NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Matt Helms delivered a two-out, two-run pinch-hit single to lead Louisville to a 5-3 victory over No. 2 overall seed Vanderbilt in a NCAA super regional opener Saturday.
Helms had driven in only three runs all season. But with the bases loaded in the seventh, the senior stepped in and hit a 1-2 pitch from Vanderbilt closer Brian Miller down the third-base line.
The Cardinals (50-12) tied the game just three batters earlier. Zak Wasserman drove in his second run of the game with a two-out single. Louisville strung together three two-out hits and tagged Vanderbilt starter Kevin Ziomek (11-3) for three runs in the inning.
Xavier Turner had two hits and scored two runs for the Commodores (54-11). Six of Vanderbilt’s seven hits came in the opening three innings.
Louisville, playing in its first super regional since 2009, tied a program-record for regular-season wins.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 11, VIRGINIA 6: In Charlottesville, Va., Adam Frazier went 6-for-6, Hunter Renfroe was 4-for-5 and they each drove in three runs to help Mississippi State beat Virginia in the first game of the Charlottesville Super Regional.
The Bulldogs (47-18) pounded Virginia pitching for 20 hits and benefited from uncharachteristic sloppiness by the Cavaliers, who made four errors that led to six unearned runs.
Virginia (50-11) had 11 hits, but also hit into four rally-killing double plays.
Kendall Graveman (7-5) went 5.1 innings for the Bulldogs, allowing nine hits and all six runs, just four of them earned. He struck out three and walked two. Ross Mitchell finished, allowing just two hits and three walks in 3.2 innings.
NORTH CAROLINA 6, SOUTH CAROLINA 5: In Chapel Hill, N.C., freshman Skye Bolt hit a game-winning RBI single through the right side in the ninth inning to lift North Carolina past South Carolina in the opener of the NCAA super regional best-of-three series.
Bolt’s two-out hit scored Parks Jordan from second for the Tar Heels (56-9), putting them within a win of reaching the College World Series for the sixth time in eight seasons. It was yet another close win for the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament as North Carolina shook off a shaky start from top pitcher Kent Emanuel and an early two-run deficit.
Reliever Trent Thornton (10-1) earned the win, allowing one run in three innings. Tyler Webb (3-3) took the loss for the Gamecocks (42-19).
The Tar Heels reached the super regionals with a 12-11, 13-inning win against Florida Atlantic on Monday night.
N.C. STATE 4, RICE 3: In Raleigh, N.C., Jake Fincher’s two-out single in the bottom of the ninth capped a rally and lifted N.C. State to a victory over Rice in Game 1 of the Raleigh super regional.
Rice (44-19) had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth, but N.C. State (48-14) tied it when Brett Williams slid under a tag after a bunt by Logan Ratledge. Williams singled to start the inning, stole second, and went to third on an error by pitcher Zech Lemond.
Two batters later, Fincher’s single to left scored Jake Armstrong with the winning run.
Christian Stringer had doubled in the go-ahead run for Rice, pulling a ball down the left-field line to score pinch-runner John Williamson. Hunter Kopycinski had three hits, including the one that put Williamson on base.
INDIANA 10, FLORIDA STATE 9: In Tallahassee, Fla., Kyle Schwarber had a go-ahead two-run single in a four-run seventh inning and Indiana went on to beat Florida State in the first game of the Tallahassee Super Regional.
Schwarber, who also had a two-run homer in the fourth, put Indiana up 7-6 with his hit in the seventh.
Indiana (47-14) can advance to its first College World Series with a win on Sunday. If the Seminoles (47-16) win, a deciding game would be played Monday.
The Hoosiers’ big inning came against relievers Gage Smith (4-2) and Billy Strode, who gave up just three hits in the inning but the Seminoles committed two throwing errors.
John Nogowski’s two-run homer in the eighth trimmed Indiana’s lead to 10-8. DJ Stewart added an RBI single in the ninth, but Indiana’s Will Coursen-Carr induced a pair of flyouts to end the game.
Brian Korte (1-0) pitched one-third of an inning.
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