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Aggies on the way to CWS; Vols, Hokies, Longhorns force game 3s

Texas A&M defeated its NCAA Super Regional to advance to the College World Series, and Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Texas even won their best-of-three series on Saturday.

Connecticut, Mississippi, Arkansas and Auburn won their super-regional opener games, moving them close to the CWS that begins Friday in Omaha, Nebraska.

Texas A&M, No. 5 national team, beat Louisville 4-3 for a second straight win in a run and returns to the CWS for the first time since 2017, the next step in a turnaround season under the first-year coach, Jim Schlossnagle.

A year after failing to even qualify for the Southeastern Conference Tournament, Texas A&M had the second-best record in the conference and has now won five straight NCAA tournaments.

The College Station, Texas, super-regional sweep came a year and two days after the Aggies hired Schlossnagle from TCU, where he had led the Horned Frogs to five CWS in 18 years.

“At that time a year ago, I was constantly waking up at 3:30 a.m. in a sweat all over my body,” he said. “I had just left a place that was so convenient. Sitting here and going to the College World Series goes to the players.”

Assistants Will Johnston, Brad Rudis, and Jacob Palisch combined to limit Louisville to five singles in 4 1/3 shutout innings, and the Aggies hit the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

“I’m glad we won, but I’m really glad we won a game that wasn’t 15-7,” said Schlossnagle, who was doused with a cooler of water as the team celebrated in front of the dugout. “I’ve been saying all year that you’re going to find great pitchers. It’s good to see that we’re putting that together and playing a good defense.

Luc Lipcius became the third Tennessee player in program history to hit two home runs in an inning when he went in the No. 1 Volunteers over Notre Dame in Knoxville, Tennessee, tied twice in a fifth eighth run.

Evan Russell also finished in fifth place, and he and Lipcius now share the Vols’ career record at 39, one more than Todd Helton’s 38 from 1993-95.

Louisville’s Christian Knapczyk (9) reacts as he slips safely into second place with a double while Texas A&M infielder Ryan Targac (16) tries during a super-regional tournament game of NCAA college baseball Saturday, June 11 2022, to mount a late day in College Station, Texas.

  • Louisville's Christian Knapczyk (9) reacts as he slips safely into second place with a double while Texas A&M infielder Ryan Targac (16) tries during a super-regional tournament game of NCAA college baseball Saturday, June 11 2022, to mount a late day in College Station, Texas.
  • Texas A&M infielder Trevor Werner (28) plays and throws the ball first for an out against Louisville during an NCAA college baseball super regional tournament game Saturday, June 11, 2022, in College Station, Texas.

“After it happened, it’s really cool,” Lipcius said, “and Todd Helton is one of the greats of Tennessee and of all time, and it’s really cool that two old guys are hanging out at the top.”

Nick Biddison banged out two of No. 4 Virginia Tech’s single-game records, five homers and six Hokies pitchers to score 14 in a 14-8 win over Oklahoma in Blacksburg, Virginia.

“I felt like it was a tough practice for our guys,” said Hokies coach John Szefc, whose team was recovering from a 5-4 Game 1 loss.

Texas came back from a five-run deficit to defeat No. 8 East Carolina 9-8 on Dylan Campbell’s base-loaded ninth-place single in Greenville, North Carolina.

Campbell also hit a tie homer at the end of the eighth for the Longhorns, who entered the inning 7-4.

“There’s a lot of fighting on this team,” said Texas coach David Pierce. “This team has proven it from day one to today. We won’t give up, we won’t disappear.”

UConn hit eight runs in the second inning and then survived the barrage of Stanford’s No. 2 home run to hold off the Cardinal 13-12, equaling the most runs scored against the Cardinal this season.

The Huskies, attempting to reach Omaha for the first time since 1979, resisted Stanford’s four homers in the ninth after going the inning 13-6. The Cardinal finished with eight home runs, the most in a game since 2004, with Brock Jones connecting three times.

Mississippi hit seven runs to five in the sixth inning en route to a 10-0 win over Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Dylan DeLucia and Jack Dougherty combined on the shutout, with DeLucia allowing four hits in 5 2/3 innings and Dougherty not giving up hits the rest of the way.

Arkansas’ Connor Noland pitched 6 2/3 innings scoreless in a 4-1 win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Noland threw 61 of 89 pitches for strikes while conceding just six hits and one walk.

Peyton Stovall homed to start the Razorbacks’ fifth inning with three runs, and Brady Slavens followed with the first of his RBI singles.

Sonny DiChiara and Bobby Peirce scored and Auburn held No. 3 Oregon State to a run through the last eight innings in a 7-5 win in Corvallis, Oregon.

Auburn starter Trace Bright only managed two outs as the Beavers scored four in the first. John Armstrong, Tommy Sheehan and Carson Skipper combined to allow two singles and three walks in the next 7 1/3 innings.

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More AP College Sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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