***Louisville: The class of the Big East were stretched to a third and deciding contest against Oklahoma State, who beat the Cardinals in Louisville 3-2 on Saturday in a 12-inning affair. Would there be any carryover from being so close to a World Series berth? Not a chance.
The Cardinals destroyed the Cowboys 20-2 in the decisive contest, sending them to Omaha for the first time in school history. Isaiah Howes drove in six runs while Jorge Castillo chipped in with four RBI's. Pete Rodriquez was 4-for-4 on the afternoon to lead a 21-hit attack. The game was over in the fourth after Louisville (46-22) scored five runs to make it 12-2.
The Cardinals have five players hitting over .300, led by Howes' .392 mark. Howes also leads the team in home runs with 18 and RBI's with 67. Boomer Whiting has swiped 73 bases on the year to go along with a .367 average. Logan Johnson has added 13 round trippers this season. Pitching-wise, Zack Pitts is 10-3 with a 2.23 ERA. Justin Marks isn't far behind at 8-2 with a 2.54 ERA. Trystan Magnuson has nine saves out of the bullpen and a 1.09 ERA.
***Rice: Louisville's opponent on Friday will be the Owls, who are the second overall seed in the tournament. Rice (54-12) made quick work of Texas A&M in the Super Regionals, sweeping the two contests to punch their sixth trip to the College World Series. In the clinching 5-2 victory, Joe Savery drove in three runs while starter Matt Langwell pitched six-plus innings of one-run ball.
Savery is the star of the team, evidenced by being selected 19th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in last week's Major League Baseball draft. On the year, the junior has a .360 average to go along with 57 RBI's and .441 on-base percentage. Savery also pitches, posting a 10-1 mark and a 2.78 ERA. Aaron Luna has hit 11 home runs this season and knocked in 61 runs, both tops on the team. As for the pitching staff, the top three starters have combined to go 29-4. Langwell is 8-1 on the year with a 1.70 ERA. Ryan Berry's 11 victories leads the group and the hurler has struck out 119 batters in 116.1 innings pitched.
***Mississippi State: The Bulldogs earned their spot in Omaha with a 8-5 victory over Clemson on Sunday, sweeping the Tigers in the Super Regionals. A crowd of over 13,000 saw MSU beat Clemson in the clincher. Russ Sneed and Jet Butler both drove in a pair of runs and Mitch Moreland came in from right field to get the final two outs of the ballgame to give the Bulldogs their first trip to the CWS since 1998.
MSU (38-20) is led by Brandon Turner's .398 average. Edward Easley has blasted 12 round trippers on the year and drove in a team-high 63 runs. Moreland isn't far behind with nine home runs and 60 RBI's. Aaron Weatherford's 3.20 ERA is tops on the Bulldogs pitching staff. As a team, though, MSU has a ERA of 4.76. Chad Crosswhite has accumulated the most victories with eight.
***North Carolina: The Bulldogs will play the Tar Heels on Friday. North Carolina clinched a spot in the CWS with a 9-4 win over South Carolina in the third and decisive contest of the Super Regional. Chad Flack hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning to propel UNC to the victory. Flack hit a ninth-inning round tripper last season in the Super Regionals to send the Tar Heels (53-13) to Omaha, who are making their third trip to the CWS since 1989.
UNC, the third overall seed in the tournament, are led by Dustin Ackley's .416 average. Ackley also is tops in RBI's with 66, on-base percentage at .459 and stolen bases with 11. Reid Fronk has hit 11 home runs on the year to go along with a .558 slugging percentage. All together, the Tar Heels have eight players with a .300 average or higher. Robert Woodard and Adam Warren both have notched 10 wins apiece on the mound while Andrew Carignan has saved 15 games out of the bullpen.
***Arizona State: The Sun Devils advanced to their 20th CWS with a 7-1 win over Mississippi to sweep the Rebels out of the Super Regionals. Arizona State (48-13) won the first contest against Ole Miss with a come-from-behind 4-3 victory. Down 3-1 heading into the ninth, the Sun Devils scored three times to notch the thrilling win.
Arizona State, seeded fifth overall in the tournament, has 10 regulars hitting .300 or better. Brett Wallace, whose RBI single won the first game of the Super Regionals for the Sun Devils, has amassed a .423 average. Wallace also has some power as his 16 home runs 78 RBI's and .718 slugging percentage leads the ASU team. Kiel Roling added 15 round trippers, 63 RBI's and a .373 average. Pitching-wise, the top three starters have combined to go 37-5. Josh Satow is 13-3 with a 2.41 ERA and has struck out 115 hitters in 130 innings of work.
***UC Irvine: The Sun Devils will play the Anteaters in both teams' first contest of the CWS. UC Irvine advanced to Omaha with a 3-2 win over Wichita State to sweep the Super Regionals. In the clinching victory, Bryan Peterson's double in the bottom of the ninth scored Matt Morris for the winning run. Morris not only plated the decisive run but made a spectacular catch in the eighth inning with runners on base.
The Anteaters (45-15-1), who were the second seed in the Austin Regional, have 10 players hitting .300 or better. Ollie Linton leads the team with a .356 mark, including a .423 OBP. Cody Cipriano is tops in home runs with 12 and RBI's with 57. Morris has a .336 average and adds six round trippers with 52 RBI's. The pitching staff is the strength of UC Irvine with a .369 team ERA. Wes Etheridge and Scott Gorgen have combined to go 24-6 on the season. Etheridge has a 2.49 ERA and has struck out 111 batters in 126 innings pitched while Gorgen has whiffed 106 hitters in 127 innings of work. Blair Erickson has 13 saves out of the bullpen.
***Cal State Fullerton: The Titans swept UCLA in the Super Regionals to advance to their 15th College World Series appearance. In the clincher, Cal State Fullerton beat the Bruins 2-1. Matt Wallach's RBI single was the difference in the contest and Bryan Harris closed it out in the ninth.
The Titans (38-23) are no strangers to Omaha. Cal State Fullerton's 15 trips is tied for seventh most in college baseball and all together have 12 national titles. It's head coach George Horton's sixth time as skipper of the Titans. Horton has captured the national championship once in those appearances. The .623 winning percentage, though, is the lowest ever for a Cal State Fullerton team going to the CWS.
***Oregon State: The Titans will have the first crack at the defending national champions in Omaha. The Beavers swept Michigan in the Super Regionals to earn the shot to defend their 2006 title. In a 8-2 clinching victory over the Wolverines on Monday, Oregon State jumped out to an insurmountable 7-0 lead and never looked back. In the first contest, Joey Wong's two-out RBI single in the ninth inning was the difference in a 1-0 victory over Michigan. The Wolverines' Zack Putnam allowed only one hit in 8.2 innings of work and it was Wong's winning base hit.
The Beavers (44-18) don't have the most explosive offense as only three hitters are at .300 or better. Mike Lissman leads the team with at .323 and is also tops in RBI's with 56. Mitch Canham has nine home runs on the year and drove on 54. The top pitchers on the staff have started 51 of the 62 games played. Daniel Turpen I 9-1 with a 3.65 ERA. Mike Stutes, who won Monday's clincher, has struck out 111 batters in 113 innings of work before last night's contest.