Who says the long ball is a thing of the past in college baseball? Florida's Zack Powers became the second college baseball player this weekend to belt two grand slams in one game, joining Virginia's Kenny Towns, who did it Friday. Powers finished with nine RBIs in Florida's 16-5 win against Duke.
We'll recap Sunday's Top 25 action below, but first let's take a look at some of the other major storylines of the day and the weekend:
• Pittsburgh bludgeoned Wichita State, 11-3, to complete a three-game sweep—the first time the Shockers have been swept in a three-game set at home since 1970. This series also marked WSU coach Gene Stephenson's first home losses ever in the month of February. The Shockers had been 69-0 all-time at home in February. On Sunday, the Panthers put up six runs in the first, and Rhys Aldenhoven (6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) kept the Shockers in check.
• The Big West had a big weekend. Conference favorite Cal State Fullerton went 4-0, but UC Irvine also made serious noise with a dominating sweep of Baylor, capped by a 15-3 thrashing Sunday (more on the Anteaters in Monday's Three Strikes). Cal Poly completed a three-game sweep of a quality San Francisco club with a 10-5 win Sunday, as Chris Hoo smacked a grand slam to cap Poly's seven-run sixth inning. UC Santa Barbara erupted for eight runs in the seventh inning Sunday to beat Fresno State 11-3, clinching a road series against a talented club. And UC Davis won three of four against a Washington team that entered the season with some buzz. Nick Lynch (3-for-5, 2 RBI) led a 13-hit attack in UC Davis' 7-5 win Sunday.
• Georgia Southern pounded Georgia, 11-2, to clinch its first three-game series win against the Bulldogs since 1986. A record-setting three-game attendance of 9,225 took in the series in Statesboro.
• Clinton Freeman had a massive weekend for East Tennessee State, which won two of three against Penn State. Freeman, a junior first baseman/lefthanded pitcher, went 8-for-10 at the plate with a double, a triple, three home runs, five RBIs, seven runs scored and three walks. He also made two appearances on the mound, striking out three while earning a save in 1.1 innings of work.
• Maybe Mercer ought to try to get into next year's Big East/Big Ten Challenge, because the Bears went 3-0 this weekend against Ohio State, St. John's and Notre Dame. Sunday's 5-4 win against a very talented Notre Dame club capped Mercer's loud weekend at the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Sarasota.
• Nevada-Las Vegas won three of four against Tennessee, capped by a 3-2 win in 14 innings Sunday. Joey Swanner, who has an 18-game hitting streak, singled home Matt McCallister in the 14th.
• Wasn't this supposed to be a rebuilding year for the young Creighton Bluejays? Ed Servais' club spoiled the opening weekend at sparkling new Horner Ballpark with a three-game sweep. After scoring 26 runs in the first two games of the series, Creighton won Sunday's game by a more Creighton-like 3-1 score.
• Tulane and Missouri State both had nice 2-1 weekends at the Centurylink Bobcat Invitational, but the Green Wave beat the Bears 6-4 on Sunday, as Kyle McKenzie (5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER) earned the win. Tulane's bats woke up to the tune of 14 hits in that one, after managing just seven hits in the first two games.
• Virginia Tech is one of our favorite sleepers this year, but nobody should be sleeping on the Hokies after their 4-0 weekend in Wilmington. Virginia Tech followed its two wins against Kent State with a pair of dominating wins against UNC Wilmington, capped by Sunday's 7-2 decision. Mark Zagunis (4-for-5, 3 RBI) led the offense in support of Tanner McIntyre (6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K). We expected the Hokies to hit a bunch, but they also allowed just three runs over their final three games this weekend.
• Meanwhile, last year's Northern darlings had a brutal opening weekend. Stony Brook was swept at Florida International, as the Seawolves were shut out in the last two games of the series. Kent State allowed 38 runs in an 0-4 weekend against Virginia Tech and UNCW. St. John's went 0-4 against Mercer, Ohio State and Florida Gulf Coast. Purdue fared a bit better, beating Connecticut twice at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge, but it also lost two games—one of them by a 20-2 score against South Florida.
• (9) Stanford at (18) Rice: John Simms (7.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 3 K) carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and combined with Zech Lemond on a one-hitter, leading Rice to a series-clinching 3-0 win. Austin Barr broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff double in the eighth. Shane Hoelscher (4-for-4, 2 RBI) hit a two-run single to highlight Rice's three-run first.
• (14) Texas Christian at (13) Mississippi: Stuart Turner (2-for-4, 2B, 4 RBI) hit a first-inning grand slam in support of Chris Ellis (4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K), and Ole Miss never looked back in a 5-2 win, completing the three-game sweep. TCU mustered just four runs in three games against Mississippi's deep pitching staff on the weekend.
Top 25 Upsets
• Long Beach State at (2) Vanderbilt: The Dirtbags pounced on T.J. Pecoraro (1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 ER) and Carson Fulmer (1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB) to build a 9-2 lead through three innings Sunday, and they held off Vanderbilt's comeback attempt. Connor Harrell (2-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI) hit his second homer of the weekend in a losing cause. Jeff McNeil (3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI) led the LBSU offense, and the Dirtbags also got three RBIs apiece from Richard Prigatano and Eric Hutting.
• Western Illinois at (3) Arkansas: Mason Pingel (5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) turned in a solid start to help new WIU coach Ryan Brownlee pick up his first win, a 7-5 upset. The Razorbacks made three errors in WIU's pivotal three-run fourth inning Sunday, and Trent Daniel (3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER) took the loss. Brandon Moore (5.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) was strong in relief, and Arkansas got multi-hit games from Matt Vinson, Tyler Spoon, Brian Anderson and Joe Serrano.
• Liberty at (7) South Carolina: The Gamecocks and Flames split a doubleheader, giving South Carolina the series win. In the first game, the Flames scored four unearned runs in a six-run seventh to build a 7-0 lead, but South Carolina stormed back with three in the eighth and five in the ninth to win. Nolan Belcher (5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) was solid in defeat in the nightcap, but Liberty's two-run fourth proved decisive. Justin Sizemore delivered a go-ahead solo homer for the Flames.
• San Diego State at (25) San Diego: The Aztecs completed a drama-packed three-game sweep with a 5-3 win Sunday. A day after freshman closer Bubba Derby escaped a second-and-third, no-outs jam in the ninth, he inherited a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the ninth Sunday, and he proceeded to strike out USD's No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 hitters—Louie Lechich, Kris Bryant and Connor Joe—to earn a white-knuckle save.
Other Top 25 Results
• Seton Hall at (1) North Carolina: Freshmen Skye Bolt (4-for-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI) and Landon Lassiter (4-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI) led a 15-hit barrage in support of Benton Moss (5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K), as the Tar Heels cruised to a 17-2 win. Colin Moran (2-for-5, 3 R, 2 RBI) also posted a multi-hit game, and leadoff man Chaz Frank scored four runs.
• (4) Louisville vs. Purdue: Shortstop Sutton Whiting (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI) led a balanced 15-hit attack from the No. 9 hole in Louisville's 9-4 win. Three Louisville relievers combined for five innings of hitless relief, striking out eight and walking two. Anthony Kidston (3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) earned the win.
• Portland at (5) Mississippi State: The Bulldogs utterly dominated Portland, outscoring the Pilots 31-3 in a four-game sweep. Kendall Graveman (6.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K) shut down the Pilots in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader, a 5-2 win. Luis Pollorena (4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K) earned the win in relief of Will Cox (3 IP, 3 H, 0 R) in the finale, a 6-0 affair.
• UC Riverside at (6) Oregon State: OSU rode a six-run first inning to a run-rule-shortened 14-3 blowout against Riverside. Fr. RHP Andrew Moore (5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) earned the win in his first career start. Andy Peterson had three hits out of the leadoff spot.
• Maryland at (10) Louisiana State: Brent Bonvillain (4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) was solid in a 14-3 win, and five relievers combined for five innings of three-hit relief. LSU broke open a 6-3 game with eight runs in the seventh. Bregman (3-for-3, 3 R, RBI), JaCoby Jones (2-for-3, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI) and Ty Ross (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) led a balanced 14-hit attack.
• (11) Kentucky vs. Niagara: J.T. Riddle (6-for-6, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2B, 3B) had a monster game, and Austin Cousino hit his first career grand slam in support of Jerad Grundy (6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K), who set a career high for strikeouts.
• Minnesota at (12) UCLA: The Bruins blew out Minnesota for a second straight day, 14-1, to clinch the series. Eric Filia, Brian Carroll, Kevin Kramer and Pat Valaika went a combined 8-for-16 with seven runs and six RBIs out of the top four spots in the lineup, and Grant Watson (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K) cruised. David Berg threw four innings over two appearances out of the bullpen on the weekend, allowing one run.
• (15) Oregon at Hawaii: Ryon Healy (4-for-5, R, 3 RBI, HR) and Aaron Payne (4-for-5, 3 R) led a 16-hit attack in support of Cole Irvin (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), as the Ducks won the third game of the four-game series, 9-5.
• Akron at (16) Georgia Tech: Kyle Wren and Brandon Thomas had three hits apiece behind Cole Pitts (6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K), as the Yellow Jackets completed the sweep with a 5-3 win.
• Duke at (17) Florida: Zack Powers smashed two grand slams and drove in nine runs Sunday, as the Gators erupted for 14 runs over their final three at-bats in a 16-5 win. Powers joins Preston Tucker as the only Gators ever to hit two grand slams in a game.
• Hofstra at (19) Oklahoma: OU completed a four-game sweep with a 7-4 win, its second walk-off win in as many games. Matt Oberste delivered a walk-off, three-run homer in the ninth, breaking a 4-4 tie after the Pride rallied for three in the eighth to tie it. Oberste finished with nine RBIs on the weekend. Corey Copping (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) was strong in his OU debut.
• Rhode Island at (20) Florida State: The Seminoles rallied from behind for an 8-6 win, completing the sweep. URI built a 5-0 lead through five innings, but FSU fought back and eventually tied the score with four in the eighth, then won it on freshman D.J. Stewart's walk-off two-run homer in the 10th.
• Oklahoma State at (21) New Mexico: The Lobos scored five runs in the first in support of Sam Wolff (5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) and cruised to a 9-1 win. Mitch Garver (4-for-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2B, 3B) led a 14-hit attack for UNM, which avoided a sweep.
• (22) Cal State Fullerton at Cal State Bakersfield: J.D. Davis homered twice and drove in six in support of Koby Gauna (7.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K), as the Titans capped a 4-0 weekend with an 8-2 win. Davis went 7-for-16 with five runs and 11 RBIs on the weekend.
• Missouri at (23) Southern Mississippi: Mason Robbins (6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) matched the longest outing of his career, and Austin Roussel delivered a go-ahead RBI single in USM's six-run eighth, leading the Golden Eagles to a 6-1 win and a sweep.
• Coppin State at (24) Arizona: The Wildcats won a back-and-forth affair 13-9 to finish off the sweep. Arizona scored five runs in the first Sunday, but Coppin State rallied back against starter Stephen Manthei (3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER) and reliever Tyler Hale (0.2 IP, 3 H, 5 ER). But the Wildcats broke a 9-9 tie in the fourth inning and held on for the win. Eight Wildcats had hits as part of a balanced 11-hit attack in that one.
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