Tatum HR bests Leiter's 15 Ks in N.C. State's 1-0 victory over Vandy


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - North Carolina State's postseason just keeps getting better.

The Wolfpack beat SEC pitcher of the year Kevin Kopps of Arkansas to win their regional, beat the Pac-12 pitcher of the year Brendan Beck of Stanford in their College World Series opener, and Monday night they beat projected top-five draft pick Jack Leiter.

Terrell Tatum's fifth-inning home run spoiled a dominant performance by the national strikeout leader and now NC State is in control of its CWS bracket after its 1-0 win over Vanderbilt.

"We've slayed a lot of giants," said Sam Highfill, who dueled with Leiter most of the unseasonably cool evening at TD Ameritrade Park.

The Wolfpack (37-18) have knocked out the No. 1 national seed in Arkansas and now have beaten the reigning national champion in Vanderbilt in the NCAA Tournament. They've won 33 of 42 since starting 4-9 overall and 1-8 in ACC play.

Highfill (9-2) limited the No. 4 national seed Commodores (46-16) to two hits through 7 1/3 innings, striking out seven and letting one of the nation's best defenses take care of the rest with six flyouts and nine groundouts.

"It was pretty obvious Jack Leiter was really good tonight," Avent said, "and he'll be one of the top few picks in the Major League Baseball draft. He was really on and we weren't going to get anything. For Sam to keep this Vanderbilt offense at bay to give us a chance, it was unbelievable what he did tonight."

NC State went three-up, three-down the first four innings against Leiter. In the fifth, Tatum turned on a 0-1 fastball that rode a light north wind into the last row of the right-field bleachers for the Wolfpack's first hit.

N.C. State doesn't play again until Friday when it will take on the winner of Wednesday's elimination game between Stanford and Vanderbilt.

Texas 8

Tennessee 4

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Freshman Tanner Witt pitched 5 2/3 innings of shutout relief, Silas Ardoin hit a tie-breaking, two-run single, and Texas eliminated Tennessee from the College World Series with an 8-4 victory Tuesday.

The No. 2 national seed Longhorns (48-16) picked up their first win in Omaha since 2014 while No. 3 Tennessee (50-18) went two-and-out in its first appearance since 2005.

Texas will take on the loser of Tuesday's game between Virginia and Mississippi State on Thursday.

Witt (5-0) allowed only three singles, walked none and struck out two in his longest outing of the season. He pitched three 1-2-3 innings and no Tennessee runners made it past first base after the fourth inning.

The Volunteers gave him something to cheer when Jordan Beck's two-run single put them ahead in the second inning. The lead was short-lived. Eric Kennedy's three-run homer off the back wall of the right-field bullpen put Texas up 3-2 in the bottom half.

Ardoin's single into right center broke a 4-4 tie in Texas' three-run fourth, and the Longhorns were up 8-4 when Kennedy scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.

Sean Hunley (7-5), who relieved Tennessee starter Blade Tidwell in the fourth, took the loss after allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning.