Saturday Roundup: Georgia Tech Topples No. 1 FSU Again

It has been a rollercoaster season for the two traditional powers in the Peach State. Georgia Tech started 7-7, then found its way into the Top 25 after taking consecutive series against Miami and North Carolina, then tumbled back out of the rankings after getting swept by Pittsburgh two weeks ago. Since then, the Yellow Jackets have been red-hot, winning eight straight games. They swept a quality Duke club last weekend, and they clinched a series against No. 1 Florida State with a 12-4 win Saturday.

Connor Justus

Connor Justus

Devin Stanton (6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) stymied the FSU offense, while Mitch Earnest (2-for-4, 4 RBI, HR) led Georgia Tech’s 15-hit attack. Daniel Spingola, Mott Hyde, Connor Justus and Brandon Gold also contributed multi-hit games, and the Yellow Jackets played clean defense, while the Seminoles committed three errors. Florida State is 0-3 on the week, and a change at the top of the rankings is certain.

Georgia, meanwhile, improved to 21-14 overall and 7-7 in the SEC by taking a series against Tennessee this weekend. The Scott Stricklin era got off to a 2-6 start this spring, but then the Bulldogs ripped off an 11-game winning streak, before losing back-to-back series against Mississippi State and LSU. They have won three straight series since (against Texas A&M, at Missouri, and home against the Vols) to put themselves squarely in the middle of the race for a regional berth. On Saturday, Daniel Nichols (3-for-4, 2 RBI) led the UGa. offense in support of Robert Tyler (6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K).

With Mercer (27-10) dropping a road series at Lipscomb this weekend, maybe the best team in the state of Georgia is one of the two flagship programs, after all.

Top 25 Showdowns

(14) Clemson at (2) Virginia: The Tigers evened the series with a 7-1 win. Tyler Krieger and Garrett Boulware combined for four hits and five RBIs in support of Daniel Gossett (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER), as Clemson broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the sixth against Josh Sborz (5.1 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K), then tacked on four more in the seventh against the UVa. bullpen.

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

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

(15) Florida at (5) South Carolina: Justin Shafer’s sacrifice fly in the 13th lifted the Gators to a 4-3 win, squaring the series. Over the final four innings, Florida alternated Shafer between right field and pitcher, and A.J. Puk (3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K) between first base and the mound. Puk worked a perfect 10th and 13th, recorded two outs in the 11th and one out in the 12th. Shafer recorded the last out in the 11th and two in the 12th. Joey Pankake and Tanner English had three hits apiece in a losing cause for South Carolina, and Jack Wynkoop (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) was strong in a no-decision, but the Gators overcame a 3-0 deficit with two runs in the eighth and another in the ninth to force extra innings.

(13) Louisville at (8) Houston: The Cardinals clinched the AAC showdown series on the road with a 3-2 win behind Jared Ruxer (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER), who bested Jake Lemoine (7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). Louisville did all its scoring in a three-run sixth, highlighted by Jeff Gardner’s RBI double.

(19) Mississippi at (17) Mississippi State: The Bulldogs answered Mississippi’s three-run 10th inning with four runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to earn a thrilling 6-5 win, evening the series. The game set a new NCAA on-campus attendance record, drawing 15,586 fans to Dudy Noble Field. Cody Brown, Seth Heck and Wes Rea contributed doubles in MSU’s four-run 10th, and Gavin Collins delivered a walk-off RBI single. Sikes Orvis’ two-run homer had given Ole Miss the lead in the top of the 10th, but Josh Laxer (2.1 IP, 5 R, 4 R, 1 ER) couldn’t hold it.

Joey Epperson

Joey Epperson

(18) Cal State Fullerton at (22) UC Santa Barbara: In the continuation of the game suspended Friday, Cal State Fullerton scored twice in the 11th to win 11-9. J.D. Davis hit a game-winning two-run double in the 11th and earned the win with two perfect innings of relief. But UCSB knotted up the series with a 3-2 win in the second game. Joey Epperson (2-for-5) delivered a walk-off RBI single in the ninth, and Domenic Mazza (5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K) picked up the win in relief. Grahamm Wiest (8 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) was strong in a no-decision for the Titans.

Other Top 25 Results

Arkansas-Little Rock at (3) Louisiana-Lafayette: The Cajuns clinched the series with a 5-2 win. ULL used a balanced 10-hit attackĀ  in support of Ryan Wilson (5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER), and Greg Milhorn (4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER) earned his first save with stellar relief work.

(4) Cal Poly at Hawaii: Eight different Mustangs recorded hits as part of a balanced 10-hit attack in Cal Poly’s 4-3 win, clinching the series.

(6) Oregon State at Washington State: The Beavers leveled the series with a 12-5 win. Gabe Clark (4-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 2B) spearheaded OSU’s 16-hit barrage, helping Andrew Moore (5.2 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 0 K) pick up the win despite a lackluster start.

(7) Texas at Oklahoma: The Longhorns clinched their fourth straight series win with a 7-2 victory in Norman. All nine Texas starters recorded hits as part of a 10-hit attack, and C.J Hinojosa and Kacy Clemens provided two RBIs apiece to lead the offense in support of Dillon Peters (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER). Texas (28-8) has won 13 of its last 15.

Robert Pehl

Robert Pehl (Photo by Andrew Woolley)

Stanford at (9) Washington: The Huskies racked up their fifth straight conference series to open Pac-12 play, clinching the Stanford series with a 7-2 win. Brian Wolfe (3-for-3, 2 RBI) and Robert Pehl (3-for-4, 2 R) led the UW offense in support of Tyler Davis (5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER). Washington (24-6-1, 12-2 in the Pac-12) remains in first place, two games ahead of Oregon State.

Auburn at (10) Alabama: Chance Vincent (3-for-4, RBI) led Alabama’s 13-hit attack in support of Justin Kamplain (8.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K), as the Tide leveled the series with a 4-1 win.

Texas A&M at (11) Vanderbilt: Rhett Wiseman (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B) was one of five Commodores to record multiple hits in an 8-5 win, knotting the series at 1-1. Brian Miller (5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) earned the win in relief of Jared Miller (4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER).

Missouri at (12) Kentucky: Max Kuhn (4-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI) led Kentucky’s 15-hit onslaught, and A.J. Reed homered for the second straight day (giving him 14 on the year), as the Wildcats cruised to a 12-0 win, leveling the series. Dylan Dwyer (6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R) improved to 4-1, as Kentucky broke open a 3-0 game with nine runs in the sixth.

Arkansas at (16) Louisiana State: Mark Laird’s tie-breaking walk-off single in the ninth lifted LSU to a 5-4 win, clinching the series. Starters Jared Poche (5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER) and Jalen Beeks (8 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) earned no-decisions. LSU has won seven straight.

San Jose State at (20) UNLV: The Rebels scored a run in the eighth when Patrick Armstrong tripled and Erik VanMeetren doubled, propelling them to a series-clinching 2-1 win. John Richy (9 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K) improved to 5-2.

(21) Rice at Tulane: Blake Fox (8.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) improved to 8-0, 1.00 in Rice’s 2-1 win, clinching the series. The Owls broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the eighth, taking advantage of a passed ball and an error.

Morehead State at (23) Indiana: The Hoosiers ran their winning streak to nine games with an 11-3 win, clinching the series. Kyle Schwarber and Brad Hartong contributed two hits and two RBIs apiece to lead IU’s balanced 15-hit barrage in support of Christian Morris (5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER).

Pittsburgh at (24) Miami: Andrew Suarez (9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K) was brilliant in a no-decision, and Miami broke a scoreless tie on Willie Abreu’s walk-off RBI single in the 10th to clinch the series.

UC Riverside at (25) Oregon: Mitchell Tolman (3-for-4, 2 RBI) led Oregon’s 11-hit attack in a 7-4 win, clinching the series. Jeff Gold (6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) improved to 8-0, and Jake Reed worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his eighth save.