NCAA Baseball Regional ACCtion: Friday, May 31

May 31, 2013


Tar Heels Hold Off Canisius, 6-3

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Chaz Frank had three hits andBrian Holberton drove in two runs to help North Carolina beat Canisius 6-3 on Friday night in the Chapel Hill Regional.

Holberton's two run-single provided an early lead for the Tar Heels (53-8), the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Canisius (42-16) trailed 4-3 in the eighth before UNC added two runs on Mike Zolk's sacrifice fly and Frank's single to stay in control.

The Tar Heels improved to 27-5 as an NCAA host, though this is the first time UNC has been the No. 1 overall seed.

Benton Moss allowed six hits and three runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Reliever Chris McCue (7-1) got the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings, while Trent Thornton got the Tar Heels out of their biggest jam in the eighth after Canisius had loaded the bases with one out in a 4-3 game.



Waddell Leads Virginia to 2-1 Win Over Army in NCAA Regional Opener

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --  No. 6 overall seed Virginia opened the 2013 NCAA Baseball Championship with a 2-1 win over Army on Friday in the Charlottesville Regional before 3,826 fans at Davenport Field.

The Cavaliers (48-10) play the winner of tonight's UNC Wilmington (37-21) and Elon (32-28) contest on Sat., June 1 at 6 p.m. Army (29-22) plays the loser of UNCW and Elon tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Virginia's Brandon Waddell earned the win by giving up one run on three hits in seven innings. Waddell struck out eight and didn't walk a batter, improving to 6-2 on the season. Kyle Crockett earned his 11th save, allowing two hits and striking out four in the final two innings. Crockett struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.

ACC Freshman of the Year Joe McCarthy led the Cavalier offense by going 3-for-3 with an RBI and stolen base. Kenny Towns and Nate Irving added two hits and one run each for Virginia, who has won five straight NCAA Baseball Championship openers.



Diaz, Kennedy Guide Baseball to Game One Win

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Behind a career day from catcher Garrett Kennedy and another strong start from southpaw Chris Diaz, the second-seeded Miami Hurricanes captured their NCAA Championship opener over third-seeded Oklahoma State by a final score of 7-0.

Playing without the direction of head coach Jim Morris, who continues to recover from pneumonia, the Hurricanes recorded their second consecutive shutout in just the eighth-ever meeting between two of college baseball's most historic programs.

Kennedy, who paced Miami at the recent 2013 ACC Championship, contributed three hits to Miami's impressive 12-hit offensive barrage. The Davie, Fla., native set new career highs in hits and RBI's (three), including his third homerun of the season, to guide the Hurricanes (37-23) to a place in the winner's bracket of the Louisville Regional.

Diaz (7-5) delivered another dominant outing, scattering just three hits through his seven innings on the hill. Though he walked five Cowboys batters, the Florida City, Fla., native out-dueled Cowboys' ace Jason Hursh (6-5) by striking out a career-high 10 batters on the afternoon.


Sitz Stars in FSU's 10-0 Shut-Out of Savannah State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Scott Sitz's season-long dominance was one of the main reasons why Florida State earned a national seed in the NCAA Tournament so it was only fitting that the `Noles' ace opened regional play with a strong showing on the mound Friday night.

Sitz, a 2013 First Team All-ACC selection and Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American with more post-season hardware sure to follow, looked every bit like his regular-season self at Dick Howser Stadium in No. 7-seeded FSU's 10-0 smack down of Savannah State. The man with college baseball's most recognizable mustache pitched 7 1/3 strong innings and allowed just seven hits while tossing eight strikeouts and no walks.

With the win, the Seminoles (45-15) now face Troy Saturday at 5 p.m. after the Trojans (41-18) beat Alabama (34-27) in the first game of the Tallahassee Regional earlier in the day. The Tigers and Crimson Tide will meet Saturday at noon with the loser of that game headed home in season-ending fashion.




NC State Tops Binghamton in Regional Opener

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The top-seeded NC State baseball team defeated Binghamton, 4-1, in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Baseball Raleigh Regional Friday evening at Doak Field at Dail Park.

Josh Easley took over on the mound with two outs in the fourth inning and went on to pitch 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to secure the victory for the Wolfpack. Easley surrendered just one hit, one walk and no runs in the outing to improve to 6-2 on the season.

Right fielder Jake Fincher got things going for NC State (45-14) in the bottom of the first inning with a one-out single through the left side. Two batters later, first baseman Tarran Senay launched his seventh home run of the season over the right-centerfield wall to give the Wolfpack an early 2-0 lead over the Bearcats.

Binghamton (30-24) pushed a run across in the top of the second inning to cut the NC State lead in half.  After allowing the home run to Senay, the Bearcats' starting pitcher, Jack Rogalla (5-5), retired 12 of the Pack's 14 subsequent batters, but Wolfpack shortstop Trea Turner crushed a solo home run to left field to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning and give NC State a 3-1 lead.



Clemson Falls to Liberty, 8-3, in Columbia Regional Friday

Columbia, S.C. -- Junior righthander Josh Richardson pitched a complete-game six-hitter and senior catcher Trey Wimmer hit a homer with a career-high six RBIs to lead Liberty to an 8-3 win over #17 Clemson in the Columbia Regional in front of 5,604 fans at Carolina Stadium on Friday afternoon.  The Flames, who moved into the winners' bracket with the win, improved to 35-27 on the season.  The Tigers, who fell into the losers' bracket, dropped to 39-21 in 2013.

The Flames took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the third inning and never relinquished their lead.  Wimmer, a native of Greenwood, S.C., hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach against the Tigers, who saw their eight-game winning streak in NCAA Regional openers come to an end.  It was the first time since 2003 that Clemson lost its first game of an NCAA Regional.

Richardson (4-4) pitched 9.0 innings to earn the win.  He allowed just six hits, three runs (two earned), and no walks with one strikeout in throwing 104 pitches.

Freshman lefthander Zack Erwin (5-2), the first of six Tiger pitchers, suffered the loss.  He yielded four hits, three runs (two earned), and no walks with two strikeouts in 2.2 innings pitched.



Illinois Hangs On To Beat Tech, 6-4, In Nashville Regional Opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Illinois held off a late rally by Georgia Tech and the Yellow Jackets brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning but could not complete the comeback as the Illini won the opener of the NCAA Nashville Regional, 6-4, Friday afternoon in Nashville, Tenn.

Daniel Palka was 3-for-5 with a triple, an RBI, scored twice and also pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief for the second-seeded Jackets, who slipped to 34-26 and drop to the losers' bracket in the Nashville Regional. Tech faces the loser of Friday night's Vanderbilt/East Tennessee State game in an elimination game at 3 p.m. ET Saturday. Illinois, the third-seed, improved to 35-18.

The Jackets, trying to stage another ninth-inning comeback, saw Thomas Smith draw a lead-off walk in the bottom of the ninth. Kyle Wren pounded a fly ball that was caught in deep right and Brandon Thomas flew out to left. With two outs, Zane Evans drew a walk and Palka stepped to the plate as the potential winning run.

Palka rifled an offering that was stabbed at first by David Kerian for the final out, saving the game UI closer Bryan Roberts and putting Illini freshman Kevin Duchene in line for the win.



Hokies fall to UConn in NCAA regional

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech fell behind 4-0 and never could make up the difference, falling to Connecticut 5-2 in an NCAA regional game played Friday evening at English Field.

With the loss, the Hokies, who had won 13 of their past 15 games, fell to 38-21 overall on the season and will play Coastal Carolina in an elimination game on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies, who won the Big East championship, moved to 35-26 on the season and will play Oklahoma in a winner's bracket game Saturday evening.

The Huskies pounded out 16 hits - all singles. That, and the five runs, were more than enough for starting pitcher Carson Cross and three relievers. Cross, a second-team All-Big East selection, pitched 6.1 innings and allowed just one run on six hits. He struck out three and walked three.

Leading 1-0, the Huskies broke things open in the fifth, scoring three runs, including two with two outs. They got an RBI single by LJ Mazzilli and then Bobby Melley's single to right scored Billy Ferriter. Mazzilli later scored on a throwing error by Virginia Tech catcher Chad Morgan.