College Roundup: Washington Ends Beavers' Streak
Strike One: Huskies Snap Beavers’ Streak
Hosting the Beavers for a Pac-12 showdown in Seattle, the Huskies dealt the Beavers their first loss since Feb. 24 against Ohio State, snapping a 23-game winning streak—the longest streak in the country.
The Huskies managed to score three runs (two unearned) against Oregon State ace lefthander Luke Heimlich, who had allowed only five earned runs on the season entering the game. Willie MacIver hit an RBI double in the sixth, and a throwing error by shortstop Nick Madrigal later in the inning allowed two more runs to come across.
|How the Top 25 Fared|
|(1) Oregon State: lost, 3-2, at Washington|
|(2) Louisville: won, 3-0, at Georgia Tech|
|(3) Texas Christian: off|
|(4) North Carolina: off|
|(5) Clemson: off|
|(6) Texas Tech: lost, 5-3, at Kansas State|
|(7) Arizona: lost, 8-4, vs. (22) Oregon|
|(8) Cal State Fullerton: lost, 13-9, at Southern California|
|(9) Louisiana State: won, 15-2, vs. Mississippi|
|(10) Auburn: won, 3-2, at Tennessee|
|(11) Oklahoma: lost, 5-2, at (23) Michigan|
|(12) Long Beach State: won, 6-2, vs. Cal State Northridge|
|(13) Mississippi State: off|
|(14) Virginia: won, 10-9, at Virginia Tech|
|(15) Kentucky: off|
|(16) Florida: won, 10-6, at Vanderbilt|
|(17) South Carolina: off|
|(18) Stanford: lost, 2-0, vs. UCLA|
|(19) Arkansas: won, 14-4, vs. Georgia|
|(20) Wake Forest: off|
|(21) Southern Mississippi: off|
|(22) Oregon: won, 8-4, at (7) Arizona|
|(23) Michigan: won, 5-2, vs. (11) Oklahoma|
|(24) St. John’s: won, 6-2, at Butler|
|(25) Connecticut: lost, 8-3, at Tulane|
Meanwhile, junior ace Noah Bremer dealt for Washington. As the Huskies have done in recent weeks, a reliever—in this case lefthander Chris Micheles—started the game, allowing one run in the first, before giving way to Bremer out of the bullpen. The righthander carried the torch the rest of the way, throwing eight innings, striking out nine and allowing just one earned run in the Huskies’ 3-2 win.
Bremer threw 134 pitches in the win.
"We felt like we had protected him up to this point and that he had something left in the tank," Washington head coach Lindsay Meggs told gohuskies.com. "We were going to let him go for a little bit.”
With the win, the Huskies gained ground on the Beavers in the Pac-12 standings. They sit in second place at 3.5 games back, 7-3 in the conference and 20-12 overall. The Beavers lost for the first time in conference play, falling to 12-1 and 28-2 overall.
Strike Two: Gators Explode in Nashville
Much has been made of the maligned Florida offense, which ranked last in the SEC in hitting coming into this weekend’s action. For almost the entirety of the season, Florida’s pitching staff has carried the Gators.
On Thursday night, it was the other way around.
Engaging in an important SEC East battle, Florida and Vanderbilt fought until the last pitch. The Commodores roughed up Florida ace Alex Faedo for six runs (two earned) in six innings, including a home run from center fielder Jeren Kendall.
But Florida kept applying pressure, tallying a season-high 17 hits, and rallied against closer Reed Hayes in the ninth with a five-run explosion.
With his fifth hit of the night, senior outfielder Ryan Larson hit the game-tying single. Shortstop Dalton Guthrie hit the go-ahead single, and then freshman Austin Langworthy broke the game open with a bases-clearing three-run double.
With that rally, the Gators defeated host Vanderbilt, 10-6.
“Offensively, what can you say? We had some really competitive at-bats,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan told floridagators.com. “Langworthy coming back, he had three hits and four RBI. What can you say about Ryan Larson, a senior, went 5-for-5 on the night. We scored those five runs there in the ninth inning, it was special. It was a special night. I told our guys, we won a really, really important game tonight, but still it wasn't that clean…it's not clean yet.
“That’s the thing I try to preach to them. We don't have to play great to win ball games at a high level, we just have to play clean baseball and not make the mistakes that we've been making. In spite of all the mistakes tonight, because it wasn't clean, we battled and hung in there and beat a really good Vanderbilt team in a tough place to play.”
Strike Three: Wildcats Silence Red Raiders
Riding a quality outing from starter Justin Heskett and four hits from leadoff man Will Brennan, Kansas State upset No. 6 Texas Tech, 5-3, on Thursday night—earning just its second Big 12 win of the season.
The Wildcats scored early and often, with Brennan scoring the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly by Cameron Thompson in the first. Brennan later doubled in another run in the third, and the Wildcats took advantage of consecutive wild pitches from Texas Tech reliever Erikson Lanning in the fifth to score two more runs.
From there, the Kansas State pitching staff held the Red Raiders in check. Heskett allowed three earned runs in six innings to earn his fourth win of the season. Reliever Tyler Eckberg took care of the rest, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings to earn the save.
“I felt great,” Heskett told kstatesports.com. “I just made my pitches and let them hit the ball to my defense.
“Now, I’m relaxed and go out there and I know I can pitch against teams like this. I just have to go out there and do it. We can play with anyone in the country, we just have to do it night in and night out.”
With the win, which happened to be the 1,800th in school history, Kansas State improved to 17-16, although the Wildcats still rank last in the Big 12 with a 2-8 conference record. Texas Tech, meanwhile, fell to 29-8, 6-4 in conference. The Red Raiders have lost only one series this season—at Oklahoma two weekends ago.
Nine newsmakers from Thursday’s action
Griffin Canning, rhp, UCLA: The junior righthander continued his dominance this season, throwing a complete-game shutout at No. 18 Stanford and striking out a career-high 12 for the third time this season. Canning allowed just four hits and walked none, as the Bruins defeated the Cardinal, 2-0.
Brendan McKay, lhp/1b, Louisville: McKay remains a fixture in this section, as he once again dazzled on the mound Thursday. The lefthander allowed just one hit in eight innings against a powerful Georgia Tech offense on the road, striking out eight. And in typical McKay fashion, he also picked up two hits at the plate.
Oregon offense: On paper, the Oregon-Arizona series looked like a pitching vs. offense battle, with the pitching-first Ducks going against the mighty Wildcats. But of course, as often happens in baseball, the opposite occurred. The Ducks tallied a season-high 16 hits in support of ace David Peterson, scoring eight runs to win a big series opener against No. 7 Arizona in Tucson.
Oliver Jaskie, lhp, Michigan: In an intriguing non-conference Top 25 battle, host Michigan drew first blood, winning the opener, 5-2, thanks to a strong outing from Jaskie. The southpaw held Oklahoma to two runs on five hits, striking out seven in seven innings of work.
Rylan Thomas, 1b, Central Florida: UCF rallied back from down 7-1 on the road to defeat East Carolina in 11 innings Thursday night, and Thomas was at the center of that comeback. He homered in the fifth, and he hit the game-tying two-run single in the ninth, as the Knights went on to win, 8-7.
Greg Deichmann, of, Louisiana State: In a 15-2 rout of Mississippi, Deichmann supplied much of the offensive juice, hitting a grand slam, driving in a career-high five runs and picking up three hits in support of ace Alex Lange.
Darren McCaughan, rhp, Long Beach State: Throwing his second complete game of the season and third of his career, McCaughan went the distance for the Dirtbags, allowing just two runs and retiring the last 17 batters he faced to lead Long Beach State to its seventh straight win.
Luke Jarvis, ss, Auburn: Jarvis gave the Tigers the offensive jolt they needed to defeat Tennessee, tripling and homering, while righthander Casey Mize put in another stellar outing, throwing six scoreless innings.
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Jake Willsey, 2b, Tulane: Willsey hit a three-run double off of Connecticut ace Tim Cate to break open Thursday’s game as the Green Wave secured a big series-opening win against the No. 25 Huskies.