Gabe Friese pitched eight strong innings to lead Kennesaw State past Stetson 2-1, clinching the Owls a berth in the championship game of the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament.
Kennesaw State (36-21) is in the championship game for the third straight year, though it has yet to win. The Owls are the first team to reach the title game three years in a row since Central Florida from 1997-99.
Friese (2-1), a freshman right hander from Marietta High School, gave up just three hits while walking just one to go along with three strikeouts in the longest outing of his young college career.
Two days after his NCAA-leading hit streak was snapped at 36, Max Pentecost hit a solo home run to left field to tie the game at 1-all in the fourth inning. That gave Pentecost his 101st hit of the season, moving him into seventh in Kennesaw State history for hits in a single season.
The Owls grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Brennan Morgan that scored Pentecost.
Kennesaw State will play for the title today against Lipscomb, which eliminated Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 1 seed and tournament host, on Saturday. The Owls, who have yet to lose in the A-Sun tournament, will have two chances to get the one win they need for the championship, but they were swept by Lipscomb in a three-game regular-season series.
Miami 6, Duke 5 (12 inn.): Jacob Heyward scored on a wild pitch before Tyler Palmer homered in the 12th inning, and Miami held on to beat Duke at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The win by the topseeded Hurricanes (41-17) sent idle Georgia Tech to the championship game today against Maryland. Fourthseeded Duke (33-25) would have made it with a win.
Mike Rosenfeld’s infield single in the 12th brought home Jordan Betts from second and moved Chris Marconcini to third. Javi Salas came on to pitch and struck out Matt Berezo to end it.
Heyward — the brother of Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward — doubled to lead off the 12th. He was bunted to third and scored on Istler’s wild pitch to Palmer to make it 5-4. Palmer then made it a 6-4 with his solo homer.
Duke’s Cris Perez forced extra innings with a tworun, pinch-hit homer in the ninth.
LSU 11, Arkansas 1 (8 inn.): Kyle Bouman carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and LSU hit three home runs to advance into the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.
The defending champion Tigers (43-14-1) scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to win under the 10-run rule. They have won their first three tournament games by a combined 29-4 and face Florida today for the title.
Kade Scivicque went 3-for-4 with a homer, double and three RBIs. Tyler Moore and Conner Hale also homered for the Tigers, who had 16 hits.
The Razorbacks (38-23) trailed 8-0 when they put their first three batters on base in the sixth. Bouman (5-2) walked Eric Fisher with the bases loaded for the only run.
The left-hander allowed two hits in six innings.
LSU is seeking its fifth tournament championship in seven years.
Florida 6, Kentucky 5: Josh Tobias’ single with two outs in the eighth drove in the go-ahead run and Florida beat Kentucky to move into the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.
The top-seeded Gators (40-20), who lost their tournament opener to the Wildcats (35-23), will face LSU today, seeking their second championship in four years.
Florida reliever Eric Hanhold (4-3) left runners stuck at second base in both the bottom of the eighth and ninth.
Hanhold got Storm Wilson to ground out to end the game. He pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four and allowing two hits.
Harrison Bader went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs for the Gators. The No. 9 hitter, Tobias had two hits and scored twice while driving in his eighth run of the year to score Ryan Larson.
Kentucky’s Austin Cousino drove in a pair of runs while Max Kuhn also had two RBIs.