BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Box Score) – LSU, Louisiana-Lafayette, defending national champions Vanderbilt, while Maryland stunned UCLA to secure Super Regionals spots after winning their respective regionals.
At the Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles, No. 3 seed Maryland scored the first two runs and then held on to defeat No. 1 seed UCLA 2-1 to capture the Los Angles Regional title on Monday.
The Bruins (45-16) had defeated Maryland 4-2 on Sunday to force another head-to-head clash for the title on Monday, but were unable to get past the Terrapins (42-22), who advanced to their second straight Super Regionals.
The Terps will now take on Virginia in Charlottesville.
“I’m just really happy for our players, coaches, and support staff,” head coach John Szefc said after the win.
“A lot goes into a season, and you hope that at the end of the season you’re in a position like this.
“Luckily for us this is the second year we’ve been in this position. You don’t take it for granted because it’s so hard to get here. These guys have been tremendous.”
LSU MOVES ON WITH ANOTHER SHUTOUT
The LSU baseball team beat UNC Wilmington 2-0 in the rescheduled Baton Rouge Regional championship game at Alex Box Stadium on Monday to advance to the Super Regionals.
LSU was grabbing its first-ever consecutive shutouts NCAA postseason history.
Sophomore Jared Poche’ paced the Tigers (51-10) to earn its 21st NCAA Regional title, after they swept the four-team regional contest.
“It’s a great feeling (to be heading to the super regional),” Poche’ said. “Last year I was a freshman, it didn’t work out for us.
“We were hoping to get there. But after winning this game, we’re going to be there. Last year that atmosphere was unbelievable. I don’t expect anything less. Whoever we play it’s going to be exciting.”
On the day, Poche’ (8-1) went 8.2 shutout innings and allowed six hits with a career-best eight strikeouts for LSU, which collected its runs in the bottom of the second inning off UNCW starter Justin Crump. Juniors Andrew Stevenson and Chris Chinea scored.
“They were scary,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri about UNCW. “They were a scary offense of a lineup, and I think that just goes to show you just how great (Alex) Lange was the other night and Jared was today.
“To shut that team down two games in a row between our pitching and our defense was really amazing to see.
“We didn’t hit particularly great, but Andrew Stevenson’s catch basically saved the game. Conner Hale made a tremendous catch over by the dugout, and about the play that Bregman made, pirouetted and threw the guy out at first base.”
The Tigers now advanced to the Super Regionals where they will face Louisiana Lafayette, who won the Houston Regional on Monday.
UNC Wilmington, which earned its place in Monday’s championship game with a commanding 8-2 victory over Tulane in the elimination game on Sunday, are now eliminated from the NCAA tournament.
The Seahawks end their season with 41-18 overall season record.
Louisiana-Lafayette, in the meantime, fended off the challenges of Rice to steal a 5-2 victory at Cougar Field and win the Houston Regional.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were winning back-to-back regional titles.
Defending national champs Vanderbilt scored the biggest victory on the day after routing Radford 21-0 to pick up the Nashville Regional crown at Hawkins Field.
The No. 1 seeded Commodores exploded in the fifth inning to flatten the No. 2 seeded Radford and sweep the regional tournament and advance to the Super Regionals for the third year in a row.
Vanderbilt also set an NCAA record for largest victory margin in a shutout in NCAA tournament history.
Winning on the day as well were the Illinois Fighting Illini, which defeated Wright State 8-4 to cruise through the Champaign Regional on Monday.
On Monday Maryland, Illinois, Louisiana-Lafayette, Miami (FL), VCU, Texas A&M, TCU, Vanderbilt and LSU joined the likes of Arkansas, Cal State Fullerton, Louisville, Florida, Missouri State and Virginia, who had already booked their slots in the Super Regionals round of the NCAA tournament over the weekend.
List of Super Regionals Qualifiers
Miami (FL) vs. VCU
Texas A&M vs. TCU
Florida State vs. Florida
Virginia vs. Maryland
Vanderbilt vs. Illinois
Louisiana Lafayette vs. LSU
Arkansas vs. Missouri State
Cal State Fullerton vs. Louisville