The College World Series again will have a strong Southeastern Conference flavor after Auburn became the fourth SEC team to make the NCAA baseball tournament’s final eight.
The Tigers knocked off No. 3 national seed Oregon State 4-3 on the road Monday night to win their best-of-three super regional and lock up the last spot in the CWS.
No. 2 Stanford also won the deciding game in its home super regional, beating UConn 10-5 to earn a second straight trip to the CWS.
The CWS opens at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday with No. 5 Texas A&M (42-18) playing Oklahoma (42-22) in the afternoon and No. 9 Texas (47-20) meeting Notre Dame (40-15) at night.
Openers Saturday match Stanford (47-16) against Arkansas (43-19) and Mississippi (37-22) against No. 14 Auburn (42-20).
At least three SEC teams have made every CWS since 2014, and this will be be the third time since 2015 and fifth time overall that four have advanced.
In a year Tennessee was thought to be a lock for the CWS — Notre Dame knocked out the No. 1 Volunteers in super regionals — all four of the SEC teams (Texas A&M, Arkansas, Mississippi and Auburn) come from the West Division. The SEC has won seven national titles since 2009.
The tournament went mostly according to form in regionals, but super regionals were full of surprises. Only two of the top eight national seeds made it to Omaha, the fewest since 2014. Four of the top 16 national seeds advanced, the fewest since the NCAA expanded seeding to 16 teams in 2018.
Mississippi’s first appearance since 2014 extends the streak of at least one No. 3 regional seed making the CWS to five straight.
Notre Dame is the team that waited longest to return to Omaha. The Irish last made it in 2002 under Paul Mainieri.
Kody Huff’s grand slam in a six-run…