BATON ROUGE -- Drew Mendoza's two-out base hit to right center drove home Mike Salvatore from second base in the bottom of the 12th inning, lifting Florida State to a 5-4 victory over LSU that sent the Seminoles to the College World Series on Sunday night.
LSU (40-26) had rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the sixth to tie it in the eighth and force extra innings, during which Tigers relievers pitched six no-hit innings and struck out 10 before Salvatore broke through for Florida State's first hit since the fourth inning. Salvatore advanced to second base on a passed ball and, after Devin Fontenot (5-4) struck out Reese Albert for the second out, LSU elected to pitch to Mendoza -- one of the Seminoles' most productive hitters -- with first base open.
Mendoza delivered with his second hit of the game, and the Seminoles (41-21) spilled onto the field to celebrate a victory that sends 40th-year head Coach Mike Martin back to Omaha for the 17th time since he took over the program. The CWS berth also comes in what Martin has said will be his last season.
Florida State reliever Antonio Velez (5-2) pitched 42/3 shutout innings in relief and struck out six to pick up his second victory in the best-of-three Baton Rouge super regional after his inning of relief earned him the Game 1 victory a day earlier. Salvatore produced three hits and drove in a run before scoring the game-winner.
Florida State scored the game's first run on a disputed play in which the ball squirted out of LSU catcher Saul Garza's glove as he swung his arm upward after appearing to tag Robby Martin out at the plate. Home plate umpire Tony Norris initially called Martin out, but the call was reversed after he consulted the rest of the umpiring crew and looked at the play on video replay.
The Seminoles seized the opportunity, scoring twice more in the frame on singles by Matheu Nelson and Salvatore.
Antoine Duplantis had four hits and drove in three runs for LSU, including a home run down the right field line that cut LSU's deficit to 3-1 in the fourth.
Florida State made it 4-1 half an inning later when Tim Becker's double over third base drove in Nelson, who'd advanced to second on a wild pitch.
NASHVILLE SUPER REGIONAL
VANDERBILT 13, DUKE 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Austin Martin drove in three, hitting two of Vanderbilt's five home runs, and the Commodores advanced to their fourth College World Series and first since 2015 by routing Duke to clinch the Nashville Super Regional.
Vanderbilt won the 2014 championship and was the runner-up in 2015. The nation's No. 2 overall seed matched the program record for most victories in a season with a nation's-best 54 victories. The Commodores, who have won 14 of 15, will play Louisville to open the College World Series.
Mason Hickman struck out nine over four innings, picking up where Kumar Rocker left off with a no-hitter Saturday night. The freshman Rocker pitched the first no-hitter in an NCAA super regional game, striking out a career-high 19 in the 3-0 victory which forced the third game.
Rocker is the son of former University of Arkansas assistant football coach Tracy Rocker, who coached the defensive line in 2003-07.
On Sunday, Hickman got all the support he needed, starting with a four-run first by Vanderbilt.
Patrick Raby (10-1) got the victory, striking out four in two innings of relief.
LUBBOCK SUPER REGIONAL
TEXAS TECH 8,
OKLAhoma STate 6
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Kurt Wilson hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning and Texas Tech beat Oklahoma State, earning the Red Raiders their fourth College World Series berth in six seasons.
Josh Jung led off the eighth with his second home run of the game before a pitching change. Ben Leeper (4-4) then walked two batters and struck out another before Wilson's drive over the wall in right-center field for his fourth home run of the season.
Oklahoma State (40-21) had two runners on base when Colin Simpson, who had hit a tiebreaking home run an inning earlier, struck out against Dane Haveman to end the game.
Haveman got his third save after taking over for John McMillon (3-3), who struck out six over 32/3 innings.
The Red Raiders (44-18), the Big 12 regular season champions, have earned all of their trips to Omaha in alumnus Tim Tadlock's seven seasons coaching the Red Raiders.
CHAPEL HILL SUPER REGIONAL
North CAROLINA 2,
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- One day after North Carolina's bullpen imploded, Austin Bergner and Austin Love combined for a clutch pitching performance in a six-hit shutout of Auburn as the Tar Heels forced a deciding Game 3.
Love, who had surrendered two hits and two runs in one inning in Game 1, tied his season high with six strikeouts in 4 innings of relief in Game 2 to improve his record to 8-4. North Carolina had given up nine runs in the final two innings as Auburn rallied to win Game 1 11-7.
North Carolina (46-18) got off to a good start in the first inning against Auburn starter Bailey Horn (4-1) as Ike Freeman delivered a two-run single with one out. But the Tigers (37-26) made timely pitches the rest of the way to stay within striking distance as the Tar Heels tied a season high with 14 runners left on base. Game 3 is today.
STARKVILLE SUPER REGIONAL
MISSissippi STATE 8, STANFORD 1
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Peyton Plumlee pitched 62/3 strong innings, Dustin Skelton had a three-run triple and Mississippi State advanced to the College World Series for a second consecutive season after beating Stanford in the NCAA's super regionals.
The Bulldogs needed just two games to win the best-of-three series thanks to stellar pitching and timely hitting.
Mississippi State (51-13) broke the game open with four runs in the third inning. Stanford pitcher Erik Miller hit a batter and walked two during the rally, including one with the bases loaded. Skelton's bases-loaded triple was the big blow, bouncing high off the right-center field wall to make it 4-1.
The game stayed fairly tight until the ninth, when Mississippi State's Elijah MacNamee launched a three-run home run that left little doubt about the outcome.
LOS ANGELES SUPER REGIONAL
MICHIGAN 4, UCLA 2
LOS ANGELES -- Ako Thomas drove in two runs with a single, Tommy Henry pitched seven solid innings and Michigan is headed to the College World Series for the first time in 35 years after defeating top-seeded UCLA in the deciding game of the Los Angeles super regional.
It will be the 46-20 Wolverines' eighth CWS appearance but their first since 1984. It is also the first time since Indiana in 2013 that the Big 10 has had a team advance to Omaha.
Thomas' one-out single up the middle off Kyle Mora (3-3) in the fifth inning drove in the deciding runs. Henry (10-5) -- who was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round of last week's MLB draft -- allowed 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 6.
Christian Bullock added two hits and scored two runs for Michigan. The junior left fielder tripled to left center to lead off the ninth and added an insurance run when he scored on Joe Donovan's sacrifice fly.
Sports on 06/10/2019
Print Headline: Mendoza's base hit lifts Florida State into CWS