NCAA Baseball Regionals ACCtion: Saturday, June 2

June 2, 2012

Leibrandt Tosses Gem As FSU Downs Samford

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State's Brandon Leibrandt picked the right time to turn in his best performance of the season as the freshman southpaw worked 8.0 shutout innings in leading the Seminoles (45-15) to an 8-1 victory over Samford (40-22) Saturday night in the winner's bracket game of 2012 NCAA Tallahassee Regional on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.

Florida State will await the winner of Mississippi State and Samford for the right to play for the regional championship game on Sunday, June 3 at 6:00 p.m.

Leibrandt scattered three hits over 8.0 innings as he posted career-highs for innings pitched and strikeouts with 10. After escaping a bases loaded one-out jam in the first inning, Leibrandt retired 23 of the last 24 batters that he faced including the last 15 in a row.

The Alpharetta, Ga., native faced the minimum in an inning six times Saturday night as he became the first pitcher to reach double-digit strikeouts this year and the first since Sean Gilmartin recorded 11 against UCF on May 6, 2011.

UVa Takes First Game of NCAA Regional With 9-1 Victory Over Army

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia Cavaliers (39-18-1) used a three-run double by Branden Cogswell in the bottom of the sixth inning to separate itself in a 9-1 victory over the Army Black Knights (41-14) in the first game of the 2012 NCAA Charlottesville Regional, in front of 3,954 fans at Davenport Field.

Game one of the Charlottesville NCAA Regional lasted only 13 minutes long on Friday morning before extreme weather and rain sent the contest into a 25 hour and 17 minute delay. When play resumed, UVa found itself batting in the bottom of the first inning with a runner on first and nobody out. The Cavaliers managed to place runners on second and third, but Army starting pitcher Chris Rowley was able to entice Jared King to fly out to right field to end the threat.

The Black Knights almost made an error by UVa shortstop Chris Taylor costly in the top of the second frame. With two outs, UVa starter Branden Kline induced Matthew Carter into a bounding ground ball and Taylor fumbled the transfer on the throw to first, with the runner just beating the throw. Army's Alex Jenson promptly followed with a double down the left field line, but as Carter tried to score from first, the relay from Derek Fisher to Taylor to catcher Nate Irving ended Army's quest for the game's first run.

Virginia dented the scoreboard for three runs in the home half of the second inning on two hits. With one out Brandon Downes doubled down the left field to start the rally and Irving followed by reaching base when a pitch hit him. After Keith Werman flew out to center field for the second out, both runners advanced a station on a wild pitch. Taylor walked to load the bases and the first run was plated when Rowley hit his second batter of the inning, tagging Cogswell with the 1-0 offering. Stephen Bruno ripped a 3-0 pitch into centerfield to score Downes and Irving.

#2 Gamecocks Walk Off With 5-4 Win Over Clemson in 12 Innings in Columbia Regional Saturday

LB Dantzler's single to deep right field with one out in the 12th inning scored Joey Pankake to give #2 South Carolina a 5-4 walkoff win over Clemson in the Columbia Regional in front of 8,242 fans at Carolina Stadium on Saturday. The Gamecocks, who moved to 2-0 in the regional, improved to 42-17 on the season. The Tigers, who fell into the losers' bracket, dropped to 34-27 in 2012.

Adam Matthews' two-run homer in the fourth inning gave South Carolina a 2-0 lead, but Clemson scored three runs in the seventh inning to take the lead. Brad Felder's solo homer in the top of the eighth inning built the Tigers' lead to 4-2. After scoring a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Gamecocks tied the score in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings before Dantzler's game-winning single in the 12th inning.

Evan Beal (4-4) earned the win by pitching 1.1 perfect innings with two strikeouts. South Carolina's four pitchers combined to hold Clemson to 0-for-12 with two outs a day after the Tigers were 10-for-17 with two outs in their 11-3 win over Coastal Carolina. The four hurlers also combined to allow only four of Clemson's 17 baserunners to score, as the Tigers stranded 12 runners on base, including eight in scoring position.

Kevin Brady (1-3) suffered the loss, as he surrendered five hits, one run, and no walks with three strikeouts in 3.0 innings pitched. Starter Daniel Gossett pitched 7.0 strong innings. The freshman righthander gave up just four hits, two runs, and three walks with eight strikeouts.

St. John's Downs UNC On Walk Off, 5-4

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Danny Bethea hit a walk-off three-run homer to help St. John's stun North Carolina 5-4 on Saturday night.

Bethea's shot sent Red Storm players spilling onto the field to celebrate at home plate. St. John's (39-21) can reach the NCAA tournament's super regionals with a win Sunday night.

North Carolina (45-15), the No. 6 national seed, appeared on its way to its 17th straight win as a regional host thanks to a two-run homer from Shell McCain and a strong performance from starter Kent Emanuel. But Jeremy Baltz had a leadoff double against reliever Michael Morin (6-4) in the ninth, then Sean O'Hare reached on an infield hit to set up Bethea's homer.

3Emanuel allowed five hits and two runs in eight innings for the Tar Heels, the top seed in the Chapel Hill Regional. St. John's starter Sean Hagan allowed eight hits and four runs in 8 1/3 innings.

Pack Falls in Walk-Off Heartbreaker

RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State took an 8-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth, but saw it evaporate over the final two innings, dropping a 9-8 heartbreaker in walk-off fashion to Vanderbilt in the winners' bracket of the Raleigh Regional, Saturday at Doak Field at Dail Park.

The Wolfpack (40-18) was designated the visiting team on a coin flip on Friday night. Vanderbilt (35-26) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second before falling behind 6-1 heading into the bottom seventh after three-straight run-producing innings from the Pack. The Commodores made it 6-3 in the bottom seventh, then lost those two runs on Ryan Mathews's two-run homer in the top eighth. Trailing 8-3, Vanderbilt tied the game at 8-8 with a five-run eighth, before walking off with the win on a run in the ninth.

Mathews scored twice and drove in two with a monstrous 3-for-5, one home run, one double performance. The redshirt senior sits 6-for-10 with two homers, six RBIs, and five runs through two games at the Raleigh Regional. Starter Carlos Rodon (9-0) ended up with a no decision after three earned over 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts. Rodon's 132 strikeouts for the season represents the fourth-most in program history.

Jake Fincher went 3-for-5 with an RBI triple and a run scored. Fincher's triple marked his sixth of the season, which breaks the NC State freshman record previously held by Louie Meadows (1980) and Tom Sergio (1994).

Gators Get by Tech, 6-2, in NCAA Gainesville Regional

Gainesville, Fla. - Mike Zunnino and Preston Tucker hit home runs, while Hudson Randall and Steve Rodriguez pitched top-ranked Florida past No. 24 Georgia Tech, 6-2, Saturday night in the winners' bracket game in the NCAA Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium-Perry Field.

The Atlantic Coast Conference champion Yellow Jackets (37-25), the second seed in the regional, dropped into the loser's bracket of the, facing a 12 noon date Sunday against the College of Charleston, a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN2. The loss ended a season-long six-game winning streak for the Jackets.

Charleston, whom Tech defeated 8-4 in the first round Friday, stayed alive Saturday with an 8-2 win over Bethune-Cookman. The top-ranked Gators (44-18) advanced to a possible championship game at 6 p.m. Sunday night against the winner of the noon game. The noon loser will be eliminated.

Randall, a junior from Dunwoody, Ga., and Rodriguez gave up 12 hits between them, but managed to limit a Tech offense that had averaged 8.6 runs in the previous five games to just two Saturday night. Tech put multiple runners on in six of the nine innings, but stranded 10 overall.

Hurricanes' Season Ended by Missouri State

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami's postseason run was ended early Saturday afternoon, as the Missouri State Bears took down the No. 21 Hurricanes 12-2 in an NCAA Tournament elimination game at Alex Rodriguez Park.

Similar to its opener on Friday night against No. 25 Stony Brook, Miami fell behind early and could not recover. The Bears plated seven runs in the bottom of the first, chasing junior lefthander Steven Ewing out of the game after only 2/3 of an inning. The Orlando, Fla. native, coming off an impressive eight-inning stint at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in Greensboro, N.C., was charged all seven of those runs in the shortest start of his career.

The Bears sent 11 batters to the plate in the decisive frame, as six different players recorded hits. A two-RBI double from Keenen Maddox opened the scoring in the Bears' favor, while Derek Mattea, Joey Hawkins and Spiker Helms all added RBI singles before Ewing was pulled. A passed ball charged to Garrett Kennedy from reliever Javi Salas plated Hawkins as the seventh and final run of the frame.

43With a new-look line-up, the Hurricanes opened up the contest by connecting for back-to-back hits off Bears' righthander Pierce Johnson (4-6). Junior shortstop Stephen Perez ripped a single through the rightside in the game's first at-bat, while junior outfielder Chantz Mack connected on a flare that dropped in front of centerfielder Spiker Helms. The senior would catch Perez trying to advance to third on the play, however, effectively ending the threat as the Hurricanes failed to convert.