Top 25 Showdowns
• (9) Louisiana State at (2) South Carolina: The two SEC heavyweights spilt their doubleheader, with LSU taking the opener 5-2, and South Carolina winning the nightcap 5-4. Coupled with Kentucky's second straight loss, the Gamecocks moved into first place in the SEC by a half-game over UK and LSU. Kevin Gausman (9 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) threw his second straight complete game in the opener to hand Michael Roth (8 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) his first loss of the season. Christian Walker's three-run homer highlighted South Carolina's four-run sixth against Aaron Nola (6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) in the second game, and Matt Price (3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) protected the lead.
• (13) North Carolina State at (1) Florida State: James Ramsey's seventh-inning sacrifice fly broke a 2-2 tie, propelling the Seminoles to a 3-2 win, evening the series. Brandon Liebrandt (5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) was strong in a no-decision, and Robert Benincasa (1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R) picked up his 13th save.
• (5) Rice at (16) Central Florida: The Knights held on to win Friday's suspended game 8-6, but the Owls leveled the series with a 9-2 win in the second game, setting up a winner-takes-all rubber game Sunday for the C-USA regular-season title. After Rice cut into UCF's 8-0 lead with six runs in the fifth inning in the first game, Roman Madrid and Joe Rogers worked two scoreless innings apiece to preserve the lead. Michael Fuda homered and drove in three in the nightcap behind Austin Kubitza (6-2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K).
Top 25 Upsets
• (4) Kentucky at Mississippi State: The Bulldogs clinched the series with a 4-3 win. Darryl Norris' three-run homer in the fourth inning proved decisive, and MSU's final four relievers combined to work five innings of hitless relief, retiring 15 of the final 16 Kentucky batters. MSU assured itself of at least a .500 SEC record for the first time since 2007. UK needs a Sunday win and a South Carolina loss to share the SEC regular-season title with LSU (the Wildcats have the head-to-head tie-breaker and would earn the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament).
• (15) Purdue at Iowa: Sasha Kuebel (9 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) threw a complete game to lead the Hawkeyes to a 6-1 upset, tying the series.
• San Diego State at (20) Texas Christian: Three Aztec pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout in a 3-0 upset, dropping TCU a half-game behind New Mexico in the MWC. SDSU ace Cole Swanson (3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K) made his first start since March 1 (he had an appendectomy a few days later).
• (22) Louisville at Pittsburgh: Ethan Mildren (9 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) went the distance, leading Pitt to an 8-2 upset, leveling the series. The Cardinals fell a game behind St. John's again with one game left in the Big East regular season.
• (25) Mississippi at Vanderbilt: Sam Selman (6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K) was strong in a no-decision, and Vandy broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the seventh en route to a 6-2 win. The 'Dores clinched their fourth straight series (three of them coming against ranked opponents) and fifth in the last six weeks. If Vandy can complete the sweep Sunday, it will assure itself of a winning record and at-large eligibility.
• Florida is still alive in the SEC race, too. The Gators bludgeoned Auburn 10-1 to climb to 18-11 in the conference, tied with Kentucky and LSU for second place, a half-game behind South Carolina. Preston Tucker, Mike Zunino and Vickash Ramjit homered in support of Brian Johnson (7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K).
• Mark Appel (9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 13 K) was overpowering in Stanford's 6-0 win at Utah. Appel recorded double-digit strikeouts for the second straight week and threw his fourth complete game of the season.
• Baylor earned a series-clinching 4-0 win against Texas behind Trent Blank (7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K). The Longhorns have lost three straight series.
• Ross Stripling (7 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) was considerably more hittable this week but still improved to 10-2 in Texas A&M's series-clinching 8-7 win at Oklahoma State. Whatever hopes the Cowboys harbored of landing an at-large bid have been effectively dashed.
• Wake Forest is making a late surge past Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech in the ACC's at-large pecking order. The Demon Deacons clinched a huge series witha 2-1 win against Clemson, while the Yellow Jackets dropped their home series to Miami and the Hokies lost for the second straight day at North Carolina. The Deacs, who own head-to-head series wins against both Techs, clinched a spot in the ACC tournament. Jack Fischer (7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R) was strong in a no-decision for Wake, and Brett Armour's two-run homer in the eighth propelled Wake to the win—coach Tom Walter's 500th. At 12-17 in the ACC, Wake's at-large hopes are looking livelier. Virginia Tech needs to beat UNC and hope the Jackets lose to make the ACC tournament; both the Hokies and Jackets could use a trip to Greensboro to boost their sagging resumes.
• Oklahoma evened its series against fellow bubble team Samford with a 6-2 win behind Jonathan Gray (7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K).
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