Elimination Sunday is off to a thrilling start, as a pair of national seeds have been taken down in the early round of games. South Carolina rolled North Carolina to force a deciding Game 3 because, well, we all knew they would. Indiana finished their upset bid of Florida State, and find themselves in uncharted water as they advance to Omaha.
Here's a recap of the early action.
South Carolina 8, North Carolina 0
You didn't really expect South Carolina to go down that easily, did you? A day after watching North Carolina walk off with a 6-5 win to pull within a game of Omaha, the Gamecocks responded with a dominating performance to humble the No. 1 overall seed and even up the Battle of the Carolinas at a game apiece.
South Carolina dropped a five-spot in the second inning and never looked back, hammering out eight runs on eight hits. Tanner English swiped three bags, and Joey Pankake and LB Dantzler each had a pair of two-out RBI to fuel the offensive salvo.
After North Carolina ace Kent Emanuel lasted just 2⅓ in his shortest outing of the season on Saturday, junior Hobbs Johnson recorded only five outs Sunday before being yanked in the second inning. Johnson, who was 4-0 heading into the game, gave up all five of the second-inning runs, allowing five hits and walking three in his brief time on the mound. The UNC pitching staff has thrown a lot of innings over the past week and a half, and are starting to show signs of it.
The Gamecocks' Jordan Montgomery, on the other hand, was brilliant on the hill. The lefty gave up only four hits in a complete game performance and handed the Tar Heels their first shutout loss of the season. Sluggers Colin Moran, Skye Bolt and Cody Stubbs, the heart of North Carolina's powerful offense, managed just one hit between them.
The rout sets up a winner-takes-all showdown on Monday. South Carolina will be battling the odds: 77 percent of teams that drop Game 1 of a super regional go on to lose the series, and North Carolina hasn't lost consecutive games all season. On the other hand, South Carolina has reached Omaha three years in a row, and you certainly can't count them out of making it four.
Indiana 11, Florida State 6
They may not be quite as dramatic of an underdog as Stony Brook was in 2012, but we've found this year's Omaha Cinderella in the Indiana Hoosiers. Playing in their first-ever super regional wasn't enough; after sweeping aside national seed Florida State, they're now heading to their first appearance in the CWS.
Indiana jumped out to a four-run lead in the first inning, but by the fifth the Seminoles had bounced back to erase the deficit and tie the game at five.
The Hoosiers immediately responded in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run bomb from sophomore Sam Travis, and they would hold the lead for the rest of the way. For the second day in a row, Florida State made things interesting in the ninth, scoring a run and loading the bases with one out, but reliever Ryan Halstead ended the threat by forcing a lazy pop-up to shallow left.