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COLLEGE BASEBALL TICKET: Arkansas, Texas Tech, Mercer, Bradley, Kennesaw State land 2013 commits (4.17)
With Tuesday's college baseball action in the books, here's our inside look back at the highlights and lowlights from around the country.
TEAM OF THE DAY: Rice
The Owls hope to join the serious national seed discussions next week, and helped their case in making that happen on Tuesday with an impressive 5-4 comeback win over in-state foe Texas A&M. Owls starting pitcher Jordan Stephens struggled immensely with his command, allowing four runs in the first inning. However, right-handed reliever John Simms, who dominated the Aggies last season in a midweek affair, did so again on this night, striking out eight and allowing just three hits in six shutout frames. Meanwhile, closer J.T. Chargois closed out the game in impressive fashion. Though his fastball lacked command, his curveball had some serious bite. Chargois struck out All-American outfielder Tyler Naquin to end the contest.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Ryan West, rhp, College of Charleston
The Cougars have squandered some important opportunities for wins this season, so when they hit the road to face South Carolina on Tuesday night, they desperately needed a good start from senior right-handed pitcher Ryan West. West delivered in a big way in a 4-3 triumph over South Carolina. The righty struck out seven batters and allowed just one run on three hits in six innings of work. Meanwhile, the Charleston bullpen was able to hold the Gamecocks off in the latter innings, but not without some drama. Tuesday's win over the Gamecocks definitely is one that helps the Cougars' postseason resume.
UPSET OF THE DAY: Campbell over N.C. State
N.C. State is one of those teams that seems to go into lulls at times. That trend continued on Tuesday in a disappointing 8-6 loss to Campbell. N.C. State starting pitcher Dillon Frye allowed a run in two innings of work, while relievers Danny Healey and Ryan Wilkins struggled. Campbell scored eight runs on 11 hits, and could've done a lot more damage had it not left 10 runners on base throughout the contest.
College of Charleston (26-12) -- The Cougars still have a postseason resume that leaves something to be desired, but they took a step forward Tuesday with a 4-3 win over South Carolina. While Ryan West led the way on the mound, hard-hitting outfielder Daniel Aldrich did the honors at the plate with two hits, one of those a home run, and two RBIs.
Central Florida (31-8) -- Terry Rooney's Knights are playing an excellent brand of baseball right now. UCF starting pitcher Eric Skoglund struck out seven and allowed just two runs and three hits in five innings of work, as the Knights defeated a very solid Florida Atlantic club, 12-3. While Skoglund led the way on the mound, JoMarcos Woods, Nick Carrillo and Travis Shreve did the honors at the plate, each recording three hits and two RBIs.
Arizona State (24-13) -- Arizona State is one of those teams that finally is playing a very good brand of baseball right now. ASU leadoff hitter Andrew Aplin went 2-for-4 with a home run, three runs and three RBIs, as the Sun Devils defeated in-state rival Arizona in impressive fashion, 12-8. While Aplin led the way, second baseman Joey DeMichele and designated hitter James McDonald also had productive nights, each recording three hits.
Cal State Fullerton (24-12)-- The Titans certainly showed a lot of grit Tuesday night, as they fought back from a 6-5 deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning to take care of Pepperdine 8-6. Titans leadoff hitter Richy Pedroza went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while two-way star Michael Lorenzen finished things off on the mound by tossing 1 1/3 innings of shutout baseball to end the game.
Virginia Tech (26-13) -- Hokies head coach Pete Hughes has to feel very good about his team moving toward the final stretch of the regular season. aFter earning an emotional home series win over Miami this past weekend, the Hokies continued their successful ways with a 4-3 triumph over Coastal Carolina with outfielder Kyle Wernicki getting an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning to win the game. Though starting pitcher Eddie Campbell didn't have a great performance, the Hokies bullpen did a very solid job.
Stanford (22-10) -- Remember the days when we thought the Cardinal just might be invincible? Well, those times now seem like ancient history. Stanford's offense touched up San Jose State pitching for just two runs on five hits in a 3-2 setback. No Cardinal hitter had a multi-hit game, and only third baseman Alex Blandino was productive at the plate, finishing the day with a hit and two RBIs.
Mississippi State (21-16) -- The Bulldogs will need some very good things to happen down the stretch to reach the NCAA tournament, or make the SEC tournament for that matter. State touched up Ole Miss starting pitcher Sam Smith for three runs on four hits in just 3 2/3 innings, but the Rebels bullpen stepped up in a big way in a 6-3 triumph. Hawtin Buchanan, Aaron Greenwood and Dylan Chavez each did their job, while State never recovered from a tough start by Brandon Woodruff.
Georgia (23-15) -- Here we go with that Georgia roller coaster ride again. Just a few days after taking two of three from Ole Miss at home, the Bulldogs were back to their iffy ways Tuesday in a 5-4 setback to Furman at home. David Sosebee and Jarrett Brown were solid for the Bulldogs on the mound, but oddly enough, Michael Palazzone, who started last Friday against Ole Miss, got knocked around in an inning of relief work, allowing five runs on four hits in the frame.
Texas Tech (22-16) -- The decline of the Red Raiders since the start of the season is definitely one of those strange events. The Red Raiders' struggles continued in a big way on Tuesday in a 10-3 setback to hard-hitting New Mexico. Tech starting pitcher Rusty Shellhorn had a tough day on the mound, allowing six runs on six hits in five innings of work, while the Red Raiders offense managed to leave 11 runners on base in the loss.
Long Beach State (16-18) -- The Dirtbags had been playing a solid brand of baseball, but took a step back in midweek action, suffering a 5-4 loss to Loyola Marymount. LMU starting pitcher Matt Florer held the Dirtbags at bay, allowing just two runs on four hits in five innings of work. Meanwhile, LBSU starting pitcher Matt Johnson actually did a nice job, tossing three scoreless innings to start the game. The offense wasn't there, though.
PG TOP 50 ROUNDUP
Cincinnati 0, #2 Kentucky 7
Georgia Southern 2, #4 Florida 8
#14 Rice 5, #5 Texas A&M 4
High Point 5, #6 North Carolina 10
Cal State Northridge 4, #7 UCLA 12
Texas A&M Corpus Christi 2, #8 Baylor 15
College of Charleston 4, #9 South Carolina 3
#10 Arizona 8, #20 Arizona State 12
#32 Pepperdine 6, #12 Cal State Fullerton 8
San Jose State 3, #13 Stanford 2
#15 Purdue 12, Illinois-Chicago 2
SFA 3, 3 -- #16 Arkansas 8,4
Florida Atlantic 3, #17 UCF 12
#19 N.C. State 6, Campbell 8
Texas State 0, #21 Texas 2
#23 Mississippi 6, #50 Mississippi State 3
UNC Wilmington 10, #24 East Carolina 1
Furman 5, #26 Georgia 4
Houston 4, #28 Sam Houston State 5
#29 Louisville 21, Indiana 4
#30 Oklahoma 6, Oral Roberts 3
Washington State 4, #31 Gonzaga 7
Eastern Kentucky vs. #33 Appalachian State (ppd. rain)
Richmond 5, #34 Virginia 7
Fresno State 5, #35 Cal Poly 3
Saint Louis 1, #37 Missouri State 0
Troy 4, #38 Auburn 7
Charleston Southern 2, #39 Clemson 3
Louisiana-Monroe 2, #41 TCU 9
#42 Coastal Carolina 3, Virginia Tech 4
Santa Clara 0, #43 California 4
Georgia State 4, #44 Georgia Tech 8
James Madison 0, #45 Maryland 3
#47 Southeastern Louisiana 3, #46 Tulane 7
Valparaiso 1, #48 Indiana State 2
#49 Southern California 11, Cal State Bakersfield 6
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org