There were three matchups between ranked teams Friday, and the higher-ranked team won all of them--with two of those wins coming on the road. Just two Top 25 team lost Friday, and several others were off for exams or bad weather. Here’s a look at Friday’s Top 25 action.
Top 25 Showdowns
• (2) Vanderbilt at (15) South Carolina: Spencer Navin’s two-run homer in the second inning put the Commodores ahead to stay, as Kevin Ziomek (8 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) improved to 9-2 in Vandy’s 3-2 win. Nolan Belcher (6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) was strong in defeat for the Gamecocks, who scored runs in the eighth and ninth to make Vanderbilt sweat.
• (21) Florida at (3) Louisiana State: The Tigers clinched the series with a 5-0 win behind Aaron Nola (9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K), who threw his fourth consecutive complete game to improve to 9-0, 1.92. The Tigers scored twice in the fifth to chase Bobby Poyner (4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) and take control of the game. JaCoby Jones (2-for-4, R, RBI) led the LSU offense.
• (14) Arkansas at (23) Kentucky: Matt Vinson and Jake Wise had two hits and on RBI apiece in support of Barett Astin (5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K), leading the Hogs to a 2-1 win. A.J. Reed (7.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) turned in a solid outing for UK but still fell to 2-6 on the year.
Top 25 Upsets
• Stanford at (8) Arizona State: Austin Wilson (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) led a 12-hit attack in support of Mark Appel (7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 13 K), as the Cardinal won the opener of a crucial series in Tempe, 5-3. Trevor Williams (6 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K) fell to 5-4 for the Sun Devils. The Cardinal need to catch fire down the stretch to salvage their postseason ambitions, and they are off to a good start this weekend after getting swept last week at Oregon.
• (19) Rice at Alabama-Birmingham: The Blazers stormed back from a 4-0 deficit and chased Austin Kubitza (5.2 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 K) in a seven-run sixth, then withstood Rice’s five-run eighth-inning rally to win 10-9. Christian Stringer and Michael Ratterree combined for five hits and six RBIs to lead Rice’s 14-hit assault in a losing cause.
Other Top 25 Results
• Long Beach State at (4) Cal State Fullerton: Thomas Eshelman (7 I, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) won a nice duel against Shane Carle (6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K), as the Titans won the series opener 3-2. Fullerton improved to 4-0 against Long Beach this year.
• Presbyterian at (5) North Carolina State: Ethan Ogburn (8 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) sparkled in N.C. State’s 5-1 win. Bryan Adamentz drove in two to lead the Wolfpack offense, and Brett Austin hit his second homer of the year.
• California at (6) Oregon State: Michael Conforto and Ryan Barnes combined for five RBIs in support of a dominant Matt Boyd (8.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K), as the Beavers rolled to a 6-1 win.
• Utah at (9) UCLA: Brian Carroll (2-for-4, 2 R, SB) led a balanced nine-hit attack behind Adam Plutko (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K), as the Bruins won the series opener 5-2.
• Central Florida at (10) Florida State: Luke Weaver (7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K) and Ben Lively (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K) were strong in no-decisions, and the Seminoles answered UCF’s two-run eighth with two of their own in the bottom of the frame to win 4-2. Stephen McGee’s leadoff homer in the eighth broke the 2-2 tie.
• (11) Oregon at Washington State: Brett Thomas (4-for-5, 2 R) and Mitchell Tolman (2-for-3, 3 RBI) led Oregon’s 10-hit attack behind Tommy Thorpe (6.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) in a 5-3 win at Washington State. The Ducks broke a 3-3 tie with two in the ninth.
• (12) Oklahoma at West Virginia: Jonathan Gray (8 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) and Harrison Musgrave (7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 11 K) each earned no-decisions in a fine duel, and the Sooners came from behind with a run in the eighth to tie it, then won it 4-3 with a run in the 10th on Craig Aiken’s RBI fielder’s choice.
• (13) Louisville at Villanova: Nick Ratajczak and Coco Johnson combined for five RBIs in support of Chad Green (7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K), leading the Cardinals to a 6-0 win.
• Air Force at (17) New Mexico: Red-hot Josh Melendez (4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI) capped a big game with a walk-off RBI single in the ninth, lifting the Lobos to an 11-10 win. John Pustay (2-for-2, 3 RBI) delivered a game-tying RBI single earlier in the ninth, giving him 10 hits in his last 11 at-bats, dating back to April 21 against Nevada. Melendez is riding a 24-game hitting streak. Six Lobos recorded multiple hits. “We have a heck of a lineup,” UNM coach Ray BIrmingham said afterward. “We have the best lineup in the country.”
• Middle Tennessee State at (20) South Alabama: Play was suspended by rain with MTSU leading 11-9 in the top of the 14th inning.
• (24) Mississippi at Auburn: Stuart Turner and Andrew Mistone had three hits apiece to lead a 13-hit attack behind Bobby Wahl (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K), as the Rebels won the series opener 6-1.
• (25) Virginia Tech at Boston College: Joe Mantiply (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K) and three relievers held BC scoreless on three hits for 12 innings, and the Hokies scratched out an unearned run in the 12th to win 1-0.