The Sun Belt Conference tournament altered its format earlier in the week due to the weather in Montgomery, Alabama. In doing so, it may have put a few bubble teams around the country in jeopardy. On Friday morning, Coastal Carolina fell to sixth-seeded Troy 6-4 in their first (and only) game of the league tournament.
After the Chanticleers battled back to tie the game at four in the bottom of the eighth, the Trojans plated two runs in the ninth to pull off the upset. The single-elimination format now gives Troy (32-23) a chance to play its way into next week’s NCAA tournament, while perhaps bursting the bubble of a team from another league. As of Friday, CCU is projected to be in the field, along with the top two seeds in the Sun Belt; Texas State and Georgia Southern.
At the Southern Conference tournament in Greenville, the top-seeded Wofford Terriers posted a 6-3 victory over the #5-seed UNCG on Friday afternoon. The regular season champs scored three runs in the sixth, two runs in the seventh, and one run in the eighth to remain in the winner’s bracket. Wofford (41-14-1) will meet Samford at noon on Saturday with the championship game set for Sunday afternoon.
The magical tournament run for Charleston Southern continued Friday at the Big South Championship in High Point, North Carolina. The Bucs defeated USC-Upstate 11-4 to advance into the finals. According to CSU, it’s the first time since 2000 that the Bucs will be playing for the Big South title. Upstate will try and stave off elimination on Friday night against Campbell University. Charleston Southern awaits the winner of that game on Saturday afternoon and will need just one more win to claim the championship and auto-bid to the NCAA tournament.
The College of Charleston stayled alive at the CAA tournament with a 6-1 win over Elon. The College lost their first game of the tournament on Thursday 6-5 to Northeastern. Friday night the Cougars jumped out to a 4-0 lead and cruised from there behind the pitching of Trey Pooser. Charleston will play Saturday at 3:00 PM against the winner of the Northeastern and Hofstra game that starts at 11:00 AM.
In the Division Two “Super Regionals”, North Greenville rallied past Columbus State to win game one of the best-of-three series by a score of 7-6 in ten innings. Trailing 6-4 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Crusaders scored two runs to force extra innings. In the 10th, Bryce Roddey smacked a single to centerfield, driving in the winning run. The two teams will play a doubleheader (if necessary) on Saturday starting at 12 noon in Tigerville. NGU needs just one more win to advance to the D2 World Series in Cary, North Carolina.
And the Clemson softball team saw their historic third season end with a 5-1 loss to Oklahoma State in the Super Regional in Stillwater. The Tigers, who hosted a regional for the first time in their short history, finish the season at 42-17.