Ethan Small struck out eight over six innings, Dustin Skelton hit two doubles and host Mississippi State beat Stanford 6-2 in the first game of an NCAA Tournament best-of-three super regionals.

Mississippi State (50-13) scored one run in the second, two in the third and three in the fourth to take a 6-1 lead.

Small (10-2) gave up just five hits and one unearned run. The left-hander was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 28th overall pick last week.

Stanford (45-13) jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Andrew Daschbach’s sacrifice fly, but didn’t score again until the eighth. Brendan Beck (5-4) took the loss.

• Freshman Kumar Rocker pitched the eighth no-hitter in NCAA Tournament history, striking out a career-high 19, as Vanderbilt beat Duke 3-0 to force the Nashville Super Regional to a deciding third game.

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Rocker (10-5), the son of former NFL lineman Tracy Rocker, came out for the bottom of the ninth and struck out the side swinging, finishing with 131 pitches thrown. He walked only two.

• Host Louisville (49-16) became the first team to clinch a spot in the College World Series. The Cardinals’ Bobby Miller carried a no-hitter through eight innings in a 12-0 win that wrapped up a two-game sweep of East Carolina in a super regional. He gave up a hit in the ninth before Michael Kirian finished to preserve the shutout.

In other super regional openers:

• Florida State, trying to return coach Mike Martin to the CWS for a 17th time and give the all-time NCAA coaching wins leader one last shot at his first national title, overcame a four-run deficit for the first time this season to beat host LSU 6-4. The Seminoles (40-21) also continued Martin’s streak of winning at least 40 games each of his 40 years at the helm.

Reese Albert hit two homers, the first a three-run shot that tied it 4-all in the seventh. The second made it a two-run game in the ninth, and JC Flowers worked a stressful ninth to put away the Tigers (40-25).

• Jack Kenley’s three-run homer in the first inning ignited 2018 national runner-up Arkansas in an 11-2 win over Mississippi. The host Razorbacks (45-17) got a career-high 8 ⅓ innings from Seattle Mariners second-round pick Isaiah Campbell.

• Auburn (37-25), down three runs after seven innings, scored nine runs in the last two to beat host North Carolina 11-7.

Valenzuela hired: St. Mary’s Eric Valenzuela was hired as Long Beach State head coach.


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