Longhorns advance to CWS
C.J Hinojosa drove in two runs and Parker French pitched six scoreless innings as Texas beat Houston 4-0 on Saturday to win an NCAA super regional and advance to the College World Series.
Texas (43-19) is headed to Omaha for the 35th time, more than any other school, after missing the NCAA tournament altogether the previous two years. The Longhorns' last trip to the CWS was in 2011.
The Longhorns will next face UC Irvine, which beat Oklahoma State in their super regional. The first game in Omaha will be June 14.
Texas has won the College World Series six times, including twice under current coach Augie Garrido -- most recently in 2005.
Garrido, 75, has won 1,917 games, more than any other collegiate baseball coach, in 46 seasons, the past 18 at Texas.
However, Texas did not receive a bid to the tournament the previous two seasons, the first time the Longhorns had been left out since 1997 and 1998 -- Garrido's first two seasons as coach.
Longhorns center fielder Mark Payton and Nathan Thornhill -- the winning pitcher in Friday's series opener -- said they returned for their senior seasons instead of signing professional contracts to help restore the program.
Payton was selected in the 16th round of the MLB draft by Cleveland last year, and Thornhill was taken by Houston in the 24th round. Both elevated their status this season, as the New York Yankees picked Payton in the seventh round, and Thornhill went to Philadelphia in the 13th.
After winning Game 1, Thornhill said, "This is where this program belongs."
On Saturday, Payton had a single and two walks to extend his streak of reaching base to 101 games.
Josh Vidales had three singles for Houston (48-18), giving him six hits in the super regional. But Houston left 14 runners on base Saturday.
Texas scored four times in the fourth inning against Houston starter Aaron Garza (9-5). Hinojosa drove in two with a single to right-center, Collin Shaw had a sacrifice fly and Kacy Clemens added an RBI single.
Houston loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Frankie Ratcliff grounded to first, and Clemens threw home for a forceout. Michael Pyeatt followed with a grounder to second.
UC Irvine 1, Oklahoma State 0: No underdog. No Cinderella team.
UC Irvine realizes it's on a terrific run, but the Anteaters don't need any such labels. They just keep on winning.
Andrew Morales pitched a five-hit shutout to lead UC Irvine to a 1-0 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday night that clinched the super regional series and sent the Anteaters to the College World Series.
UC Irvine (40-23) advanced to Omaha for the first time since 2007 and just the second time overall since becoming a Division I program in 2002.
The two-game sweep continues an unlikely run for the Anteaters, who entered the Corvallis regional last week as the No. 3 seed having lost six straight and eight of nine. But they upset national No. 1 seed Oregon State to advance.
"In those eight losses, we were on the other side of this type of game five times," UC Irvine coach Mike Gillespie said. "A loss is a loss, but the fact is, we did play well and we really pitched well. So the fact that we've done well (since), it's really not as big a shock as it looks like, because our pitching has really given us chances time after time."
Morales earned his third postseason victory in eight days, striking out eight and walking two in nine innings. The Anteaters scored the game's only run in the first inning on Jonathan Munoz's RBI double, and Morales made it stand.
"Just execute pitches, keep the ball down and they can't hurt you," said Morales, who recorded wins over UNLV and Oregon State in the regionals and is now 11-2 on the year. "I trusted my curveball today and my slider. Those have been my two best pitches all year. It was a great game to be a part of."
It was a disappointing ending for Oklahoma State (48-18), which was hosting a super regional for the first time and seeking its first trip to the College World Series since 1999.
Oklahoma State's high-powered offense, which had scored a combined 27 runs in the Cowboys' three regional victories last week, managed just four runs and 12 hits in the two-game series.
Maryland 5, Virginia 4: Jake Stinnett pitched six solid innings, Brandon Lowe had two RBIs and Maryland beat Virginia in the opener of their NCAA super regional.
In a matchup of all-ACC pitchers, Stinnett (8-6) outworked Virginia's Nathan Kirby by scattering three runs and six hits to lead Maryland (40-21).
Kirby (9-2), the ACC co-pitcher of the year, had his shortest outing of the season, giving up all five runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. Mike Papi had three hits and drove in a run for Virginia (47-14).
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Sunday.
Texas Tech 1, College of Charleston 0: Chris Sadberry struck out a career-high nine Saturday, and Texas Tech held off the College of Charleston.
Sadberry worked a career-best eight innings as the Red Raiders (44-19) improved to 32-4 at home and took the lead in the best-of-three series.
Taylor Clarke, a 10-game winner for the Cougars, gave up only five hits and walked one in his eight innings.
Tech scored in the third inning when Stephen Smith singled to center with one out and stole second. One out later, Tyler Neslony hit a line drive to right-center that skipped past right fielder Brandon Glazer and rolled to the wall. Neslony was credited with an RBI triple.
Texas Tech twice threw out Glazer at the plate -- on a fielder's choice by shortstop Tim Proudfoot in the third and by Sadberry on an infield chopper in the eighth.
Stanford 5, Vanderbilt 4: Wayne Taylor hit a game-ending home run to the right-field stands in the ninth inning to force a decisive third game.
A berth to the College World Series will be up for grabs Sunday in the finale of the super regional series.
Vanderbilt (45-19) tied the score at 4-all in the top of the ninth when Stanford reliever A.J. Vanegas hit Xavier Turner with the bases loaded in a rally started when Dansby Swanson reached first on a wild pitch after striking out. But Rhett Wiseman grounded out to second, leaving the bases loaded.
The Cardinal (35-25) took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth after three straight hits, including a two-run double by Brant Whiting.
Vanegas earned the win, allowing just one hit and four walks in two innings of relief.
TCU 3, Pepperdine 2: Derek Odell had a two-run single, ace Brandon Finnegan took a shutout into the seventh inning and TCU beat Pepperdine in the first super regional game at home for the Horned Frogs.
Finnegan (9-3), the 17th overall pick by Kansas City earlier in the week, was cruising with a two-hitter when he walked Hutton Moyer, and Chris Fornaci knocked him out of the game with a two-run homer in the seventh to get the Waves (42-17) within a run.
TCU closer Riley Ferrell pitched 1 2/3 innings for his 15th save, starting with a strikeout of Brad Anderson and a groundout from Pepperdine's leading hitter, Aaron Barnett, with runners at second and third in the eighth inning.
Ferrell struck out the side in the ninth to put the Horned Frogs (46-15), the No. 7 national seed, in front in the best-of-three series. They will try to secure their second trip to the College World Series on Sunday.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Odell sent a line drive over the glove of leaping third baseman Austin Davidson to score Keaton Jones and Kyle Bacak. Kevin Cron scored the decisive run on a fielder's choice from Dylan Fitzgerald in the fifth.
Pepperdine starter Corey Miller (9-5) gave up a season-high 10 hits in the first five innings against the Horned Frogs, who are in their fourth super regional in the past six years. Miller also walked four and hit a batter in 5 1/3 innings.
The Waves are in their first super regional since the format was adopted 15 years ago. They won the 1992 national title when coach Steve Rodriguez was a player.
Aaron Brown, Pepperdine's leader in home runs and top draft pick as a third-rounder to Philadelphia, had a sacrifice bunt to move up Anderson and Barnett before Ferrell came on. He struck out with two runners on and two outs in a scoreless tie in the third inning.
Brown also leads the Waves with 12 wins as a left-handed starter and will be on the mound in Game 2.
Louisville 7, Kennesaw State 4: Nick Solak's two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning propelled Louisville past Kennesaw State, sending the Cardinals to their second straight College World Series and third in school history.
The Cardinals (50-15) have appeared in the College World Series three times since coach Dan McDonnell was hired in 2007. Before his arrival in Louisville, the Cardinals had never won a game in the NCAA tournament.
Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost, the 11th pick in the Major League Baseball draft, gave the Owls a lead with a bases-loaded, two-run double in the bottom of the third. Through three innings, the Owls (40-24) led 4-2.
But Louisville's Cole Sturgeon singled in a run with one out in the fifth, and he was on first when Solak's high fly ball cleared the left-field fence.
Louisiana-Lafayette 9, Mississippi 5: Dylan Butler and Tyler Girouard each hit home runs as Louisiana-Lafayette rolled past Mississippi in the opening game of their best-of-three super regional.
Louisiana-Lafayette (58-8) scored five runs in the third inning, capped by Girouard's three-run homer off Ole Miss starter Chris Ellis (10-2). The Ragin' Cajuns scored three more in the fifth and are a win away from reaching the College World Series for the second time in program history.
Ellis was rattled when center fielder Auston Bousfield dropped a routine popup in the second inning that would have gotten the Rebels (44-19) out of the inning. Instead, the error allowed a run to score. Ellis pitched just 2 2/3 innings in the loss.
Ole Miss threatened in the ninth with two runners on and one out, but Matt Plitt got Will Allen to ground into a game-ending double play.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.