The 2011 NCAA baseball tournament wrapped up day three of four of the super regionals round with six teams now in the eight-team field for the 2011 College World Series. North Carolina secured the first bid on Saturday and they were followed on Sunday by Vanderbilt, Florida, Texas, South Carolina and California. Monday will see the final two slots filled by the winners of Texas A&M-Florida State and Virginia-UC Irvine.
The big news for Bay Area fans was Cal clinching a CWS berth with a two-game sweep of the Dallas Baptist Patriots. Based on the bracket graphics I saw during ESPN's telecast today, the Bears will face the winner of the Virginia Cavaliers and UC Irvine Anteaters. The Cavaliers won the first game of the series but a bullpen implosion on Sunday allowed the Anteaters to claim game two and force a decisive third game.
Florida secured their bid in the CWS as they out-slugged a game Mississippi State squad. Florida jumped on top 4-0 but MSU fought back and actually took a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh. However, Preston Tucker hit a three run bomb to give Florida a lead it would not relinquish.
The craziest game of the day saw the Florida State Seminoles force a decisive third game with a 23-9 rout of the Texas A&M Aggies. The game was fairly close at one point after A&M rallied with six runs in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 8-6. However, FSU kept their pedal to the metal with four home runs and 16 total hits. The Aggies threw out five different pitchers so it will be interesting to see who is immediately available on Monday.
South Carolina advanced to the College World Series with an 8-2 victory over the Connecticut Huskies. UConn grabbed an early 2-0 lead and looked like they might be able to hold on. However, the Gamecocks slowly worked their way back before exploding for five runs in the ninth inning and ending UConn's season.
The Texas Longhorns also advanced with a 4-2 victory over Arizona State to complete the comeback and win the series in three games. ASU led 2-1 for much of the game before Texas put up three runs between the fifth and sixth innings. Texas went into their bullpen fairly early and got a strong effort from three pitchers combining on five innings of two-hit ball.