the lead.
Miami’s three runs all came in the second inning. With two out and two guys in scoring position, Jacob Heyward singled up the middle to score both runs, which were both unearned thanks to a throwing error by pitcher JoJo Howie.
Heyward then stole second, and Ricky Eusebio brought him in, scoring the third and final unearned run.
Game two of the series is set for Saturday at Noon ET on ESPNU.
Virginia 5, Maryland 3
In the Super Regional full of three-seeds, the Cavaliers walk away with a 1-0 series lead.
The Terps took a 3-0 lead into the top of the eighth, but by the time they were coming up in the bottom half, they trailed 5-3.
UVA was able to chase Maryland starter Mike Shawaryn with one out in the seventh, bringing in the closer, Kevin Mooney after recording back-to-back one-out hits.
But Mooney was nowhere near able to close this game out. Three hits, two walks, and a wild pitch later, he’d given up three runs, which was all Virginia would need.
Kenny Towns drove in the first Cavalier run, as he was the first batter Mooney faced in the game. An RBI single and an intentional walk loaded the bases with two down for Kevin Doherty.
And Doherty delivered, lacing a double off the left-center field wall, clearing the bases, and putting Virginia up 5-3.
“I knew there was a high percentage chance he would throw me a fastball because of prior at-bats,” Doherty said. “I took the mentality to be very aggressive and pretty much don’t let a fastball for a strike get past me. I was aggressive and it all kind of worked out from there.”
Virginia closer Josh Sborz pitched the final two innings, giving up one hit and no runs en route to his 14th save of the season.
Game two of this series is set for 3 PM ET on ESPNU.
Arkansas 18, Missouri State 4
While Missouri State is the nationally ranked team in this matchup, the Razorbacks are hosting the Super Regional, and are now just one home win away from Omaha.
The Bears led 1-0 after three innings, but the Hogs woke up in the fourth, scoring three runs in the inning. They tacked on one more in the fifth, and then broke the game open with six in the sixth.
It was a record crowd of 11,869 fans cheering on the Razorbacks, and they had even more to cheer about after the sixth.
Missouri State scored two in the bottom half to make it 10-3 heading to the seventh.
But two more runs in the seventh and another six-run inning in the eighth put Arkansas up 18-3. A meek run in the bottom of the ninth for MO State gave us the 18-4 final.
Game two is scheduled for 2 PM ET on ESPN2.
Florida 13, Florida State 5
In the final game of the day, the Gators took it to their in-state rivals, getting out to a 4-0 lead in the first.
It didn’t get any better from there for Florida State, who had to use six pitchers on the night to get through the eight Gator at bats.
UF only failed to score in the second, fourth and eighth innings, taking a 13-0 lead into the 8th.
FSU tried to save some face in the final two innings, tallying five runs, including DJ Stewart’s two-run home run in the eighth.
The Seminoles will need to get a decent pitching performance on Saturday if they want to keep their season alive. The two teams will meet at 5 PM ET on ESPN2.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports