The second half of the 2014 College World Series bracket opened play on Sunday and didn't disappoint. The only two remaining national seeds in the tournament, Virginia and TCU, both managed some late-inning dramatics to grab thrilling wins and set up a showdown on Tuesday.
TCU 3, Texas Tech 2
TCU pushed one run across in the opening frame on a sac fly, and for the next six innings, no one scored. Then things got exciting. Boomer White drove in the go-ahead run to cap off a thrilling eighth inning that saw the Horned Frogs surrender their lead then grab it back.
TCU allowed two runs in the top of eighth, only to turn around and plate two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Texas Tech second baseman second baseman Alec Humphreys, who had just entered the game, allowed the first run to score on a throwing error to first. White then delivered a two-out single to left to retake the lead.
TCU elected to hold No. 1 starter Brandon Finnegan in favor of Preston Morrison, and the gamble paid off. Morrison was dominant, allowing just one run off five hits over 7⅓. That one run crossed the plate with his replacement, Riley Ferrell, on the mound. Ferrell entered in the ninth with an inherited runner and gave up a single and a triple during the Red Raiders' rally.
Jonny Drozd took his first loss of the season for Texas Tech, allowing White's game-winning RBI in the ninth.
Virginia 2, Ole Miss 1
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Mike Papi hammered a full-count pitch into the right center gap to score the walk-off run and lift Virginia over a feisty Ole Miss team.
Out in Right Field
Out in Right Field
Virginia one-hit the powerful Rebels' lineup on the back of a dominant seven-inning start from Nathan Kirby and a hitless two innings of relief from Artie Lewicki. Ole Miss's only run came in the eighth after Kirby walked the inning's first two batters.
Ole Miss got a spectacular start from their own ace, Chris Ellis. Coming off a disastrous showing in the super regionals, Ellis allowed just one run, but left in the sixth after getting into pitch count trouble. The only blip came in the fifth, when he allowed three hits and the one run.
The decision to give Papi something to hit on the final at-bat will be heavily scrutinized in Oxford. With a man on second, the Rebels had an open base and could have pitched around Papi, a first-round MLB Draft selection.
Texas Tech and Ole Miss drop into the losers' bracket, where they'll play an elimination game at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Virginia and TCU will face off in the winners' bracket later that night at 8 p.m. ET.
For the complete bracket, head over to NCAA.com.