In the nightcap, Florida and TCU met for a much ballyhooed rematch of Sunday’s opening night bout that left the Horned Frogs with their first loss of the bracket round. Florida’s pitching staff is masterful, and though they may score the most runs in this tournament field, they’re also not going to allow them, and the Gators have allowed just a single run in the CWS to this point, quite obviously the lowest runs-against rate of the group.
Florida pitcher Jackson Kowar and TCU man Mitchell Traver held each other’s opposite bats hitless through the first two frames, then Kowar surrendered a single to right and a strong double to left to plate the Frogs’ first run of the night.
A wild pitch moved TCU leadoff man Austen Wade over to third, and the buildup was on with two outs. Wade then scored on a strong Zach Humphreys double to left center, which has received a remarkable number of hits and homers, considering the wind blows in from that area of the park at TD Ameritrade. Never mind, though, since the wind blew out all day on Friday.
In the Hattiesburg regional, host Southern Miss found itself in trouble early against Illinois-Chicago, who’s playing in its first college baseball tournament in nine years. The Flames led 6-0 after the top of the fifth, but the Golden Eagles chipped away over the course of the next two innings, plating three then four runners in the sixth and seventh.
The most dramatic moment of the day’s action took place in the Fayetteville regional’s opener between Missouri State and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys carried a tenuous 5-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth with shutdown closer Trey Cobb on the hill. Missouri State’s slugging shortstop, Jeremy Eierman, then stepped to the plate with a man on first and two outs and ripped a bomb over the right field wall.