Prodigious offense was on display again in the NCAA baseball tournament Sunday, and another crazy game in Stillwater, Oklahoma, was Example A.
Oklahoma State came back from a 12-0 deficit to beat Missouri State 29-15 in the highest-scoring game in tournament history.
It happened less than 24 hours after the Cowboys blew a 10-5 lead entering the seventh and lost 20-12 to Arkansas.
The Cowboys’ turnabout against the Bears was complete when Griffin Doersching hit a grand slam for a 17-14 lead in the seven-run sixth inning. They pulled away with 12 more runs in the eighth and ninth and had just over an hour to prepare for a rematch with Arkansas.
No. 16 Georgia Southern was the only national seed eliminated, losing 3-1 on its home field to Texas Tech.
Top-eight national seeds within one win of advancing were No. 1 Tennessee (vs. Georgia Tech), No. 3 Oregon State (vs. Vanderbilt), No. 4 Virginia Tech (vs. Columbia), No. 5 Texas A&M (vs. TCU) and No. 8 East Carolina (vs. Coastal Carolina).
No. 2 Stanford (vs. Texas State) and No. 7 Oklahoma State (vs. Arkansas) must win twice in their regional finals to move on.
Top-eight seeds that win regionals play at home in the best-of-three super regionals beginning Friday.
Louisville was the second-highest scoring team behind Oklahoma State on Sunday, beating Michigan 20-1 to set up a second regional final Monday. Of 18 completed games Sunday, one or both teams scored double-digit runs in six.
Last year during regionals, there were an average of 12.84 runs per game (both teams). Through Saturday’s games, the average is 14.57 — and that number will go up after Sunday.
Of the 64 teams in the tournament, 17 averaged at least 10 runs in their first two games and 20 teams had hit at least five homers.
THEN THERE’S TEXAS TECH
Texas Tech made a final despite producing just seven runs in three games. The Red Raiders entered the tournament 10th nationally in scoring at 8.7 runs per game. They hadn’t scored so few runs over three games since April 2019, when they put up six in a series loss at West Virginia.
Pitching has saved Tech, which came in with a 5.25 ERA, allowed no earned runs in its last two games and has a three-game ERA of 0.69.
All Georgia Southern mustered against Andrew Morris, Austin Becker and Mason Molina was an unearned run in the third inning in the 3-1 win that sent Tech to the final against Notre Dame.
Florida picked up a huge run in its 6-5 elimination game win over Central Michigan when Josh Rivera stole home for a 5-0 lead in the fifth.
With Mac Guscette on first, the Gators put on a double steal. Chippewas lefty Ryan Palmblad was distracted as Guscette took off, and by the time he turned around to see what was going on, Rivera was sliding across the plate.
It was Florida’s first steal of home since 2018 and Guscette’s first steal in 55 career games.
This is the time of year when teams come up with all sorts of good luck charms. For Southern Mississippi, it’s the “Rally Paddle.”
As the Golden Eagles poured out of the dugout to celebrate Christopher Sargent’s bases-loaded single in the 10th inning to beat Kennesaw State 4-3, reserve infielder Charlie Fischer ran onto the field holding a yellow boat paddle high in the air.
A Southern Miss spokesman said the paddle is used to stir the team’s Powerade mix in the clubhouse. Somehow the paddle found its way to the dugout, and you can be sure it’ll be with the team the rest of the way.
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