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.
• (12) UCLA at Baylor: The Bears evened the series with a 5-0 win behind Dillon Newman (5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K) and Ryan Smith (3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K). Nick Vander Tuig (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) was solid in defeat for the Bruins, but Baylor opened up a more comfortable cushion with three runs in the eighth against Cody Poteet.
• St. John's at (16) Georgia Tech: The Red Storm and Yellow Jackets split a doubleheader, with the Jackets winning the opener 3-2, but the Red Storm earning their first victory of the season in the nightcap, 9-7. Buck Farmer (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K) dominated again in the opener, improving to 1-0, 0.00 with 21 strikeouts and no walks in 15 innings. The Johnnies tied it up with a pair of runs in the eighth against Jonathan King, but Dylan Dore delivered a walk-off RBI single in the ninth for Tech. Sean Hagan (7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER) bested Dusty Isaacs (6.1 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) in the nightcap, though Tech made things interesting with four runs in the ninth before leaving the bases loaded to end the game.
• Florida Gulf Coast at (17) Florida: We pegged FGCU to win the Atlantic Sun Conference entering the season, and the Eagles are making a strong case for Top 25 consideration early in the season. With a convincing 8-3 win, FGCU became the first mid-major to win a series at Florida since VMI in 2007. Michael Suchy (2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR) led the Florida Gulf Coast offense in support of Brandon Bixler (5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K), and R.J. Brown (4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER) was strong in relief to earn the save. Tucker Simpson (4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER) took the loss for the Gators. The Eagles improved to 4-1—last week they shut out St. John's twice and dropped a one-run decision to Notre Dame.
• Missouri State at (21) Southern Miss: The Golden Eagles were stopped by last year's national ERA champion, Nick Petree (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K), as the Bears earned a 5-1 victory. Jake Drehoff (4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) took the loss for USM.
• Temple at (24) Virginia Tech: The Hokies played a pair of games Saturday in their tournament in Blacksburg, losing to Temple 7-3 but beating Holy Cross 7-5. Derek Peterson (3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI) led Temple's 11-hit attack, and his RBI single broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth, spurring the Owls' three-run rally. Eddie Campbell (6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) was solid in a no-decision for the Hokies in that one. Virginia Tech erased a 5-4 deficit with three in the fifth against Holy Cross, and relievers Brendon Hayden (3 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Clark Labitan (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R) made it stand up.
• California at (25) UC Irvine: The Golden Bears and Anteaters split a doubleheader, with Cal winning the opener 8-6, but Irvine taking Game Two 3-2 in 10 innings. The 'Eaters lead the series 2-1 heading into Sunday's finale. Cal broke a 4-4 tie with four runs in the ninth in the first game, highlighted by two-run doubles by Chris Paul and Jacob Wark. Ronnie Shaeffer went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs for Irvine in the opener, then went 2-for-5 with the game-tying RBI single in the 10th inning of Game Two. He scored the winning run on Scott Gottschling's bases-loaded walk. Kyle Hooper (6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) was solid in a no-decision for the Anteaters.
Other Top 25 Results
• Stony Brook at (1) North Carolina: The Tar Heels improved to 4-0 with an 11-2 win behind Kent Emanuel (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K). Four Tar Heels recorded multiple hits as part of a balanced 12-hit attack.
• Monmouth at (2) Vanderbilt: Jack Lupo (3-for-4, 3 R, RBI, 2B) led Vandy's 14-hit attack in support of Tyler Beede (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K), as the Commodores cruised to an 11-1 win. Beede improved to 2-0, 1.50.
• Evansville at (3) Arkansas: Tyler Spoon broke a 1-1 tie with an eighth-inning grand slam over the seats in left field, leading the Hogs to a 5-2 win. Barrett Astin (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) turned in another strong start for Arkansas.
• Akron at (4) Louisville: Jeff Thompson (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K) cruised to his second win in Louisville's 8-0 victory. Ty Young and Jeff Gardner had two hits apiece for the Cardinals, who improved to 5-1.
• Samford/Purdue at (5) Mississippi State: MSU remained unbeaten with an 8-2 victory over Samford and a 7-6 win against Purdue. Hunter Renfroe homered for the second straight day in the win against Samford, and Adam Frazier (3-for-4, 2 R, 3B) provided a spark. Ross Mitchell (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) earned the win in relief of Evan Mitchell in that one. MSU trailed for just the second time this season when Purdue put up four runs in the fourth against Kendall Graveman (3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER), but the Bulldogs stormed back and took the lead for good with three in the sixth, highlighted by Hunter Renfroe's two-run triple.
• (6) Oregon State at San Diego State: The Beavers clinched the four-game series with a dominant 5-0 win behind freshman Andrew Moore (8.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K), who combined with Tony Bryant on a three-hitter. Tyler Smith, Danny Hanes and Dylan Davis had two hits apiece for Oregon State, which has allowed just one run total in the first three games of the series. At 7-0, the Beavers are off to their best start since 2007.
• Albany at (7) South Carolina: L.B. Dantzler (4-for-5, HR, 5 RBI) powered the South Carolina offense in support of Jordan Montgomery (5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K), as the Gamecocks jumped out to an early lead and cruised to an 8-3 win.
• Rhode Island at (8) Mississippi: Pinch-hitter Austin Knight's walk-off RBI single in the ninth propelled the Rebels to a 1-0 win, improving them to 6-0 on the season. Mike Mayers (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K) was strong in a no-decision for Ole Miss, which has allowed just seven runs in six games.
• (13) Rice at Hawaii: Jordan Stephens (9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K) set a career high for strikeouts in his first career complete game, and the Owls scored twice in the eighth to win 3-1. Shane Hoelscher's leadoff double kickstarted the eighth-inning rally.
• Loyola Marymount at (14) Oregon: The Ducks evened the series with a 6-1 win behind Tommy Thorpe (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K). Trevor Megill had a bizarre day for LMU, allowing five runs (four earned) on just one hit and two walks while striking out eight over six innings—but he hit six batters.
• Fresno State at (15) Stanford: Brett Michael Doran delivered a walk-off, three-run homer in the 10th to lift Stanford to a series-clinching 7-4 win. Brian Ragira (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR) also had a nice say for the Cardinal, and John Hochstatter (6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) was solid in a no-decision. The two teams combined for 22 hits and 17 stranded runners.
• (18) Oklahoma at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: The Sooners improved to 8-0 with a 4-2 win behind Jonathan Gray (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K). Matt Oberste had two RBIs to lead the OU offense.
• South Florida at (19) Florida State: Marcus Davis (4-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B) spearheaded FSU's 14-hit attack in a 14-3 win that was shortened to eight innings by rain. Brandon Leibrandt (6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) picked up his second win.
• San Jose State at (23) Arizona: Brandon Dixon and Ryan Koziol had two RBIs apiece in Arizona's seven-run second, as the Wildcats cruised to a 15-4 win. James Farris (7.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) improved to 2-0 for Arizona.
• Notre Dame clinched a big series at Tulane with a 3-1 win. The Irish scored twice in the first against Alex Byo (6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER) and never looked back, as Adam Norton (5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) turned in a solid start to earn the win.
• Iowa scored four runs in the 10th to knock off New Mexico, 6-2. Taylor Kaufman (3-for-5) had a two-run double to highlight the 10th-inning rally. The Lobos, which ranked No. 21 in the preseason, fell to 2-3.
• Texas clinched its series against Nebraska with a 4-3 win on C.J Hinojosa's walk-off RBI single in the ninth. Dillon Peters (6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) turned in a second straight strong start for the Longhorns, who improved to 5-1. Nebraska is still looking for its first win (0-6).
• Tennessee took advantage of four Arizona State errors to score five unearned runs and cruise to an 11-2 upset, evening the series in Knoxville. Drake Owenby (4 IP, 2 H, 0 R) picked up his first win with strong relief work.
• Alabama clinched a nice road series at Florida Atlantic with a 4-2 win behind Jon Keller (6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K). Georgie Salem had three hits to lead the Crimson Tide, which improved to 6-0.
• Texas A&M evened its series against Pepperdine with a 3-1 win. Daniel Mengden did it all for the Aggies, breaking a 1-1 tie with a game-winning two-run triple in the fifth, and earning the victory with seven innings of one-run ball on the mound, striking out eight without issuing a walk. Jason Jester worked two scoreless for the save.
• Kent State and San Diego split a doubleheader, as the Toreros bashed their way to an 18-11 win in the opener, and the Golden Flashes earned their first win of the season in the nightcap, 9-5. We wrote about defensive concerns for both of these teams in yesterday's blog, and all four USD infielders committed an error in the first game (while Kent State made two), but San Diego rapped out 17 hits in support of Dylan Covey (5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER), and Dillon Haupt had five RBIs. The Flashes overcame three more errors in Game Two, as Zarley Zalewski and Jason Bagoly had two hits and three RBIs apiece. In three games, the shortstops in this series have combined to make eight errors.
• Cody Dickson (9 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) went the distance to lead Sam Houston State to a 4-2 win against Louiana-Monroe, leveling the series.
• Ryan Breen had four hits to lead an 18-hit barrage, as Central Florida outslugged Texas Tech, 13-8. Both clubs are 4-2.
• The Big West certainly seems improved, but don't write off the West Coast Conference yet. San Francisco swept a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara, 4-1 and 11-5, to take a 2-1 lead in the four-game series. The Dons were swept lat week by Cal Poly.
• Missouri fell to 0-5, as Memphis clinched the series with a 5-3 win. Heith Hatfield (4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K) earned the win with stellar relief of Erik Schoenrock (5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER).
• Middle Tennessee State had a big day, beating Auburn 2-1 and then topping Indiana State 8-1 at the Auburn Tournament. Johnny Thomas hit a two-run homer in the eighth against Auburn, helping Hunter Adkins (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) improve to 2-0. Jake Ellison homered and drove in four in support of Johnathan Frebis (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER) against the Sycamores.
• Auburn bounced back to beat College of Charleston, 5-1, behind Michael O'Neal (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K).
• Ohio Valley Conference favorite Austin Peay State improved to 5-1 with a 9-6 win against a quality Illinois State club, clinching the series. The Governors overcame a 4-0 deficit with eight runs in the fifth.
• Rich Maloney picked up his 600th career win in Ball State's 6-2 victory against Lipscomb.