It looked like fifth-ranked Virginia was on the ropes in Saturday’s series opener at Wake Forest. The Cavaliers were down 6-2 heading into the ninth inning, but three straight walks loaded the bases, eventually leading to Mike Papi’s grand slam with two outs and two strikes, lifting the Cavs to a 7-6 win. The red-hot Cavaliers improved to 28-3 overall and 10-3 in the ACC.
On to the rest of Saturday’s highlights.
Top 25 Showdowns
• (2) Vanderbilt at (17) Mississippi: The Commodores clinched the road series with a 2-1 win behind Tyler Beede (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 6 K), who improved to 8-0. Tony Kemp (3-for-5, R) led Vandy’s 10-hit attack, and Mike Mayers (4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 5 K) fell to 2-4, as the Rebels lost their third straight weekend series.
• (7) Kentucky at (3) Louisiana State: LSU cruised to a second straight blowout win, clinching the series with a 9-1 victory behind Ryan Eades (8.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). Alex Bregman (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B) led LSU’s 16-hit barrage against Jerad Grundy (6 IP, 15 H, 9 ER) and the WIldcats.
• (6) Oregon State at (10) UCLA: The Beavers evened the series with a 5-0 win behind Andrew Moore (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K), who improved to 6-1. Joey Janson and Andy Peterson had two hits and two RBIs apiece for the Beavers, who rapped out 10 hits even though 3-4-5 hitters Michael Conforto, Dylan Davis and Danny Hayes went a combined 0-for-13. Nick Vander Tuig (6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) was solid in defeat for the Bruins.
• (11) Oregon at (24) Arizona State: The Sun Devils slugged their way to a series-clinching 14-9 win. Michael Benjamin (3-for-6, 3 R, 2 RBI, 3B) led ASU’s 14-hit attack in support of Ryan Kellogg (7 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). The Sun Devils knocked around Tommy Thorpe (4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) and kept the heat on against the Oregon bullpen.
Top 25 Upsets
• (8) Florida State at Miami: Bryan Radziewski (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K) and Eric Whaley combined on a six-hit shutout, leading the Hurricanes to a 6-0 win, leveling the series. Brandon Leibrandt (4 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) fell to 4-3 for FSU, which was shut out by Miami for the first time since 2004.
• (13) Oklahoma at Texas: Dillon Peters (7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K) and Corey Knebel combined on a two-hit shutout, leading Texas to a series-leveling 1-0 win. Dillon Overton (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) was a tough-luck loser for OU, as Ben Johnson’s RBI single in the fifth provided all of the game’s scoring.
• (14) Arkansas at Alabama: The Crimson Tide avoided a sweep with a 5-0 win behind Spencer Turnbull (7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K). The Hogs committed five errors, contributing to the first loss of the season for Randall Fant (3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER).
• (18) Rice at East Carolina: The Pirates leveled the series with a 3-2 win in 13 innings. Jordan Stephens (6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER) was solid in a no-decision for the Owls, and John Simms (5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) provided excellent relief work until the Pirates got to him in the 13th on Zach Houchins’ walk-off RBI single. Drew Reynolds (5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K) earned the win with brilliant relief for ECU.
• (19) Houston at Marshall: Aaron Blair (8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K) and Josh King combined on a two-hit shutout in Marshall’s series-clinching 4-0 win. Austin Pruitt (7.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) took the loss for Houston, which has lost four straight.
• (21) Cal Poly at UC Santa Barbara: Robbie Nesovich (4-for-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI) led UCSB’s 16-hit attack against Matt Imhof (5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER) and the Mustangs, as the Gauchos clinched the series with a 13-2 blowout win.
• (22) Virginia Tech at North Carolina State: Trea Turner (3-for-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, SB) spearheaded N.C. State’s 16-hit attack in a series-clinching 13-4 win. Devin Burke (5.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER) was knocked around for the Hokies. N.C. State has won seven of eight since getting swept by Virginia.
• (25) Florida Atlantic at Louisiana-Monroe: The Warhawks jumped on Kevin Alexander for four runs in the first and went on to an 8-5 win, leveling the series. Taylor Abdalla (2-for-4, 3 RBI) led the offense for ULM, which Nathan Pittman, Ricky Santiago and Billy Endris all homered in a losing effort for FAU.
Other Top 25 Results
• Maryland at (1) North Carolina: The Tar Heels erased a 3-2 deficit with three runs in the fourth and went on to a series-clinching 5-3 win. Four UNC relievers worked a combined 5.1 innings of scoreless relief, led by Chris McCue (3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K).
• (4) Cal State Fullerton at UC Davis: Richy Pedroza’s two-run single highlighted Fullerton’s three-run ninth, leading the Titans to a come-from-behind 4-2 win, clinching the series. Justin Garza (7.1 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) was solid in a no-decision.
(9) Louisville at Cincinnati: The Cardinals clinched the series with a 4-1 win at Great American Ballpark. Jeff Gardner (2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2B) led the Louisville offense in support of Jeff Thompson (7 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K), who improved to 6-0, 0.51 with 55 strikeouts and 15 walks in 53 innings this season.
• (12) Georgia Tech at Duke: Georgia Tech’s explosive offense was quiet for the second straight day, but the Yellow Jackets still evened the series with a 2-1 win. Dusty Isaacs (5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) was solid in a no-decision, and the Jackets broke a 1-1 tie on Thomas Smith’s RBI single in the eighth.
• (15) South Carolina at Tennessee: The Gamecocks clinched the series with a 12-8 win in Knoxville. Graham Saiko, Chase Vergason and Connor Bright had three hits apiece to spearhead South Carolina’s 17-hit attack, and Adam Westmoreland (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) picked up the win with outstanding relief work.
• Illinois at (16) Indiana: The Hoosiers ran their school-record winning streak to 18 games (the longest winning streak in Division I this season) with a series-clinching 7-3 win. Scott Donley (3-for-4, R, RBI) led Indiana’s 11-hit attack in support of Kyle Hart (7 IP, 8 H, 1 ER).
• Villanova at (20) Notre Dame: Trey Mancini hit a grand slam and finished with six RBIs, leading the Fighting Irish to a series-clinching 11-8 win.
• (23) San Diego at Loyola Marymount: Kris Bryant’s two-run triple in the ninth broke a 2-2 tie, leading the Toreros to a 4-2 win, evening the series. Max Homick worked three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.