Bulldogs' 9th-inning homer ousts FSU from NCAA regional
Mississippi State got some MacNamee Magic. For Florida State, it was more misery for Mike Martin.
The No. 7 Seminoles became the first national seed eliminated from the NCAA Tournament when Elijah MacNamee hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Mississippi State a 3-2 walk-off win in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday.
Florida State, which lost to Samford on Friday, went 0-2 in the regionals as a top-eight national seed for the second time in five years.
"Baseball. It hurts, guys, ladies. It hurts," Martin said. "Good Lord willing, I'll see the sun come up tomorrow, life will go on, but this one hurt."
Martin passed Augie Garrido as college baseball's all-time coaching wins leader last month. His two-year contract expires this year, and he said he would meet with athletic director Stan Wilcox to determine whether he will be back for a 40th season.
If Martin returns, he would need 13 wins to reach 2,000 and would get another chance to chase his elusive first national championship.
Mississippi State has had an emotional season as well. Andy Cannizaro resigned Feb. 20 for off-field conduct and pitching coach Gary Henderson took over as interim coach.
The Bulldogs had to play their first 11 games away from home — unusual for a team in the South — because of construction on Dudy Noble Field. They lost seven of their first nine Southeastern Conference games and went into May as no lock to make the conference tournament, let alone the NCAA Tournament.
They swept top-ranked Florida to finish the regular season, and after going one-and-out in the SEC Tournament, they lost 20-10 to Oklahoma in their regional opener.
Down to their last strike against Florida State, MacNamee sent Drew Parrish's 3-2 changeup over the left-field wall to keep the season alive and make Mississippi State 10-1 against teams ranked in the top 10.
"Parrish is one of the best pitchers we have seen all year," said MacNamee, 5 for 9 with two homers and six RBIs in two games. "I just believed in myself during that at-bat and it worked."
Parrish returned to the mound in the ninth after a rain delay of more than two hours. Parrish had thrown 109 pitches through eight innings. Martin said pitching coach Mike Bell had Parrish throw every 15 minutes to stay loose during the delay, and he didn't second-guess his decision to send him back out.
"He wanted to have the ball," Martin said. "His teammates wanted him to have the ball and if I had to do it over again, I would have made the same decision."
SEC: 7-2 on Saturday, 14-3 through two days; Big 12: 4-1, 8-2; Pac-12: 2-2, 6-2; ACC: 3-3, 6-6; Big Ten: 3-1, 4-4; American: 2-2, 4-4.
A LITTLE PAYBACK
The Oregon State Beavers didn't forget how their 2017 season ended, with LSU beating them 3-1 and 6-1 in the College World Series and holding them to a combined five hits.
They got some payback with their 14-1 win on their home field. It was LSU's most lopsided loss in an NCAA Tournament game since Cal State Fullerton beat the Tigers 20-6 in the 1994 CWS.
MARVELOUS ON MOUND
— Auburn ace Casey Mize, projected to be the No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft Monday, allowed one run and four hits and struck out 11 in seven innings of a 12-1 win over Army.
— Three other projected first-rounders carried their teams. Florida's Brady Singer gave up two runs over seven innings as the No. 1 national seed and defending champion Gators held off Jacksonville 3-2. Mississippi's Ryan Rolison struck out 13 and allowed four hits over seven innings in a 9-4 win over Saint Louis in a first-round game. Stetson's Logan Gilbert struck out 14 in seven innings of a 10-3 win over Oklahoma State.
— Freshman Max Meyer struck out six in three innings of one-hit, shutout relief as Minnesota beat UCLA 3-2 in 10 innings to move within a win of its first super regional.
— Nathan Wiles pitched 8 2/3 shutout innings as No. 3 regional seed Oklahoma beat No. 4 Samford 4-0.
— Josh Hiatt allowed one run while recording a nine-out save in North Carolina's 4-3 win over Houston.
— Brian Brown scattered eight hits and struck out eight as North Carolina State bounced back from its first-round loss to Army to beat Northeastern 9-3.
— Kacey Murphy threw eight innings of two-hit, shutout ball in Arkansas' 10-2 win over Southern Miss.
— Tim Cate pitched 5 1/3 innings of two-hit, shutout relief as UConn came from behind to end LIU Brooklyn's first NCAA appearance since 1972 with a 10-3 win.
— Cal State Fullerton freshman Jace Chamberlin, nicknamed "Jumbo" at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, hit a pinch home run — the first homer of his career — with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to beat No. 2 national seed Stanford 2-1.
— Kody Clemens, son of seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, hit his 22nd and 23rd homers in Texas' 8-3 win over Texas A&M.
— Nick Kahle's grand slam highlighted Washington's 11-6 win over host Coastal Carolina and pushed the No. 3 regional seed Huskies within one win of a super regional.
— Jonathan India, Wil Dalton and Jonah Girand hit solo homers to account for all of Florida's runs against the Dolphins.
— Tucker Bradley hit one of Georgia's four home runs and had four RBIs in an 18-5 first-round win over Campbell.
— Chris Crabtree's three-run double started an 11-run ninth for Duke, which came back from an 8-1 seventh-inning deficit beat Campbell 16-8 for its first tournament win since 1961.
— Kep Brown had four hits for No. 4 regional seed UNC-Wilmington, including a bases-loaded single in the 13th to give the Seahawks a 4-3 walk-off elimination-game win over Ohio State.
— David Villar hit the tiebreaking, two-run single, Joe Genord followed with a three-run homer, and South Florida ended Hartford's first tournament appearance with a 9-4 win in 11 innings.
Associated Press Writer Joe Reedy in Tallahassee, Florida, contributed.