College Roundup: UNC, TCU Upset At Home

Junior Joe Tietjen was everywhere for UNC-Asheville on Wednesday—wherever the Bulldogs needed him most.

Playing at No. 13 North Carolina, Tietjen started in center field and batted cleanup, driving in the game’s first run with a groundout in the first inning. In the ninth, Tietjen moved to the mound, looking to protect a 3-2 Bulldogs lead. He walked the first batter he faced and subsequently moved back to center field—and for the Bulldogs, it’s a good thing he did.

(1) Florida: off
(2) Miami: off
(3) Texas A&M: off
(4) Louisville: postponed at (19) Kentucky
(5) Mississippi State: off
(6) Vanderbilt: off
(7) Texas Christian: lost, 4-3, vs. UT Arlington
(8) South Carolina: off
(9) California: off
(10) Oregon State: off
(11) Florida State: lost, 8-4, vs. (23) Texas Tech
(12) UC Santa Barbara: off
(13) North Carolina: lost, 3-2, vs. UNC-Asheville
(14) Mississippi: off
(15) Louisiana State: off
(16) Oklahoma State: off
(17) Michigan: won, 5-0, vs. Bowling Green
(18) Florida Atlantic: off
(19) Kentucky: postponed vs. (4) Louisville
(20) Long Beach State: off
(21) Clemson: off
(22) East Carolina: off
(23) Texas Tech: won, 8-4, at (11) Florida State
(24) Houston: off
(25) Rice: off

Fast forward a few batters—bases loaded, one out. UNC’s leading hitter Tyler Ramirez drove what looked like a potential game-winning hit to left-center field, but Tietjen dove and caught the ball, then had the awareness to throw to second base to double off the runner who had advanced without tagging.

Double play. Game over. Thanks to Tietjen’s heroism, the Bulldogs (8-22) dealt the Tar Heels (21-8) an improbable loss in Chapel Hill.

“We made the big defensive play when we needed it and came up with three big hits,” Bulldogs head coach Scott Friedholm told “We competed with a really good baseball team tonight and came out with a good win for this program.”

The Bulldogs weren’t alone in upsetting a Top 25 team Wednesday. In Fort Worth, Texas, UT Arlington survived a late rally to put away No. 7 Texas Christian, 4-3. It was the second win against a Top 10 team for the Mavericks (17-13), who defeated then-No. 9 Oklahoma State in the very first game of the season.

The Mavericks jumped out to an early lead thanks to a three-run home run from catcher Brady Cox in the third inning. Starter Jake Wilcox threw five scoreless innings, and reliever Jacob Moreland threw the last four, receiving a bit of a scare when TCU put up three runs in the eighth on a home run by second baseman Cam Warner.

The Mavericks had lost to the Horned Frogs twice this season—falling, 17-4, to TCU at home a week ago.

“Jake (Wilcox) was great tonight, as was Moreland,” UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas told “Those two guys threw really well against a really good offense. They handed it to us last week at our place, so this was a big win for us to be able to come over here and both hit and pitch it the way we did.”

In Tallahassee, No. 23 Texas Tech (21-9) earned revenge against Florida State (20-7) after losing to the Seminoles the night before. The Red Raiders jumped on FSU freshman righthander Cole Sands—the typical Sunday starter—for five runs in the first inning, and they never lost the lead from there. Both first baseman Eric Gutierrez and left fielder Tyler Neslony homered in the 8-4 win.

At No. 17 Michigan, sophomore Drew Lugbauer hit two home runs to lead the Wolverines to a 5-0 win against Bowling Green, pushing their record to 21-6 and their home record to 6-0.

Rivals No. 4 Louisville and No. 19 Kentucky were unable to play in Lexington due to rain. The Battle of the Bluegrass was rescheduled for Wednesday, April 13.

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