Top-eight national seeds Stanford, Texas A&M and East Carolina had easy wins on their home fields in NCAA baseball regional openers Friday.
Vanderbilt, which has reached the last two College World Series finals, continued its late-season swoon and will have to fight its way out of the loser’s bracket to advance.
Tommy Troy hit his third and fourth homers of the season and finished with a career-best four hits and five RBIs in No. 2 Stanford’s 20-7 victory over Binghamton.
No. 5 Texas A&M scored seven of its runs with two outs in an 8-2 win over Oral Roberts.
No. 8 East Carolina scored its most runs in 108 all-time NCAA Tournament games in a 17-1 victory over Coppin State.
San Diego, a No. 3 regional seed from the West Coast Conference, pulled the biggest surprise in early games with a 3-2 win over Vanderbilt in Corvallis, Oregon. The Toreros are in a regional for the first time since their Kris Bryant-led team appeared in 2013.
Vanderbilt lost for the first time in five regional openers since 2016 and has now dropped six of seven games for its worst stretch since 2018. The Commodores have batted .233 while being outscored 66-23 over the seven games. Pitching has been the program’s identity under Tim Corbin, but the staff has an 8.70 ERA with 37 walks and 59 strikeouts the last 61 innings.
No. 1 national seed Tennessee opened its regional against Alabama State late Friday.
HALL ON THE BALL
Conference USA pitcher of the year Tanner Hall pitched four-hit ball over eight shutout innings in Southern Mississippi’s 2-0 win over Army. He retired the first 11 batters he faced and finished with nine strikeouts, the ninth time in 15 starts he’s fanned at least that many.
CAMELS CRUSHING IT
Campbell went deep four times in a 15-8 win over Georgia Tech. The Camels, trying to make a regional for a third straight year, have homered in 20 straight games, with multiple dingers in 14 of them.
Texas A&M’s Joseph Menefee struck out seven in three innings of relief against Oral Roberts. Among Division I pitchers with at least 100 career innings, Menefee is the leader in strikeouts per nine innings at 13.99.
FIRST TIME’S THE HARDEST
First-time qualifiers Coppin State and Hofstra got rough introductions to regionals.
Coppin State has never had a winning record since its program began in 1984, and the Eagles were predictably overmatched against an East Carolina program making its 32nd NCAA appearance.
Bryson Worrell homered twice in an eight-run third inning for the Pirates, and Coppin State’s Jordan Hamberg walked seven while giving up nine runs in 2 1/3 innings.
Mac Horvath hit two of North Carolina’s five homers in a 15-4 win over Hofstra. The Tar Heels have won eight straight and 16 of 18.
AROUND THE HORN
Louisville beat Southeast Missouri State 7-2 for its 11th straight win in a regional opener, the longest streak of its kind. … Seven of Cayden Wallace’s 13 homers for Arkansas’ have come since May 14. He hit two in a 7-1 win over Grand Canyon. … Oklahoma’s Peyton Graham hit his second grand slam in 10 days, this time connecting in an eight-run fifth inning that broke open the Sooners’ 16-3 win over Liberty.
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