Saturday Roundup: Double The Fun

With wet weather expected across much of the East on Sunday, many series wrapped up with doubleheaders Saturday. The home team swept the doubleheader in all three series between ranked teams on the schedule this weekend. Let’s start the roundup with a look at those marquee matchups.

Top 25 Showdowns

(21) Mississippi at (1) South Carolina: The Rebels were on the verge of clinching the big road series, with a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning of Saturday’s first game, when the remarkable Gamecocks rallied for three runs with two outs. Max Schrock, battling an ankle injury, came off the bench to hit a game-tying, pinch-hit, two-run homer, and the Gamecocks won it 5-4 on Brison Celek’s pinch-hit RBI single in the 10th. South Carolina’s bullpen was characteristically brilliant in that one, as Reed Scott (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K) kept the Gamecocks in it, and Joel Seddon picked up the win with another scoreless inning. Will Allen (3-for-5, 2 RBI) led the Ole Miss offense behind Christian Trent (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), but Josh Laxer (0.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER) couldn’t nail down the win. Allen had three more hits in the nightcap, and Sam Smith (7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) pitched well in defeat, but Wil Crowe (5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) and the South Carolina bullpen was better, leading the Gamecocks to a 3-1 win. Cody Mincey worked three scoreless innings of relief, and Seddon got the final two outs to pick up another save. South Carolina’s bullpen hasn’t given up a run in 61.1 consecutive innings, dating back to opening day. Incredible.

Jose Brizuela, Florida State

Jose Brizuela (photo by Cliff Welch)

(5) North Carolina State at (2) Florida State: The red-hot Seminoles swept the doubleheader and the series, dominating the first game 8-2 and taking the second game 9-8 in 13 innings. Brandon Leibrandt (5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K) beat Logan Jernigan (4.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K) in the opener, and FSU got a combined seven hits, four runs and five RBIs out of D.J. Stewart, John Nogowski and Ben DeLuzio. Each team pounded out 17 hits in the finale, as DeLuzio and Nogowski combined for five more to lead FSU’s attack. Andrew Knizner (5-for-7, 3 RBI) gave N.C. State the lead with an RBI single in the top of the 13th, but Nogowski’s sacrifice fly tied it in the bottom of the frame, and Jose Brizuela (2-for-6, 2 R, 2 RBI) followed with a walk-off RBI single. The Wolfpack has still never won a series in Tallahassee. The Seminoles made a loud statement this weekend that they remain the kings of the ACC Atlantic Division.

(8) Louisiana State at (7) Vanderbilt: After LSU won Friday’s opener, the Commodores bounced back with a doubleheader sweep to win the series, taking the first game 5-3 and the second game 9-3. In the opener, Vince Conde (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2B) led a 10-hit attack in support of Jared Miller (6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER), who improved to 5-0. The Commodores jumped on Kyle Bouman (4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER) for three runs in the first inning and extended their lead with two crucial insurance runs in the seventh. The top two hitters in Vandy’s lineup, Dansby Swanson and Bryan Reynolds, combined for five hits and five RBIs in the finale, and Hayden Stone (5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K) earned the win with overpowering relief work. Jared Poche (4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K) took his first loss for LSU.

Top 25 Upsets

St. Mary’s at (9) Cal State Fullerton: The Titans continue to scuffle, taking their fourth loss in their last five games. Fullerton mustered just four hits against Cameron Neff (9 IP, 4 H, 0 R) in a 6-0 loss. Fullerton made three errors behind Grahamm Wiest (8 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K). The Gaels are not overly talented, but they are playing hard for first-year coach Eric Valenzuela.

(13) Miami at Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets avoided losing their second straight home series to start conference play, sweeping Saturday’s doubleheader 13-7 and 3-2 (10 innings). Daniel Spignola (4-for-4, 3 R, 3 RBI) led Georgia Tech’s 14-hit attack the first game, as Bryan Radziewski (5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER) struggled, and the Miami bullpen struggled more. The Hurricanes mustered just four hits and committed three errors in the nightcap, as Andrew Suarez (9 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) was solid in a no-decision, but freshman Connor Justus delivered a walk-off single in the 10th for the Yellow Jackets after the leadoff man had reached on an error.

(19) North Carolina at Maryland: Charlie White delivered a walk-off RBI single in the ninth to lift the Terrapins to a 3-2 win, leveling the series. Benton Moss (7.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K) was solid in a no-decision for the Tar Heels.

Mikey White

Mikey White (Photo by Danny Parker)

(20) Kentucky at Alabama: Kentucky won the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, 7-2, but Alabama came from behind to win the finale 5-3 in 10 innings to take the series. Michael Thomas (4-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR) led the UK offense in support of Chandler Shepherd (7.2 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) in the first game. Andrew Nelson (8.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) carried a two-run lead into the ninth in the nightcap, but Austen Smith smacked a game-tying two-run homer with two outs to force extras, and Mikey White followed with a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th.

Wichita State at (23) UC Santa Barbara: Chase Simpson and Tyler Baker each hit three-run homers, and Dayne Parker went 4-for-6 with four RBIs to lead the Shockers to a 16-5 win, leveling the series. Robby Nesovic (4.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 ER) took the loss for UCSB.

Other Top 25 Results

Boston College at (3) Virginia: The Cavs swept a doubleheader and the series, winning 3-2 in 12 innings and 2-1. In the first game, Connor Jones and Nick Howard combined for seven innings of shutout relief, striking out nine, and Howard hit a walk-off RBI single in the 12th. Howard had two more hits in the nightcap behind Brandon Waddell (6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), and UVa. scored the winning run on an error in the ninth.

(4) Oregon State at Utah: Andrew Moore (6.1 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) returned to the rotation after a one-week absence for illness and pitched well, leading the Beavers to a series-clinching 5-1 win.

(6) Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana-Monroe: Blake Trahan (3-for-5, 2 R) and Tyler Girouard (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI) led a balanced 15-hit attack in support of Carson Baranik (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K), as the Cajuns rolled to a 14-1 win, clinching the series.

Kansas at (10) Texas: The Longhorns scored a pair of unearned runs in the first, and Dillon Peters (7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) made it stand up in a 2-1 win, leveling the series. John Curtiss (1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R) picked up his fourth save.

Wagner at (11) Cal Poly: The Mustangs clinched the series with a 3-1 win behind Casey Bloomquist (7 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K).

Southern California at (12) Oregon: Mitchell Tolman (2-for-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI) led a balanced 11-hit attack in support of Matt Krook (6.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K), as the Ducks evened the series with a 7-2 win.

(14) Clemson at Wake Forest: The Tigers rebounded from Friday’s loss by sweeping Saturday’s twin bill, 16-6 and 7-4. Tyler Slaton and Jay Baum combined for six hits and seven RBIs to lead Clemson’s 18-hit barrage in the first game. The Tigers rapped out 14 more hits in the finale, led by Garrett Boulware (3-for-5, 3 R).

(15) Rice at Florida International: The Owls clinched the series with a 10-2 win. John Clay Reeves (5-for-5, R, 2 RBI, 2B) led Rice’s 16-hit assault in support of Blake Fox (8 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K).

(16) Indiana at Long Beach State: The Hoosiers scored a run in the 11th on Dustin DeMuth’s sacrifice fly to win 2-1, leveling the series. IU had a short leash with Will Coursen-Carr (0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB), but Luke Harrison (6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) settled things down with strong relief work. Meanwhile, the wait continues for Indiana’s vaunted offense to find its stride.

Samford at (17) Louisville: The Cardinals wrapped up a series sweep by winning both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader, 18-2 and 4-2. Sutton Whiting and Zach Lucas had three hits and three runs apiece to lead a balanced 18-hit barrage in support of Jared Ruxer (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) in the first game. Louisville took advantage of four Samford errors in the second game, and Kyle McGrath (2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K) earned the win in relief of Jake Sparger (3.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER).

(18) Sam Houston State at New Orleans: The Bearkats swept a doubleheader, 14-4 and 7-2. Anthony Azar went bonkers in the first game, launching a three-run homer and a grand slam in support of Sam Odom (6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER). Colt Atwood and Ryan O’Hearn had two hits and two RBIs apiece in the second game behind Dirk Masters (7 IP, 4 H,1  ER, 0 BB, 6 K).

(22) Tennessee at Missouri: The Volunteers won the series by sweeping Saturday’s doubleheader, 5-1 and 4-1. Nick Senzel and Vincent Jackson had two hits and two RBIs apiece in the first game, and Andy Cox (3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R) earned the win in relief of Hunter Martin (3.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER). Senzel had two more hits in the nightcap, and Scott Price hit a tie-breaking RBI triple to key Tennessee’s three-run eighth-inning rally. Drake Owenby (3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) picked up the win in that one.

(24) Mississippi State at Georgia: MSU bounced back from Friday’s loss by sweeping a doubleheader Saturday, 6-1 and 4-1. Ross Mitchell (9 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K) made the start and went the distance in the first game, improving to 19-1 in his career. Mississippi State needs to start getting more quality starts, so moving Mitchell into the rotation seems like a logical move. Jacob Lindgren and Jonathan Holder worked a combined 4.1 scoreless innings in the nightcap, and C.T. Bradford led the offense with two hits and two RBIs.

(25) UCLA at California: The Bruins clinched the road series with a 3-1 win behind Grant Watson (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K). Kevin Williams hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh.