College baseball's best rivalry series shifted to Greenville, S.C., on Saturday, and Clemson struck back against South Carolina with a 6-3 win to level the series. Freshmen did the heavy lifting for the Tigers, as Clate Schmidt (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) started and earned the win, while Steven Duggar and Tyler Krieger combined for four hits, two runs and three RBIs to lead the offense. Clemson chased South Carolina starter Colby Holmes (4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER) with three runs in the fifth—highlighted by Duggar's two-run single—to open up a 5-0 lead, and the Tigers never looked back. Scott Firth will take on Nolan Belcher in Sunday's rubber game in Columbia.
On to Saturday's other highlights:
Top 25 Showdowns
• (14) Oregon at (17) Cal State Fullerton: The Titans played with heavy hearts Saturday after teammate Nick Hurtado passed away Friday night following a battle with bone cancer. Fullerton honored Hurtado with a moment of silence before the game, then clinched the series against Oregon with a 5-2 win to improve to 10-0 on the season—the program's best start in its Division I history, which dates back to 1975. MIchael Lorenzen's three-run homer in the first spotted Fullerton to a 3-0 lead it would not relinquish, as Justin Garza (8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) held the Ducks in check before handing off to Lorenzen, who worked a scoreless ninth. Tommy Thorpe (5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) took his first loss for the Ducks.
• (25) Virginia Tech vs. (22) Notre Dame: Trey Mancini homered for the second straight day—a two-run shot in the fourth that broke a scoreless tie—and Adam Norton (9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) baffled the dangerous Virginia Tech lineup, as the Fighting Irish improved to 8-1 with a 3-0 win. Brad Markey (8 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) was strong in defeat for the Hokies. Notre Dame is off to its best nine-game start since 1960.
Top 25 Upsets
• (3) Arkansas vs. Arizona State: The Sun Devils capitalized on two Arkansas errors and a wild pitch to break a scoreless tie with two in the seventh en route to a 3-1 win. Trey Killian (6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K) was strong in defeat for the Hogs, who fell to 0-3 at the Coca-Cola Classic. Ryan Kellogg (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) was very good in a no-decision for ASU, and Alex Blackford and Ryan Burr followed with three innings of hitless relief, striking out five.
• (13) Rice vs. Texas A&M: The Aggies jumped on Jordan Stephens (5.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) for six runs over the first two innings in support of Daniel Mengden (8 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K), and Texas A&M cruised to an 8-3 win at Minute Maid Park. Leadoff man Mikey Reynolds (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI) sparked the A&M offense, and Blake Allemand opened the scoring with a three-run double in the first.
• Pepperdine at (18) Oklahoma: The Waves evened the series with a 7-2 win behind Corey Miller (6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER). Pepperdine broke open 3-2 game with four in the ninth, highlighted by Austin Davidson's three-run homer. Jonathan Gray (6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) was solid in defeat for Oklahoma, which got three hits apiece from Matt Oberste and Kolbey Carpenter.
• Manhattan at (23) Florida Gulf Coast: The Eagles split a doubleheader with the Jaspers, winning the first game 1-0 but falling 6-5 in Game Two. Sean Dwyer provided all the scoring with a solo homer in the sixth in the opener, and Michael Murray (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K) turned in an outstanding start. The Jaspers rallied from behind with three runs in the ninth to win the second game, capped by a game-winning RBI infield single by Kyle Murphy (2-for-4, 2 RBI). Brooks Beisner had four hits in a losing cause for FGCU.
• (24) Southern Mississippi at Troy: After the Golden Eagles broke a scoreless tie with three in the top of the sixth, the Trojans answered with four in the bottom of the frame to chase Jake Drehoff (5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K), and Matthew Howard provided three scoreless innings of relief to secure the 6-3 win.
• Carlos Rodon (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 16 K) was simply masterful for the second straight week, and North Carolina State broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the 10th, as Trea Turner led off the frame with a double and scored after two FAU errors. A week after throwing seven innings in a combined no-hitter, Rodon carried another no-hit bid into the sixth, striking out eight of the first nine batters he faced. Heading into the sixth inning, Rodon had retired 43 of the 47 batters he had faced—and not allowed a hit—since giving up a fifth-inning homer two weeks ago against Appalachian State. His 16 strikeouts were a career high.
• Eight Stanford players recorded hits as part of a balanced 13-hit attack, as the Cardinal clinched its annual series against Texas with a 7-2 win. Daniel Starwalt (3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R) picked up the win in relief of John Hochstatter (3 IP, 2 H, 0 R). Austin Slater moved into the leadoff spot for Stanford and delivered two hits and two RBIs.
• Florida snapped its six-game losing streak with a 6-4 win against Miami, leveling the series. The Gators erased a 3-2 deficit with four runs in the eighth, highlighted by Taylor Gushue's go-ahead two-run single. Ryan Harris (3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) was strong in relief of Tucker Simpson (4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) for Florida, while Javi Salas (6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER) turned in a nice start in a no-decision for Miami.
• Brutal early-season slumps continued for last year's Northern darlings. Kent State was clobbered by Louisville, 10-3, to fall to 1-9 on the season. Stony Brook was shut out by Gardner-Webb, 4-0, to drop to 0-8 on the year. St. John's was smothered by East Carolina, 8-1, to fall to 1-9. And Purdue lost its third straight to Samford, 4-1, to fall to 3-7.
• Oregon State stayed perfect (11-0) with a doubleheader sweep of Bryant, 7-2 and 3-1. The Beavers got more brilliant pitching from Dan Child (7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) and Andrew Moore (8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K), and the staff ERA stands at a microscopic 0.90 after 11 games. According to OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie, Child was 88-93 with his lively sinker Saturday, while Moore was 90-93 and continued to show advanced feel for his four-pitch mix. The team's expected ace heading into the season, Ben Wetzler, will make his first start of the season in Sunday's series finale.
• Speaking of unbeaten teams and miniscule ERAs, Mississippi State beat St. Joseph's, 4-1, to improve to 13-0 and lower its staff ERA to 1.38. Ross Mitchell (5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 9 K) combined with Evan Mitchell and Jonathan Holder on a five-hitter. MSU, Oregon State, Virginia and Cal State Fullerton are the only unbeaten teams who have played at least 10 games.
• Mike Mayers (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) picked up his first win of the year for Ole Miss in an 8-3 win at Florida International, clinching the series. The Rebels are 10-1.
• Georgia Tech is also 10-1 after an 11-2 win against Rutgers, clinching the series. Red-hot slugger Daniel Palka (2-for-3, 4 RBI) hit his third homer, helping Dusty Isaacs (6 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) pick up the win.
• Arizona scored four in the first against San Francisco flame-thrower Alex Balog (7 IP, 7 H, 4 ER), and James Farris (8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) made the lead stand up, as the Wildcats clinched the series with a 5-2 win.
• One of the Mountain West Conference's struggling powers picked up a much-needed win Saturday, as Fresno State snapped its seven-game losing streak with a 5-1 win against Southern California. But New Mexico dropped to 2-5 after an 8-5 loss to Nebraska (1-7). D.J. Peterson hit his third homer of the year, a three-run shot in the first, and the Lobos built a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth, when the Cornhuskers exploded with seven runs.
• Former MWC power Texas Christian (now in the Big 12) improved to 2-7 with a 10-0 shellacking of Jacksonville, evening the series. Jantzen Witte hit a grand slam in TCU's seven-run sixth, and Preston Morrison (8 IP, 5 H, 0 R) earned his first win of the year.
• Ryan Eades (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K) was dominant in Louisiana State's 7-1 win against Brown.
• Jerad Grundy (8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K) was masterful in Kentucky's 7-0 win against Akron. Grundy improved to 3-0, 0.43 with 24 strikeouts and three walks through 21 innings.
• Trey Masek (9 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K) was overpowering in Texas Tech's 3-0 win against La Salle. Masek, who set a career high for strikeouts in the game, has not allowed a run in his last three starts, a span of 24 consecutive scoreless innings.
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