While there are many familiar faces left, South Florida won its way to the program’s first-ever super-regional appearance. That was one of the biggest stories after a weekend of record-setting pitching performances, memorable grand slams and, of course, a few rain delays.
Eleven of the 16 teams remaining are national seeds. Florida, Louisiana Tech, Old Dominion, Oregon and TCU have been sent home earlier than expected. That leaves Virginia and Dallas Baptist ready to battle in the only super regional featuring unseeded teams.
Here’s a quick preview for all the super regionals, including the schedule, teams and what’s happened so far.
The 2021 super regional matchups
(Note: The following games are to be played Friday, June 11 through Sunday, June 13. All listed times are Eastern. All Sunday games are if necessary or weather-delayed games.)
Fayetteville Super Regional
No. 1 Arkansas vs. NC State | Friday at 6 p.m. | ESPNU
No. 1 Arkansas vs. NC State | Saturday at 3 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 1 Arkansas vs. NC State | Sunday at 6 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
How we got here: The Fayetteville Regional was a memorable one with tournament surprise NJIT stealing a win and the hearts of Arkansas fans. Despite dropping a game to Nebraska, a pinch-hit three-run bomb from Charlie Welch and another absolutely absurd performance from Kevin Kopps sent the OmahaHogs one step closer to the College World Series. This time Kopps, the tournament MVP, tossed seven shutout innings in relief, allowing only three hits while striking out eight. This is Arkansas third-straight Super Regional appearance, and the Razorbacks have won the previous two in a row.
FOLLOW THE SUPERS: Live updates, bracket and scores
The Wolf Pack bounced back from a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the ACC championship to sweep through the Ruston Regional with relative ease. They outscored their opponents 30-11 in the three games, including back-to-back wins over host Louisiana Tech to get to their first Super Regional since 2013. Luca Tresh smashed his team-high 14th home run in the clincher to help NC State score 14 runs, the most in program history in a regional final.
Nashville Super Regional
No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 13 East Carolina | Friday at noon | ESPN2
No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 13 East Carolina | Saturday at noon | ESPN2
No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 13 East Carolina | Sunday at 3 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
How we got here: Georgia Tech made the defending champion Commodores work in Nashville, but the Vandy Boys prevailed. Jack Leiter tossed six one-run innings, striking out 11, but the Cardiac Jackets scored two in the top of the ninth to make Vandy sweat out a 4-3 victory. In the regional championship, Vandy and Georgia Tech battled 11 innings with the ‘Dores erupting for five runs — highlighted by an Isaiah Thomas grand slam — in the top of the 11th. It was the fourth-straight regional title for Vanderbilt who have become super regional locks the past few seasons.
The Pirates won three straight to clinch their sixth regional title — and second in a row — and are in the super regionals for the third-time since 2016. Matt Bridges appeared in all three victories, picking up two saves, while allowing no runs or walks and striking out six en route to MVP honors. Connor Norby, who has been so good all season long, picked up three hits and scored four runs and is hitting .418 on the season.
Lubbock Super Regional
No. 8 Texas Tech vs. No. 9 Stanford | Friday at 3 p.m. | ESPNU
No. 8 Texas Tech vs. No. 9 Stanford | Saturday at 3 p.m. | ESPNU
No. 8 Texas Tech vs. No. 9 Stanford | Sunday at 3 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
How we got here: The Red Raiders had little issue moving on, sweeping their regional by outscoring their opponents 21-7. Texas Tech has now been to five super regionals since 2014 and are looking to return to Omaha for the fourth time since 2016. Kurt Wilson had a big weekend, with five hits, five RBIs and three runs scored. Jace Jung also had a big weekend and is now hitting .343 with 21 home runs.
Stanford had to take two of three from UC Irvine to advance, but the Cardinal are moving on to their 12th super regional and second in a row. They made sure there was nothing to worry about, erupting for a seven-run first inning in the winner-take-all finale. Tim Tawa had an absurd weekend, tallying 10 hits, eight RBIs and seven runs scored on the way to MVP honors. Brendan Beck was sharp in his one start, going seven innings and striking out nine.
Tucson Super Regional
No. 5 Arizona vs. No. 12 Ole Miss | Friday at 9 p.m. | ESPNU
No. 5 Arizona vs. No. 12 Ole Miss | Saturday at 10 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 5 Arizona vs. No. 12 Ole Miss | Sunday at 9 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
How we got here: The Wildcats rolled through their regional tournament, winners of three straight. It was Arizona’s 20th NCAA regional championship and it is heading to its fifth super regional, where the Wildcats have been quite successful in the past with a 3-1 record. We’ve talked about this offense all season, led by freshmen Jacob Berry and All-Tournament teamer Daniel Susac, but it was pitcher Garrett Irvin who took home MVP honors, tossing a complete game shutout, striking out 10 and walking none.
Ole Miss had to figure out a way to silence Southern Miss’ hot bats in Oxford. Southern Miss scored 47 runs in the regional, but the Rebels held on to a 12-9 victory to advance to their seventh super regional in program history. And it wasn’t without memorable performances. Ace Doug Nikhazy picked up a win against Florida State, going seven innings and striking out 16 to tie the program postseason record. Two days later, he came on in relief for the first time since his freshman year, going 1.1 innings to earn his second win of the tourney. And how about Tim Elko? Elko closed the weekend with a two-home run performance, including his second grand slam of the tournament to earn MVP honors.
(Note: The following games are to be played Saturday, June 12 through Monday, June 14. All listed times are Eastern. All Monday games are if necessary or weather-delayed games.)
Austin Super Regional
No. 2 Texas vs. South Florida | Saturday at 9 p.m. | ESPNU
No. 2 Texas vs. South Florida | Sunday at 9 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
No. 2 Texas vs. South Florida | Monday at 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
How we got here: Texas had little issue romping through the Austin Regional, scoring double-digit runs in each game and outscoring their opponents 33-5. That can be expected with the Longhorns pitching staff that is one of the best in the nation. Pete Hansen set a career high with 13 strikeouts in the championship. First baseman Zach Zubia won MVP honors going 5-for-14 with six RBIs over the weekend. The Longhorns are now two wins away from making their record 37th trip to Omaha, last advancing in 2018.
We go from one of the most historically successful programs in tournament play to one making program history with every win. South Florida is in its first super regional tournament, highlighted by an opening round upset of host Florida — the first win over the Gators in the postseason since 1982. The Bulls entered the AAC tournament a mere 24-26, but coming off a regular-season ending split with No. 10 East Carolina, the Bulls rolled to the AAC title, clinched their berth in the NCAA tournament and just keep rolling. Jake Sullivan went 5-for-15 with four runs scored and two RBIs to win MVP honors while Riley Hogan hit .500 over the weekend.
Knoxville Super Regional
No. 3 Tennessee vs. LSU | Saturday at 7 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 3 Tennessee vs. LSU | Sunday at Noon or 3 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
No. 3 Tennessee vs. LSU | Monday at 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
How we got here: The Vols opened against the best offense in college baseball, statistically speaking, and walked away winners on one of the more memorable plays of the regionals. Down three runs in the bottom of the ninth, Drew Gilbert launched a ball into the night for the walk-off grand slam. It was Tennessee’s seventh walk-off win of the season and propelled the Vols to their first super regional since 2005.
Speaking of walk-offs, LSU had a dramatic one itself, as Giovanni DeGiacomo hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the tenth to give the Tigers their first victory in Eugene, Ore. It was the fifth walk-off for LSU this season, and the first of four straight elimination-game wins to reach the super regionals. Gavin Dugas racked up seven hits, including three home runs to win MVP honors as LSU heads to its 15th super regional in program history.
Starkville Super Regional
No. 7 Mississippi State vs. No. 10 Notre Dame | Saturday at 2 p.m. | ESPN
No. 7 Mississippi State vs. No. 10 Notre Dame | Sunday at 6 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
No. 7 Mississippi State vs. No. 10 Notre Dame | Monday at 7 p.m. | ESPN2/ESPNU
How we got here: A ton of home runs. Niko Kavadas led the charge for Notre Dame with five home runs over three days, including back-to-back two-home run games as the Fighting Irish put up 50 runs. Kavadas set the program record with his 21st home run of the season. Overall, Notre Dame slugged 15 home runs in three days and are clearly feeling it. This is the Irish’s first super regional appearance since 2002
Mississippi State now has the longest current super regional streak in college baseball, heading to its fifth-straight round of 16. Kamren James hit home runs in consecutive games and drove in seven on the weekend to earn MVP honors. We know the Diamond Dawgs have the hitting, but it will be interesting to see if the pitching can cool down that Irish offense. Pitchers Will Bednar and Houston Harding made the All-Tournament team with strong performances last weekend.
Columbia Super Regional
Virginia vs. DBU | Saturday at noon | ESPNU
Virginia vs. DBU | Sunday at noon | ESPN2/ESPNU
Virginia vs. DBU | Monday at 1 p.m. | ESPNU
How we got here: It took until Tuesday for Virginia to lock up its spot it the super regionals because of rain and lots of it. The Hoos won four straight elimination games capping the long weekend and it was Devin Ortiz’s 10th-inning walk-off home run that helped Virginia advance. It was the first walk-off home run in Virginia history. Ortiz won MVP honors hitting .333 over the weekend with two home runs and six RBIs.
The Patriots trailed 5-0 after five innings in the Eugene Regional. A two-run blast from Ryan Wrobleski in the sixth, the memorable Andrew Benefield grand slam in the seventh and a River Town two-run homer in the eighth changed the course of history, giving DBU an 8-5 win and a berth in their second super regional in program history. Wrobleski hit in every game and homered in the final two to earn MVP honors.