Saturday had no shortage of thrillers, and we’ll lead off with a couple of outstanding pitching duels from the Pac-12.
Stanford and sixth-ranked Oregon State, which went into Saturday leading the Pac-12 in team ERA at 2.38, played to a scoreless draw through 12 innings before OSU broke through in the 13th, winning 1-0 on Jeff Hendrix’s RBI single, which clinched the series. It wasn’t the smoothest outing for Andrew Moore (7 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K), as he didn’t have any one-two-three frames, but he was able to fight through seven scoreless to keep pace with Stanford’s Cal Quantrill (8 IP, 3 H, 0 R). Scott Schultz picked up the win with 4.2 innings of no-hit relief.
Up in Seattle, No. 14 Washington retained sole possession of first place in the Pac-12, a game ahead of OSU, with a 1-0 win of its own against No. 19 Oregon, setting up a rubber match Sunday. Robert Pehl’s RBI double in the bottom of the third was one of just two hits Washington got all night, but it was enough support for Tyler Davis (7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 10 K) and Troy Rallings (1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R). It was the longest outing of the junior Davis’ career and his personal best in strikeouts as well. The Ducks loaded the bases with two outs against Rallings in the ninth, but he got pinch-hitter Shaun Chase to fly out to left to end it.
The bigger story to come out of that game could be the loss of Oregon starter Matt Krook. The freshman lefthander came out of the game in the third inning with what Ducks coach George Horton called “stiffness in his arm,” per Tyson Alger of the Oregonian. Krook will be re-evaluated next week.
The Ducks have already withstood the loss of one weekend starter, Cole Irvin, and Krook was a big reason why. He’d been their best pitcher thus far, owning a 1.88 ERA through his first seven starts. Losing him on top of Irvin would be a serious blow.
On to the rest of Saturday’s action, where there was plenty of offense elsewhere:
Top 25 Showdowns
(17) UC Santa Barbara at (5) Cal Poly: A back-and-forth game saw UCSB climb out of an early 5-0 hole, but ultimately the Mustangs pulled out an 8-7 win to level the series. Both starting pitchers, UCSB’s Robby Nesovic (2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER) and Poly’s Justin Calomeni (3.1 IP, 11 H, 5 ER), were chased early, but the bullpens managed to settle things down. After the Gauchos scored a run in the fifth to tie the game 7-7, the scored remained there until the bottom of the ninth, when Chris Hoo’s walk-off single brought home Brett Barbier. The teams combined for 27 hits, led by UCSB’s Tyler Kuresa who went 4-for-5.
(9) Mississippi State at (20) Louisiana State: The Tigers clinched their first series win against a quality opponent by edging the Bulldogs 2-1, also ensuring they’ll take their season series against MSU for the eighth straight year. LSU freshman Jared Poche (6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER) picked up his sixth win, besting Ross Mitchell (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER). LSU’s Kade Scivicque (2-for-3) was the only player on either side with multiple hits, one of them an RBI single in the sixth as the Tigers scored both their runs in the frame.
(13) Florida at (22) Kentucky: In the first of a couple absolutely wild SEC games, Florida built a commanding 9-0 lead only to have to hang on by the skin of its teeth for an 11-10 win that tied the series. After getting pummeled 17-1 by Kentucky on Friday, the Gators got a much-needed strong start from Logan Shore (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K), while John Sternagel (4-for-5, 2 RBI) and Richie Martin (3-for-5) powered the offense. However, UF then had to survive a near complete meltdown by its bullpen. The Wildcats scored eight runs in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by another home run by A.J. Reed, a three-run blast that was his 11th of the year and second in as many days. After UF scored two insurance runs in the top of the ninth, Kentucky came back with two more in the bottom half and had the tying run on second when A.J. Puk finally ended the madness by getting Max Kuhn to bounce one back to the mound. In all, six Florida relievers allowed 10 runs (all earned) on nine hits and five walks in just two innings.
Top 25 Upsets
(2) South Carolina at Arkansas: The Razorbacks picked up a marquee series win, routing South Carolina 7-0 in Saturday’s rubber game. Chris Oliver (8 IP, 4 H, 0 R) fanned a career-high 10 for Arkansas, finishing off a dominant weekend for the Razorbacks’ staff which limited the Gamecocks to three runs in three games. On the other side, Gamecocks starter Wil Crowe (1.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER) didn’t last two innings, as Brian Anderson (3-for-4) led Arkansas’ 11-hit attack. The Gamecocks fall to 7-5 in SEC play, having lost both road series they’ve played in the league so far.
(3) Virginia at Pittsburgh: Full marks to the Panthers, who’ve proven to be a tough out in their first tour of the ACC. A day after getting no-hit by Virginia’s Nathan Kirby, Pitt bounced back by beating UVa. 2-1 in walk-off fashion, snapping the Cavaliers’ nine-game winning streak. Pitt’s Joseph Harvey (7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER) and Hobie Harris (2 IP) held UVa. to just two hits Saturday, setting the stage for Jordan Frabasilio’s game-winning sac fly in the bottom of the ninth.
(7) Vanderbilt at Tennessee: In the second crazy SEC game, Tennessee snapped a six-game losing streak to Vanderbilt with a come-from-behind, 10-9 win, which tied the series. Down 9-8 with two outs in the ninth, Vols freshman Nathaniel Maggio, who’d just entered the game in the top of the ninth on defense, hit a walk-off two-run single on a 3-2 pitch against Vandy closer Carson Fulmer. The teams had taken turns putting up crooked numbers earlier in the game, highlighted by Tennessee’s six-fun fourth followed by Vandy’s four-run fifth. The loss spoiled a huge night from Commodores shortstop Vince Conde, who went 4-for-5 with a double, a homer a two steals.
(10) Houston at Rutgers: The Cougars and Scarlet Knights split a doubleheader. Rutgers hit Aaron Garza (5 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) hard in the first game, winning 7-3. But the Cougars came back with a comfortable 9-1 win in the nightcap, as Casey Grayson went 3-for-4 with a homer to lead the offense while sophomore Jake Lemoine (9 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K) tossed his first career complete game.
Memphis at (11) Louisville: Memphis senior Drew Griffin’s two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth plated the winning run as the Tigers tied the series with a 3-2 win. Jared Ruxer (6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) pitched well in a no-decision for the Cardinals, who took until the bottom of the eighth to break through against Memphis’ Jon Reed (8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER), when UL scored twice to briefly tie the game at 2-2.
(15) Alabama at Texas A&M: Sunday’s weather forecast prompted the teams to play a doubleheader Saturday. A&M won the first game 13-8, leveling the series, but Alabama came back to take a 6-4 win in the rubber match. Justin Kamplain (4 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 5 ER) had a rough outing for the Tide in the afternoon game, and A&M scored 10 runs after falling behind 7-3 in the fifth. In the night game, Hunter Webb’s RBI double in the top of the ninth broke a 4-4 tie, while Ray Castillo threw 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to pick up his first win of the season.
Long Beach State at (21) UCLA: The Bruins were shut out for the fourth time this season as Long Beach’s Josh Frye (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K) and Ryan Millison combined on a three-hitter, evening the series with a 4-0 win. The Dirtbags led wire to wire after scoring twice in the first against Grant Watson (6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER). UCLA has scored only one run in 20 innings against Long Beach pitching in this series, as the Bruins won Friday’s opener at Long Beach 1-0 in 11. The scene will shift back to Long Beach for Sunday’s rubber game.
(25) UNLV at Fresno State: Fresno’s Tim Borst (9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) outdueled UNLV’s John Richy (8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 K) as the Bulldogs tied the series with a 2-0 win. Bulldogs DH Taylor Ward (3-for-3) accounted for both runs with RBI singles in the fourth and sixth.
Other Top 25 Results
Notre Dame at (1) Florida State: Rain wiped out Saturday’s game in Tallahassee. The Noles and Irish will play two on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. ET.
(4) Louisiana-Lafayette at Troy: The Ragin’ Cajuns are now off to the best start in school history after sweeping a doubleheader, 11-8 and 11-0, to improve to 30-3. Caleb Adams and Ryan Leonards homered for ULL in the afternoon game but, much like Florida’s, the Cajuns’ bullpen nearly coughed up a huge lead, allowing eight runs in the bottom of the eighth before Reagan Bazar (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) stopped the bleeding and collected his fifth save. The nightcap was far less stressful, as Seth Harrison (5-for-5, HR, 3 2B) tied a school record with five hits and the Cajuns raced out to a 9-0 lead through three innings. The Cajuns have scored in double figures in eight of their past 11 games.
Baylor at (8) Texas: Texas clinched the series with a 6-3 win behind Dillon Peters (6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) and three innings of shutout relief from Morgan Cooper.
East Carolina at (12) Rice: The Owls leveled series with an 8-0 win behind a strong start from Blake Fox (7.1 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K), who set a career-high for strikeouts. Keenan Cook and John Clay Reeves led Rice’s offense with three hits apiece.
North Carolina State at (16) Clemson: With Clemson ace righthander Daniel Gossett held out this weekend because of shoulder tightness, Matthew Crownover (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) started the opener in this Saturday-Monday series and pitched brilliantly. The Tigers pulled away late to win 6-1, handing Carlos Rodon (8 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) and the Wolfpack their 10th straight ACC loss.
UC Davis at (18) Cal State Fullerton: The Titans’ slumping offense showed some life as Fullerton evened the series with a 7-1 win. Tanner Pinkston (3-for-5) led the charge as the Titans collected 10 hits and drew five walks, providing more than enough support for Grahamm Wiest (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K), who picked up just his second win despite owning a 1.81 ERA.
Auburn at (23) Mississippi: The Rebels swept the series by sweeping a doubleheader Saturday, 6-0 and 5-1, as this was another series where the finale was moved up due to Sunday’s forecast. Christian Trent (9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K) improved to 4-0 with a gem in the first game, handing Auburn’s Keegan Thompson (5.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER) his first loss. In the nightcap, the Rebels did all their scoring in a five-run sixth, keyed by Auston Bousfield’s two-run double and Sikes Orvis’ two-run single. Sam Smith (6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) picked up the win in that one.
(24) Indiana at Iowa: Joey DeNato (6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) picked up his 30th career win, tying the IU school record, as the Hoosiers downed Iowa 6-3. Indiana’s powerful offense mashed four home runs, including two by Sam Travis (3-for-5). This was the opening game of the series, which was pushed back to run Saturday-Monday due to weather.