College Roundup: Night Of Comebacks For Ranked Teams

Four Top 25 teams needed rallies Tuesday to avoid midweek losses, including No. 11 Florida. Luckily for the Gators, a freshman came through.

How the Top 25 Fared
(1) Oregon State: won 4-1 vs. Oregon
(2) Louisville: won 6-5 vs. Miami (Ohio)
(3) North Carolina: won 5-4 vs. Richmond
(4) Auburn: off
(5) Texas Tech vs. Ohio State, ccd., rain
(6) Kentucky: off
(7) Texas Christian won 3-0 vs. Abilene Christian
(8) Long Beach State 9-9 at San Diego, tie, curfew
(9) Mississippi State: off
(10) Clemson: off
(11) Florida: won 8-7 vs. Florida A&M
(12) Virginia: won 8-7 vs. Liberty
(13) Stanford won 4-3 vs. San Jose State
(14) Cal State Fullerton: off
(15) Louisiana State: off
(16) Texas A&M won 8-1 vs. Houston Baptist
(17) Wake Forest: off
(18) Arkansas: off
(19) Arizona: off
(20) Southern Miss: off
(21) Michigan: off
(22) St. John's: won 16-4 vs Iona
(23) Maryland: off
(24) South Florida: off
(25) Texas won 4-1 vs. Texas-Arlington

The Gators were down 3-0 in the first to Florida A&M before scoring five times in the fourth, and then holding on in the ninth for an 8-7 win.

Freshman Garrett Milchin gave the Gators the boost they needed for their fifth straight win. He clubbed his first college home run, a three-run blast in the fourth, to cap the five-run inning. Then in the ninth, after the Rattlers cut the lead to 8-7 and had the tying run on third, Milchin got a ground out to close out the win for his third save.

“Garrett gets the save and hits the home run,” coach Kevin O’Sullivan told “He’s been swinging the bat well in BP and inter-squad games, that wasn’t just a whim. I wanted to see him get a few at bats. All in all, I thought we hit the ball well tonight. We hit a lot of balls hard.

“Obviously Garrett had to make some big pitches. They had the go-ahead run at the plate, second and third with nobody out and he got the strikeout at the top of the order.”

Meanwhile, in its final game before its break for final exams, No. 3 North Carolina had one more test.

The Tar Heels found themselves down a run in the eighth inning to Richmond, which had won just 14 of 42 games this year, after the Spiders scored three times in the fifth.

But Zack Gahagan’s RBI single in the eighth tied the game, and then Brian Miller walked and scored on a misplayed fly ball by right fielder Caleb Ward as the Tar Heels (37-9) got the walk-off win.

Kyle Datres played a part in both the tying and winning run. With UNC down 4-3 in the eighth, Datres led off with a double and scored on Gahagan’s single. Then in the ninth after a walk, error and intentional walk loaded the bases, Datres hit a shallow fly to right that Ward couldn’t catch, allowing Miller to score.

Brandon Martorano and Logan Warmoth had RBI hits for UNC, which is now off until May 10.

No. 2 Louisville also had to rally beat Miami (Ohio). A home run from potential No. 1 overall pick Brendan McKay helped the Cardinals rally from 5-2 down, and Colin Lyman scored on a wild pitch in the eighth to tie it 5-5. In the 10th, Devin Hairston singled to score Justin Lavey to win it.

Completing the quadruple, No. 12 Virginia rallied from down 5-3 against Liberty to take a 7-5 lead, only to see the Flames, down to their final strike, tie the game on a two-run single by Trey McDyre.

In the ninth, junior Justin Novak singled home freshman Jalen Harrison for Virginia’s first walk-off win of the season.

Meanwhile, top-ranked Oregon State had an easier time in the Civil War with Oregon. The Beavers jumped out early and Jordan Britton (5.2 IP) and Brandon Eisert held the Ducks to two hits in a 4-1 win.

Also Tuesday, No. 8 Long Beach State played to a 9-9 tie at San Diego when the game was called due to curfew. The Dirtbags couldn’t hold an 8-2 lead and were saddled with their first tie since 1998. And projected first-round pick Seth Romero returned to the mound for Houston after missing about a month because of a suspension. Romero struck out three in 2.1 innings but gave up four hits and a run and took the loss against Sam Houston State.