With the game tied in the top of the eighth inning, Indiana was able to get an infield hit from Nick Ramos to take a 4-3 lead. That lead would hold until the bottom of the ninth, when, with a runner on second, Tommy Edman drilled a two-run home run to give Stanford the 5-4 win to advance to the Super Regionals.
The Regional round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament can be summed up in that one game and in one word: crazy. No team is safe and the unexpected has seemed to happen in every regional so far.
The craziest thing to happen in the regionals this past weekend was all of the upsets. In baseball, only the top eight teams are given a national seed number and it’s actually easier to name those teams that advanced rather than those who were eliminated. Only the 3, 6, and 7 national seeds remain (Virginia, Louisiana-Lafayette and TCU respectively). Meanwhile, two on the national seeds, Florida and Florida State loss their first two games to be eliminated.
Meanwhile, the number one overall seed, was eliminated late Monday night with a 4-2 loss to UC Irvine. LSU, the eight seed, was destroyed by Houston in the last game of that elimination game, and of the 16 regional hosts this season, only seven were able to advance to the Super Regionals.
And the upsets have against the supposedly power conferences in baseball. The SEC, who, like football, is considered the best conference for college baseball, put ten teams in the tournament this season, including Texas A&M, who had a losing record in conference play and was eliminated in the first game of the SEC tournament. But only two of those teams–Ole Miss and Vanderbilt–were able to advance.
Then there’s the ACC, which had the second-most teams in the tournament, put seven teams in the tournament, along with two of the national seeds; however, like the SEC, only two of those teams were able to advance to the next round. In total, that’s a 20 percent and 29 percent success rate respectively.
Meanwhile, the Big 12 had five teams in the tournament and four of those teams advanced to the Super Regional. TCU had a marathon game against Sam Houston State Saturday night, winning 3-2 in 22 innings. Oklahoma State had an easier time, winning all three of its games. Texas fought off a rivalry renewed against A&M to advance and Texas Tech, appearing in its first NCAA tournament in ten years defeated Miami to advance. And thanks to the upsets, all four of those teams will host their Super Regional match ups.
So what does this mean moving forward?
It probably means that the Super Regional round is going to be absolutely amazing. With so many upsets, there aren’t a lot of lopsided pairings. Each of the 16 teams left have a realistic shot at making it to Omaha for the College World Series. And with five national seeds ousted in one round, once we get to Omaha in a little over a week’s time, everyone is going to have a great shot at coming home as the 2014 NCAA Division I baseball champion.
This is going to the get really good.