4 more teams win NCAA regional titles, go to the next round

Four of the eight matchups for the NCAA Baseball Super Regionals were determined Monday night after Oregon State, East Carolina, Louisville and Auburn won regional titles.

The best-of-three Super Regionals begin Friday and Saturday and set the stage for the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, which begins June 17.

The matchups so far: Notre Dame (38-14) at No. 1 national seed Tennessee (56-7), Auburn (40-19) at No. 3 Oregon State (47-16), Louisville (41-19-1 ). ) at No. 5 Texas A&M (40-18) and Texas (45-19) at No. 8 East Carolina (45-19).

The remaining pairings will be known after the Regional Finals late Monday.

Matthew Gretler hit a tie homer for Oregon State in the seventh inning, and No. 1 starter Cooper Hjerpe pitched up the last two innings in his first relief appearance to secure a 7-6 win over Vanderbilt.

“I felt good and told them if you need me, I’ll be ready,” said Hjerpe, who took a two-day break on Friday after throwing 100 pitches over 6 2/3 innings.

Auburn won a regional tournament on its home court for the first time since 1999, defeating UCLA 11-4 after completing a game that was suspended Sunday night due to rain.

Cameron Masterman’s tied homer in the eighth inning sent Louisville to an 11-9 win over Michigan and into the Super Regionals for the seventh time since 2013.

East Carolina’s eight-run seventh inning delivered a 13-2 win over Coastal Carolina.

Southern Mississippi is back in the Super Regionals for the first time since 2009 after taking the lead with a sacrifice flight in ninth place and beating LSU 8-7.

RUNS A LOT

Auburn became the first team in SEC history to score at least 50 runs in their first three tournament games. The Tigers outplayed their opponents 51-18, hitting 12 doubles and 11 homers.

“Our offense was key #1. #2 were our three starting pitchers,” said coach Butch Thompson. “It’s nice when you’re at that stage and you’re playing your best baseball of the year, and I thought we nailed it.”

A MOUNTAIN TOO HIGH?

East Carolina is SuperRegional for the third consecutive year and is attempting to make its first College World Series. The Pirates have entered the tournament 31 times, the most of any NCAA team never to have entered Omaha.

The Pirates are 1-12 in their six international appearances, and they’ve had two combined runs over four games in the previous two games.

LET’S PLAY HOCKEY

Dan McDonnell has used an unusual coaching trick to motivate his Louisville team. Instead of talking about baseball with his players, he talks about hockey.

The tournament coincides with the NHL postseason, and McDonnell preaches to his players that they should compete in a Game 7 situation with the same intensity as a hockey team.

It must have worked. The Cardinals fought three times against the end on their home field. After beating Michigan 11-9 on Monday, McDonnell emerged from the dugout wearing a hockey jersey.

“It’s a Lamar Jackson hockey jersey,” he said, referring to the Baltimore Ravens quarterback, who played in Louisville. “I’m not sure where we got it from, but it’s pretty cool.”

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