Conference play has begun in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pac-12 Conference and Southeastern Conference and with it has come some surprising results. Friday produced several surprises around the country, including several that involved teams ranked in the top 12 of the Top 25.
The top 12 teams combined Friday to go 3-8, with only No. 1 Oregon State (16-1), No. 2 Florida (17-3) and No. 7 Arkansas (14-4) winning (No. 3 Stanford is off this weekend for finals). Arkansas came against No. 4 Kentucky (14-4), guaranteeing at least one top 12 team a victory. The Razorbacks were led by catcher Grant Koch, who homered twice in the victory.
The rest of the top half of the Top 25 all fell behind to start their weekend series. No. 5 Clemson (16-2) lost its first home game of the season, falling 4-0 to No. 23 North Carolina State (16-3). No. 6 Florida State (14-4) lost, 8-7, against Notre Dame (8-8) after its comeback fell short. The Seminoles have now lost four straight games.
The trio of top-10 teams for Texas all lost as well. No. 8 Texas Tech (16-4) lost, 2-0, at Baylor (9-6). No. 9 Texas Christian (9-6) fell, 6-3, at home against Minnesota (13-7), which was 2-4 over the last two weekends. No. 10 Texas A&M (16-3) fell victim to No. 13 Auburn (18-1) and All-American righthander Casey Mize, losing 4-1.
No. 11 Mississippi (17-2) was stunned against Tennessee (13-6) when the Volunteers’ offense exploded for six runs in the seventh inning and held on for an 8-6 victory. No. 12 Louisville (15-3) was stymied in a 2-1 loss at Wake Forest (8-10).
None of the top 12 teams that lost Friday need panic. They all have a chance to come back and win their series this weekend – Clemson, TCU and Texas A&M have all already posted winning weekends this season after losing a Friday game. A series loss at this stage of the season is of course far from disastrous, either. Florida was swept on this weekend last year at Auburn and went on to win the national title.
But for Florida State and TCU, two teams that are this weekend playing at home and have fallen into short skids, bouncing back with a win Saturday would be heartening. The Seminoles could use a win after losing their first ACC series last weekend at Wake Forest. The Horned Frogs, meanwhile, will want to build momentum before beginning Big 12 play next week against Kansas State.
McClanahan Strikes Out 16 In Combined No-Hitter For South Florida
Preseason All-American Shane McClanahan, the top-ranked college lefthander in the draft class, and righthander Carson Ragsdale combined Friday for a no-hitter as South Florida (13-6) defeated Army (7-10), 12-0. It was the Bulls’ first no-hitter since 2010 and third in program history.
McClanahan, a redshirt sophomore, struck out 15 and walked three in six innings. He threw 91 pitches before giving way to Ragsdale. The sophomore struck out seven and walked three in three innings to complete the first combined no-hitter in USF history. Both McClanahan and Ragsdale set career highs for strikeouts.
McClanahan at one point struck out eight straight batters. He improved to 2-1, 0.00 with 41 strikeouts and 10 walks in 24.2 innings. He has this season held opposing hitters to a .143 batting average and yielded just three runs, all unearned.
The no-hitter was the latest in a wave of no-hitters n the season’s first month. South Florida’s was the 13th already this year.
In addition to Mize and McClanahan, several other aces around the country turned in outstanding performances Friday.
Trey Cumbie, LHP, Houston: Cumbie needed just 104 pitches to throw a four-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory against New Mexico. He struck out 10 batters and walked none to improve to 1-1, 2.97 with 43 strikeouts and five walks in 30.1 innings.
Colton Eastman, RHP: Cal State Fullerton: Facing Grand Canyon, Eastman threw seven scoreless innings in a 7-3 victory. He struck out seven, walked two and scattered three hits as he improved to 2-1, 2.59 with 32 strikeouts and 12 walks in 31.1 innings.
Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson: Gilbert carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Rhode Island. He finished his night with 11 strikeouts in 7.1 innings and held the Rams to one run on two hits and two walks. The Preseason All-American is 4-0, 2.67 with 50 strikeouts and eight walks in 33.2 innings.
Brady Singer, RHP, Florida: Singer and No. 2 Florida cruised to a 7-3 victory at South Carolina. The Preseason All-American struck out seven batters in six innings and held the Gamecocks to one run on two hits and two walks. He is 5-0, 1.97 with 32 strikeouts and five walks in 32 innings.
Jonathan Stiever, RHP, Indiana: Stiever turned in a solid performance as No. 18 Indiana routed Northern Illinois, 18-0. The junior struck out six batters, walked none and allowed two hits in six scoreless innings. He improved to 2-1, 3.86 with 38 strikeouts and eight walks in 30.1 innings.
College Baseball Remembers Augie Garrido
Augie Garrido, the all-time winningest college baseball coach, died Thursday, leaving behind an enormous legacy. Friday, around the country, several programs paid tribute to one of the all-time greats.
— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) March 17, 2018
— Jason Murrietta (@MurriettaJason) March 16, 2018
— Baylor Baseball (@BaylorBaseball) March 16, 2018
— Jim Schlossnagle (@TCUSchloss) March 16, 2018