It's been another long day of college baseball here in Southern California, so today's blog will just focus on the Top 25 results. UC Irvine and San Diego State made loud statements by clinching series today, and I liked what I saw from both of them. I'll have plenty on both teams in Monday's Three Strikes.
Weather wreaked havoc on the East Coast, causing a number of cancellations and postponements. Many Sunday games look to be in jeopardy as well.
We have two particularly notable individual performances to highlight before we get to the Top 25 roundup. Troy's Danny Collins hit for the cycle in a 22-5 win against Florida A&M, going 5-for-6 with three runs and six RBIs. And Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's Trevor Foss posted an sterling line in a 6-0 win against Texas-Pan American: 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 15 K.
Top 25 Showdowns
• (9) Stanford at (18) Rice: The Cardinal evened the series with a 3-2 win. Justin Ringo's RBI double in the eighth broke a 2-2 tie, and the Cardinal got strong relief work from Daniel Starwalt (3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R) and Garrett Hughes (0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R for the save). Jordan Stephens (7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER) was solid in a losing effort for the Owls.
• (14) Texas Christian at (13) Mississippi: The Rebels erased a 2-1 deficit with four runs in the eighth to pull out a 5-2 win, clinching the series. Tanner Mathis hit an RBI single to tie the game, then scored the go-ahead run on Auston Bousfield's RBI single. Preston Morrison (7 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K) pitched very well into the eighth for TCU, but Ole Miss got to Justin Scharf and Andrew Mitchell. Aaron Greenwood (3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K) sparkled in relief for the Rebels to earn the win.
Top 25 Upsets
• Oklahoma State at (21) New Mexico: In the day's wildest game, the Lobos carried a 14-6 lead into the eighth inning, but the Cowboys stormed back with four runs in the eighth and four more in the ninth to force extra innings, then pulled out a 15-14 win with a run in the 13th. Randy McCurry (5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K) shut down UNM's potent offense from the eighth inning on, and Zach Fish (3-for-7, HR, 4 RBI) led OSU's 19-hit barrage. D.J. Peterson (3-for-4, HR, 3B, 2 R, 5 RBI) led New Mexico's 17-hit attack.
• San Diego State at (25) San Diego: The top three hitters in San Diego State's lineup—Greg Allen, Tim Zier and Ryan Muno—went a combined 8-for-15 with four runs and three RBIs to lead the Aztecs to a 4-2 win, clinching the series at brand-new Fowler Park. The Toreros had runners at second and third with no outs in the ninth but failed to score against freshman closer Bubba Derby. Ethan Miller (4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) earned the win with stellar relief work.
Other Top 25 Results
• Long Beach State at (2) Vanderbilt: The Commodores mustered just five hits but took advantage of 10 walks and four errors to earn a series-clinching 12-2 win. Tyler Beede (5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 3 K) picked up the win.
• Western Illinois at (3) Arkansas: Barrett Astin (5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) made the start and cruised in the Hogs' 7-2 win. Arkansas broke open a 3-1 game with four runs in the sixth.
• Portland at (5) Mississippi State: Evan Mitchell (5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) made the start and was solid in a no-decision, and the Bulldogs scratched across the winning run against talented lefty Travis Radke (6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K) with a run in the sixth, securing a series-clinching 2-1 victory. DeMarcus Henderson drove in the winning run.
• Maryland at (3) Louisiana State: The Tigers broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the seventh to earn a series-clinching 5-1 win. Ryan Eades (6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K) was strong in a no-decision, and the Tigers used Chris Cotton for the final two innings, a day after he threw 1.1 innings to earn a save. So much for using him as a closer Friday and a starter Sunday; Brett Bonvillain will get that nod.
• (4) Louisville vs. South Florida: The Cardinals bounced back from Friday's loss to Indiana with a 10-1 win against USF in Clearwater. Jeff Thompson (5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 12 K) was overpowering for Louisville, whose offense was led by Cole Sturgeon (2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 3B).
• Gonzaga vs. (6) Oregon State: The Beavers did all their damage against Marco Gonzales (6 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) in a six-run fourth, en route to a 9-2 win. Gonzales became the fourth first-team preseason All-American to lose during opening weekend (joining Mark Appel, Carlos Rodon and Sean Manaea). OSU's own lefty, Matt Boyd (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K), was strong in his first start since 2010 (and just the third of his Beaver career).
• Minnesota at (12) UCLA: The Bruins evened the series with a 14-0 shellacking. The top four hitters in the UCLA lineup—Eric Filia, Ty Moore, Kevin Kramer and Pat Valaika—combined for 11 hits, eight runs and seven RBIs in support of Nick Vander Tuig (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K).
• (15) Oregon at Hawaii: Lefthander Tommy Thorpe, who was such a key part of Oregon's bullpen last year, moved into the rotation and delivered five innings of one-run ball to earn the victory, as the Ducks held on for a 5-4 win. Ryon Healy (3-for-3, R, RBI) led the Oregon offense.
• Akron at (16) Georgia Tech: Daniel Palka (4-for-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) had a big day in support of Dusty Isaacs (5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K), leading Georgia Tech to a series-clinching 10-3 win.
• Duke at (17) Florida: Casey Turgeon put the Gators ahead for good with a three-run homer int he first inning, and Tucker Simpson (4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER) was solid in his UF debut, helping the Gators even the series with a 4-2 win. Parker Danciu (3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R) picked up the victory in relief.
• Hofstra at (19) Oklahoma: The Sooners swept a doubleheader, 3-2 and 11-10 (11 innings), to clinch the four-game series. Garrett Carey had four hits in support of Jonathan Gray (6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) in the first game. Billy Waltrip (3.1 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 5 K) was erratic in his OU debut in the nightcap, but the Sooners stormed back from a 9-4 deficit and eventually tied the score on Matt Oberste's two-run single in the ninth, then won it with an unearned run in the 11th.
• Rhode Island at (20) Florida State: Scott Sitz (4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K) was solid in a no-decision, and the Seminoles capitalized on 12 walks to beat the Rams 6-2, clinching the series. Stephen McGee went 1-for-1 with four walks to lead the offense, and Brandon Johnson picked up the win with three innings of one-hit, shutout relief.
• Nebraska at (22) Cal State Fullerton: The Titans swept a doubleheader, 10-5 and 9-0. Anthony Hutting and Michael Lorenzen homered in the first game, and J.D. Davis delivered an RBI in Fullerton's three-run seventh and two more in a three-run eighth, helping the Titans pull away. Davis (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B) led the offense again in the nightcap, and heralded freshman Justin Garza (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K) did not disappoint in his debut.
• Missouri at (23) Southern Mississippi: Mason Robbins smacked a three-run homer in the seventh inning, turning a one-run deficit into a 5-3 win for Southern Miss. Jake Drehoff (5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) was solid in a no-decision, and three relievers provided 3.2 innings of hitless relief, striking out seven.
• Coppin State at (24) Arizona: James Farris (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) picked up where he left off in Omaha, providing a dominant start to lead the Wildcats to a 14-1 blowout. Ryan Koziol had two hits and four RBIs out of the No. 8 hole.
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