Friday Roundup: Aaron Nola Dominates Again For LSU

John Manuel was on hand for North Carolina’s big 7-1 win at N.C. State on Friday; you can read his report on that game here, so we won’t dwell on that marquee matchup in this space. Friday’s slate featured four other showdowns between ranked foes, and the home team won all of them.

Top 25 Showdowns

Aaron Nola (photo by Andrew Woolley)

Aaron Nola (photo by Andrew Woolley)

• (15) South Carolina at (2) Louisiana State: Sean McMullen (2-for-3, R, 3 RBI) led LSU’s 10-hit attack in support of a masterful Aaron Nola (9 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K), as the Tigers won the series opener, 5-2. Nola has now thrown three consecutive complete-game gems—the first three complete games of his collegiate career. Joey Pankake hit his ninth homer in a losing cause for the Gamecocks, and Nolan Belcher (5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) fell to 6-4.

• (16) Mississippi State at (3) Vanderbilt: Mike Yastrzemski’s two-run single in the third against Luis Pollorena (7.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 7 K) put the Commodores ahead for good, as Kevin Ziomek (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K) was strong in Vandy’s 3-1 win. Brian Miller worked two scoreless innings to pick up his 12th save of the year, establishing a new single-season school record.

• (21) Stanford at (13) Oregon: Mark Appel (8.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K) and Tommy Thorpe (6.2 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) had a nice pitching duel, but the Ducks beat Appel 2-1 on Aaron Payne’s walk-off RBI single in the ninth. The Ducks improved to 14-5 in the Pac-12.

• (20) Georgia Tech at (25) Clemson: The Yellow Jackets’ tailspin continued, as Clemson swept a doubleheader, 11-3 and 4-3 (11 innings). Tyler Krieger and Jon McGibbon combined for five hits and five RBIs behind Daniel Gossett (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) in the opener, and Buck Farmer (6.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K) was knocked around. Zane Evans (2.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 0 K) failed to hold a 3-1 lead in the ninth in the nightcap, as Thomas Brittle hit an RBI triple and went on to score the tying run in the frame. Evans stranded the winning run at third in the ninth, then escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 10th, only to lose on Krieger’s walk-off RBI single in the 11th. Georgia Tech, which has lost six straight games and fallen to 11-12 in the ACC, committed five errors in the game, issued 15 walks and surrendered six stolen bases. Clemson got strong relief from Patrick Andrews (3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER) and Scott Firth (2 IP, 2 H, 0 R).

Top 25 Upsets

• (4) Cal State Fullerton at Hawaii: The Titans came back from a 3-1 deficit with single runs in the sixth and eighth to tie the score, but Austin Wobrock’s RBI single in the eighth lifted the Rainbows to a 4-3 win. Connor Little (7.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER) was solid in a no-decision for Hawaii, and Koby Gauna (4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER) took the loss even though he pitched well in relief of Thomas Eshelman (3.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K). Hawaii, which had lost 10 of its previous 11 games, improved to 9-27 overall.

Other Top 25 Results

• (5) Virginia at Virginia Tech: Reed Gragnani (3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, HR) was one of six Cavaliers to record multiple hits as part of a 17-hit barrage in support of Brandel Waddell (5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), as Virginia blew out the Hokies, 15-6.

• Southern California at (7) Oregon State: Eight Beavers recorded multiple hits—led by the bottom two hitters in the order, Kavin Keyes (3-for-5, R, 3 RBI) and Max Gordon (4-for-5, 2 RBI)—as part of a 20-hit attack behind Matt Boyd (8.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 11 K), as the Beavers pummeled USC 10-4.

• (8) Arizona State at Utah: The Sun Devils overcame a 4-1 deficit with a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth to tie it, then won 5-4 on Drew Stankiewicz’s RBI single in the 10th. Ryan Burr (2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K) picked up the win in relief of Trevor Williams (8 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K). Kasey Coffman and Michael Benjamin had two hits and two RBIs apiece for ASU.

• (9) UCLA at Washington State: The Bruins built a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth, but Washington State chipped away at Adam Plutko (5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K) and the UCLA bullpen to force extra innings, only to see the Bruins win it 7-6 on Shane Ziele’s RBI single in the 11th.

• Wake Forest at (10) Florida State: Marcus Davis (2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI) led the FSU offense in support of Luke Weaver (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K), as the Seminoles took the series opener 7-3.

• Texas Tech at (11) Oklahoma: Play was suspended by rain until Saturday, with Oklahoma leading 8-0 in the ninth.

• Georgetown at (12) Louisville: Coco Johnson drove in both of Louisville’s runs int he second and third innings, and Chad Green (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) dominated in the Cardinals’ 2-1 win.

• (14) Arkansas at Georgia: Barrett Astin (8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K) and Colby Suggs combined on a six-hit shutout, and the Hogs won 2-0 despite mustering only three hits of their own. Brian Anderson had two of them, and one RBI.

• Michigan at (17) Indiana: Scott Donley (4-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR) had a big day to lead IU’s 11-hit attack behind Joey DeNato (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 K), as the Hoosiers scored seven runs in the first and cruised to a 9-1 win.

• Kentucky at (18) Mississippi: Andrew Mistone (3-for-4, R, 5 RBI, 2B, 3B) led Mississippi’s 13-hit attack behind Mike Mayers (6 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K), as the Rebels evened the series with an 11-5 win. Ole Miss hit Jerad Grundy (5.2 IP, 12 H, 9 ER) hard.

• Brigham Young at (22) Gonzaga: The Bulldogs clinched the series with a 5-1 win behind Tyler Olson (9 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K), who threw his second consecutive complete-game gem. Caleb Wood (3-for-4, 2 RBI) led Gonzaga’s 11-hit attack.

• (23) UNC Wilmington at Towson: Luke Dunlap (4-for-4, R, 4 RBI) led Wilmington’s 12-hit attack in support of Mat Batts (6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) in a 10-5 win at Towson. The Seahawks have won six straight games and are 13-2 in the CAA.

• Nevada-Las Vegas at (24) New Mexico: The Lobos extended their winning streak to eight with a 9-0 drubbing of UNLV. D.J. Peterson (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR) led New Mexico’s 15-hit attack in support of Drew Bridges (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K), who has given up just one run in his last 16 1/3 innings, starting with a 3-0 win at Arkansas on April 9.

Other Highlights

• Boston College finally picked up its first ACC win of the season, improving to 1-20 in the conference with a 1-0 win against Miami. Hunter Gordon (6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 2 K) and Jesse Adams (2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K) combined on a three-hit shutout for the Eagles, who are 7-34 overall. That loss will not look good on Miami’s postseason resume.

• Columbia swept a doubleheader against Pennsylvania, 3-2 and 14-1, to clinch the Gehrig Division title for the fourth time in program history. Joey Falcone hit a walk-off, two-run homer in the seventh and final frame to give the Lions a come-from-behind win in the opener. Falcone went deep again and had five RBIs in the second game. Columbia can clinch home field in the best-of-three Ivy championship series with a doubleheader sweep Saturday.

• Florida continued its second-half surge with a 7-2 win against Tennessee. Taylor Gushue (2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR) led the UF offense behind Danny Young (5.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R).

• In a crucial matchup between SEC would-be bubble teams, Alabama won its series opener against Texas A&M 3-2 behind Charley Sullivan (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER). The Aggies have dropped eight of their last nine to fall to 22-21 overall, 7-12 in the SEC. The next two games are just about make or break for A&M’s at-large hopes.

• Troy won the opener of a big series at fellow Sun Belt Conference bubble dweller Florida Atlantic, 8-3. Trae Santos and Matthew Howard combined for five hits and five RBIs to lead Troy’s 14-hit assault in support of Tanner Hicks (9 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K).

• Jon Prosinski (9 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 13 K) was brilliant in Seton Hall’s 7-0 win at Villanova. Prosinski improved to 7-2, 2.23 with 70 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 81 innings.

• Big East leader South Florida won its seventh straight conference game, 4-3 in 10 innings against St. John’s. Nik Alfonso delivered a game-winning RBI fielder’s choice in the 10th, and the Bulls got strong pitching from Jimmy Herget (7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) and Lawrence Pardo (3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K).

• Jimmy Reed (9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K) out-dueled Trent Swart (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K) in Maryland’s 1-0 win against Duke.

• Federico Castagnini (3-for-5, R, RBI) led Creighton’s 14-hit attack in a 5-3 win against Nebraska in front of 8,395 fans at TD Ameritrade Park. The Huskers, who had climbed to .500 overall last weekend, are now 19-21. In the early game at the TD Ameritrade Classic, Oklahoma State got a strong start from Mark Robinette (6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K) in a 4-1 win against Rutgers. That’ll be good for OSU’s RPI.

• We wrote about Harrison Musgrave in Thursday’s Weekend Preview, and the lefthander threw another Friday gem in West Virginia’s 1-0 win against Kansas. Musgrave struck out five and allowed just one walk in a four-hit shutout.

• Jared King (2-for-4, B, 3 RBI) led Kansas State to a 6-1 win against Texas Christian in the opener of an important Big 12 series. The Wildcats reached the 30-win mark (30-13) and improved to 8-5 in the conference.

• Texas, trying to avoid its sixth straight Big 12 series loss, dropped the series opener at Baylor, 6-2. Lawton Langford (3-for-5, 3 RBI) led the Baylor offense behind Max Garner (7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K).