NCAA Tournament: Stanford, Tennessee Win, Headed to Omaha

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

The final two tickets have been punched for the 2023 NCAA Division I College World Series, with No. 8 Stanford beating Texas Longhorns 7-6 and Tennessee beating the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 5-0 in deciding Super Regional games Monday night.  

Friday will be the first day of the Division I College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. At 2 p.m. EDT Friday, TCU will face Oral Roberts on ESPN, and at 7 p.m., No. 2 Florida will play No. 7 Virginia in Bracket 1.

Stanford 7, Texas 6 – Stanford, California

Eighth-ranked Stanford University entered the eight-team field of the NCAA Division I College World Series for a third straight year and their 19th appearance in program history after beating the Texas Longhorns 8-7 on second baseman Drew Bowser’s game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning. 

Texas will play Saturday in the early game against No. 1 Wake Forest University at 2 p.m. EDT on ESPN in Bracket 2 at Charles Schwab Field.

Bowser had a huge day at the plate, hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning, scoring Malcolm Moore for the first two runs of the game.

Texas starting pitcher Tanner Witt threw one inning, allowing four hits, three earned runs, walking one, and striking out one.

Longhorns second baseman Jack O’Dowd drove in three runs in the top of the fourth with a bases clearing double to right field that scored Porter Brown, Jalin Flores, and Eric Kennedy to tie the game at three.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Stanford took the lead once again when first baseman Carter Graham ripped an RBI single to right center field that scored Bowser to make it 4-3.

The next batter, designated hitter Braden Montgomery, drilled a two-RBI single to left center field, scoring Temo Becerra and Tommy Troy to extend the lead to 6-3.

During the top of the eighth inning, the Longhorns stormed back into the game, scoring three runs. Longhorn’s shortstop Mitchell Daly started the rally by lofting a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Flores to cut the lead to 6-4. A few batters later, Peyton Powell laced a double to right center field, scoring O’Dowd to cut the lead to 6-5. The next batter, Dylan Campbell, roped a single to center field to score Powell to tie the game.

Longhorns relief pitcher Lucas Gordon entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning to relieve Zane Morehouse, who went six innings, allowing six hits, three earned runs, walking five batters, and striking out four through 80 pitches.

During the bottom of the ninth, Gordon quickly got Graham to fly out to left and Montgomery to strike out swinging for two outs.

With two outs, Cardinal left fielder Alberto Rios ripped a double to deep to left field. A few batters later, Bowser hit a bloop single to center field that Longhorns outfielders Eric Kennedy and Campbell lost in the lights, and Rios came in to score the winning run to send Stanford to the College World Series.

Stanford starting pitcher Nick Dugan went 3.2 innings, allowing five hits, three earned runs, walking one batter, and striking out two through 72 pitches.

Stanford University has not played against an Atlantic Coast Conference team this season, and will face the No. 1 Wake Forest University Demon Deacons on Saturday at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska at 2 p.m. EDT on ESPN.

Tennessee 5, Southern Mississippi 0 – Hattiesburg, Mississippi

The Tennessee Volunteers are marching to the 2023 NCAA Division I College World Series after beating the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 5-0 to earn their sixth trip to the College World Series in program history.

Volunteers starting pitcher Drew Beam threw six innings, allowing seven hits, no earned runs, walking one, and striking out seven with 106 pitches.

The Volunteers got on the board in the bottom of the second when designated hitter Griffin Merritt drove an RBI single to right field, scoring Christian Moore.

In the bottom of the fifth, Tennessee third baseman Zane Denton launched a three-run home run deep over the center field wall, scoring Maui Ahuna and Moore to make it 4-0.

Golden Eagles starting pitcher Niko Mazza threw five innings, allowing five hits, four earned runs, walking four batters, and striking out five.

Tennessee added another run in the bottom of the seventh when Ahuna launched a solo home run to left field.

The Volunteers bullpen allowed no hits, no walks, and struck out five during their performance in the deciding game three win.

The Volunteers have not made it to Omaha since 2021 and are still looking for their first national championship.

The Volunteers will play their in-conference rival, No. 5 Louisiana State University, in Omaha at Charles Schwab Field on Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN.

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