Pac 12 Baseball: No. 4 UCLA, No. 8 Arizona State, No. 9 USC Take Series Wins
The top three teams in the Pac 12 stayed that way over the weekend with each grabbing series wins. The No. 4 UCLA Bruins doubled up the Oregon State Beavers 10-5 to remain without a series loss on the year. Trent Chatterton (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI) and Brett Stephens (2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI) paced the Bruins attack while Cody Poteet (2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 K) and David Berg (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K) kept the Beavers off the board after they chased starter Griffin Channing with a five-run fourth.
The Bruins lead the Pac 12 at 10-2, just a game ahead of the No. 8 Arizona State Sun Devils who used another cardiac performance to down the Utah Utes 6-5 in 10 innings. While the Utes have struggled this season, they were game against the Sun Devils, making them fight hard to win the series. The Sun Devils overcame their second late-inning deficit, after starter Brett Lilek battled through another rough outing, with two runs in the ninth keyed by a two-out RBI single by lead-off man Johnny Sewald to send the game to extras where Joey Bielek’s RBI single proved to be the difference.
The No. 9 USC Trojans completed a road sweep of the No. 25 Arizona Wildcats with a 10-9 win that was fueled by a seven-run, fourth-inning rally and then closed out with an RBI infield single by Kevin Newman in the ninth. USC trails UCLA by 1.5 games in the Pac 12 standings.
Other Pac 12 baseball scores: No. 18 California over Washington State 6-2
American Conference Baseball: Memphis Clinches Over Houston With 6-2 Win
How the American Conference will finish is anyone’s guess after a weekend that saw the No. 12 UCF Knights drop their series at the Cincinnati Bearcats on Friday and the Houston Cougars drop theirs at the Memphis Tigers.
Right now the South Florida Bulls are the conference front-runner at 5-1 with Memphis a game back at 4-2. South Florida won a road series at Connecticut this weekend to remain in first in the conference. Meanwhile top-ranked UCF is at 3-3 while the Cougars are now 2-4, three games behind the Bulls.
Houston’s freshman shortstop Connor Wong contributed to the malaise in the fifth inning on Saturday with two errors that allowed the first two Tigers to reach base in the inning. Memphis then scored on a single, a safety-squeeze, an errant throw by Seth Romero on a pick-off attempt and a sac fly to take a 5-2 lead.
Wong has now committed 15 errors at short for the Cougars this season.
That error-marred frame spoiled the developing pitcher’s duel between Memphis’ Connor Alexander (7.0, 4 H, 2 ER, 7 K) and Houston’s Romero (7.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 6 K).
Unfortunately, after winning 10 straight to recapture everyone’s attention, the Cougars have lost 4-of-7 while opening conference play.
Other American Conference baseball scores: No. 12 UCF over Cincinnati 2-1; South Florida over Connecticut 8-6; Tulane over East Carolina 8-6
Big 10 Baseball: No. 23 Maryland Takes DH And Series From No. 19 Nebraska
In the first Big 10 battle of two College Baseball Central Top 25 ranked teams this season the newcomer No. 23 Maryland Terrapins established dominance, taking both ends of a double-header at home to clinch the weekend series against the No. 19 Nebraska Cornhuskers by scores of 8-2 and 8-3.
Maryland’s starting pitching was filthy as Mike Shawaryn (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 6 K) and Tayler Stiles (7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 8K) held down the Huskers bats while the Terrapins offense provided all the run support needed to take both games.
Shawaryn remained unbeaten at 7-0 and has been a dominant force for Maryland with a 2.00 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 54 innings of work while holding opposing hitters to a .192 OBA and a 0.85 WHIP.
Nebraska’ head coach Darin Erstad was featured recently on our College Baseball Central.
Other Big 10 baseball scores: No. 24 Illinois over Northwestern 11-4; Iowa over Purdue 10-5; Michigan and Indiana split double-header 7-3, 11-13; Minnesota and Rutgers split double-header 6-13, 11-9; Ohio State over Penn State 7-1; Michigan State over Oregon 8-4
SEC Baseball: No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 7 LSU Get Series Wins
Once again the No. 2 Vanderbilt Commodores were left to rely on their bats to escape an early deficit and clinch the series win against the Georgia Bulldogs with an 11-7 win. Second baseman Tyler Campbell drove in a career high four runs while Rhett Wiseman and Bryan Reynolds each scored twice and drove in two more runs in the win.
The No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies didn’t look bogged down by the monsoon-like rain that postponed two-day’s worth of action, but picked right up where they left off, sweeping both games to take the series win over the Kentucky Wildcats by scores of 5-2 and 6-3. Blake Allemand hit a two-run homer to lead the offense in game one while Mitchell Nau, Nick Banks and JB Moss each homered in game two. Grayson Long and Matt Kent each worked short outings in the wins.
Meanwhile the No. 7 LSU Tigers closed out a road sweep of the Alabama Crimson Tide with a 6-4 win on Saturday. Alex Bregman drove in a pair and scored twice while closer Jesse Stallings got his first win on the year, tossing 4.2 scoreless innings in relief as the Tigers won their second game in this series in extra innings. LSU has played free baseball in four of its last six SEC contests with a 2-2 mark over that stretch.
Other SEC baseball scores: No. 16 South Carolina over Mississippi State 13-7; Tennessee over Ole Miss 6-3
Mountain West Baseball: No. 20 Nevada Sweeps UNLV
The No. 20 Nevada Wolf Pack grabbed a series sweep over the UNLV Rebels with a 6-2 win on Saturday behind the power hitting Austin Byler. The 6’3” 225-pound senior slugger hit his eighth homer of the year and his second triple while driving in three runs for the Wolf Pack.
Byler has been unmerciful to opposing pitching with an unreal .358/.755/.554 slash with 14 doubles after his three double performance earlier in the series. He’s scored 40 times and driven in 30 is one of the main cogs in an offense that churns out 7.4 runs per game.
Nevada (26-6) is a silent giant out west, having won 13 of their last 15 games and are tied with San Diego State at 12-3 on top of the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs and Wolf Pack look to be on a collision course in a couple of weeks with regular season conference title hopes on the line.
Mountain West baseball scores: No. 14 UC Santa Barbara over Fresno State 9-3; San Diego State over New Mexico 4-3; Air Force over San Jose State 19-7
ACC Baseball: No. 6 Louisville Downs No. 15 Virginia 8-1, Funkhouser And Ray Key Win
The No. 6 Louisville Cardinals again demonstrated the stuff that has them on our mid-season College Baseball National Seeds Projections with another dominant series opener in the ACC conference as they pummeled the Virginia Cavaliers 8-1. Kyle Funkhouser (7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K) displayed his usual stinginess with the runs while the dynamic Corey Ray hit his fourth homer of the year, but his first collegiate grand slam that chased Cavaliers’ ace Nathan Kirby from the game, trailing 5-1.
Just a couple of batters prior, Devin Hairston broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI single. Louisville is trying to run away with the ACC Atlantic division with a two-game lead over No. 11 Florida State.
Other ACC baseball scores: North Carolina State over No. 11 Florida State 11-7; Wake Forest over Boston College 9-4; Virginia Tech over Georgia Tech 9-8; Notre Dame sweeps DH over Pittsburgh 8-1, 7-1
Big 12 Baseball: Oklahoma State, No.1 TCU Clinch Series Over No. 17 Texas and No. 22 Texas Tech
The slide for the No. 17 Texas Longhorns continued on Saturday as they dropped another series, this time at the Oklahoma State Cowboys after a 3-1 loss. Texas has dropped six-straight and may be in a mid-season doldrum after getting swept at Nebraska last weekend.
Bryan Case hit a two-run, fourth-inning homer to make the difference in the game as Tyler Buffett tossed 3.2 scoreless innings out of the pen for the win.
Alex Young was amazing as advertised as he shut down the No. 22 Texas Tech Red Raiders after giving up a lead-off solo shot to Stephen Smith as the No. 1 TCU Horned Frogs took the series with a 4-1 win on Saturday. The six-foot-two, 205-pound junior lefty struck out seven in seven innings of work to improve to 6-1 on the year.
Third baseman Derek Odell smacked a two-run single in a three-run, second-inning rally that took the lead for good.
Oklahoma State is sitting atop the Big 12 and will be a contender for not only the conference, but also the postseason with a No. 11 overall RPI and a solid No. 21 out-of-conference RPI and a 5-5 mark against RPI 1-25.
Other Big 12 baseball scores: West Virginia over Kansas State 3-2; Texas State over Baylor 4-1
Missouri Valley Baseball: Dallas Baptist Salvages 5-4 Win Over Missouri State In Extras
The Missouri State Bears took games one and two against the top-ranked RPI team in the country, the Dallas Baptist Patriots to clinch the key Missouri Valley Conference series. The Patriots fought back to snag a 5-4 win in 13 innings on Daniel Salters’ first homer of the season. Currently both teams trail the Wichita State Shockers in the Missouri Valley standings.
However, both of these squads have positioned themselves well for a shot at an at large bid in the NCAA Regionals. Dallas Baptist is still No. 1 in the RPI rankings while the Missouri State Bears are sitting in the eight-spot. However, the Bears get the edge, for now, unless the two can find one another in the MVC Tournament.
ACC Baseball: Clemson, No. 10 Miami Clinch Series On Artful Pitching Performances
“Its’ a given in this sport. Pitching and defense win championships. For Clemson and Miami it at least clinched series wins this weekend.” – Minimalist Mark, College Baseball RPI Analyst
No. 10 Miami Hurricanes junior southpaw Andrew Suarez struck out 12 over eight, allowing two unearned runs on eight hits and a walk as the Hurricanes clinched the series with a 3-2 win over Duke. Miami’s last four conference wins have been by a single run.
The Clemson Tigers got 11 strike outs over nine out of starter Zack Erwin who allowed two runs (one earned) on nine hits in an 11-inning, 5-4 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels that clinched the series. Injury-riddled North Carolina has now dropped 3-of-5 ACC series on the year and is losing its grip on the postseason with a 36 RPI but a 6-8 ACC mark.
Pac 12 Baseball: Washington Gets First Ever Road Sweep Of Stanford
The Washington Huskies had never swept the Stanford Cardinal at Sunken Diamond ever, that is until Saturday’s 5-0 win over the Cardinal as three Huskies hurlers combined to throw a two-hit shutout and clinch the sweep.
Ryan Schmitten earned his first win allowing a hit over six before handing the ball to Brandon Choate who allowed a hit over two innings. Troy Rallings recorded the staff’s only strikeout in a perfect ninth to close out the Cardinal, which has now lost nine straight Pac 12 contests and has been swept at home twice in the process (Arizona two weeks ago).
Washington is trying to regain some Regional credibility by doing well in the Pac 12, now 5-7, but has to get the 89 in RPI up significantly to have a shot.
The Missouri Tigers were introduced to the anomaly that is a dialed in Logan Shore in dropping the series opener with the No. 3 Florida Gators. However, the Tigers had an anomaly of their own in freshman hurler Tanner Houck who shut down the terrific Gators offense by allowing a run on four hits over eight innings to even the series in a 10-1.
Houck struck out six and improved to 5-1 on the year and got plenty of run support as the Tigers pushed 10 runs across with a solo homer by Brett Bond and two long balls of the bat of Zach Lavy on a four RBI day.
Auburn Tigers’ starter Keegan Thompson put together another stellar pitching performance allowing two earned runs in a complete game win over the Arkansas Razorbacks 3-2 to even the series. Thompson struck out nine Hogs and got the win as Cody Nulph was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth for the walk-off win.
Big 12 Baseball: Oklahoma Sooners Walk-Off Twice In Sweep Of Kansas
As third baseman Joshua Ake crossed the plate in the 10th inning on a single off the bat of right fielder Taylor Alspaugh, the Oklahoma Sooners had completed a sweep of the Kansas Jayhawks with an 8-7 win. This was the second walk-off win of the series as the Sooners took the opener as Jacob Evans led-off the 10th inning of game one with a solo homer on a 3-2 delivery from Jayhawks’ right-hander Stephen Villines for the 7-6 win. Oklahoma took game two after Alex Hanson was solid, striking out nine over six innings of work, in a 6-3 clinching win.
It may be too late, but its nothing that more winning can’t cure as far as the Sooners Regionals aspirations. This group seems to have the cardiac makeup necessary to comeback from an 84 RPI (89 non-conference RPI) and an 0-2 2 spot against the RPI 1-25.