Strike One: Beavers Blank Huskies
|How the Top 25 Fared|
|(1) Oregon State: won, 3-0, at Washington|
|(2) Louisville: won, 5-4, at Georgia Tech|
|(3) Texas Christian: won 8-6 at West Virginia|
|(4) North Carolina: won, 7-1, vs. North Carolina State|
|(5) Clemson: won 12-10 at Florida State|
|(6) Texas Tech: won, 12-8, at Kansas State|
|(7) Arizona: won, 18-4, vs. (22) Oregon|
|(8) Cal State Fullerton: won, 2-1, vs. Southern California|
|(9) Louisiana State: won 3-2, vs. Mississippi|
|(10) Auburn: won 8-1 at Tennessee|
|(11) Oklahoma: lost, 6-2, at (23) Michigan|
|(12) Long Beach State: lost 8-5 vs. Cal State Northridge|
|(13) Mississippi State: won, 5-4, at (17) South Carolina|
|(14) Virginia: lost 7-5 at Virginia Tech|
|(15) Kentucky: lost 9-8 at Missouri|
|(16) Florida: won 20-8 at Vanderbilt|
|(17) South Carolina: lost, 5-4, vs. (13) Mississippi State|
|(18) Stanford: lost, 7-6, vs. UCLA|
|(19) Arkansas: won, 11-3 vs. Georgia|
|(20) Wake Forest: won, 13-7, vs. Notre Dame|
|(21) Southern Mississippi: lost 11-4, at Rice|
|(22) Oregon: lost, 18-4, at (7) Arizona|
|(23) Michigan: won, 6-2 vs. (11) Oklahoma|
|(24) St. John’s: won, 12-3, at Butler|
|(25) Connecticut: lost, 6-5, at Tulane|
After dropping the opener Thursday and seeing its 23-game win streak snapped, No. 1 Oregon State bounced back to win the series, clinching it with Saturday’s 3-0 shutout.
Redshirt junior righthander Jake Thompson blanked the Huskies over 7.2 innings, allowing just six hits while striking out eight to improve to 8-0, tied for the most wins in the country. Of his 108 pitches, 72 were strikes, and his 1.08 ERA ranks in the top 10 in Division I.
Sophomore Steven Kwan had the big hit, a two-run single in the seventh to make it 3-0. Kwan had three hits, giving him six multi-hit games this season.
Huskies sophomore righthander Joe DeMers allowed seven hits and three runs in 6.1 innings, impressing coach Lindsay Meggs.
“We pitched well enough to win. No question,” Meggs said in quotes provided by the school. “Joe DeMers was a good as you could be against the No. 1 team in the country. I was really happy for Joe and proud of him.”
Strike Two: Skoug Carries TCU
— Michael Lananna (@mlananna) April 15, 2017
Speaking of bounce backs, Texas Christian rebounded from Friday’s loss at West Virginia, and Evan Skoug’s bat was a big reason why. Skoug homered twice Saturday—he’s hit three so far in the series—and had a key walk during a five-run eighth to help the Horned Frogs rally from down 5-0 and win 8-6.
The comeback continued a trend for the No. 3 team in the country; TCU has trailed in a game 22 times this season and has rallied to win 16 of those games.
“No matter what the score is, we never doubt ourselves,” Skoug told wvmetronews.com. “We know we’re going to get that guy on, we know we’re going to get that tying run on base. We know we always have a chance.”
The rally got touted freshman Nick Lodolo off the hook after he allowed three runs and three walks in his inning of work. Skoug’s two-homer game was the second of his career and first since May 12, 2015 against Abilene Christian.
WVU sophomore righthander Michael Grove was excellent for seven innings, but walked the first two men in the eighth and had thrown 124 pitches, so coach Randy Mazey knew it was time for the hook. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, five relievers, including three freshmen, couldn’t stop TCU.
“We had to find somebody out there who could go attack the strike zone, so we kept trying and kept trying and kept trying,” Mazey told wvmetronews.com. “We call that expensive experience, because it cost us a win and it cost us first place in the league.”
The teams play the rubber game today at noon ET.
— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) April 15, 2017
Strike Three: This One Goes To 11
Even before their 11-game win streak, it’s not as though the Tar Heels were struggling; after all, they were 18-6. But it’s fair to say they’ve hit another gear.
No. 6 UNC broke open a close game late to beat rival N.C. State for a second straight game, this time 7-1 on Saturday. North Carolina got six strong innings from freshman righthander Luca Dalatri (5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 SO) and Brandon Riley had two hits, including an RBI triple in the sixth that gave the Tar Heels the lead for good.
“Almost a carbon copy of (Friday’s) game in some ways,” coach Mike Fox told thetimesnews.com. “But again, I just think that speaks to our team, I’m not sure how much of that we did last year, if much at all. And that’s the separator in this league, the last three innings. Who’s going to step up and make big plays and big hits and big pitches, and we’ve been doing that.”
North Carolina’s offense is on fire of late, and now ranks 35th in the country in runs. In the past six games, the Heels have scored at least seven runs in each game and in the four games prior to this series, scored 17, 16, 15 and 20 runs.
Why did Trey Harris hit three homers tonight?
— #MizzouBaseball (@MizzouBaseball) April 16, 2017
Trey Harris, rf, Missouri. Harris cracked three homers—and nearly hit a fourth—and drove in four runs as Mizzou upended No. 15 Kentucky. Harris homered in his final at-bat Friday, so he had homers in four consecutive at-bats. Harris’ three home runs are the most by a Tigers player since April 11, 2008, when Jacob Priday hit a school-record four in a 31-12 win over Texas. His 11 homers tie him with several players for 16th in the country.
Evan Skoug, c, TCU: Skoug has homered three times in two games against WVU. Skoug, the No. 22 College Draft Prospect in the preseason, has now reached base safely in the past 18 games and he’s now up to .269/.384/.469.
Jake Thompson, rhp, Oregon State. Thompson’s eight wins are tied with Oregon’s David Peterson for the most in Division I, and he’s allowed just 4.6 hits per nine innings, which ranks fourth in the nation.
Riley Adams, c, San Diego. The first-team Preseason All-American had himself quite the game Saturday. Adams hit a grand slam and two-run homer to lead San Diego to a sweep of Pacific with a 10-4 win. Adams’ 10 homers and 33 RBIs lead the team.
Carlos Cortes, dh, South Carolina. The touted freshman clubbed two homers and drove in all four runs, but it was not enough as the Gamecocks fell to Mississippi State 5-4. Cortes entered April with three RBIs. He now has three homers and 16 RBIs.
Mac Caples, of, Virginia Tech. The senior blasted a three-run homer in a five-run seventh as Virginia Tech knocked off No. 14 Virginia 7-5. The Hokies hit two homers Saturday, giving them a Division I-best 68.
Minnesota. The Golden Gophers lost their first game in the Big Ten, falling 13-12 to Indiana to even that series. The Hoosiers scored nine times in the fifth inning.
Michigan. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, the Wolverines completed a three-game sweep of Oklahoma by scoring five runs in the sixth on the way to a 6-2 win.
Dalton Guthrie, ss, Florida. After being shut out by Kyle Wright, the Gators exploded for a 20-8 win over Vanderbilt to win the series Saturday. The junior Guthrie homered twice to lead the outburst. It was the most runs Florida has scored in an SEC game since scoring 24 against Auburn in 2009.