Road to Omaha: Michigan topples No. 1 seed UCLA; Red Raiders extend dominance of Pokes

Road to Omaha: Michigan topples No. 1 seed UCLA; Red Raiders extend dominance of Pokes
Louisville's Tyler Fitzgerald, left, reacts after scoring on a double by Danny Oriente. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Louisville, Texas Tech and Michigan moved a step closer to the College World Series after winning their openers in the super regionals Friday.

Game 2s in four best-of-three series are Saturday. The other four series begin Saturday.

The Wolverines beat top overall seed UCLA 3-2, but they nearly let another game slip away late after allowing Creighton to rally from a 7-4 deficit in the ninth during the first game of their regional final.

Michigan led 3-0 entering the bottom of the ninth inning against the Bruins. Wolverines pitcher Karl Kauffmann, who had allowed one hit through the first eight innings, loaded the bases, then gave up a single to Michael Toglia that allowed the Bruins to cut their deficit to 3-2.

Jeff Criswell came on for Kauffmann and got the final two outs, striking out UCLA’s Jack Stronach to secure the win.

ACC pitcher of the year Reid Detmers held East Carolina scoreless through five innings and left after the seventh having allowed one run on five hits in Louisville’s 14-1 win.

No. 8 national seed Texas Tech beat No. 9 Oklahoma State 8-6 and can lock up a second straight trip to the CWS and fourth in six years with a win Saturday.

Duke played No. 2 Vanderbilt late Friday after the start of the game was delayed by rain and lightning.

Texas Tech’s Josh Jung, who went No. 8 overall to the Texas Rangers in the major league draft this week, hit his 12th homer in the seventh to put his team up 7-5. The Red Raiders (43-17), who swept the Cowboys (39-20) in the regular season and have won eight in a row over them, have won 20 of 24 overall and four straight in the NCAA tournament.

“We’re resilient at the plate,” Jung said. “They were putting up runs and we were answering back. If we keep doing that, we’ll be playing for a while.”

Louisville’s Detmers bounced back from a tough outing against Illinois State in regionals last week to put the Cardinals (48-16) on the cusp of their fifth CWS appearance and fourth since 2013.

No. 7 Louisville limited an East Carolina offense that averaged 9.8 runs in regionals to one run on six singles and a double. The No. 10 Pirates (47-17) were just 1 for 9 with runners on base.

The Cardinals, who were 11 for 19 with runners in scoring position, recorded the most runs by an East Carolina opponent since March 2018. The Pirates’ Jake Agnos, the American Athletic Conference pitcher of the year and a fourth-round draft pick by the New York Yankees, lasted only four innings in his shortest outing of the season after winning seven straight starts.

GAME 1 MEANS A LOT

Since the current tournament format went into effect in 1999, 79.3 percent (127 of 160) of the teams that won Game 1s in super regionals have advanced to the College World Series.

BIG BATS

Danny Oriente doubled in three runs in Louisville’s four-run fourth inning.

Jake Snider, the Most Outstanding Player in the Louisville Regional, had a double and three RBIs for the Cardinals.

Tyler Fitzgerald, the Giants’ fourth-round draft pick, had four hits for Louisville.

MOUND MARVELS

Texas Tech’s Micah Dallas ran his record to 7-0, striking out nine and allowing two earned runs in five innings.

Tech’s John McMillon went two innings and struck out three, including the last two batters in the ninth, after the Cowboys pulled within a run in the eighth.

Michigan’s Karl Kauffmann gave up one run through eight innings and finished with four hits and eight strikeouts.

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