NCAA Super Regionals: Can the underdog Purple Aces keep it going against the Tennessee Vols?

Best-of-three NCAA Super Regionals in baseball open today. Here’s a schedule and a quick glance at the matchups:

Today’s games

Evansville (38-24) at No. 1 Tennessee (53-11)

Eye on the underdogs: The Wes Carroll-coached Purple Aces are the lowest-rated team in the Super Regionals. Seeded fourth last weekend at Greenville, N.C., they rolled behind DH Kip Fougerousse and OF Mark Shallenberger. Fougerousse had four HR and seven RBI in the regional. Shallenberger had the game-winning HR in Monday’s 6-5 win over host East Carolina.

That’s a fact: Christian Moore has hit 29 home runs to lead the Vols, who have hit 159 round-trippers as a team. Tennessee entered the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed.

UConn (35-24) at No. 8 Florida St. (45-15)

Eye on the underdogs: The Huskies entered the Norman Regional seeded third among four teams and proceeded to win with defense, winning three of four in the home park of the Oklahoma Sooners. INF Paul Tammaro, INF Bryan Padilla, 1B Maddix Dalena and OF Caleb Shpur all made key plays. UConn played error-free baseball until it committed its first error in the ninth inning of the final game.

That’s a fact: Former Texas basketball coach Tom Penders is the uncle of UConn baseball coach Jim Penders. Tom Penders played in two NCAA tournaments at UConn in the 1960s, including the 1965 College World Series.

Kansas St. (35-24) at No. 12 Virginia (44-15)

Eye on the underdogs: Kansas State finished 15-15 and tied for sixth with Kansas in the Big 12 regular season. The Wildcats followed with a 1-2 showing in the conference tournament. Last weekend, they registered one of the biggest surprises on opening weekend by sweeping all three games at the Fayetteville Regional. As K-State dispatched Louisiana Tech, No. 5 overall seed Arkansas and Southeast Missouri, Kaelen Culpepper emerged as the regional’s MVP.

That’s a fact: Texas Rangers reliever Josh Sborz played at Virginia under Cavaliers coach Brian O’Connor. O’Connor led Virginia to the College World Series title in 2015.

West Virginia (36-22) at No. 4 North Carolina (45-14)

Eye on the underdogs: Inconspicuous as a No. 3 seed at the Tucson Regional, the Mountaineers followed strong starting pitching to three straight victories. Derek Clark went the distance on opening day against Dallas Baptist and Tyler Switalski followed the next day by working into the eighth inning against Grand Canyon (Ariz). Sophomore Logan Sauve and junior JJ Wetherholt had three hits apiece in a clinching victory over Grand Canyon in the title round.

That’s a fact: The Mountaineers are making their first appearance in the Super Regional opposite the powerful Tar Heels, who are 35-3 at home this season. Heels outfielders Vance Honeycutt and Casey Cook are regarded as two of the top players in the conference.

Friday’s games

No. 15 Oregon St. (45-14) at No. 2 Kentucky (43-14)

No. 10 NC State (36-20) at No. 7 Georgia (42-15)

Florida (32-28) at No. 6 Clemson (44-14)

Oregon (40-18) at No. 3 Texas A&M (47-13)

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