MICHIGAN DEFEATS TEXAS TECH, ADVANCES TO CWS FINALS
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Michigan scored in all but one inning against a struggling Texas Tech pitching staff and beat the Red Raiders 15-3 on Friday to continue its improbable postseason run.
Next stop: College World Series finals.
Jimmy Kerr homered twice and had four hits, Jesse Franklin had three hits and four RBIs and the Wolverines scored double-digit runs for the 20th time this season.
One of the last four teams to receive an at-large bid to the 64-team tournament, the Wolverines (49-20) reached the CWS for the first time since 1984 and will play for their first national championship since 1962.
They'll play a best-of-three series against Vanderbilt or Louisville starting Monday.
No Big Ten team has won the title since Ohio State in 1966.
Michigan starter Karl Kauffman (12-6) beat the No. 8 national seed Red Raiders (46-20) for the second time in a week. Kauffman, who pitched seven innings last Saturday in a 5-3 victory, worked out of trouble in three innings and left after the sixth.
Tech's Micah Dallas (7-2), who took his first loss of the season after a rough three-inning outing against the Wolverines last week, was knocked out in the second after the first three batters reached. John McMillon was the first of six Tech relievers, and five of them gave up at least one run.
Tech pitchers issued 12 walks, one off the staff's season high, and gave up 14 hits.
Ten of Michigan's 14 RBIs came with two outs, and the Wolverines still left 14 runners on base.
The teams met five times this year. The Red Raiders swept a three-game series in Lubbock, Texas, in March, outscoring the Wolverines 29-10. They managed six runs in two games against Michigan at the CWS.
The Wolverines, who lost five of seven to end the regular season and failed to make the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament, have won eight of 10 games in the NCAA Tournament. That includes winning two of three against No. 1 national seed UCLA in the super regionals.
VANDERBILT RALLIES IN 9TH, ADVANCES TO CWS FINALS
Pat DeMarco chopped a grounder over third base in the ninth inning to give Vanderbilt its first lead and the Commodores beat Louisville 3-2 on Friday night to advance to the College World Series finals.
The No. 2 national seed Commodores (57-11) will play Michigan in the best-of-three finals starting Monday night. Vanderbilt last played in the finals in 2015.
Vandy's potent offense had been all but stymied for 8 1/3 innings by Luke Smith. Louisville coach Dan McDonnell had closer Michael McAvene ready to go in the bullpen but left in Smith (6-1) after he walked JJ Bleday with one out. Ethan Paul ripped a double into the right-field corner to score Bleday and tie it at 2l.
McAvene came on, and Philip Clarke's bloop single behind second base put runners on the corners with one out. DeMarco then hit a bouncer that went over third baseman Alex Binelas and landed just inside the line, bringing Paul in for the lead.
Louisville (51-18), which had a walk-off victory over Mississippi State on Thursday after erasing a 3-2 deficit in the ninth, had a chance against star closer Tyler Brown in the bottom half. Drew Campbell's one-out grounder down the line bounced off the bag at first and put him into scoring position.
That's as far as he got. Justin Lavey struck out, and second baseman Harrison Ray made a diving catch of Henry Davis' short infield pop to end the game. Brown earned his 17th save.
Smith has been the Cards' No. 4 starter this season, but he pitched like an ace in the NCAA Tournament. Friday was his first appearance since he threw three-hit ball over 8 1/3 innings against Illinois State on June 2 in regionals.
He struck out a career-high 10, the most in Louisville's 14 games over five CWS appearances, and the only run scored against him before the ninth came on a double-play grounder.
A fired-up Smith struck out Julian Infante to end the eighth and chirped at him as he walked to the dugout, and then he came out for the ninth and retired .400 hitter Austin Martin before the bottom fell out.
Vandy starter Mason Hickman limited Louisville to two hits in six shutout innings. The Cards got something going against Jake Eder (2-0) in the seventh.
The Cards had a runner thrown out at the plate against a pulled-in infield but broke through after Davis's two-out single put runners on first and second. Lavey stole third and scored when catcher Ty Duvall's throw went into left field. Lucas Dunn followed with a grounder that glanced off Eder's glove and deflected just out of shortstop Ethan Paul's reach, allowing Davis to score and give Louisville the lead.
Vanderbilt beat Louisville in three meetings this season, including 3-1 last Sunday in the CWS.