Our Saturday roundup begins in the SEC, where second-ranked South Carolina got some bad news:
• Mississippi State upset South Carolina, 5-3, but that wasn't the worst of it for the Gamecocks. All-American center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. left the game in the seventh inning with a left wrist injury after diving for a ball, and South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said that Bradley will be out "a few weeks," according to reports. Meanwhile, South Carolina's normally reliable bullpen failed to hold a 3-2 lead, as Mississippi State surged ahead with three runs in the sixth, highlighted by Ryan Collins' two-run single up the middle. The rubber game of the series is Sunday.
• Vanderbilt and Florida moved back into a three-way tie with South Carolina atop the SEC standings, as both teams clinched their series against SEC West foes with Saturday wins. Vandy broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the sixth and then piled on against LSU's bullpen to win 10-1. At 4-13 in the conference, LSU is in last place in the West—three games behind fifth-place Mississippi State—and is just a half-game ahead of Kentucky, which is 12th in the conference.
• Florida beat Alabama 9-2, as Mike Zunino (2-for-4, 4 RBI) hit his seventh homer of the year in support of Brian Johnson (5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K).
• Alex Meyer (9 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 K) threw a gem to lead Kentucky to an upset of Arkansas in the first game of a doubleheader (the second game was suspended until Sunday, with no score in the third).
• Auburn won the rubber game of its series against Mississippi, 9-7. The Tigers, Rebels and Razorbacks all sport .500 records in the SEC, tied for the lead in the West. Justin Fradejas had four hits for Auburn, and Kevin Patterson hit his seventh homer of the year and drove in four.
• Georgia evened its series at Tennessee with an 8-6 win. The Bulldogs, who sit in fourth place in the SEC East, would be leading the West at 10-7.
• Arizona State completed a huge road sweep of California with a 6-0 win behind Jake Barrett (9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K), who threw his first career shutout. The Sun Devils held Cal hitters scoreless on 10 hits over the final 18 innings of the series and recorded their first sweep in Berkeley since 2003.
• The Sun Devils moved within a half-game of first-place Oregon State, which dropped its finale against Washington State, 2-0. James Wise (7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 4 K) out-dueled Josh Osich (6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K), who took his first loss of the season. OSU's winning streak ended at 11 games.
• Stanford stunned UCLA with four runs in the ninth to win 5-4 in the rubber game at Sunken Diamond. Bruins starter Adam Plutko (6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) exited with a 3-1 lead in the seventh, but the Cardinal rallied with two out and nobody on base in the ninth against closer Nick Vander Tuig. Zach Jones tied the score with a two-run double down the right-field line, and Kenny Diekroeger followed with a walk-off RBI single. Stanford avoided its third straight series loss and improved to 5-7 in the Pac-10.
• Oregon was even more desperate for a series win than Stanford, and the Ducks got what they needed, beating Arizona 7-3 in the rubber game in Eugene. Scott McGough (3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K) picked up the win in relief of Alex Keudell (5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER). It was Oregon's first conference series win, improving the Ducks to 4-8 in the Pac-10, while Arizona fell to 6-9, having lost four of its five conference series.
• No. 25 Miami swept a doubleheader at No. 14 North Carolina, 13-6 (10 innings) and 5-3, giving the Hurricanes their first wins of the season against a ranked foe. In the opener, Nathan Melendres (5-for-6, 3 R, 4 RBI) sparked Miami's eight-run 10th inning with a leadoff bunt single, then capped it with a two-run homer. Eric Whaley (6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER) improved to 6-2 in the nightcap. The Tar Heels are suddenly reeling, having lost five straight conference games since winning a road series at Florida State.
• North Carolina State and No. 1 Virginia split a doubleheader in Charlottesville. The Wolfpack handed Danny Hultzen (7.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) his first loss of the season in the opener, erasing a 2-0 deficit with six runs in the sixth, highlighted by Chris Diaz's two-run double. The Cavaliers returned the favor in the nightcap, beating N.C. State's ace—Cory Mazzoni (7.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K). Tyler Wilson (6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) improved to 5-0 in that one.
• Florida State and Georgia Tech cruised to series-clinching wins against Duke and Boston College, respectively. The Seminoles broke open a close game with four runs in the fifth against Duke ace Marcus Stroman (5 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 9 K), and Hunter Scantling (6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) pitched well to lead FSU to a 10-3 win. The Yellow Jackets put up a six-spot in the third in an 8-1 win, as Jed Bradley (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) got back on track after two rough starts.
• Wake Forest has won just one conference series (against UNC), but it has played every opponent tough and has earned single wins against Florida State, N.C. State, Georgia Tech and now Clemson. Tim Cooney (9 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) led the Demon Deacons to a 9-3 road win, knotting up the series.
• Texas A&M clinched a big series win against Oklahoma State with a 5-1 win behind Michael Wacha (6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K). The Aggies took sole possession of first place when Kansas upset Texas on Saturday.
• Tanner Poppe (5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) led the Jayhawks to a 4-2 win, as Sam Stafford (3.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER) took his first loss of the season for Texas.
• Oklahoma secured a series win against Nebraska with a 4-1 victory. Garrett Buechele had three hits to lead OU's 14-hit attack in support of Burch Smith (7.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 9 K).
• Baylor's at-large resume took a significant hit. The Bears were upset by last-place Missouri, 10-1, in the rubber game in Waco. Baylor has lost five of its six Big 12 series and is just 21-20 overall. That's not an at-large resume—and two of Baylor's remaining three series are on the road (at Nebraska and Oklahoma State), while the other is a tough matchup against Oklahoma. Right now, just the top four teams in the Big 12 look like safe bets to make regionals.
• Just when it looked like Rice was in the midst of one of its annual second-half runs through C-USA, the Owls were tripped up at UAB, getting swept in a doubleheader Saturday, 7-2 and 8-7 (in 12 innings). Jamal Austin (4-for-4, 3 RBI) led the UAB offense in the opener behind Ryan Woolley (9 IP, 3 H, 2 ER). Keith DePew (3-for-6, 5 RBI) capped a big game with a walk-off RBI single in the finale.
• Southern Mississippi took advantage of Rice's rough day, sweeping a doubleheader against Marshall to build a 1.5-game lead over the Owls in C-USA. Marc Bourgeois had six hits and three RBIs in the twin bill, and Tyler Koelling added six hits and two RBIs.
• East Carolina won its rubber game at Houston with a run-rule-shortened 12-2 win in seven innings. And Central Florida clinched a series win at Memphis with an 11-9 win behind five RBIs from D.J. Hicks. Those were big road series for the Pirates and Knights, especially the latter team, which improved to 6-8 in conference play.
Around The Nation
• Nick Ramirez belted two homers and drove in four in support of Tyler Pill (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K), as Cal State Fullerton salvaged the series finale at Cal Poly, 9-3. The Titans, who fell into a tie with the Mustangs in the Big West standings after losing the first two games of the series, retook sole possession of first place.
• Steven Maxwell (5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) led Texas Christian to a 2-1 win against UNLV, completing the sweep.
• Fresno State split a doubleheader at Sacramento State, giving the Bulldogs a 3-1 series win. Dusty Robinson (2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI) swatted his 10th homer of the year and Jordan Ribera (2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI) hit his third in Fresno's 12-4 win in the finale.
• Stetson and Jacksonville split a doubleheader, giving the Hatters a big series win on the road and putting them 1.5 games ahead of the Dolphins in the Atlantic Sun. Jacksonville broke open a 4-4 game with six runs in the eighth inning of the first game. Stetson put the second game out of reach early, scoring seven runs in the second inning en route to a 9-4 win.
• Georgia Southern clinched a huge SoCon series win against Elon with a 6-0 win behind Andy Moye (7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K). The Eagles (13-4) surged past the Phoenix (14-6) into first place in the SoCon.
• Troy clinched a series win against Western Kentucky with an 11-3 win, moving three games ahead of the Hilltoppers (and staying two games ahead of second-place Florida Atlantic) in the Sun Belt. Adam Bryant had four hits and three RBIs for the Trojans, who have reaffirmed their place as the team to beat in the SBC.
• Gonzaga's stay in the Top 25 will be a short one. The Bulldogs were upset by St. Mary's for the second straight day, 7-6, to lose a home series. Kyle Barraclough (9 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) went the distance for the Gaels, who scored two runs in the ninth to hand midseason All-America closer Cody Martin (2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER) his first loss of the season.
• So who's the new leader in the West Coast Conference? San Francisco, which moved into sole possession of first place (7-2) with a 15-4 win against Santa Clara, completing the sweep. Nik Balog drove in six runs, and Pete Lavin had four hits to lead USF's 17-hit barrage.
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