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NCAA Super Regionals Hosts Take All Four Games on Friday – Day 1 Recap

 Julian Guilarte - World Baseball Network  |    Jun 8th, 2024 10:29am EDT

Vance Honeycutt of the North Carolina Tar Heels hit a game-winning homer in the 2024 NCAA Super Regional against West Virginia. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

The Super Regional hosts took care of business on Friday, winning all four games as the NCAA Tournament continues at eight campus sites.

North Carolina 8, West Virginia 6 – Center fielder Vance Honeycutt helped fourth overall seed North Carolina get another dramatic win in game one of the Super Regionals against West Virginia with a walk-off home run in Chapel Hill. North Carolina entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 6-5. 

Catcher Luke Stevenson tied the game with a home run against West Virginia starting pitcher Derek Clark. West Virginia pushed Clark to throw 144 pitches, but he could not finish the game. 

Clark got one more out and then gave up a single to second baseman Alex Madera West Virginia relief pitcher Aidan Major came after Clark. Major struck out shortstop Wilkerson and there was one out left to get. Honeycutt pulled a home run well over the left field fence and the celebration was on in the 8-6 win. 

Honeycutt is having a good tournament for UNC with three home runs and six RBI in five games in 22 at-bats. Honeycutt was 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI against West Virginia. Honeycutt is the 20th-ranked prospect in MLB Pipeline’s Top 200 Draft Ranking. Honeycutt’s season stats are 25 home runs, 64 RBI, 28 stolen bases, and an OPS of 1.040. Honeycutt is a very good athlete and defender in center field. 

The only drawback in his game is his high strikeout rate of .33 percent with 79 strikeouts in 239 at bats.

Honeycutt will look to lead UNC to a sweep against West Virginia on Saturday, June 8 at 8 p.m. EST in Bryson Field at Boshamer Stadium on ESPN2/ESPN+.

Virginia 7, Kansas State 4 – Kansas State gave No. 12th overall seed Virginia everything they could handle, and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third after shortstop Kaelen Culpepper hit a two-run double. Virginia chipped away in the fifth and sixth with two runs each to take a 4-3 lead. 

Shortstop Griff O’Ferrall nearly pulled a home run that bounced into the stands for a ground rule double that brought in two runs in the sixth. O’Ferrall went 2-for-3 with two RBI against Kansas State. 

The key moment in the game was a three-run home run by Virginia second baseman Henry Godbout. This gave Virginia their seventh run in the seventh. Their bullpen handled the rest and preserved the 7-4 win. Matt Augustin closed it out with two outs and a strikeout. 

Virginia will play game two in front of their home crowd in Charlottesville in Davenport Field at Disharron Park. They will look to sweep Kansas State on Saturday, June 8 at 3 p.m. EST on ESPNU/ESPN+.

Tennessee 11, Evansville 6 – Tennessee’s offense was led by six home runs with the biggest performances coming from center fielder Hunter Ensley and third baseman Billy Amick in Knoxville at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Ensley’s three-run home run put the game out of reach at 11-5 in the seventh. Ensley went 3-for-4 with a team-leading four RBI. 

Ensley and Amick both lead the team with three hits. The Tennessee offense came to play in the 11-6 win.

Amick hit a solo home run that was pulled down the left field line, giving Tennessee a 4-2 lead in the third. The ball was smoked, traveling 425 feet with a 112 mph exit velocity. Amick was 3-for-4 with a home run and an RBI. Amick has 22 home runs, 61 RBI, and an OPS of 1.086 in 220 at-bats this season. Amick is having a great tournament with three home runs and eight RBI in four games in 16 at-bats, and is the 26th-ranked prospect in MLB Pipeline’s Top 200 Draft Rankings. 

Amick transferred from Clemson after the 2023 season. His home run total has increased by nine from 13 last year, but his average dropped by nearly 100 points from .413 to .318. He also had 53 fewer at-bats last season. Amick’s bat speed and strength help hit the ball hard to all fields. MLB Pipeline.com believes that Amick could end up at first base, due to below-average speed and average arm strength. 

Tennessee will play game two in Knoxville against Evansville at 11:00 a.m. EST on ESPN2/ESPN+.

Florida State 24, UConn 4 – Florida State left no doubt that they would roll over UConn to an easy victory in Tallahassee at Dick Howser Stadium. The overall eighth seed got back-to-back home runs in the first inning from designated hitter Marco Dinges and left fielder Jamie Ferrer. FSU was already up 3-0 after the first. Ferrer hit another home run in the sixth to make it an 11-1 game. 

Ferrer was 3-for-4 with two home runs, three RBI, and a walk. Florida State hit five home runs in their 24-4 dismantling of UConn. 

Right fielder James Tibbs III and Dinges led the Seminoles with four RBI each. Dinges and Tibbs III were both 2-for-5. James Tibbs III has 25 home runs, 88 RBI, and an OPS of 1.261 in 229 at bats. Tibbs III has six RBI in four tournament games in 14 at-bats.  

Florida State will host UConn in game two at 11:00 a.m. EST on ESPN/ESPN+. 


Saturday, June 8
All times eastern.

11 a.m. – Game 2 -No. 1 Tennessee vs. Evansville – Lindsey Nelson Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn. – ESPN2/ESPN+
11 a.m. – Game 2 – No. 8 Florida State vs. UConn – Dick Howser Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla. – ESPN/ESPN+
Noon – Game 1 – No. 10 N.C. State vs No. 7 Georgia – Foley Field, Athens, Ga. – ESPN2/ESPN+
2 p.m. – Game 1 – Oregon vs No. 3 Texas A&M – Olsen Field, College Station, Texas – ESPN2/ESPN+
2 p.m. – Game 1 –
Florida vs No. 6 Clemson – Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson, S.C. – ESPN/ESPN+
3 p.m. – Game 2 – No. 12 Virginia vs. Kansas State – Davenport Field, Charlottesville, Va. – ESPNU/ESPN+
6 p.m. – No. 15 Oregon State vs No. 2 – Kentucky Proud Park, Lexington, Ky. – ESPNU/ESPN+
8 p.m. – No. 4 North Carolina vs. West Virginia – Boshamer Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C. – ESPN2/ESPN+

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Julian Guilarte - World Baseball Network