Friday was filled with highly anticipated showdowns that lived up to their billing. Here's a roundup:
• No. 1 Florida came from behind with three runs in the ninth to win the opener of its big series at No. 8 Lousiana State, 5-4. Mike Zunino tied the game at 3-3 with a solo homer off LSU closer Matty Ott, and Nolan Fontana hit a go-ahead two-run single later in the frame. LSU catcher Ty Ross hit a controversial RBI double off the left-field wall in the bottom of the frame, narrowly missing a game-tying home run. LSU Fr. RHP Kurt McCune (7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) turned in another strong start in a no-decision.
• No. 7 Virginia nipped No. 6 Florida State, 4-3, in 11 innings. Ace lefties Sean Gilmartin (7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) and Danny Hultzen (7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 12 K) both pitched well and both left with the score tied 3-3. The Cavs trailed 3-1 heading into the seventh, when Steven Proscia hit an RBI double then scored on a Reed Gragnani single. Proscia also came through with a walk-off RBI single in the 11th. Righty Justin Thompson (3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R) earned the win with stellar relief work.
• Michael Rocha (8.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 13 K) out-dueled John Stilson (7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K) to lead Oklahoma to a 1-0 win against Texas A&M. The Sooners broke the scoreless tie on Garrett Buechele's RBI single up the middle in the seventh.
• Stony Brook Fr. RHP Frankie Vanderka made his second career start and threw the first no-hitter in program history, as the Seawolves beat New Jersey Tech 14-1. Vanderka struck out 13, walked two and allowed just an unearned run in the fifth. He retired the first 12 batters of the game, eight via strikeouts.
• Nevada-Las Vegas upset No. 10 Texas Christian, 5-4. The Horned Frogs have lost three of their last four—a swoon that started with a loss to Houston Baptist last week. TCU ace Kyle Winkler struck out 11 in a complete game, but he allowed his first earned runs of the season (four of them) and took the loss. UNLV slugger Brandon Bayardi hit his seventh and eighth homers of the season, including a walk-off shot to lead off the ninth. The upstart Rebels improved to 17-4.
• A day after finding out that bullpen stalwart Geoffrey Davenport will have season-ending Tommy John surgery, Arkansas' bullpen delivered 6.1 innings of scoreless, three-hit relief, helping the Hogs beat Auburn, 6-5 in 11 innings. Freshman Nolan Sanburn (3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) earned the win, as Collin Kuhn delivered a game-winning RBI double in the 11th.
• Sam Gaviglio struck out 14 in a one-hit shutout, leading Oregon State to a 4-0 win at Long Beach State. Gaviglio carried a perfect game into the eighth inning before allowing a single to Mike Marjama, LBSU's only baserunner of the game. Gaviglio has now thrown 38 consecutive scoreless innings.
• Speaking of streaks, Georgia Tech's Mark Pope (8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) was dominant again in a 9-2 win against North Carolina State. Pope has not allowed an earned run in his last 34.1 innings.
• Taylor Jungmann (8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K) improved to 5-0, 0.63 in Texas' 3-0 win against Kansas State.
• A week after beating Gerrit Cole in Westwood, Georgia lefthander Alex Wood (8.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) beat defending national champion South Carolina in Columbia, 4-2. Michael Roth (6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) pitched well in defeat for the Gamecocks.
• Texas Tech snapped a tie with a sacrifice fly in the ninth to upset Baylor, 6-5, snapping the Bears' eight-game winning streak.
• Connecticut fell back below .500 with an ugly 18-3 loss to Rhode Island in Charleston, S.C. The Rams broke open a 4-3 game with 14 runs over the final three innings against the UConn bullpen. Tom Coulombe led the way for URI with three doubles and four RBIs, and freshman center fielder Jeff Roy added four hits, three RBIs and two stolen bases. I happened to chat with Rhode Island coach Jim Foster this week, and he had good things to say about both players. "If Tommy hits for a little more power, he'll get a chance at the next level," Foster said. "He's a plus athlete who can run. Jeff Roy is a kid to follow—he's a little guy, but the kid can play."
• Mississippi scored four runs in the fifth inning to beat Alabama, 4-0. Matt Crouse (6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K) and Jake Morgan (2.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R) shut down the Tide offense. Ole Miss pitchers have allowed just one run in their last 45 innings, including two shutouts against Lipscomb and another against Jackson State.
• Seth Maness threw just 108 pitches over 10 innings in a no-decision for East Carolina, but the Pirates beat Rutgers 3-2 in 11. Maness allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks while fanning seven.
• Vanderbilt cruised to a 10-0 win against Mississippi State behind Sonny Gray (7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 10 K). The Bulldogs had more errors (five) than hits (four).
• Kameron Brunty (3-for-4, 2 3B, HR, 6 RBI) and Tyler Koelling (5-for-5, RBI) led Southern Mississippi to a 7-2 win against College of Charleston. Todd McInnis (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K) improved to 4-1.
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