Top 25 Tracker
by Will Kimmey
March 20, 2006
1. MISSISSIPPI STATE
Last Week: 4-0. Overall: 15-0, 0-0 in SEC. (2-0 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 4-0.
MSU is off to the best start in school history (besting the 1985 team of Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro and Bobby Thigpen), and it tied the record for consecutive wins. Sunday's finale was rained out. It's all about the pitching, with Sr. LHP Brooks "and" Dunn (7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, ER, 7 K) and Jr. RHP Josh Johnson (8 IP, 7 H, 0 R) running MSU's quality starts total to 11 in 15 games. Sr. SS Thomas Berkery (.429) has hit in 12 straight games, and So. C Ed Easley (.370) has hit in 10 straight.
March 14: @ Alabama-Birmingham: W 20-4
March 15: @ Jacksonville State: W 7-4
March 17-19: (5) Tennessee: W 8-2, W 4-3
March 21: Alabama-Birmingham
March 22: Jacksonville State
March 24-26: @ (15) Louisiana State
Last Week: 3-1. Overall: 18-6, 0-0 in Conference USA. (4-5 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 2-0.
Sr. 2B Greg Buchanan has a 10-game hitting streak after batting .632 for the week with 12 hits and seven runs scored. Sr. RHP Eddie Degerman and So. LHP Joe Savery each threw five scoreless innings against TAMU-CC.
March 14: San Diego: W 11-2
March 15: @ Sam Houston State: L 9-8
March 18-19: Texas A&M Corpus-Christi: W 17-2, W 3-0
March 22: @ (18) Texas
March 24-26: East Carolina
3. NORTH CAROLINA
Last Week: 4-1. Overall: 16-3, 4-2 in ACC. (0-0 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 4-0.
Credit the offense with a save as UNC needed late rallies to get past Maryland. Jr. LF Jay Cox homered in all three games and leads the team in the triple crown categories (.461-8-23). Jr. RHP Daniel Bard (5.1 IP, 10 H, 10 R, 9 ER) and Jr. LHP Andrew Miller (5 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER) each struggled through their worst outings of the year in the first two games.
March 14-15: George Mason: W 9-5, W 7-4
March 17-19: Maryland: L 14-8, W 11-7, W 10-3
March 21-22: Towson
March 24-26: @ (5) Georgia Tech
4. CAL STATE FULLERTON
Last Week: 3-0. Overall: 17-6, 0-0 in Big West. (2-2 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 5-2.
Fullerton owns three impressive streaks: eight straight wins, 52 1/3 innings without a walk for So. RHP Wes Roemer after Friday, and three consecutive games with a save and no earned runs allowed for Jr. RHP Vinnie Pestano, who worked in each game at Arizona. Sr. 2B Justin Turner tallied five hits and five RBIs on the weekend, adding a solo home run and RBI double Sunday as Fullerton rallied from a 3-2 deficit to finish the sweep.
March 17-19: @ Arizona: W 6-4, W 5-3, W 5-3
March 21: (21) Pepperdine
March 24-26: Long Beach State
5. GEORGIA TECH
Last Week: 2-2. Overall: 18-3, 3-3 in ACC. (1-0 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 4-1.
Georgia Tech's pitching staff fails its first major test of legitimacy as its starters allow 21 runs (15 earned) in 11 innings--a 12.27 ERA--with none making it through the fourth against a strong N.C. State attack. The defense making eight errors didn't help either. The offense stroked nine homers in the final two games, with So. CF Danny Payne clubbing one in each of those games and Jr. 3B Wes Hodges hitting two Sunday along with two doubles.
March 15: Mississippi Valley State: W 13-4
March 17-19: @ North Carolina State: L 8-1, L 12-11 (10), W 17-11
March 24-26: (3) North Carolina
6. FLORIDA STATE
Last Week: 3-1. Overall: 21-2, 5-1 in ACC. (1-0 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 6-0.
FSU recorded its best win of the season Tuesday, but its 17-game season win streak and 15-game streak against VT ended Saturday when the bullpen coughed up a 7-3 lead. So. 1B Dennis Guinn tallied seven hits (two homers) and seven RBIs. Jr. RHP Bryan Henry threw six scoreless innings Friday, and Jr. RHP Tyler Chambliss struck out 10 batters in seven innings Sunday.
March 14: Winthrop: W 10-0
March 17-19: @ Virginia Tech: W 11-2, L 9-7, W 9-4
March 22: @ Jacksonville
March 24-26: Duke
7. SOUTH CAROLINA
Last Week: 4-1. Overall: 17-3, 2-1 in SEC. (1-1 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 5-0.
South Carolina had won eight consecutive games before Sunday's loss. Fr. RHP Mike Cisco ran his scoreless innings streak to 17.2 before yielding one Saturday. He still struck out eight batters in 7.1 innings to improve to 2-0, 1.29. Sr. 3B Neil Giesler extended his hit streak to 13 games and has notched multiple hits 11 times this season. Sr. 2B Chris Brown collected seven hits in the first two games against Auburn.
March 14: Davidson: W 9-2
March 15: Yale: W 8-2
March 17-19: @ Auburn: W 12-8 (12), W 7-3, L 7-1
March 21: Charleston Southern
March 22: Yale
March 24-26: (9) Florida
Last Week: 4-0. Overall: 15-2, 0-0 in Big 12. (1-1 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 2-0.
Nebraska has allowed seven runs in its last eight weekend games. So. LHP Tony Watson (5 IP, 2 H) and Fr. RHP Charlie Shirek (7 IP, 3 H) worked Friday's doubleheader before inclement weather put the kibosh on the final two games of the SDSU series. Jr. LF Nick Jaros collected three hits, three RBIs and three steals in the opener, and So. CF Bryce Nimmo homered in the opener and stole two bags in the nightcap.
March 14-15: Western Illinois: W 10-7, W 12-6
March 17 (DH): South Dakota State: W 10-0 (7), W 3-0 (7)
March 24-26: Kansas
Last Week: 3-1. Overall: 17-7, 2-1 in SEC. (2-3 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 4-1.
Florida trailed heading into the bottom of the seventh inning in all three games against Arkansas, but rallied for wins in the first and final game. UF has won eight of its last nine. It trailed 7-0 Sunday before scoring five times in the seventh and getting a three-run homer from Jr. SS Adam Davis in the eighth. Jr. CF Gavin Dickey drove in three runs Friday. Jr. 1B Matt LaPorta returned to the lineup Friday after missing 13 games. He went 1-for-8 with two walks in the series and was robbed of a homer by a leaping Craig Gentry.
March 14: @ Central Florida: W 10-3
March 17-19: (10) Arkansas: W 6-3, L 3-2, W 8-7
March 21: Stetson
March 24-26: @ (6) South Carolina
Last Week: 1-3. Overall: 11-6, 0-3 in ACC. (3-2 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 3-1.
Clemson suffered its first series sweep since 2004 after finishing 2005 as the only ACC team not to suffer a sweep. Virginia scored once in the ninth to win Friday and then tallied five runs in the final three innings Sunday to complete the sweep. The Tigers batted just .175 in Charlottesville despite a five-hit weekend from Jr. LF Tyler Colvin.
March 15: Gardner-Webb: W 10-5
March 17-19: @ Virginia: L 2-1, L 10-2, L 7-4
March 21-22: Elon
March 24-26: (20) North Carolina State
Last Week: 1-2. Overall: 17-3, 1-2 in SEC. (2-2 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 2-1.
Arkansas held leads entering the bottom of the seventh inning in each game, but failed to hold a 3-1 advantage Friday and blew a 7-0 lead Sunday. So. LHP Nick Schmidt (6.2 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 11 K) fell victim to two throwing errors (though one was his own) in the opener as he lost for the first time. Jr. CF Craig Gentry collected six hits in the series and robbed Matt LaPorta of a homer with a leaping grab.
March 17-19: @ (15) Florida: L 6-3, W 3-2, L 8-7
March 21-22: Centenary
March 24-26: (25) Georgia
Last Week: 1-3. Overall: 14-5, 0-2 in SEC. (0-3 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 5-1.
Tennessee has lost three straight and is 3-4 away from home on the season. So. CF Julio Borbon went 0-for-MSU after delivering at least one hit in every prior game on the season. So. LHP James Adkins got knocked around Friday (6 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 6 ER). Rain washed out the finale.
March 14-15: Siena: W 10-9, L 9-8
March 17-18: @ (6) Mississippi State: L 8-2, L 4-3
March 21: Tennessee Tech
March 24-26: Kentucky
13. WICHITA STATE
Last Week: 3-1. Overall: 20-3, 0-0 in Missouri Valley. (0-0 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 5-0.
Wichita State matches its best start since 1998 and earns its first-ever sweep of Long Beach State. The Shockers have won the last four matchups; before that Long Beach had won the previous nine. So. RHP Travis Banwart (7 IP, 4 H) helped hand Jared Hughes his first loss Friday. So. LF Tyler Hill totaled seven hits and six RBIs in the series.
March 14: @ Kansas State: L 6-3
March 17-19: @ Long Beach State: W 9-0, W 8-7, W 10-7
March 21: Oral Roberts
March 24-26: Southern Illinois
Last Week: 2-2. Overall: 14-8, 0-0 in Conference USA. (2-4 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 4-1.
So. RHP Sean Morgan struck out 11 batters over eight innings, and Fr. 3B Seth Henry delivered a three-run double in Friday's win. Fr. DH Anthony Scelfo went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs in Sunday's win. USA ace P.J. Walters allowed two earned runs in a complete game Saturday.
March 14: Nicholls State: L 7-4
March 17-19: vs./vs./@ South Alabama: W 6-3, L 8-4, W 7-2
March 21: New Orleans
March 24-26: @ Memphis
15. LOUISIANA STATE
Last Week: 1-2. Overall: 17-5, 1-2 in SEC. (1-0 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 5-1.
LSU lost its first series to Kentucky since 1994, and was a swing away from getting swept. Sr. RF Mighty
Quinn Stewart turned an 0-2 pitch into a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth Sunday. His seventh homer in 10 games made a winner of Jr. RHP Derik Olvey (8 IP, 4 H, 2 R, ER). Jr. LHP Clay Dirks (2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB) struggled Friday.
March 17-19: @ Kentucky: L 8-2, L 6-3, W 5-2
March 22: Southeastern Louisiana @ Metarie, La.
March 24-26: (1) Mississippi State
16. OREGON STATE
Last Week: 1-2. Overall: 12-7, 1-2 in Pac-10. (2-2 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 1-2.
Jr. RHP Dallas Buck (7 IP, 4 H, R, 6 BB, K) out-dueled Ian Kennedy on Friday, beating Ike for the third time in the last two years. So. C Mitch Canham homered in each loss. Jr. RHP Mike Stutes (2.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB) replaced Jr. LHP Anton Maxwell in the rotation Saturday, but struggled.
March 17-19: @ Southern California: W 4-1, L 11-3, L 4-1
March 24-26: Utah Valley State
Last Week: 0-0. Overall: 11-7, 0-0 in Pac-10. (5-1 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 3-2.
March 25-27: Washington State
Last Week: 2-1. Overall: 15-10, 1-1 in Big 12. (6-3 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 2-3.
Jr. LF Carson Kainer drove in eight runs on the week and leads the team with 23 RBIs. Fr. LHP Austin Wood made scoreless relief appearances in all three games, earning a save Friday in relief of So. RHP Adrian Alaniz, who has allowed five earned runs in his last four starts. Jr. CF Drew Stubbs has a hit in 18 of his last 19 games, and Fr. OF/DH Kyle Russell has a hit in 14 of 15 games.
March 14: (16) Arizona State: W 11-6
March 17-18: @ Texas Tech: W 4-3, L 2-1
March 22: (2) Rice
March 24-26: Oklahoma State
18. ARIZONA STATE
Last Week: 1-2. Overall: 18-7, 0-0 in Pac-10. (2-3 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 5-0.
Jr. RF Colin Curtis stroked three doubles and drove in two runs Friday, when ASU scored three times in the ninth inning to rally from a 7-5 deficit. Curtis' 21-game hit streak ended Saturday, when four ASU errors meant a loss.
March 15: @ (18) Texas: L 11-6
March 17-19: (24) Oklahoma: W 8-7, L 15-8
March 24-26: Penn State
20. NORTH CAROLINA STATE
Last Week: 3-1. Overall: 21-5, 5-1 in ACC. (2-1 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 4-1.
NC State had won eight straight games before Sunday's loss. Jr. 1B Aaron Bates went 6-for-10 with four RBIs and six runs scored in the first two games before drawing three intentional walks Sunday. His 10th-inning double tied Saturday's game, and he scored the game-winner on a Jon Still single. So. RHP Eryk McConnell and three relievers held GT to four hits Friday.
March 15: UNC Greensboro: W 24-3
March 17-19: (1) Georgia Tech: W 8-1, W 12-11 (10), L 17-11
March 24-26: @ (10) Clemson
Last Week: 2-1. Overall: 14-11, 0-0 in West Coast. (5-3 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 5-2.
Sr. LHP Paul Coleman (10 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 10 K) got a no decision Friday when he could have used one of the two homers Jr. C Chad Tracy delivered in the last two games of the weekend. So. SS Danny Worth collected seven hits in the series and has an eight-game hit streak. So. RHP Adam Olbrychowski left after four outs Saturday with a triceps strain.
March 17-19: Dartmouth: L 3-2 (11), W 6-2, W 9-2
March 21: @ (4) Cal State Fullerton
March 24-26: Northwestern
Last Week: 3-1. Overall: 14-6, 2-1 in Big 12. (4-2 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 3-1.
Jr. OF Chase Gerdes went 7-for-11 with two doubles, a homer, three steals and four RBIs against Kansas. Sr. 2B Kevin Russo accounted for five of Baylor's 14 steals (15 tries) in the series. So. RHP Tim Matthews (7.1 IP, 7 H, ER) won the clincher Sunday. Jr. DH Matt Sodolak tallied three hits and five RBIs in Friday's win, and Sr. RHP Ryan LaMotta allowed one earned run over six innings.
March 14: @ Houston: L 5-3
March 17-19: (25) Kansas: W 15-3, L 6-5, W 5-1
March 21: Texas Christian
March 24-26: @ (23) Oklahoma
Last Week: 2-1. Overall: 18-5, 0-0 in Big 12. (2-2 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 3-0.
OU has won nine of its last 10, and was an inning from an 11-game win streak as it allowed three ASU runs in the ninth Friday to take the loss after Sr. RHP Daniel McCutcheon had rung up 10 strikeouts in seven innings. So. DH Joe Dunigan homered and drove in three runs Saturday, when Sr. RF Chuckie Caufield scored three times and notched three hits.
March 14: @ UT Arlington: W 8-0
March 17-19: @ (16) Arizona State: L 8-7, W 15-8
March 24-26: (22) Baylor
Last Week: 4-0. Overall: 19-4, 4-2 in ACC. (4-2 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series:
Virginia sweeps Clemson in Charlottesville for the second time in three years. So. LHP Sean Doolittle struck out a career-high nine batters in eight innings Friday before Jr. OF Sean Marsh's sac fly gave UVa. the win. Marsh tallied four hits Sunday--seven for the series--and three walks Saturday. So. LF Brandon Guyer had five hits and four RBIs in the series.
March 15: Dayton W 10-3
March 17-19: (2) Clemson: W 2-1, W 10-2, W 7-4
March 24-26: Wake Forest
Last Week: 3-2. Overall: 14-4, 1-2 in SEC. (3-0 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 3-2.
Fr. RHP Trevor Holder (5.1 IP, ER) and Fr. SS Gordon Beckham (3-for-4) helped Georgia salvage one win on the weekend. Sr. RF Bobby Felmy owns an eight-game hit streak. Alabama's Wade LeBlanc (CG, 4 H, ER) and Bernard Robert (6.1 IP, 6 H, ER) were too good in the first two games.
March 14: Kennesaw State: W 11-3
March 15: Western Carolina: W 11-0
March 17-19: Alabama: L 4-1, L 5-3, W 6-4
March 22: Georgia State @ Marietta, Ga.
March 24-26: @ (11) Arkansas
Last Week: 0-2. Overall: 15-7, 0-0 in Pac-10. (1-0 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 4-1.
Jr. RHP Tim Lincecum allowed three hits in eight innings, but two were Jimmy Van Ostrand homers as he yielded five runs (one earned) and UW lost a 4-0 lead. JVO smacked two more bombs Sunday, when Zach Clem and Matt Stevens went deep for U-Dub.
March 18-19: Cal Poly: L 5-4, L 18-3
March 20: Cal Poly
March 22: Puget Sound
March 24-26: @ California
Last Week: 1-2. Overall: 16-8, 1-2 in Big 12. (4-7 vs. Top 25). Weekend Series: 3-2.
Sr. RHP Kody Quick (6.1 IP, 9 H, 2 R) took the loss Sunday, when KU's only run came off a Gus Milner homer. He leads the team with 30 RBIs. So. LF John Allman delivered a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning to give the Jayhawks a win Saturday.
March 17-19: @ (22) Baylor: L 15-3, W 6-5, L 5-1
March 22: @ Creighton
March 24-26: @ Nebraska