Martin's Seminoles keep going; Nos. 3, 4 national seeds out
Florida State dominated all three games in its NCAA regional and extended coach Mike Martin's final season at least one more week.
The Seminoles became the first team to advance to the super regionals by beating No. 4 national seed Georgia 10-1 on Sunday night, making it the second straight year the Bulldogs failed to get out of regionals as a national seed.
One of the last four teams selected for the 64-team tournament, FSU amassed 35 runs in sweeping three games in Athens, Georgia, outscoring the Bulldogs 22-4 in two games.
"To say I'm happy is an understatement," Martin said. "What got us here is we've got the right people in our program, from the players to the coaches to the administration."
Also advancing to super regionals were Auburn, Duke, North Carolina and Texas Tech.
No. 3 Georgia Tech and No. 4 Georgia are the highest national seeds eliminated. At least one top-eight seed has been knocked out in the regional round 11 straight years.
The Seminoles have become one of the top postseason storylines for narrowly keeping alive Martin's streak of making the tournament each of his 40 years at the helm. They were assigned a No. 3 regional seed, the lowest in Martin's tenure.
Turns out the underdog role agrees with them.
They batted .375 in the three games, and 1-2-3 batters Mike Salvatore, Reese Albert and Drew Mendoza combined to bat .512 (22 of 43) with three homers and four doubles.
Florida State (39-21) heads to the super regionals for an NCAA-leading 17th time and need one more win to keep alive Martin's streak of never winning fewer than 40 games in a season. The Seminoles will play LSU or Southern Mississippi in a best-of-three series this weekend, with the winner advancing to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
Martin has made it to the CWS 16 times, but has never won a national title.
"It's about these young men. It's not about me," Martin said. "I want very much — very much — for them to go to Omaha."
Auburn is going to the super regionals a second straight year after Bailey Horn and Cody Greenhill combined on a three-hitter in a 4-1 win over Georgia Tech. The Tigers will play at North Carolina, which won its regional for the second straight year, scoring four runs in the first inning on its way to a 5-2 victory over Tennessee.
Duke, like Atlantic Coast Conference rival Florida State, was a 3-seed and one of the last four teams picked for the tournament. The Blue Devils, in supers a second year in a row, got a home run and four RBIs from Kyle Gallagher in a 4-1 win over Texas A&M.
Texas Tech's Cameron Warren hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Bryce Bonnin and John McMillon combined to hold Dallas Baptist to five hits and strike out 12 in a 3-0 win that locked up the Red Raiders' second straight trip to super regionals and fourth in six years.
NOW THAT'S GRAND
In the most dramatic finish of the tournament, so far, Texas A&M made it to the regional final with an 11-10 win over host West Virginia on Bryce Blaum's walk-off grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning.
Logan Foster's grand slam in the seventh started the Aggies' comeback from a 9-1 deficit, and they were down 10-7 when they loaded the base on a double and two walks. Blaum, who homered in A&M's win over Fordham on Saturday, drove Kessler's 3-2 slider over the fence in left center to set off A&M's celebration.
SEE YA LATER, GATORS
Florida, which earned a No. 3 regional seed after finishing an uncharacteristic fifth in its division in the SEC, lost 9-8 to Dallas Baptist and went 1-2 in Lubbock. The Gators made their earliest exit since the 2014 team went 0-2 as the No. 2 national seed.
— Bryce Ball, Andres Sosa and Jimmy Glowenki each homered in Dallas Baptist's nine-run fourth inning against Florida.
— Ryan Kreidler hit one of No. 1 national seed UCLA's four home runs and had three RBIs in an 11-6 win over Baylor.
— Aaron Schunk's two home runs and six RBIs led Georgia past Florida Atlantic 13-0.
— Alex Binelas homered, doubled and drove in four runs in Louisville's 9-7 win over Indiana.
— Austin Henry homered and drove in four runs to lead TCU past Central Connecticut State 9-5.
— Relievers Caleb Wurster, CJ Dandeneau and Jacob Wallace combined for seven shutout innings and 14 strikes to lead Connecticut in a 5-2 win over Oklahoma State that forced a winner-take-all final Monday.
— Louisville's Luke Smith limited Illinois State to three hits in 8 1/3 innings in an 11-2 win that sets up a rematch Monday.
—North Carolina's Austin Bergner held Tennessee to two runs on four hits and struck out eight in seven innings.