Florida, TCU clinch trips to MCWS; Wake, UT win


Florida and TCU clinched spots in the Men’s College World Series on Saturday and Wake Forest moved within a win of becoming the first No. 1 national seed to make the final eight of the NCAA tournament since 2018.

Oral Roberts and Virginia forced winner-take-all Game 3s in their super regionals, and LSU and Texas won their openers.

The No. 2 Gators got a career-best performance from Hurston Waldrep and finished a two-game sweep of Southeastern Conference rival South Carolina with a 4-0 win. They’ll make their 13th appearance in the MCWS — which begins Friday in Omaha, Nebraska — and eighth in 16 seasons under Kevin O’Sullivan.

“Just happy to have the opportunity to experience this,” O’Sullivan said. “Getting to Omaha is goal No. 1, but we feel like we have a team that can potentially do some special things in Omaha.”

TCU swept Indiana State with a 6-4 victory and will go into the MCWS with wins in 11 straight games and 17 of 18.

Wake Forest opened its super regional with a 5-4 win over Alabama and can lock up its first MCWS bid with another victory Sunday. There hasn’t been a top national seed in Omaha since Florida in 2018.

Justin Quinn’s bases-loaded double in the bottom of the ninth gave Oral Roberts an 8-7 walk-off win at Oregon. Oral Roberts joined 2012 Stony Brook and 2008 Fresno State as No. 4 regional seeds to force a third game in a super regional. Those teams reached the MCWS.

Virginia set a school super regional record for runs in a 14-4 victory over Duke to even the series.

Paul Skenes struck out nine in 7⅔ innings and LSU homered six times in a 14-0 win over Kentucky, and Texas capitalized on Stanford mistakes in the ninth inning to win 7-5.

Southern Mississippi led Tennessee 4-0 in the fifth inning when the game was suspended because of rain in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The game will resume Sunday morning and be followed by Game 2.

Waldrep allowed three hits and struck out 13 in a career-high eight innings for Florida, which had been swept in a three-game series at South Carolina in April and staved of elimination three times in last week’s regionals.

TCU turned four hits and an error into five runs in the fourth inning and Cole Fontenelle homered in the fifth against the Sycamores. The Horned Frogs are in their sixth MCWS, and first under second-year coach Kirk Saarloos.

Projected top-10 overall draft pick Rhett Lowder went 6⅓ innings for his nation-leading 15th win for Wake Forest and Sean Sullivan struck out seven of the 10 batters he faced. Tommy Hawke, Danny Corona and Justin Johnson homered for the Demon Deacons.

The Deacons now must clear one more obstacle to become the first Wake Forest team to go to Omaha since the one that won the national championship in 1955. Since 1962, the Deacons have lost seven straight games that sent the winner to the MCWS. Saturday’s win gives them two chances, if necessary, to get the one they need.

Oral Roberts went to bat in the seventh down 7-4 after Oregon scored two runs when center fielder Jonah Cox appeared to catch a fly but had the ball pop out of his glove as he bumped into the fence.

Oral Roberts loaded the bases against closer Josh Mollerus in the bottom of the ninth, and Quinn sliced a liner that landed on the left-field line. The tying and go-ahead runs came home, and the call of fair ball was upheld on a video review.

Jake Gelof hit his Virginia single season-record 23rd home run and three of his teammates also went deep in the win over Duke. Connelly Early struck out eight over seven innings to earn his 12th win, the most by a Virginia pitcher in 12 years.

Tommy White and Tre’ Morgan each hit two homers and Gavin Dugas and Josh Pearson each connected for LSU. The six homers were the Tigers’ most in a game in two years.

A miscommunication in the outfield set the stage for Texas’ win. Down three runs, the Longhorns loaded the bases in the ninth on two walks and a hit batter. On Mitchell Daly’s fly ball, center fielder Eddie Park looked as if he would make the catch, but he peeled off just as right fielder Saborn Campbell moved in. The ball glanced off Campbell’s glove, two runs scored and Porter Brown followed with a single for the go-ahead runs.

AROUND THE HORN

Of Wake Forest’s 51 wins, only three have been by one run. … Florida has won eight straight games in the super regional round. … Florida’s Waldrep, a transfer from Southern Mississippi, has allowed one run and eight hits over 15 innings in two NCAA tournament starts, with 25 strikeouts and four walks. … Oral Roberts’ Cox homered in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 46 games, fifth-longest in Division I history. … Virginia’s Gelof drove in four runs to set the school career RBI record (184). … Stanford enters Sunday’s game having won 12 straight elimination games at home in regionals or super regionals.



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