Grand Canyon and Evansville put two national seeds on the brink of elimination from the NCAA regionals Friday.

The Lopes won a game in the national tournament for the first time in program history and the Purple Aces got a victory in their first appearance since 2006.

Grand Canyon, the private Christian school in Phoenix that became a full-fledged Division I program in 2017-18, made the short trip to Tucson and beat No. 13 Arizona 9-4, and it was no fluke. The Lopes won two of three against the Wildcats during the regular season.

Evansville knocked off No. 16 East Carolina 4-1, and the Purple Aces did it at one of college baseball’s most intimidating venues in Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina.

Grand Canyon scored seven runs over the final four innings and got solid pitching from Grant Richardson, who went the first six innings, and Isaac Lyon, who gave up two hits over the last three for his first save.

The Lopes went 0-2 in each of their first two NCAA appearances, in 2021 and ‘22, but now find themselves a No. 4 regional seed one win away from playing for a spot in super regionals. They’ll play Saturday against No. 3 regional seed West Virginia, which beat Dallas Baptist.

The Purple Aces’ win had coach Wes Carroll beaming. Freshman left-hander Kenton Deverman allowed a run and three hits over eight innings and Kip Fougerousse hit his team-leading 18th homer for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champions.

“What an incredible game for our program, for our fans and all of our alumni, the university, and the people watching back home,” Carroll said. “I knew we were an older club. I knew we had a lot of talent and we’d come in and handle that environment.

“For a freshman to do it, I think it was one of the most incredible performances I’ve seen for a Purple Ace in a baseball uniform in many, many decades.”

The 45-year-old Carroll’s childhood home was minutes from the Evansville campus, he grew up watching the Aces and later he and his older brother, 12-year major leaguer Jamey Carroll, played for them. The 16th-year coach said Deverman’s performance, to him, was reminiscent of Andy Benes’ 1-0 shutout of top-ranked Arizona State in the 1988 regionals for Evansville.

Next up is a surprise matchup against No. 3 regional seed VCU on Saturday for a spot in Sunday’s regional final.

“I think a lot of people agreed we were a sleeper 4-seed,” Fougerousse said. “We could have easily been a 3-seed, but we didn’t care. We’re going to go out there and give it our all. MVC has got some great baseball. It’s a deep league, it’s a tough league, and I think we went out there and show a little bit what it’s like today.”


There were six walk-off wins Friday, most in a day of the NCAA Tournament since at least 1999, according to ESPN.

No. 6 national seed Clemson had a close call against High Point, winning 4-3 on Tristan Bissetta’s single in the bottom of the ninth. Other ninth-inning game-enders were Steven Milam’s homer in LSU’s 4-3 win over Wofford; Will Tippett’s sacrifice fly in South Carolina’s 8-7 win over James Madison; Gavin Gallaher’s three-run homer in North Carolina’s 11-8 win over LIU; and Caden Kendle’s two-run single in UC Irvine’s 13-12 win over Nicholls.

Mississippi State’s big hit came in the 10th when Dakota Jordan slugged a three-run homer to beat St. John’s 5-2.


LSU’s Milam hit four homers in 177 regular-season at-bats. He has hit four more in his last 25 — and they’ve been big ones.

The 5-foot-8 freshman switch hitter homered twice in the defending national champion Tigers’ win. He went deep from the right side in the seventh inning for LSU’s first run before he delivered the game-winner from the left side in the ninth.

“I just hit one last week, so I’m kinda used to it a little bit,” a smiling Milam said.

Actually, Milam hit two homers in the SEC Tournament, including a walk-off shot to beat South Carolina in the semifinals.

It’s obvious from looking at Milam that he wears his heart on his hair. With the help of teammate Jake Brown’s girlfriend, he had it dyed blond and had purple tiger stripes added, a process that took two hours.


Three of the last four teams to receive at-large bids picked up wins, and the fourth nearly got the job done.

Coastal Carolina, which will send coach Gary Gilmore into retirement after the season, scored all of its runs in the first three innings and got six solid innings from Riley Eikhoff in a 13-3 win over Vanderbilt. It was the fifth time this season the Commodores lost by at least 10 runs.

Indiana made fast work of Southern Mississippi, leading 8-0 in the fifth inning and collecting 17 hits in a 10-4 win. Brock Tibbitts and Morgan Colopy each homered and combined for seven RBIs.

UCF beat Alabama 8-7, with Andrew Sundean’s pinch single in the top of the ninth scoring the go-ahead run.

James Madison was one out away from knocking off South Carolina when Joe Vogatsky hit a batter and Cole Messina followed with a tying two-run homer to force extra innings. A walk and an error in the bottom of the 10th set the stage for Tippett’s sacrifice fly.


A season-high seven of Oklahoma State’s 15 hits were doubles in a 19-7 win over Niagara. … Charlie Condon went 3 for 3 and hit his nation-leading 36th homer in Georgia’s 8-7 win over Army. … Jaylin Flores’ third grand slam of the season highlighted a seven-run fifth inning in Texas’ 12-5 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. Flores also had a slam in the regional final against Miami last year. … Bryce Boettcher’s homer in the top of the 11th sent Oregon to a 5-4 win over San Diego. … Ashton Wilson doubled three times and hit his first homer for Florida in a 5-2 win over Nebraska. … Bryan Arendt hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in UNC Wilmington’s 9-0 win over Georgia Tech.


Tennessee’s AJ Causey, who came on with one out in the first after the No. 1 national seed’s starter Chris Stamos allowed a homer and double, held Northern Kentucky to two runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 9-3 win. … Christian Gordon allowed two hits and struck out 13 in 7 2/3 innings and Brian Curley gave up one hit the rest of the way for VCU. … Jack Crowder allowed three hits in eight innings in Illinois’ 4-1 win over Indiana State. … West Virginia’s Derek Clark pitched his fourth complete game, allowing one run and four hits with eight strikeouts in a 4-1 win over Dallas Baptist. … Carson Dorsey allowed one run in 8 2/3 innings in Florida State’s 7-2 win over Stetson.


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