Starkville, Miss. — Miami’s offense pounded 18 hits, including six homers, to beat Central Michigan 18-3 on Sunday in an elimination game of the Starkville regional in the NCAA Tournament.
Miami (41-19) advances to play Mississippi State for the regional championship.
The Hurricanes will have to beat Mississippi State twice — once on Sunday night and again Monday — to advance to the super regionals.
Miami didn’t have much trouble beating Central Michigan, jumping out to a 14-2 lead by the end of the sixth inning. Alex Toral had four hits, including two homers and a double, and drove in four runs.
Brian Van Belle (10-2) earned the win, pitching eight innings and saving the Hurricanes’ bullpen for two potential games against Mississippi State.
Central Michigan (47-14) couldn’t score until the fifth inning after Miami had already built a substantial lead. Jordan Patty (4-3) took the loss, giving up eight runs over 3 2/3 innings.
Creighton 11, Michigan 7: At Corvallis, Oregon, the Wolverines took a 7-4 lead into the ninth inning only to see Creighton bury them with seven runs in the top of the inning. Jimmy Kerr had two hits, including a homer, and four RBIs as Michigan (43-19) built its lead, and Riley Bertram had two hits and three RBIs, but the bullpen couldn't make Tommy Henry's 7 1/3 innings with three runs allowed hold up. Michigan needed to use Benjamin Keizer, Jack Weisenburger and Isaiah Paige to get through the ninth inning, and will have to play Creighton (41-12) again in a winner-take-all match at 7 p.m. Monday.
At Goss Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.
Game 1: Michigan 6, Creighton 0
Game 2: Cincinnati 7, Oregon State 6
Game 3: Creighton 4, Oregon State 1
Game 4: Michigan 10, Cincinnati 4
Game 5: Creighton 6, Cincinnati 1
Game 6: Creighton 11, Michigan 7
Game 7: Michigan vs. Creighton, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
At Dudy Noble Field, Starkville, Miss.
Game 1: Mississippi State 11, Southern 6
Game 2: Central Michigan 6, Miami 5
Game 3: Miami 12, Southern 2
Game 4: Mississippi State 7, Central Michigan 2
Game 5: Miami 18, Central Michigan 3
Game 6: Mississippi State 5, Miami 2, Mississippi State advances