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.
Other Top 25 Results
• The following series openers were postponed or suspended by wet weather on the East Coast: Stony Brook at (1) North Carolina; Albany at (7) South Carolina; Southeastern Louisiana at (9) Louisiana State; La Salle at (10) North Carolina State (canceled); St. John's at (16) Georgia Tech; South Florida at (19) Florida State.
• Monmouth at (2) Vanderbilt: Kevin Ziomek (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K) was dominant in Vandy's 5-1 win. Ziomek set a career high for strikeouts before handing off to Carson Fulmer, who struck out three over two perfect innings of relief.
• Evansville at (3) Arkansas: Tyler Spoon, Jake Wise and Jordan Farris had three RBIs apiece to propel the Hogs to a 10-4 win. Ryne Stanek (3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) struggled in a no-decision, exiting after throwing 76 pitches in three innings.
• Akron at (4) Louisville: Ty Young (3-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) led a 12-hit attack in support of Chad Green (7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K), who combined on a three-hit with Kyle Funkhouser in Louisville's 7-0 win.
• Purdue at (5) Mississippi State: Jacob Robson's eighth-inning sacrifice fly broke a 2-2 tie, keeping the Bulldogs unbeaten with a 3-2 win. Jacob Lindgren (5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) was strong in a no-decision, and Jonathan Holder (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K) earned the win in relief. Holder has struck out 11 of the 14 batters he has faced this season over three appearances, earning two saves.
• (6) Oregon State at San Diego State: Matt Boyd (8.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K) out-dueled Philip Walby (7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K) in Oregon State's 2-0 win. The Beavers broke a scoreless tie with two in the eighth, highlighted by Danny Hayes' go-ahead, two-out RBI single. Through two weeks, Boyd's conversion into a starter looks like a rousing success: He improved to 2-0, 1.17 with 13 strikeouts and two walks in 15 innings.
• Rhode Island at (8) Mississippi: Bobby Wahl (5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 4 K) didn't have his best control, but he kept the Rams in check in an 8-1 win. Josh Laxer and Jeremy Massie delivered a combined four innings of two-hit, shutout relief, and Will Jamison (2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI) led Mississippi's 12-hit attack.
• Elon vs. (11) Kentucky: The Wildcats broke a scoreless tie with five runs in the fourth inning, and Jerad Grundy (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) improved to 2-0 in UK's 6-1 win in Myrtle Beach.
• (12) UCLA at Baylor: Baylor stranded the bases loaded in the ninth against freshman closer James Kaprielian, as UCLA escaped with a 4-3 win. Brian Carroll (3-for-4, RBI) led the UCLA offense in support of Adam Plutko (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER), who picked up his first victory.
• (13) Rice at Hawaii: Ford Stainback's RBI single broke a scoreless tie in the 17th, leading Rice to a 2-0 win in a marathon game in Honolulu. Austin Kubitza (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 13 K) now has 25 strikeouts through two games, and Rice got stellar relief work from Zech Lemond (4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K), Evan Rutter (3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K) and John Simms (3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K).
• Fresno State at (15) Stanford: The Cardinal broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch, and Mark Appel (9 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K) needed just 105 pitches to go the distance in a 3-1 win. Aaron Judge, who homered twice against Appel in a game last year, went 0-for-4.
• (18) Oklahoma vs. Iowa: Dillon Overton (8 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K) was strong in OU's 3-1 win in Corpus Christi. The Sooners pushed across crucial insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings to secure the victory.
• Eastern Illinois at (21) Southern Mississippi: The Golden Eagles scored four in the second behind Andrew Pierce (7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K) and went on to a 6-3 win. Pierce improved to 2-0, 0.63 with 14 strikeouts and one walk in 14 innings.
• San Jose State at (23) Arizona: Konner Wade (7.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) struggled, but Arizona rallied from behind with three runs in the ninth to win 8-7. Brandon Dixon delivered a walk-off three-run triple to right-center for the Wildcats.
• California at (25) UC Irvine: The Anteaters broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the seventh to win 5-3. Andrew Thurman (6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) was strong in a no-decision, and five Anteaters tallied multiple hits, led by Ronnie Shaeffer (3-for-5), who delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh.
• Freshman Brandon Waddell (6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 15 K) was overpowering in Virginia's 15-0 rout of Toledo. Waddell's performance marked the most strikeouts by a Virginia freshman since Seth Greisinger fanned 16 in 1994 against North Carolina State. Nick Howard (4-for-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B) led UVa.'s 15-hit barrage.
• Like fellow first-team preseason All-American Appel, Sean Manaea (6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K) bounced back strong from last week's loss, though he earned a no-decision in Indiana State's 3-1 win against College of Charleston.
• Marco Gonzales (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K), another first-team All-American who lost last week, rebounded with a strong outing in Gonzaga's 9-3 win against Nevada-Las Vegas.
• UNLV's second game Friday in Stockton, Calif., featured the neat box score of the day: both the Rebels and Pacific had brothers batting back-to-back in their lineups. UNLV had Joey and Patrick Armstrong hitting fifth and sixth (they went a combined 3-for-8). Tyler and Brett Sullivan occupied the first two spots in the lineup for Pacific, going a combined 1-for-8 in the Tigers' 3-0 win.
• Eric Jagielo's two-run homer in the sixth powered Notre Dame to a 2-1 win at Tulane. The Green Wave loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against closer Dan Slania, but he wriggled out of the jam unscathed with a strikeout and a flyout.
• South Alabama set a school record for runs in a game in a 29-6 thrashing of New Orleans. The Jaguars scored 13 runs in the eighth inning. Six Jaguars tallied three or more hits, led by Cole Billingsley (4-for-7, 3 R, 3 RBI).
• New Mexico evened its record at 2-2 with a 7-0 win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi behind A.J. Carman (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R).
• The two pitchers featured in the Marquee Mound Matchup section of Thursday's Weekend Preview—Scott Frazier (6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) and Kyle Martin (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)—both earned no-decisions in Pepperdine's 5-3 win at Texas A&M. The Waves erased a 3-2 deficit with three runs in the eighth, highlighted by Sam Meyer's two-run single.
• Alabama improved to 5-0 with a 5-2 win at Sun Belt favorite Florida Atlantic. Charley Sullivan (5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) was strong in a no-decision for the Tide, which tied the score with a run in the seventh and won it with three in the eighth.
• Louisiana-Monroe improved to 4-1 with a quality win against Sam Houston State, 2-1. Cale Wine (9 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) went the distance for the Warhawks.
• Texas broke open a close game with five runs in the eighth to beat Nebraska, 8-2. Parker French (6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) improved to 2-0 for the Longhorns.
• Sam Moll (7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) turned in a gem in Memphis' 6-0 win against Missouri.
• Clinton Freeman belted two more home runs in support of Kerry Doane (9 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K), leading East Tennessee State to a 7-3 win against Seton Hall. The red-hot Freeman is hitting .688 (11-for-16) with 11 runs, six homers and 11 RBIs through five games, and he has worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief over three appearances.