Friday Roundup: Several Regular-Season Titles Secured

The feature attraction on the Week 14 calendar is the top-five showdown between Washington and Oregon State, with first place in the Pac-12 on the line. The Huskies took the opener in Corvallis on Friday night, 4-2, to move into a tie atop the standings at 20-5. A crowd of 3,909 watched Washington snap OSU's 12-game winning streak while extending its own win streak to nine. Jared Fisher (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER) turned in a strong start to pick up the win for UW, which got characteristically strong work from relievers Trevor Dunlap (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Troy Rallings (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R).

"I'm proud of our guys," Washington coach Lindsay Meggs said afterward. "Anytime you can come in here, in front of a sell-out crowd and hold them to two runs, execute offensively like we did and play great defense, it's a great win. That's not easy to do. It's a great win for us and our program."

The Huskies took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, taking advantage of some wildness from Andrew Moore (5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K), who had a walk and a hit batsman to force in one run; a second scored on a passed ball.

Moore started in place of ace Ben Wetzler, who is serving a five-game suspension after his arrest early last Saturday morning for reportedly trying to break into a home he thought was his own while intoxicated. The Beavers announced Friday afternoon that Wetzler's suspension was retroactive to last Saturday, so he will pitch this Sunday against the Huskies, and perform community service.

"He was not only extremely remorseful, but up-front and honest in regard to the situation," OSU coach Pat Casey said in a statement. "Although I'm very disappointed in the bad decisions he made that night, I truly believe in Ben and choose to define his character by the nearly 1,300 days he has been at Oregon State, and not just on one night. Having said that, I believe ben would be disappointed in me and I would be disappointed in myself if I didn't hold Ben accountable at a higher degree due to him being not only a team leader, but also a representative of Oregon State University and this state."

Suspending Wetzler for the entire series, rather than effectively pushing his start back two days, would have sent a louder message. By all accounts (including my own dealings with Wetzler), he is "a fine young man," as Casey put it in his statement. His mistake sounds harmless enough, but it is a distraction, and it will be interesting to see how the Beavers handle the rest of the weekend. They have shown resilience in the face of adversity before, thriving while Wetzler served a three-week suspension to start the year for a violation of the NCAA's no-agent rule.

Other Top 25 Showdowns

(17) South Carolina at (18) Vanderbilt: The Commodores evened the series with a 9-3 win behind Carson Fulmer (5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 4 K) and Hayden Stone (3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R). John Norwood's two-run single highlighted Vandy's four-run first against Jack Wynkoop (4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER), and the 'Dores broke the game open with four more in the fifth, highlighted by Xander Wiel's two-run homer. Both teams are 17-12 in the SEC heading into today's rubber game.

Jonathan Holder

Jonathan Holder (Photo by Andrew Woolley)

(20) Mississippi State at (19) Alabama: The Bulldogs clinched the big road series with a 1-0 win behind Ross Mitchell (6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R) and Jonathan Holder (2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K). Matthew Britton's solo homer against Spencer Turnbull (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) broke a scoreless tie in the seventh. The Bulldogs have won their final three regular-season series, and four of their last five, to improve to 18-11 in the SEC. MSU trails Ole Miss by a game in the SEC West with one game to play (the Rebels own the tie-breaker by virtue of the head-to-head series win).

Top 25 Upsets

(1) Virginia at Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons came from behind to win the first game of Friday's doubleheader 6-5 in 10 innings, but the Cavaliers evened the series with a 7-2 win in the nightcap. Following a solid start from Nathan Kirby (7.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K), UVa. carried a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth in the opener, but Wake rallied for three runs against Whit Mayberry and Nick Howard, tying the game on Nate Mondou's two-out, pinch-hit, two-run homer against Howard. Wake won on Conor Keniry's walk-off single in the 10th, handing Howard his first loss. Ten different Cavaliers recorded hits as part of a 17-hit attack in the second game, led by Robbie Coman (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI), and Artie Lewicki (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R) earned the victory in his first ACC start since May of 2012. Josh Sborz, who has been the No. 2 starter just about all year, worked the final two innings, allowing two runs.

North Carolina at (7) Miami: The Hurricanes outlasted UNC for a 6-5 win in 16 innings in the opener, but the Tar Heels bounced back with an 11-2 victory in the nightcap. Tyler Palmer (5-for-8, 2 RBI) capped his huge first game with a walk-off two-run single in the 16th, after UNC had taken the lead on Parks Jordan's RBI single in the top of the frame. Neither team scored from the ninth through the 15th, as Miami got sterling relief work from Thomas Woodrey (3 IP, 2 H, 0 R), Bryan Garcia (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Javi Salas (5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER). Landon Lassiter had four hits for UNC in the first game, then went 3-for-4, with two runs and two doubles to lead a 14-hit assault in the second game, helping Benton Moss (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) pick up the win. The Tar Heels jumped on Andrew Suarez (2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER) early.

(21) Liberty at Radford: The two teams split a doubleheader, with Radford taking the opener 4-1 but Liberty answering with a 9-4 win in the nightcap. The Highlanders took a 3-0 lead in the first three innings against Liberty ace Trey Lambert (4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER) and held on to win the opener, as Michael Costello (4.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) earned the win in relief. Nick Lacik, Will Shepherd and Alex Close had two RBIs apiece to lead the Liberty offense in the second game, and Shawn Closers (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R) earned the win in relief to improve to 8-0.

(23) Pepperdine at Gonzaga: The Bulldogs won the series opener 6-5, as Brandon Bailey (6.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) beat Corey Miller (6.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 K). With two games left, Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount trail the first-place Waves by one game in the WCC standings.

Cal State Fullerton at (24) UC Irvine: J.D. Davis (2-for-5, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI) powered the Fullerton offense in a 9-1 win against Andrew Morales (5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) and the Anteaters. Morales took his first loss of the season, falling to 9-1. At 15-4, the Anteaters remain in first place by percentage points over Cal Poly (17-5).

Other Top 25 Results

Louisiana-Monroe at (3) Louisiana-Lafayette: Ryan Leonards (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI) led the ULL offense, and Matt Plitt (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) was outstanding in relief, as the Cajuns clinched the series with a 9-1 win.

Duke at (4) Florida State: The Seminoles clinched the series with a 9-8 win, likely dealing a death bow to Duke's at-large hopes. The Blue Devils (15-14 in the ACC) are 87th in the RPI and have lost all five games they've played against Miami and FSU in the last two weeks. D.J. Stewart (4-for-4, 3 R, 3 RBI) spearheaded the FSU attack in support of Mike Compton (5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K), and Duke's furious rally in the ninth fell just short after a five-run outburst. Dylan Silva got Chris Marconcini to fly out with the tying run at second base to end the game.

(6) Cal Poly at Cal State Northridge: Nick Torres and Brian Mundell had four hits apiece, and the Mustangs got homers from Jimmy Allen (who went deep twice), Mark Mathias and Zack Zehner in a 16-10 victory. Matt Imhof (7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) improved to 9-4.

A.J. Puk (Courtesy of the University of Florida).

A.J. Puk (Courtesy of the University of Florida).

(8) Florida at Tennessee: The Gators clinched the SEC regular-season championship outright with a 4-2 win, securing the road series. Taylor Gushue (3-for-4, R, RBI) led the UF attack in support of A.J. Puk (5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K). At 11-18 in the SEC and No. 49 in the RPI, Tennessee's at-large hopes look shot unless they can make a deep run in Hoover—and they can still miss the SEC tournament with a loss Saturday coupled with victories by Auburn and Georgia.

Minnesota at (9) Indiana: The Hoosiers clinched the Big Ten title outright with a 7-3 win behind Christian Morris (5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K). Dustin DeMuth and Nick Ramos had two hits and an RBI apiece to lead the IU offense.

Cincinnati at (10) Louisville: Jeff Gardner (3-for-3, R, 2 RBI) powered the Louisville offense in support of Josh Rogers (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K) in a series-clinching 5-1 win, as the Cardinals locked up the outright AAC title. Rogers, a freshman lefty, earned his second career victory and turned in the second double-digit strikeout performance by a Louisville pitcher this year.

(11) Mississippi at Texas A&M: Ole Miss clinched the SEC West title and the No. 2 overall seed in the conference tournament with a 4-2 win, securing the road series. The Rebels also reached the 40-win mark for the first time since 2009. Will Allen (3-for-4, R, RBI) led the Ole Miss offense in support of Christian Trent (5 IP, 8 H, 2 ER), and Scott Weathersby (4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K) provided sparkling relief to earn the save.

(12) Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma: Oklahoma State won the Big 12 title outright with a 2-1 win, clinching the Bedlam Series (and OSU's seventh consecutive series victory). The Cowboys should be locked in as a regional host now, but they'll need to boost their No. 22 RPI in the conference tournament in order to land a national seed. Oklahoma State broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the ninth, as Craig McConaughy scored the winning run from second base on an error after an infield single by Saulyer Saxon. Tyler Buffett (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K) was outstanding in a no-decision for the Cowboys, and Vince Wheeland earned the win in relief to improve to 8-0.

(13) Texas Christian at Baylor: The Horned Frogs evened the series with a 5-0 win behind Preston Morrison (8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K). Derek Odell had three hits to lead the TCU offense.

Dillon Peters

Dillon Peters (Photo by Andrew Woolley)

Louisiana Tech at (14) Rice: Rice clinched the C-USA title outright with a 3-0 win, giving the Owls a conference title (regular-season or tournament) for the 19th consecutive season, spanning three different leagues dating back to 1996. Rice broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the seventh, while Blake Fox (8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K) and Matt Ditman combined on a two-hit shutout. Fox improved to 11-0.

(15) Louisiana State at Auburn: Conner Hale (3-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI) led the LSU attack in support of Aaron Nola (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K), as LSU clinched the road series with an 11-3 win.

(16) Houston at Temple: Postponed by rain.

(25) Texas at Kansas State: Dillon Peters (7 IP, 0 H, 0 H, 3 BB, 8 K) and Morgan Cooper threw a combined no-hitter in the Longhorns' 12-0 win against lowly Kansas State—which has lost 11 straight Big 12 contests. In his first start since April 26, Peters helped Texas throw its first no-hitter since Brandon Workman threw one in 2009. Tres Barrera, Madison Carter and C.J Hinojosa had three hits apiece to pace Texas' 19-hit barrage.

Other Notable Results

• Bucknell became the second team to punch its ticket to regionals, sweeping a doubleheader against Lehigh to win the best-of-three Patriot League championship series. The top-seeded Bison are headed to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010. Bryson Hough (8.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER) earned the win in the opener, as Bucknell broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the eighth, highlighted by Danny Rafferty's two-run double. Rafferty went 4-for-7 in the two games, as Bucknell rapped out 20 hits in the two games. Dan Weigel (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) earned his seventh consecutive win in the second game.

"Bryson did a great job today, bouncing back after a tough first inning and was really strong down the stretch," second-year head coach Scott Heather said afterward. "Dan has been awesome: 7-0 in the Patriot League this year. He has been great. He pitched down in the zone and kept them off balance."

• In a battle between the top two teams in the CAA, College of Charleston won an epic game against William & Mary, 3-2 in 23 innings. The win came just three days after CofC played the second-longest game in school history, a 12-inning win against Coastal Carolina. Morgan Phillips hit a walk-off single in the 23rd inning, ending a game that tied for the second-longest in NCAA history, just shy of the Texas-Boston College 25-inning game in the 2009 regionals. Eric Bauer (10 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) turned in a heroic performance to earn the win for the Cougars, throwing just 111 pitches over 10 brilliant innings. The Cougars are just a half-game behind the Tribe with two games left.

• Western Carolina clinched its second straight Southern Conference regular-season title with a doubleheader sweep of Davidson, 10-2 and 4-3. Jeremy Null (9 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) went the distance in the opener for the Catamounts, who vaulted to No. 44 in the RPI. With a regular-season title under their belts and a solid RPI, the Catamounts should be an at-large team regardless of what happens in the SoCon tournament.

Anthony Azar

Anthony Azar

• Sam Houston State clinched a share of the Southland Conference title with a 13-8 win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Ryan O'Hearn and Anthony Azar combined for six hits, six runs and five RBIs to lead the Bearkats, who look like a solid at-large team with a No. 35 RPI.

• North Carolina State clinched a berth in the ACC tournament by sweeping a doubleheader at Virginia Tech, 9-4 and 6-5, boosting the Wolfpack to 13-16 in the ACC and No. 52 in the RPI. In potentially his final college start, Carlos Rodon (5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) wasn't his best but still earned the win in the first game, as Eric Peterson (4 IP, 3 H, 0 R) nailed it down with sterling relief. The Wolfpack still has work to do in the ACC tournament (a 2-10 record against the top 50 is a significant black mark against it), but at least the preseason No. 5 'Pack is still alive.

• Elsewhere in the ACC, Clemson dropped a 3-1 decision at home against Boston College, leveling the series. Daniel Gossett (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) took his first loss of the year for Clemson, which fell to No. 51 in the RPI and 14-14 in the ACC. Another loss Saturday would be disastrous for Clemson's at-large hopes; the Tigers are right on the bubble as it is.

• Florida Gulf Coast split a doubleheader at Lipscomb to clinch the A-Sun regular-season title. Second-place Mercer lost its second straight game at East Tennessee State, handing the Bears their second straight series loss. Mercer is still holding steady at No. 34 in the RPI, but the poor finish and the lack of a regular-season title hurts its at-large case. The Bears are 3-0 against the top 5- and 13-5 against the top 100, however.

• As noted above, Indiana clinched the Big Ten, as Illinois evened its series at Nebraska with a 5-1 win behind Kevin Duchene (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) and Ronnie Muck (3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K). The Illini climbed inside the top 50 in the RPI (No. 48) with the victory, improved to 5-3 against the top 50, and drew even with Nebraska at 17-6 in the conference with one game left. Both teams are looking like at-large clubs, especially if Illinois wins today.

• Texas Tech clinched its series against West Virginia with a 3-2 win. The Mountaineers have lost six straight games, putting their at-large hopes in some peril despite a No. 30 RPI. WVU is 4-15 vs. the top 50 and 9-13 in the Big 12 (sixth place).

• One Big West bubble team (Long Beach State) lost Friday, 8-2 at UC Riverside. Another, UC Santa Barbara, beat San Francisco 10-4. The Gauchos climbed to No. 54 in the RPI, one spot behind the Dirtbags. But LBSU remains in much better shape in the Big West standings.

• UAB's at-large hopes were effectively dashed, as the Blazers were swept in a doubleheader at Florida Atlantic, dropping them to No. 74 in the RPI.

• UNLV moved into a first-place tie atop the Mountain West by beating Nevada 17-9, while New Mexico took a bad home loss to Air Force, 3-1. The MWC's other at-large hopeful, San Diego State, dropped a 4-3 decision at Fresno State, evening the series.

• Stanford won the opener of its big series at Washington State, 5-2, behind Cal Quantrill (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K).

• Arkansas and Kentucky clinched SEC road series with a pair of shutouts Friday. The Hogs got strong pitching from Chris Oliver (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K), while Kyle Cody and Andrew Nelson combined on a six-hit shutout for the Wildcats.