— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) May 6, 2017
Strike One: TCU Takes Down Texas In Extras
Coming off a series loss at Texas Tech—its second Big 12 series loss in the last three weekends—Texas Christian got off on the right foot against Texas on Friday night, coming out on top in an 11-10, 11-inning slugfest.
It wasn’t a banner night for pitching for either squad, as both TCU freshman Nick Lodolo (4 IP, 7 H, 4 R) and Texas ace Morgan Cooper (3 IP, 8 H, 7 R) didn’t factor.
The Frogs jumped on Cooper early, scoring two runs in the first and following up with a four-run second, including a two-run homer by catcher Evan Skoug.
|How the Top 25 Fared|
|(1) Oregon State: won 8-0 vs. Oregon|
|(2) Louisville: won 2-0, at Notre Dame|
|(3) North Carolina: off|
|(4) Auburn: off|
|(5) Texas Tech: ppd at West Virginia|
|(6) Kentucky: lost, 5-3, vs. Georgia|
|(7) Texas Christian won 11-10 vs. (25) Texas in 11 innings|
|(8) Long Beach State: won, 3-0, vs. Cal Poly|
|(9) Mississippi State: won, 5-1, at (16) Texas A&M|
|(10) Clemson: off|
|(11) Florida: won 11-2, vs. Mississippi|
|(12) Virginia: off|
|(13) Stanford won, 7-5, Arizona State|
|(14) Cal State Fullerton: won, 3-1, at Hawaii|
|(15) Louisiana State: lost, 3-2, vs. South Carolina|
|(16) Texas A&M lost, 5-1, vs. (9) Mississippi State|
|(17) Wake Forest: won, 15-5, vs. Boston College|
|(18) Arkansas: susp. at Tennessee|
|(19) Arizona: won, 5-4, vs. Washington|
|(20) Southern Miss: won, 11-2, vs. Florida Atlantic|
|(21) Michigan: won, 6-0, vs. Ohio State|
|(22) St. John’s: won, 7-1, vs. Georgetown|
|(23) Maryland: won, 9-4, at Illinois|
|(24) South Florida: won, 8-6, vs. East Carolina|
|(25) Texas: lost, 11-10, at (7) Texas Christian in 11 innings|
Texas, which entered the Top 25 at No. 25 this week, didn’t let up, scoring four runs on five hits in the seventh and tying the game on a sac fly by Tyler Rand in the ninth.
A Zane Gurwitz single gave the Longhorns the lead in the 10th, but Skoug hit his second homer of the game—11th of the year—to tie it right back up, continuing his late-season renaissance.
The Horned Frogs would walk off an inning later on a sac fly by Connor Wanhanen.
With the win, TCU protected its first-place position in the Big 12. The Frogs are 1 1/2 games up on second-place Texas Tech. Texas, meanwhile, fell to 3 1/2 games back.
Strike Two: McCaughan Dominates Again
Once Big West play began, Long Beach State quickly took hold of first place and hasn’t let go. One key to the Dirtbags’ success: the Friday pitching of ace righthander Darren McCaughan, who added yet another gem to his collection Friday night.
Playing third-place Cal Poly in an important conference series, McCaughan threw his whopping fourth complete game of the year and second shutout, stymying the Mustangs all night long. With the win, McCaughan improved to 6-2, 2.97 on the year with 80 strikeouts to 10 walks in 88 innings. The win was also his 20th of his Dirtbag career, making him the 10th Long Beach pitcher to reach that mark and the first since Cesar Ramos (2003-05).
On Friday night, McCaughan allowed just three hits, walked one and struck out 11, ending the game on a punchout.
The Dirtbags gave him run support early in their 3-0 win, with third baseman Ramsey Romano hitting and RBI single in the first and first baseman Daniel Jackson stealing home on a double steal. Left fielder Lucas Tancas added an RBI double in the third to give McCaughan more than enough run support.
Long Beach is up 3 1/2 games over second-place Cal State Fullerton and 4.5 over Cal Poly with last night’s win.
Strike Three: Gamecocks Top LSU
South Carolina needed a win like this.
Coming off of five straight SEC series losses and losing ace Clarke Schmidt to Tommy John surgery, the Gamecocks have slid out of the Top 25. With a top 30 RPI, they remain in the NCAA tournament picture—but not without winning series.
Friday night was a nice first step, as the Gamecocks beat Louisiana State ace Alex Lange in a tough environment in Baton Rouge, winning 3-2.
South Carolina got on the board early, scoring all three runs in the second. Alex Destino hit an RBI single, then Madison Strokes drove in two more with a single of his own.
Lange was untouchable from that inning on, going the distance in a losing effort.
For South Carolina, Wil Crowe lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing two runs. But lefty Josh Reagan provided three strong innings out of the bullpen, and closer Tyler Johnson relieved him for a five-out save.
The Gamecocks have more work to do, but a series win against the Tigers would be a huge boost.
“I never thought three runs would have got it done,” head coach Chad Holbrook told gamecocksonline.com. “We really made some big pitches when they had runners in scoring position. It looked like they were going to at least tie the game and we got a big popup to the catcher in the eighth and we made some big pitches behind that. It wasn’t easy.
“They are a really good team. I thought they were one of the best teams in the country and they impressed me. We played well. We have to do a little better offensively. We have two more opportunities and we’ll see if we can get another big one.”
Nine newsmakers from Friday’s action.
SWUNG ON AND BELTED.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) May 6, 2017
Cal Stevenson, of, Arizona: Trailing 4-3 in the ninth inning, Stevenson hit a two-run walk-off shot to give the Wildcats a much-needed Pac-12 win against Washington. The Wildcats had been swept in back-to-back Pac-12 series before Friday night and were staring at their seventh straight Pac-12 loss.
Gavin Sheets and Keegan Maronpot, Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons fell behind early to Boston College, but with an offense like theirs, there were few nerves. Wake Forest exploded for 15 runs—including six in the second inning. Sheets and Maronpot both homered twice, with Sheets driving in six runs.
“It felt really good,” Sheets said. “We started off a little slow today. We needed a little energy. We had some big at-bats in the second inning to get that six-spot, and to hit that ball just kind of gave more energy. And it felt good to be back after a 10-day swing of not playing and exams, we needed some energy. It was fun.”
— Michael Lananna (@mlananna) May 6, 2017
Oliver Jaskie, lhp, Michigan: In a classic rivalry battle against Ohio State, Jaskie gave the Wolverines a clutch performance, striking out 14 Buckeyes in a complete-game shutout. Jaskie walked just one and scattered seven hits as Michigan topped its rival, 6-0.
Brendan McKay, lhp, Louisville: If this name looks familiar, it’s because he’s part of the lineup every weekend. The potential 1-1 pick was at it again at Notre Dame on Friday, throwing eight scoreless innings and allowing just one hit, striking out eight to improve to 7-3 on the year.
Luke Heimlich, lhp, Oregon State: Here’s another name that should be familiar to readers. Heimlich improved to an incredible 7-1, 0.71 with another eight shutout innings in Oregon State’s 8-0 win over California. The junior struck out a career-best 12 in the win, walking one.
Tyler Dietrich, c, South Florida: In an offensive battle with East Carolina, Dietrich came up the biggest, driving in three runs, including the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning on a two-run single. Dietrich went 3-for-4 as South Florida came out on top, 8-6.
Dylan Busby, 3b, Florida State: How how is Busby? In his last 11 games, the junior has homered seven times, including the go-ahead shot in the eighth inning of Florida State’s 9-8 win against Pacific. Busby is up to 11 on the year after a slow, injury-riddled start.
Dylan Burdeaux, 1b, Southern Miss: In a bird-on-bird battle for first place in Conference-USA, Burdeaux paced the offense, hitting a three-run homer in a six-run second inning and driving in six runs overall in a three-hit showing to lead the Golden Eagles over the Owls.
Casey Golden, rf, UNC Wilmington: Looking to make up some ground in the CAA standings against first-place Northeastern, the Seahawks won, 4-3, in a 12-inning thriller, thanks to a walk-off shot from Golden.