A day after Oregon State's Matt Boyd became the first pitcher to one-hit No. 20 Arizona State for the first time since 1983, the Sun Devils one-upped the Beavers. ASU freshman lefthander Ryan Kellogg threw a no-hitter in a 4-0 win, Arizona State's first no-hitter since 1993 and its first ever in Pacific-12 (or Pac-10) Conference play. Kellogg did not issue a walk and carried a perfect game into the seventh, when Drew Stankiewicz made an error with one out, giving the Beavers the first of their two baserunners in the game. Kellogg recorded three strikeouts, keeping the Beavers off balance and letting his defense work behind him.
"I knew (our defenders) were behind me the whole game," Kellogg said afterward. "I only had two strikeouts and they came in the last inning, so they made all the other plays for me.
"It is definitely a huge moment in my career, as well as for ASU baseball. To come out and have a performance like this after the day we had yesterday, especially against No. 3 Oregon State, is great for the team and the program."
It is difficult to overstate the magnitude of a freshman throwing a no-hitter in Corvallis against an elite team like Oregon State, which falls to 20-2 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12. The Beavers had not been no-hit since 1994. Kellogg's no-hitter is the ninth in ASU's storied history, but none of the others came against an opponent like Oregon State. For more on Kellogg, see the Arizona State section of Thursday's Weekend Preview.
On to the rest of the Saturday Roundup.
Top 25 Showdowns
• (21) Arkansas at (5) South Carolina: Ryne Stanek (9 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) turned in by far his best outing of the season, leading Arkansas to a series-clinching 4-2 win in Columbia. Dominic Ficociello had two hits in his second game back in the starting lineup, helping to lead the Arkansas offense against Nolan Belcher (7.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K), who saw his scoreless streak snapped at 31.2 innings when the Hogs got on the board in the sixth. [...] Continue Reading »
I'm on the road this weekend, so tonight's roundup will focus on Friday's Top 25 action. I was on hand for one Top 25 upset, as Taylor Gushue broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer in the sixth, and three Florida pitchers combined on a three-hitter in a 7-1 win at No. 2 Vanderbilt. You can check out my report from Nashville here.
Top 25 Showdowns
• (20) Arizona State at (3) Oregon State: Matt Boyd (9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 11 K) allowed a leadoff single to Drew Stankiewicz to open the game, but he held the Sun Devils hitless the rest of the way, leading Oregon State to a 5-0 win. Boyd retired 12 straight batters after Stankiewicz's single and finished with a career-high 11 strikeouts. Boyd became the first pitcher to one-hit Arizona State since Alabama's Alan Dunn and Tim Meacham combined to do it on June 10, 1983. Michael Conforto had three hits and Dylan Davis had two RBIs to lead the OSU offense against Trevor Williams (5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K).
• (21) Arkansas at (5) South Carolina: Arkansas blasted Evan Beal (3.2 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 6 K), breaking a scoreless tie with nine runs in the fourth en route to a 15-3 blowout in Columbia. Tyler Spoon (3-for-6, 2 R, 5 RBI) led Arkansas' balanced 13-hit attack in support of Barrett Astin (5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K). The Hogs' bats are heating up after a slow start; they have recorded double-digit hits in three straight games and five times in their last six games.
• (9) Georgia Tech at (12) Florida State: The Yellow Jackets and Seminoles swapped blowouts in a doubleheader split, with Georgia Tech taking the opener 10-0 but Florida State responding with an 11-3 win in the night cap. Zane Evans (3-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI) hit his 10th home run of the season in the opener, and Buck Farmer (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K) and Josh Heddinger (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R) combined on a three-hit shutout. The Jackets chased Brandon Leibrandt (1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER) in a four-run second. D.J. Stewart (2-for-4, 2 R, 6 RBI) broke open a 3-0 game with a fifth-inning grand slam in the second game, helping Scott Sitz (5.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K) improve to 5-0. Kyle Wren had four hits in defeat for Georgia Tech. [...] Continue Reading »
NInth-ranked Georgia Tech has college baseball's most explosive offense, but the Yellow Jackets were held to fewer than seven runs for just the second time in their last 15 games Tuesday. Reliever Matt McCall (4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) led a group of four Georgia Southern pitchers that held the Jackets in check, as the Eagles pulled off the 5-4 upset in Atlanta. T.D. Davis (2-for-4, 2 RBI) hit his sixth homer of the year to lead the GSU offense, while Zane Evans smacked his ninth long ball for Tech, which was averaging 10 runs per game during its first 19 games this season.
On to the rest of the Tuesday roundup.
Other Top 25 Upsets
• Ryan Huck (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI) powered Western Kentucky to a 6-3 win at No. 10 Kentucky. The Wildcats rapped out 11 hits and drew seven walks but left 15 men on base.
• No. 16 North Carolina State continued to be plagued by short starts on the mound, as Logan Jernigan (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 0 K) failed to get through the first inning in an 8-5 loss to UNC Greensboro. The Wolfpack carried a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning, but the Spartans scored three in the top of the eighth, then won it with three more in the 11th. T.J. Spina (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI) led the UNCG offense.
• No. 20 Arizona State got outstanding pitching during its 11-2 start, but the Sun Devils have suddenly gone cold on the mound. ASU allowed 25 runs during its two losses to Washington State this weekend, and the Devils allowed eight more runs Tuesday at Texas Tech, losing a back-and-forth affair 8-7. The Red Raiders scored two runs in the ninth without the benefit of a hit, as ASU freshman closer Ryan Burr walked four and hit another batter. Scott LeJeune's walk-off walk on a close 3-and-2 pitch ended it. The Red Raiders, coming off a series win at Texas, improve to 15-8. They also split a pair of midweek games at Arizona two weeks ago. [...] Continue Reading »
Kris Bryant is on some kind of a tear. Two days after he slugged three home runs (including a walk-off shot) in the series opener against Brigham Young, San Diego's first-team preseason All-American delivered another walk-off homer Saturday, a two-run blast that lifted the Toreros to a 10-9 win in 14 innings, completing the sweep. Bryant is hitting .386/.561/.986 on the season, with 12 homers and 24 RBIs.
We'll have more on Bryant's heroics in Monday's Three Strikes. On to the rest of the Saturday Roundup.
Top 25 Showdowns
• (3) Oregon State at (20) Arizona: The Beavers clinched the series in Tucson with a 4-3 win behind Andrew Moore (5.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER), who improved to 5-0 on the season. Dylan Davis and Jake Rodriguez had two RBIs apiece to lead the Oregon State offense. James Farris (5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) took the loss for the Wildcats.
• (6) Mississippi at (15) Arkansas: The Razorbacks evened the series with an emphatic 10-1 win. Joe Serrano had three hits and Tyler Spoon had three RBIs to lead a balanced Arkansas attack in support of Randall Fant (6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K). Mike Mayers (5.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) took his first loss of the year for Ole Miss.
• (7) Louisiana State at (13) Mississippi State: Ryan Eades (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) led LSU to a series-clinching 7-3 win in Starkville. Mason Katz homered for the second straight day (giving him nine on the season), and Alex Bregman added a three-run shot in the ninth to give the Tigers a more comfortable cushion. Evan Mitchell (4 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) took his first loss of the season for MSU. The Tigers have won seven straight series against Mississippi State, and five straight in Starkville. [...] Continue Reading »
Two more unbeaten teams went down Friday, leaving 3-0 Dartmouth (which was idle Friday) as the only undefeated team left in Division I. No. 1 North Carolina was knocked off by Miami, 4-1 in Chapel Hill—the Hurricanes' 11th victory in their last 12 games against UNC. Lefthander Chris Diaz (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) stifled the UNC offense, and the Hurricanes broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the fifth against Kent Emanuel (6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER). The Tar Heels drop to 16-1 on the season.
And in College Park, Maryland handed No. 12 Florida State its first defeat in its second road game of the year, 5-3. Jimmy Reed (8 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER) and Kevin Mooney combined on a five-hitter, and Kyle Convissar had three RBIs to lead the Maryland offense against Brandon Leibrandt (5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER).
There were a few other upsets Friday, along with some compelling action on opening day in the Southeastern Conference. On to the roundup:
Top 25 Showdowns
• (3) Oregon State at (20) Arizona: The Beavers won their Pac-12 opener in Tucson, 6-2. Michael Conforto (3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI) hit his fifth homer of the year in support of Matt Boyd (7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K), who improved to 4-0 for Oregon State. Konner Wade (5.2 IP, 12 H, 6 ER) was whacked around for Arizona, which was held to just four hits in the game.
• (6) Mississippi at (15) Arkansas: Preston Overbey's second-inning grand slam spotted Bobby Wahl (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K) to a lead he would not relinquish, as the Rebels won the opener in Fayetteville, 7-1. Ole Miss chased Trey Killian (3 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) with three more runs in the fourth. At 19-1, the Rebels are off to the best 20-game start in program history.
• (7) Louisiana State at (13) Mississippi State: Mason Katz (3-for-4, 3 R, 4 RBI) blasted two home runs, including a game-winning two-run shot in the 10th inning, to lift LSU to a 6-4 win in Starkville. Aaron Nola (5.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) earned a no-decision for the Tigers, who got a combined 4.1 innings of one-hit, shutout relief from Brent Bonvillian, Joey Bourgeois and Chris Cotton. Hunter Renfroe (2-for-5, 3 RBI) homered in support of Jacob Lindgren (5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) for MSU, which led 4-1 after five innings but let the lead slip away. [...] Continue Reading »
The ranks of the Division I unbeaten are down to three—counting 3-0 Dartmouth. Third-ranked Oregon State took its first loss of the season Tuesday against visiting San Francisco, which scored two runs in the first against Dan Child (2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB) and went on to a 5-1 win.
Sidewinding lefty Christian Cecilio started and threw four innings of one-hit, shutout ball for USF. In two outings against Pac-12 powers Oregon State and Arizona this season, Cecilio has allowed just one run and three hits in 9.2 innings, striking out eight while walking two. Zachary Turner (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2B) led USF's 10-hit attack against the team that led the nation with a 1.17 ERA entering the game. OSU's ERA climbed to 1.43 after Tuesday's loss.
On to some of Tuesday's other highlights:
• The two remaining undefeated teams who have played full schedules are No. 1 North Carolina and No. 12 Florida State, both of whom stayed perfect with wins Tuesday. Trent Thornton (7.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K) lost his no-hit bid with two outs in the eighth inning in UNC's 12-0 win against Gardner-Webb. Florida State, meanwhile, beat rival Florida in Gainesville for the first time since 2007, winning 4-1 behind Luke Weaver (6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K). Giovanny Alfonzo had two hits and two RBIs to lead the offense for FSU, which snapped a three-game losing streak against Florida.
• There was just one other Top 25 upset Tuesday—UC Santa Barbara's 7-2 win against No. 17 Notre Dame. Tyler Kuresa (3-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI) led the Gauchos' offense behind Greg Mahle (4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K), as UCSB rebounded nicely after getting swept at Texas this weekend. [...] Continue Reading »
It's easy to get lost in a daily sea of box scores during the college season, but sometimes it's nice to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The NCAA has updated its statistics database after four weeks of play. A month into the season, here are a few things that jump out from the national leaderboards:
• A number of elite talents are performing at an elite level. The nation's co-leaders in home runs are first-team preseason All-American Kris Bryant of San Diego and second-teamer D.J. Peterson of New Mexico. Another first-teamer, Phillip Ervin of Samford, is all alone in third place with seven long balls. Peterson also leads the nation in slugging (1.138), while Bryant ranks fourth (.897), first-teamer Trea Turner is sixth (.893), and Ervin is ninth (.828).
• Troy's Danny Collins is all over the offensive leaderboards. He leads the nation in batting (.511), on-base percentage (.619) and RBIs per game (1.64), while ranking third in slugging (1.043). For more on Collins, see last week's Streakin' blog.
• Carlos Rodon has had a couple of rough outings in his first four starts for North Carolina State, but he still leads the nation with a whopping 17.01 strikeouts per nine innings. Rice's Austin Kubitza is next at 15.58, while Oklahoma lefthander Billy Waltrip ranks third (14.73). All three of them have one thing in common: They all own wipeout power sliders. Waltrip complemented his 90-92 fastball with an 81-84 slider that helped him rack up a pair of strikeouts in the ninth inning Saturday at UCLA. Waltrip started the year in Oklahoma's rotation, but he has found a home at the back of the bullpen.
"Billy's got that good slider," OU pitching coach Jack Giese said this weekend. "If we're going to put him in that role for us, we might as well just put him in the stretch and see what happens." [...] Continue Reading »
Strike One: Rebel Uprising
Two years ago, John Richy was an out-of-shape senior at Golden (Colo.) High School, with a brighter future as a golfer than as a baseball player. In June, UNLV coach Tim Chambers was working a camp in Colorado and he heard about Richy, so he went to see him pitch, even though the righthander had spent the season pitching in the 83-85 range.
"This kid was a golfer in high school, and he was heavy—he was 240, 250 pounds, 6-3 or 6-4ish," Chambers said. "His high school coach said, 'If you dedicate yourself to the gym a little bit, you might play college baseball and not golf.' We happened to see him in June, and he was 88-89, so we signed him up—we needed arms and we had some money to spend . . . There's a guy that had one Division I offer in June, and he just threw a two-hitter."
It wasn't just any two-hitter. Richy threw a complete-game gem on the road against a member of college baseball's royal family—Stanford. He allowed just one unearned run in UNLV's 5-1 win on Sunday, completing a stunning series sweep that knocked the Cardinal out of the Top 25, and vaulted the Rebels (13-3) into the rankings for the first time since 2003.
Richy has lost weight in his two years at UNLV (he's now listed at 220 pounds), and pitching coach Stan Stolte has helped him unlock his potential by speeding up his delivery, from about 2.4 seconds to about 1.7 seconds, according to Chambers. Now his fastball is running all over, and he is mixing in a good breaking ball, changeup and cutter.
Richy is just one of many diamonds in the rough UNLV's coaching staff has identified and developed in Chambers' three years at the helm. Sophomore left fielder Joey Swanner, who sparked the offense repeatedly this weekend from atop the order, had one one or two Division I offers out of high school, according to Chambers. Mark Shannon started his career at Northern Colorado and then transferred to Central Arizona JC. The Rebels recruited him as a pitcher, but here he is playing center field and hitting in the No. 3 hole.
The Top 25 is due for its first major shakeup of the season Monday after seven ranked teams had losing weekends. Nevada-Las Vegas and Central Arkansas both made noise Sunday (see below), and so did Indiana, which clinched a big road series win at Florida with a a 7-4 win. Kyle Schwarber (4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B) capped a big weekend with a huge Sunday to lead IU's 14-hit barrage in support of Kyle Hart (7.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 ER). At 8-9, Florida isn't the big fish it has been in recent years, but this was still a statement weekend for Big Ten favorite Indiana, which improved to 8-3, with other wins coming against Louisville and Coastal Carolina.
On to the Sunday Top 25 Roundup:
Top 25 Showdowns
• (2) Vanderbilt at (15) Oregon: The Ducks avoided the sweep with a wacky come-from-behind 7-5 win. Oregon came back from a 5-2 deficit with five runs—on just one hit—in the eighth inning, capped by Scott Heineman's tie-breaking two-run single. The Ducks took advantage of three walks, two hit batsmen, a fielder's choice, an error and a wild pitch to tie the game, setting up Heineman's heroics.
• (14) Georgia Tech at (24) Virginia Tech: The Hokies avoided a sweep with a 6-2 win. Devin Burke (8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER) stifled a Georgia Tech offense that had scored in double figures in each of its previous nine games (all victories), and Brendon Hayden (2-for-4, 3 RBI) homered for the second straight day for Virginia Tech, which broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the sixth.
• (17) Oklahoma vs. (22) Notre Dame: The Irish won a back-and-forth battle, 6-5 in 11 innings. Dan Slania (3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K) bounced back very strong after throwing two scoreless frames Saturday to pick up the win in relief Sunday, as the Fighting Irish forced extra innings with a run in the ninth, then won it on Kevin DeFilippis' pinch-hit, walk-off RBI single in the 11th. [...] Continue Reading »
Clemson clinched a big road series at No. 9 North Carolina State with a 7-4 win Saturday, but that was the least of the Wolfpack's troubles. Preseason All-America shortstop Trea Turner, who stepped awkwardly on first base trying to beat out an infield single in the final play of Friday's game, arrived at the ballpark Saturday wearing a protective boot. Turner is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained ankle—a huge blow for the Wolfpack heading into Atlantic Coast Conference play. Turner is college baseball's most dynamic player, and he was off to a blistering start, hitting .464/.522/.893 with five homers, 18 RBIs and eight steals in eight tries. Veteran Matt Bergquist started in his place at shortstop Thursday and should be an able substitute defensively, but Turner's offensive value is impossible to replace.
Meanwhile, N.C. State's pitching struggles continued in Saturday's loss, as Ethan Ogburn (1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB) gave the Wolfpack its fourth very poor weekend start over the last two weeks. Thomas Brittle's second-inning grand slam put Clemson in control of the game for good, and the Tigers' bullpen was solid after Clate Schmidt (3.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER) exited in the fourth.
On to the rest of Saturday's action:
Top 25 Showdowns
• (2) Vanderbilt at (15) Oregon: Tony Kemp (3-for-4, R, RBI) led the Vandy offense in support of Tyler Beede (6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 BB, 7 K), as the Commodores clinched the big road series with a 4-2 win. Vanderbilt starting pitchers have 56 strikeouts and a 0.36 ERA in 49 innings over their last seven games. Tommy Thorpe (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) was solid in defeat for the Ducks, who have managed just seven hits over the first two games of the series.
• (14) Georgia Tech at (24) Virginia Tech: Georgia Tech's incredible offensive hot streak continues. The Yellow Jackets outslugged the Hokies 14-9, the ninth straight game the Jackets have scored in double figures. All nine Georgia Tech starters recorded hits Saturday, and seven of them posted multi-hit games, led by Brandon Thomas and Matt Gonzalez with three hits apiece. The Jackets knocked around hard-throwing Brad Markey (6 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 6 ER). [...] Continue Reading »
Lefthander Tom Windle threw the first nine-inning no-hitter in Minnesota history in a 3-0 win against Western Illinois on Friday. Windle retired the first 11 Leathernecks in order before issuing his only walk in the fourth inning. WIU had only one other baserunner in the game, on an error in the sixth inning. Windle struck out eight and needed just 94 pitches to go the distance. Minnesota's baseball history includes two seven-inning no-hitters, in 1970 and 1993. Windle's no-hitter was also coach John Anderson's 1,100th career win. For more on Windle, BA subscribers can read our recent profile of him here.
On to the rest of Friday's action:
Top 25 Showdowns
• (2) Vanderbilt at (15) Oregon: Kevin Ziomek (9 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 K) threw his second consecutive complete game, leading the Commodores to a 4-1 win. Ziomek retired 16 of 17 to open the game, with the only blemish coming on Ryon Healy's solo home run leading off the fourth. Ziomek has allowed just one run on three hits with 28 strikeouts over his last two starts. Tony Kemp and Jack Lupo had two RBIs apiece for the Commodores, who handed Jake Reed (7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) his third loss. Vandy has won 12 straight and has yielded three runs or fewer in 13 of its 14 games.
• (14) Georgia Tech at (24) Virginia Tech: Daniel Palka and Zane Evans each homered and drove in four behind Buck Farmer (6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K), leading the Yellow Jackets to a 11-1 shellacking of the Hokies. Palka hit his first career grand slam in the sixth to break open a 3-0 game and chase Eddie Campbell (4 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 5 BB, 3 K). Farmer carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing his first earned run of the season, snapping a marathon streak of 26.2 innings without allowing one.
• (22) Notre Dame at (12) UCLA: Kevin Kramer singled to lead off the 10th, and Eric Filia singled him home with two outs to propel the Bruins to a 2-1 win. Adam Plutko (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) and Sean Fitzgerald (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K) went toe-to-toe in a fine pitchers' duel, but UCLA won the battle of the bullpens, as Zack Weiss and David Berg combined for three innings of two-hit relief, striking out six without issuing a walk. Nick McCarty (3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) pitched well in relief for Notre Dame before allowing the winning run in the 10th. [...] Continue Reading »
Towson announced Friday that it was cutting its baseball program, as well as men's soccer, while adding men's tennis in a move to cut athletic department costs and better comply with Title IX gender-equity laws.
The university, based in suburban Baltimore, originally announced its intention to cut baseball in October, spurring supporters of the program to launch efforts save it. The Baltimore Sun reported that a group of the school's most prominent graduates and supporters, along with parents from the baseball team, lobbied university president Maravene Loeschke to save the program, but their efforts were not enough. The paper reported that Towson coach Mike Gottlieb, who has been with the team since joining it as a player in 1977, was informed of Loeschke's decision in a meeting with athletic director Mike Waddell this morning.
In what will be its final baseball season, Towson is off to a 6-4 start. The Tigers won a road series at Duke last weekend, and they open Colonial Athletic Association play this weekend against Delaware.
A message for Gottlieb was not immediately returned.
A pair of top 10 teams were knocked off Tuesday. The day's most jarring score was Elon's 24-12 win against No. 9 North Carolina State on a cold, wet night in Elon. The Wolfpack, which carried a 10-game winning streak into the game, had allowed just 26 runs total in its first 11 games. Anthony Tzamtzis (1 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 6 ER) turned in N.C. State's third very short outing in its last four games. Antonio Alvarez and Alex Swim had five RBIs apiece for the Phoenix, and Sebastian Gomez drove in a career-high six, helping Elon build an 18-3 lead by the end of the fourth. Trea Turner continued his torrid start to the season for the Wolfpack, going 4-for-5 with two homers, five RBIs and two stolen bases.
• No. 10 Cal State Fullerton dropped its second straight game, 7-3 at San Diego, which has won six straight and eight of nine since starting the season 0-3. Kris Bryant hit a pair of two-run homers to power the USD offense, which handed hard-throwing J.D. Davis (3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER) his first loss of the season.
• Tuesday's other Top 25 upset came in Arlington, where Texas-Arlington cruised to a 6-1 win against No. 17 Oklahoma. Matt Shortall had two hits and two RBIs in support of Chase Weaver (5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), and John Beck worked three scoreless innings for the save.
• Jeff Gold (7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) turned in a strong start in Oregon's 4-1 win against Cal State Northridge, but his defensive resourcefulness stole the headlines after a ball got stuck in his glove on a comebacker, and he threw ball and glove to first base for the out. Credit first baseman Ryon Healy with maintaining his concentration after the ball and glove separated in mid-air. The video is definitely worth a look, if you haven't already seen it on SportsCenter. [...] Continue Reading »
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. [...] Continue Reading »
South Carolina continued its recent mastery of arch-rival Clemson on Friday, as Jordan Montgomery (8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K) dominated in the Gamecocks 6-0 win in Clemson. With South Carolina clinging to just a 1-0 lead in the seventh, the Tigers unraveled, as a dropped fly ball and three consecutive walks led to a three-run rally against Daniel Gossett (6.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) and the Clemson bullpen. The Tigers tacked on two more in the eighth, and Tyler Webb struck out the side in order in the ninth to slam the door.
On to some of Friday's other highlights (we'll keep this tight after a 13-hour day at Minute Maid Park):
Top 25 Showdowns
• (14) Oregon at (17) Cal State Fullerton: The Titans won the opener 8-2 behind Thomas Eshelman (9 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K), who needed just 95 pitches to go the distance and improve to 3-0. The Titans broke a 1-1 tie with three runs on just one hit in the fifth against Jake Reed (5.2 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K), as wild pitches, walks and a passed ball undid the Ducks. Carlos Lopez and Anthony Hutting had two RBIs apiece to lead the Fullerton attack.
• (1) North Carolina vs. (13) Rice: Chaz Frank doubled and scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the ninth, leading UNC to a 2-1 win. Kent Emanuel (7 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) and Austin Kubitza (6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K) were both strong in no-decisions. For more, see my report on the College Blog.
Top 25 Upsets
• Gonzaga vs. (3) Arkansas: Marco Gonzales (9 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K) threw a shutout in Gonzaga's 3-0 upset, dropping the Hogs to 0-2 at the Coca-Cola Classic in Arizona. Barrett Astin (5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER) was solid in defeat for the Razorbacks, but the Bulldogs got to him for three runs in the sixth, and Gonzales made it stand up by showing exceptional command of his 88-90 fastball, excellent changeup and good breaking ball, according to a source at the game.
• Portland at (21) UC Irvine: Travis Radke (6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 11 K) shut down the Anteaters in Portland's 2-0 upset. Andrew Thurman (6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) was solid in defeat for Irvine, but the Pilots jumped on him for two runs in the first, and Radke and Billy Sahlinger (2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) made it stand up. [...] Continue Reading »
After three straight trips to the College World Series, Florida isn't accustomed to losing streaks. The Gators were swept out of the Top 25 by Florida Gulf Coast this weekend, and their struggles continued Tuesday with a 7-6 loss to North Florida in Gainesville.
Florida rallied from behind to force extra innings with two runs in the ninth, but Corey Bass delivered a game-winning RBI double in the 10th for the Ospreys, handing Florida its fifth straight loss. It doesn't get any easier for the Gators this weekend, as they'll host 8-0 Miami. Smoke Laval's North Florida club, meanwhile, improved to 6-2, having won series against West Virginia and The Citadel over the first two weeks.
Tuesday's slate also featured a number of ranked teams getting knocked off. Here's a roundup of the day's action:
Top 25 Upsets
• Memphis followed up its sweep of Missouri with a fourth straight win against an SEC foe, knocking off No. 8 Mississippi 4-3 in Oxford. With the score tied 3-3, the Rebels made three errors in the eighth, leading to the winning run. Keaton Aldridge (3-for-5, 2 R) led the Memphis attack.
• Andrew Freter (5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER) and two Utah Valley relievers held No. 20 Arizona to just five hits in a 3-1 win in Tucson. Colby Croft had three hits to pace the Wolverines. [...] Continue Reading »
Stanford junior outfielder Austin Wilson, a first-team preseason All-American and projected first-round pick, has been sidelined since Feb. 16 with a stress reaction near the tip of his elbow, a team spokesman said Tuesday. The spokesman called it "a minor injury" that "typically takes four to six weeks to recover, if not sooner." That timetable would put Wilson's expected return somewhere between March 16 and March 30. That contradicts an internet report that suggested Wilson is expected to be out six to eight weeks.
In Wilson's absence, sophomore Austin Slater has filled in exceptionally in right field. Slater had two hits in each of Stanford's three wins against Fresno State this weekend, and he leads the team with a .421 average on the season. The Cardinal has recruited very well over the last few years, and now it is reaping the rewards of its impressive depth of talent.
The Cardinal hosts Texas this weekend. Wilson has at least a chance to return for the start of Pacific-12 Conference play March 22 against Utah, and Stanford could use his bat back in the lineup, as the Cardinal is hitting just .229 with four homers on the season.
For the second straight day, college baseball saw a combined no-hitter, as Colby Holmes (6 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER) teamed with Forrest Koumas and Josh Knab on Sunday to throw South Carolina's first no-hitter since 1975, as South Carolina beat Albany 14-1. L.B. Dantzler homered in that one and drove in four, while Chase Vergason (3-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI) also went deep to lead off South Carolina's nine-run fifth. Dantzler (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B) capped his big weekend with another huge game in support of Nolan Belcher (6 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) in the second game of South Carolina's doubleheader sweep, which also included a 6-4 victory. Through six games this season, Dantzler is hitting .545 with three homers and 13 RBIs.
On to the rest of Sunday's action:
Top 25 Showdowns
• (20) Cal State Fullerton at (22) Texas Christian: The Titans completed a dominating three-game sweep with a 7-0 win. Fullerton, which never trailed in the series, improves to 8-0, its best start since 2003, while TCU falls to 0-6. Grahamm Wiest (7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) stymied the Frogs on Sunday, and Matt Chapman (3-for-4, 2 RBI) led the Fullerton offense. TCU has faced two very good pitching staffs this season, but the Frogs have scored just eight runs in six games and are hitting .183 as a team.
Top 25 Upsets
• Florida Gulf Coast at (17) Florida: FGCU earned a thrilling 7-4 win in 11 innings to sweep the series—the first time Florida has been swept at home since 2009. The Gators had the bases loaded with no outs in the 10th but failed to score against Harrison Cooney (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K), and Sean Dwyer (4-for-6, 2 R, 3 RBI) delivered a game-winning three-run homer off Justin Shafer in the 11th. [...] Continue Reading »
Saturday's college baseball action featured both a no-hitter and a player hitting for the cycle. First-team preseason All-America pitchers have fared much better this week than they did last week, and the latest to bounce back was North Carolina State's Carlos Rodon, who struck out a career-high 14 while issuing just one walk over seven hitless innings against La Salle. Freshman Karl Keglovits worked two perfect innings to complete the combined no-hitter, as the Wolfpack won 5-0. Rodon struck out the last six batters he faced, and nine of his last 11. It was N.C. State's first no-hitter since Gib Hobson threw one in 2005.
The cycle came in Dallas Baptist's 24-3 win against Mississippi Valley State. DBU's Duncan McAlpine went 4-for-5 with 3 runs and four RBIs, hitting a two-run homer in the seventh to complete his cycle.
On to the rest of Saturday's highlights:
Top 25 Showdowns
• (20) Cal State Fullerton at (22) Texas Christian: Freshman pitchers continued to come up huge for the Titans, who clinched the big road series with a 6-2 win. Justin Garza (7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) turned in his second stellar outing in as many weeks, a day after fellow freshman Thomas Eshelman did likewise. Another freshman, Jake Jefferies, gave TCU some crucial insurance with an eighth-inning grand slam. Eshelman and Garza are a combined 4-0, 0.36 with 25 strikeouts and one walk through 25 innings. Preston Morrison (7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) was solid in defeat for the Frogs.
Top 25 Upsets
• Brigham Young at (9) Louisiana State: BYU broke a 1-1 tie with five runs in the sixth against reliever Nate Fury, propelling the Cougars to a 9-4 upset and handing LSU its first loss. Brennon Anderson's three-run homer highlighted BYU's sixth-inning rally, and Mark Anderson (6.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER) kept the Tigers in check. Brent Bonvillain (4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) set down the first 12 batters of the game for LSU before hitting the wall in the fifth, when BYU loaded the bases twice but managed just one run. [...] Continue Reading »
I was on hand for a great pitching duel between Kent State's Tyler Skulina and San Diego's Michael Wagner on Friday; you can read my report here. There were plenty of other standout pitching performances across college baseball Friday; let's round up the action.
Top 25 Showdowns
• (20) Cal State Fullerton at (22) Texas Christian: Thomas Eshelman (5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K) turned in another outstanding start, leading the Titans to a 7-2 win. Fullerton got to Brandon Finnegan (4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) for a pair of runs in the fifth inning to take a 3-0 lead that it would not relinquish. Carlos Lopez and Michael Lorenzen had two RBIs apiece for the Titans.
Top 25 Upsets
• Loyola Marymount at (14) Oregon: Colin Welmon (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K) wriggled out of a pair of bases-loaded jams in the first two innings, and LMU got to Jake Reed (5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) in the middle innings to pull off a 7-2 win. Cullen Mahoney (2-for-5, 3 RBI) led the offense for the Lions, one of our preseason picks to make a regional. LMU is now 3-2 against Pac-12 teams, after winning two of three from Utah last week but falling to Southern California midweek.
• Florida Gulf Coast at (17) Florida: Ricky Knapp (9 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) needed just 92 pitches to go the distance against Florida, leading FGCU to an 8-2 win—the second win in program history against the Gators, and the fifth against a ranked opponent. The Eagles erased a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the sixth to chase Jonathon Crawford (5.1 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), who hit a batter and issued a walk to start the frame. Daniel Gibson took over and surrendered a three-run homer to Brooks Beisner. The Eagles put the game out of reach with five in the eighth. [...] Continue Reading »
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