Clemson clinched a big road series at No. 9 North Carolina State with a 7-4 win Saturday, but that was the least of the Wolfpack's troubles. Preseason All-America shortstop Trea Turner, who stepped awkwardly on first base trying to beat out an infield single in the final play of Friday's game, arrived at the ballpark Saturday wearing a protective boot. Turner is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained ankle—a huge blow for the Wolfpack heading into Atlantic Coast Conference play. Turner is college baseball's most dynamic player, and he was off to a blistering start, hitting .464/.522/.893 with five homers, 18 RBIs and eight steals in eight tries. Veteran Matt Bergquist started in his place at shortstop Thursday and should be an able substitute defensively, but Turner's offensive value is impossible to replace.
Meanwhile, N.C. State's pitching struggles continued in Saturday's loss, as Ethan Ogburn (1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB) gave the Wolfpack its fourth very poor weekend start over the last two weeks. Thomas Brittle's second-inning grand slam put Clemson in control of the game for good, and the Tigers' bullpen was solid after Clate Schmidt (3.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER) exited in the fourth.
On to the rest of Saturday's action:
Top 25 Showdowns
• (2) Vanderbilt at (15) Oregon: Tony Kemp (3-for-4, R, RBI) led the Vandy offense in support of Tyler Beede (6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 BB, 7 K), as the Commodores clinched the big road series with a 4-2 win. Vanderbilt starting pitchers have 56 strikeouts and a 0.36 ERA in 49 innings over their last seven games. Tommy Thorpe (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) was solid in defeat for the Ducks, who have managed just seven hits over the first two games of the series.
• (14) Georgia Tech at (24) Virginia Tech: Georgia Tech's incredible offensive hot streak continues. The Yellow Jackets outslugged the Hokies 14-9, the ninth straight game the Jackets have scored in double figures. All nine Georgia Tech starters recorded hits Saturday, and seven of them posted multi-hit games, led by Brandon Thomas and Matt Gonzalez with three hits apiece. The Jackets knocked around hard-throwing Brad Markey (6 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 6 ER).
• (17) Oklahoma at (12) UCLA: Jonathan Gray (7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K) dominated the Bruins with a 94-100 mph fastball and two quality secondary pitches in Oklahoma's 4-0 win. Nick Vander Tuig (6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) was solid in defeat for the Bruins, but Matt Oberste hit an opposite-field, three-run homer in the fourth to put the Sooners in control. All four teams at the Dodgertown Classic are now 1-1 on the weekend, with Oklahoma slated to face Notre Dame on Sunday, and UCLA set to face Southern California.
Top 25 Upsets
• Central Arkansas at (3) Mississippi State: The Bears pulled off a 7-5 win in 10 innings to snap MSU's season-opening winning streak at 17 games. Michael Marietta and Scott Zimmerle had two hits and two RBIs apiece for UCA, which improved to 13-2 on the season. Ten Mississippi State pitchers combined to issue nine walks and hit five batters, and the two teams combined to leave 26 men on base.
• Michigan State at (11) Kentucky: David Garner (8.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) stymied Kentucky's potent offense in Michigan State's 6-1 win, evening the series. Jerad Grundy (5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) was solid in defeat for UK.
• Nevada-Las Vegas at (13) Stanford: The Rebels clinched the huge road series with a 12-2 shellacking of the Cardinal—the first nonconference home series loss for Stanford since 2009. Erik VanMeetren (3-for-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2B) led UNLV's 15-hit attack in support of Buddy Borden (6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K). John Hochstatter (2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER) had a short outing for Stanford, and Daniel Starwalt (2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER) provided little relief. UNLV (12-3) has won eight straight, its longest winning streak since 2009.
• Columbia at (20) Arizona: The Lions overcame a 4-3 deficit with five runs in the seventh to chase James Farris (6.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) en route to an 8-4 upset win. David Vandercook had three RBIs for Columbia, which improved to 1-5 on the year. Joey Donino and Alex Black worked a combined four innings of one-hit, shutout relief to secure the upset.
Other Top 25 Results
• (1) North Carolina at Wake Forest: The Tar Heels entered Saturday with just three home runs in 12 games this season, but they smacked eight long balls in a 20-6 demolition of the Demon Deacons, clinching the road series. UNC hit six home runs over the first two innings to jump out to an 11-0 lead in support of Benton Moss (6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K). Colin Moran and Brian Holberton had two homers apiece and combined to drive in 11 runs.
• Texas State at (4) Oregon State: Jake Rodriguez (3-for-4, 2 RBI) led the OSU offense behind Andrew Moore (5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K), who improved to 4-0 in Oregon State's 6-3 win, clinching the series. Brandon Jackson (3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K) followed with stellar relief for the Beavers, who stayed unbeaten at 14-0.
• Alabama at (5) Louisville: The Cardinals broke a scoreless tie with six runs in the seventh in support Jeff Thompson (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K), as Louisville clinched the series with a 6-0 win. Adam Engel and Alex Chittenden had two RBIs apiece in the six-run rally, and Dace Kime threw two perfect innings of relief to complete the two-hit shutout. Louisville pitchers have not allowed an earned run in 26 consecutive innings. Thompson is 4-0, 0.73, leading a staff that has a 1.48 ERA.
• Rider at (6) South Carolina: Eight Gamecocks recorded hits as part of a balanced 13-hit attack, and Adam Westmoreland (3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K) provided stellar relief to lead South Carolina to a series-clinching 9-5 win.
• Lipscomb at (7) Mississippi: The Rebels clinched the series and improved to 15-1 on the year with an 8-5 win behind Mike Mayers (6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K). Auston Bousfield (1-for-3, 3 R, 2 RBI) hit his first homer of the year for Ole Miss.
• Washington at (8) Louisiana State: The Tigers clinched the series and improved to 14-1 with an 8-4 win. Mason Katz (2-for-3, 2 HR, 5 RBI) powered the LSU offense in support of Ryan Eades (6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K). The Huskies are in a hole at 4-10.
• Texas A&M at (10) Cal State Fullerton: Justin Garza (7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K) improved to 4-0, 0.95 on the season, leading the Titans to a 2-0 win and leveling the series. The Titans scratched out runs in the fifth and sixth to beat Daniel Mengden (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K).
• San Diego State at (16) Arkansas: The Razorbacks swept a doubleheader, 8-2 and 4-1, to complete the four-game series sweep. Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn earned his 1,000th career victory in Saturday's first game, as the Arkansas bats woke up to produce 12 hits in support of a dominant Trey Killian (7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K). Randall Fant (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K) was strong in a no-decision in the second game, and Arkansas broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the seventh
• Boston College at (18) Florida State: The Seminoles took control of the game with seven runs in the second inning behind Scott Sitz (5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) and cruised to a 9-4 win, clinching the series and improving them to 14-0 on the season. Josh Delph, D.J. Stewart and Marcus Davis had two RBIs apiece for FSU, and Jose Brizuela had three hits.
• (19) Rice at Florida International: After FIU forced extra innings with two runs in the ninth, Rice answered with three in the top of the 10th, then held off another FIU rally in the bottom of the frame to win 6-5, clinching the series. Jordan Stephens (8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) was strong in a no-decision for Rice, but Zech Lemond (2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER) struggled in relief, though he earned the win.
• (21) UC Irvine at Brigham Young: The Anteaters avoided a sweep by salvaging the series finale in Provo, 8-3. Connor Spencer (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI) led the UCI offense in support of Andrew Morales (6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER).
• (22) Notre Dame at Southern California: Trey Mancini's tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning propelled the Irish to a 2-1 win. Adam Norton (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) improved to 4-0, and Dan Slania (2 IP, 2 H, 0 R) earned his third save.
• Long Beach State at (23) Arizona State: The Sun Devils threw a pair of shutouts in a doubleheader sweep, 4-0 and 6-0. Trevor Williams (9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) threw his second consecutive complete game and third career shutout in the opener. Ryan Kellogg (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) improved to 3-0 in the nightcap, and two relievers combined with him on a two-hit shutout.
• Maryland at (25) Virginia: The Cavaliers clinched the series by sweeping a doubleheader, 7-6 and 5-0. Brandon Waddell (6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) earned a no-decision in the opener, and Derek Fisher (4-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 3B) capped a huge game with a walk-off RBI double in the ninth. Scott Silverstein (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K) and two relievers shut out the Terrapins in the nightcap.
• Texas Tech's Trey Masek (8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K) extended his season-opening scoreless streak to 32 innings in a 4-1 win against Texas-Arlington. Masek retired the final 19 hitters he faced from the second inning on, and he has gone 18 consecutive innings without issuing a walk.
• Ben Verlander tied the Old Dominion school record with three home runs in a 10-8 win against Northeastern. Verlander, the younger brother of Tigers superstar and ODU alum Justin, went 4-for-4 with a grand slam, a two-run homer and a solo shot for seven RBIs on the day.
• Duke clinched a road series at Miami with a 9-2 win behind Drew Van Orden (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K). Before Saturday, the Blue Devils had not won a series against Miami since sweeping a two-game set in 1966.
• Illinois completed a three-game sweep at Baylor by taking both ends of a doubleheader Saturday, 5-4 in 11 innings and 6-1. The Illini held Baylor scoreless for a stretch of 15.2 innings during one stretch of the doubleheader. John Kravetz (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) turned in a gem in the finale for Illinois, which improved to 10-4 while dropping Baylor to 7-9.
• It took first-team preseason All-American Sean Manaea (6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) to stop red-hot Mercer. Manaea earned his first win of the season in Indiana State's 10-2 win, which dropped Mercer to 14-3. Earlier in the day, the Bears throttled South Dakota State, 10-2, as Nick Backlund (3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B) continued to mash.
• Pacific is just 5-8 on the season, but the Tigers now have quality wins against UNLV, Gonzaga, Arkansas and Texas Christian. Pacific scored two in the ninth Saturday to beat TCU 5-3 and even the series. The Horned Frogs fell to 4-9.
• After D.J. Peterson went 5-for-5 with five runs and two homers in the first game of New Mexico's doubleheader against UC Riverside, he homered again in his first at-bat of the second game—and the Highlanders proceeded to walk him in his next five trips. The two teams split the twin bill, with UCR slugging its way to a 14-12 win in the opener, and UNM winning 10-7 in the Game Two. Peterson is now hitting .500/.597/1.130 with eight homers and 21 RBIs in 13 games.