Sunday’s super regional roundup: Washington clinches first trip to College World Series

Sunday’s super regional roundup: Washington clinches first trip to College World Series
Washington players celebrate after beating the Cal State Fullerton in the 10th inning to reach the College World Series for the first time. (The Associated Press)

Before Sunday, Washington was the only team in the tradition-rich Pac-12 to never make it to the College World Series.

The Huskies finally are coming to Omaha.

Kaiser Weiss’ bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Washington a 6-5 win over host Cal State Fullerton in a wild Game 3 of their  best-of-three super regional.

“This weekend, we’ve been working this whole year for it,” said Weiss, wearing a “Destination Omaha” cap moments after the game. “We always say, ‘Omaha no matter what.’ We grind it and we just wanted the opportunity. We had the opportunity and we seized it. It’s a team effort, all around, everyone.”

Washington was cruising along against Fullerton with Joe DeMers carrying a perfect game until Hank LoForte doubled leading off the seventh inning.

The Titans scored three runs in the ninth to go up 4-3, but Washington got the run back in the bottom half. LoForte barely cleared the right-field wall with two outs in the top of the 10th for his second home run of the season and a one-run lead for Fullerton. But two errors in the bottom half allowed Washington to load the bases before Weiss lifted his winning sacrifice fly to left.

Mississippi State also locked up a CWS berth Sunday night with a 10-6 win over host Vanderbilt in 11 innings.

The Bulldogs completed an improbable journey to the CWS by beating a Vanderbilt team that had swept three regular-season games from the Bulldogs in Starkville by a combined score of 19-4.

The Bulldogs went through an in-season coaching change and needed to sweep Florida in their final regular-season series to secure an NCAA at-large bid. They have staved off elimination five times and will head to the CWS for the first time since 2013 after Tanner Allen doubled in the go-ahead run in a four-run 11th.

Full slate of Game 3s

Auburn, Texas, South Carolina and Duke forced Game 3s on Monday.

Luke Jarvis’ walk-off RBI single gave Auburn a 3-2 win over the defending national champion and No. 1 overall seed Gators. Jarvis was 0 for 7 in the super regional before he singled in the Tigers’ winning run against closer Michael Byrne with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Auburn is bidding for its first CWS appearance since 1997; Florida is trying for a fourth straight.

Kody Clemens homered and doubled, and Texas pitchers held Tennessee Tech to a season-low three hits in a 4-2 win in Austin. Tennessee Tech came into Sunday batting a nation-best .337 and averaging 10.1 runs a game. The Longhorns are looking for their NCAA-best 36th CWS trip and first since 2014.

LT Tolbert hit a grand slam for one of South Carolina’s three homers in an 8-5 win over Arkansas. South Carolina, hoping to get to the CWS in coach Mark Kingston’s first year and for the first time since 2012, never trailed against the Razorbacks. Arkansas last reached Omaha in 2015.

Joey Loperfido and Max Miller each doubled and tripled, and Duke combined for 10 runs in the fourth and fifth innings in an 11-2 win over Texas Tech. Blue Devils starter Graeme Stinson pitched six shutout innings and has allowed one run in 13 1⁄3 tournament innings with 18 strikeouts and two walks. Duke is seeking its first CWS appearance since 1961.

It is the first time since the tournament went to its current structure in 1999 that six super regionals went to three games.

Beavers are back

Late Saturday, Adley Rutschman hit a two-out, two-RBI single in the ninth inning to lead No. 3 national seed Oregon State to a 6-3 win and a two-game sweep of Minnesota.

Rutschman brought home the go-ahead runs with his team-leading 69th and 70th RBIs this season.

“Omaha is a special place. You’ve got the flyovers and the fireworks going on. They do it right there. It’s a phenomenal experience,” Rutschman said. “I’m excited that we’ve got some guys going this year that didn’t get to go last year and get to experience that. It’s kind of a surreal feeling.”

One of those guys not in Omaha last year was two-time Pac-12 pitcher of the year Luke Heimlich. Last year he missed super regionals and the CWS after The Oregonian newspaper reported he had pleaded guilty to a child molestation charge when he was a minor. He was passed over in the MLB draft for the second straight year.

Oregon State, which will face North Carolina in its first game in Omaha, won back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007.

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