CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Miami Hurricanes are going back to the College World Series.
For the first time since 2008 and for the 24th time in program history, the Hurricanes will make the trip to Omaha, Nebraska as one of the final eight teams remaining in the 2015 NCAA Baseball Championship.
No. 5 national seed Miami, who won its super regional opener 3-2 Friday at Mark Light Field, toppled VCU 10-3 Saturday afternoon to become the first team to punch its tickets to TD Ameritrade Park and the "Promised Land" of college baseball.
The College World Series appearance will mark the 12th for head coach Jim Morris in his 22 seasons at the helm in Miami.
"Just...wow. You know it's been a long time since we've been to Omaha, so needless to say, we're very excited, our coaches are very excited," Morris said. "Our players don't know what's getting ready to hit them, something that they will remember for the rest of their lives."
Miami overcame the shortest start of the season by All-ACC lefthander Thomas Woodrey in the win, largely thanks to a stunning cameo from veteran righthander Sam Abrams early in the contest.
With the game tied at an uneasy 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning, Woodrey loaded the bases with no outs on a walk, double and hit batter. Abrams was called upon in relief and promptly recorded back-to-back swinging strikeouts of the Rams' Darian Carpenter and Jimmy Kerrigan, somewhat easing the nerves of the 3,680 in attendance.
When he induced a flyout to right from James Bunn to escape the bases-loaded, no-out jam unharmed and maintain the 3-3 score, Abrams (2-0) sent the packed crowd into a towel-waving frenzy.
Abrams went on to toss a career-long 4.0 innings and needed just 54 pitches, striking out four and surrendering just a harmless single in the most impressive outing of his four seasons. He exited after a sixth and final inning to a standing ovation, having stifled VCU (40-25) for the entirety of his outing.
Morris called the crowd "great" and said the fans were "really into the game."
Abrams, who played his freshman year in 2011 but was cut prior to the 2012 season, finished his master's degree at Miami this spring for his final year of eligibility.
Miami (49-15) broke a 4-3 game open in the top half of the seventh, plating five runs to bump its lead to a more secure 9-3.
Junior David Thompson opened the inning's scoring with an RBI single that scored George Iskenderian (double), while an infield RBI single from Brandon Lopez plated another run to extend the lead to 6-3. A bases loaded-walk to Abreu plated another run, while Miami added another pair on a sacrifice fly from Jacob Heyward and an RBI fielder's choice from Ricky Eusebio.
Every Miami starter scored at least one run in the win, while seven of nine had at least one hit and one RBI.
Woodrey was unable to make it through 5.0 innings for the first start this season, lasting just 2.0+ before giving way to the bullpen with the score tied 3-3. A manufactured run in the top of the fourth - when Heyward reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and third and then scored on a passed ball - proved to be the game-winning run that put Miami ahead 4-3.
By the time Willie Abreu's solo home run landed somewhere beyond the rightfield fence to make it 10-3 in the top of the ninth inning, the party was about to get started.
Sophomore closer Bryan Garcia entered in the bottom of the ninth and retired Vima Machin on a fielder's choice for the final out of the game, jump-starting a celebratory dogpile on the pitchers' mound.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Ernie Clement hit a two-run, walk-off single to cap a three-run ninth-inning rally that gave the Virginia baseball team a 5-4 victory over Maryland Saturday afternoon at Davenport Field in Game 2 of the NCAA Charlottesville Super Regional. The hit punched the Cavaliers' fourth trip to the College World Series as UVa won the first two games to clinch the best-of-three series.
It was the Cavaliers' second come-from-behind win in as many days, as UVa used a five-run eighth inning to rally for a 5-3 win over the Terrapins in Game 1 on Friday. Virginia returns to Omaha for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in seven years. UVa reached the CWS Finals last season also also advanced to the College World Series in 2009 and 2011.
The Cavaliers (39-22) will play either No. 8 national seed Missouri State or Arkansas on Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. The Bears and Razorbacks play a decisive Game 3 Sunday in Fayetteville, Ark. The full schedule for the CWS will be announced Monday.
The Cavaliers trailed 4-2 as they headed into the bottom of the ninth, as the Terrapins (42-24) were three outs away from forcing a third and decisive game. The rally began with UVa loading the bases with no outs. Robert Galligan, who had been pitching in relief since the first inning, allowed a single by Robbie Coman, sandwiched between walks to Pavin Smith and Joe McCarthy, before making way for closer Kevin Mooney. Kevin Dohertydrew a walk to force in Smith. Clement followed with his game-winning single to left, driving in Thomas Woodruff, who pinch-ran for Coman, and McCarthy.
Clement was one of three Cavaliers to have two hits on the day, joining Daniel Pinero and Matt Thaiss. Kevin Martir and Anthony Papio each had two hits to lead the Terrapins.
Virginia starter Brandon Waddell pitched eight innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits over eight innings of work. Alec Bettinger earned the win and improved to 5-5 after delivering a 1-2-3 top of the ninth inning.
After Maryland starter Ryan Selmer lasted just a third of an inning, allowing two runs on four hits, Galligan (4-5) pitched 7 2/3 innings of relief, but took the loss. After shutting out the Cavaliers since the first inning, the three runs he allowed were the three runners he left on base when he left in the ninth inning.
Maryland took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. LaMonte Wade drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on a two-out single by Nick Cieri.
Virginia answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead. With one out UVa strung together four straight hits. Pinero singled and scored as Thaiss followed with a double down the left-field line. Kenny Towns delivered an RBI single to score Thaiss and put the Cavaliers ahead while spelling the end of the day for Selmer.
The Terrapins drew even with a run in the top of the fourth. Papio had a leadoff double and came around to score on Wade's sacrifice bunt. The following inning, Maryland took a 3-2 lead. Kevin Smith led off the fifth with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI single by Martir.
Maryland pushed the advantage to 4-2 in the top of the eighth. Martir led off with a single and scored on Papio's two-out triple.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Despite a dramatic ninth inning home run to even the score and extend the game, No. 3 national seed Louisville lost 3-2 in 10 innings to 11th-ranked Cal State Fullerton in game one of Saturday's NCAA Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Following a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the ninth tied the score at 2-2 from Louisville senior Mike White, the Titans (38-22) regained the lead for good in the 10th inning when Timmy Richards was hit by a bases loaded, one-out pitch to plate Jerrod Bravo. The Cardinals (46-17), who had their 11-game postseason home winning streak snapped with Saturday's loss, will look to even the best-of-three series in game two on Sunday at noon ET (ESPN2 or ESPNU).
The decisive 10th inning for the Titans started with a one-out walk to Bravo by freshman righty Lincoln Henzman . After back-to-back singles from Tanner Pinkston and Hunter Cullen loaded the bases with one out, junior righty Zack Burdi entered from the bullpen and hit Richards with his first offering, a fastball registering 100-mph on the Patterson Stadium scoreboard, to score Bravo.
The Cardinals organized a final comeback attempt in the bottom of the 10th putting runners on the corners with two outs. However, closer Tyler Peitzmeier struck out White to end the threat and move Cal State Fullerton within one win of its 17th College World Series appearance. Peitzmeier earned the win and moved to 4-3 on the season after allowing one run on four hits in three innings of relief.
Louisville, which never led on Saturday, scored both of its runs on solo home runs as freshman Brendan McKay (Darlington, Pa.) launched his fourth of the season in the sixth and White connected for his second of the year in the ninth. McKay finished the day 3-for-5 overall, while White was 2-of-5 at the plate.
On the mound, Henzman suffered just his second loss of the season and dropped to 5-2 overall after allowing one run on five hits in 2.1 innings of relief. The run ended a stretch of 27.1 innings of relief without allowing an earned run dating back to March 14.
In what is expected to be the final start at Jim Patterson Stadium for Louisville junior Kyle Funkhouser, the righthander finished with a no-decision after striking out five and allowing just two runs on five hits in seven strong innings. Saturday marked the 41st career collegiate start for Funkhouser, tied for the fourth most in school history, while his 281 career strikeouts are second all-time at Louisville.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida State (44-21) saw its season come to a close on Saturday falling to Florida (49-16) 11-4 in game two of the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional in front of an announced crowd of 5,772 inside McKethan Stadium.
The Seminoles ran out to an early two-run lead only to see the Gators score nine unanswered runs over the second, third, fourth and fifth innings to seal the win.
After giving up two first inning runs, Florida starter A.J. Puk settled down over the next three before giving way to the Gator bullpen after facing two batters in the fifth. Puk would not factor into the game two decision after allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits as he walked three and struck out six.
Bobby Poyner (5-2) completed the two-game sweep working 5.0 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win. Poyner scattered three hits and did not walk a batter as he finished with two strikeouts.
FSU starter Mike Compton dropped to 4-4 on the year as he was charged with six runs, five earned, on four hits as he walked two and struck out four in 2.2 innings of work.
Josh Delph finished his last game in a Seminole uniform with a team-high three hits in five plate appearances recording a double and two singles. Quincy Nieporte also had two hits, while DJ Stewart and Chris Marconcini added a hit apiece. Stewart connected on a two-run home run in the fifth, while Nieporte registered an RBI in the first.
Bryant Holtmann came on in relief in the fifth and worked 3.1 innings in his final outing as a Seminole. The senior lefthander was charged with two runs on six hits as he walked two and finished with a strikeout.
Senior closer Billy Strode worked a perfect ninth inning as he retired the Gators in order on a pair of groundouts and a strikeout.
Florida State jumped out to the early lead in game two taking advantage of two Florida errors to score two runs in the bottom of the first. Delph led off the inning with a single to left center and advanced to second on a throwing error by Buddy Reed in center. After a sac-bunt by John Sansone moved Delph to third, Stewart hit a groundball to second but the throw from Dalton Guthrie to the plate was not fielded cleanly by Schwarz allowing Delph to score the first run of the game.
Florida State cut the deficit to 9-4 thanks to a two-run shot by Stewart in the bottom of the fifth. After Sansone drew a walk off Puk to open the inning, Stewart followed with his second home run in as many games. The round tripper to right marked his team leading 15th of the season.
Florida State concludes the season at 44-21 reaching the 40-win plateau for the 38th year in a row. The Seminoles went on to claim their sixth ACC title in 2015 while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the 38th consecutive season.