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College : : Story
Roundup: Still has some sting
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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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: Georgia Tech

Perhaps the Yellow Jackets are just getting going again. They appeared to be in some serious trouble in terms of postseason hopes entering the North Carolina series last weekend. However, they took two of three from the Tar Heels, and built off that series win Tuesday night with a thrilling 4-3 win over rival Georgia in front of almost 20,000 fans at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. Georgia Tech got a trio of solid pitching performances from Josh Heddinger, Zane Evans and Alex Cruz, while shortstop Mott Hyde led the way at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, double and two RBIs. Meanwhile, center fielder Kyle Wren finished the contest with a pair of hits.


PLAYER OF THE DAY: Taylor Starr, rhp, Oregon State

The Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State is always huge, but throw in the fact the two teams are fighting for one of the final NCAA Regional host sites at the beginning of June, and the stakes now only are higher. Oregon State senior right-handed pitcher Taylor Starr struck out seven and allowed just a run on five hits in seven innings of work, as the Beavers captured an impressive 7-1 win over the Ducks. Starr threw 96 pitches, 59 of them for strikes.


UPSET OF THE DAY: Texas-San Antonio over Baylor

The Bears have been on quite a run lately, and it continued this past weekend with a thrilling series sweep over Texas A&M. The Bears, though, finally came back down to Earth a little bit on Tuesday with a 4-1 loss to gritty UTSA, effectively ending their amazing 24-game winning streak. Bears starting pitcher Austin Stone allowed four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of work, while UTSA starting pitcher Jordan Pacheco allowed just a run on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, Clint Sharp and Matt Sims threw well in relief.


FIVE PLUSES

Coastal Carolina (27-13)  -- The Chanticleers are quietly putting together another impressive campaign. Infielder Rich Witten went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs, while catcher Tucker Frawley had three hits, one a double and three RBIs, as the Chants hit the road and defeated Clemson 10-7. The road win over the Tigers was important from an RPI standpoint.

Louisville (29-12)  -- The Cardinals would be just fine if they could play in-state rival Kentucky every game. The Cards defeated the Wildcats 12-0 in a midweek affair earlier this season. They continued their mastery on Tuesday with a 10-2 triumph over the red-hot Wildcats. Ty Young had two hits, one of them a double, while Zach Lucas had two hits and Jeff Gardner and Alex Chittenden each knocked in two runs. The Cards needed that win over UK from an RPI standpoint, further boosting their postseason resume.

Oregon State (27-12) -- The Beavers are fighting for an NCAA Regional host site, and made a strong impression on Tuesday night with a dominant 7-1 win over rival Oregon, on the road of course. OSU starting pitcher Taylor Starr put together a fantastic performance on the mound, while Joey Matthews and Michael Conforto led the offense, each collecting a pair of hits in the game.

Texas A&M (29-12) -- The Aggies have gone through quite the skid lately, but took a step forward on Tuesday with an impressive 4-1 win over TCU. The Aggies out-hit the Horned Frogs 12-3, with first baseman Matt Juengel leading the way at the plate, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Meanwhile, the Aggies got a tremendous performance from freshman right-handed pitcher Daniel Mengden, who struck out two and allowed just a run and one hit in six innings of work.

South Florida (28-14) -- Even if they don't win the Big East regular season title, the Bulls hope to get in a position where they could still earn an at-large bid to the NCAA postseason. Well, Tuesday's 5-3 win over Florida certainly helps their case. USF starting pitcher Matt Reed allowed just two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work, while the bullpen took care of business in the triumph. USF was led at the plate by catcher Andrew Longley, who hit two homers and knocked in three runs.


FIVE MINUSES

Mississippi (27-14) -- Hoping to finish the regular season in great shape to earn an NCAA Regional host, the Rebels can't afford too many bad losses down the stretch. That's why Tuesday's 4-2 setback to Memphis was important. Memphis starting pitcher Michael Wills controlled the Rebels offense, striking out three and allowing just two runs (one earned) on nine hits in 8 1/3 innings of work.

UC Irvine (20-17) -- The Anteaters sure have had a great run the past few years in terms of the NCAA postseason, but that streak likely is coming to an end this June. The Anteaters just can't seem to win the most important games on their schedule, dropping a potential statement game to UCLA, 9-3. Irvine starting pitcher Race Parmenter allowed two runs on three hits in three innings of work, while relievers Jimmy Litchfield and Nick Hoover struggled immensely, allowing seven runs in a combined three innings of work.

North Carolina (29-13) -- Pitching coach Scott Forbes and the Tar Heels weren't real pleased with their pitching over the weekend against Georgia Tech. Well, they're probably not much happier now after the Tar Heels dropped an 8-4 decision to UNC Greensboro. UNC starting pitcher Chris Munnelly had a very tough day on the mound, allowing four runs on three hits in just 1 2/3 innings of work. The Tar Heels must find a way to quickly bounce back to stay in good shape for a national seed.

Tennessee (22-19) -- The Volunteers can't afford too many more hiccups the rest of the regular season if they hope to stay in contention for an at-large bid to the NCAA postseason. Vols starting pitcher Josh Allman didn't get out of the first inning in an 8-4 setback to Austin Peay. Allman allowed three runs in 2/3 an inning, while reliever Connor Stevens stabilized things a bit with 4 1/3 shutout innings of work. Unfortunately for UT, it was too little too late at that point.

Southern California (20-16) -- Speaking of teams with very little room for error down the stretch, the Trojans definitely fit that bill. The Trojans hoped to grab a solid midweek win over Long Beach State, but dropped a disappointing 1-0 decision. Left-handed freshman pitcher Stephen Tarpley struck out two and tossed four shutout and hitless innings. Meanwhile, LBSU did a tremendous job on the mound with Matt Johnson and Edgar Gomez leading the charge. LBSU now is .500 on the season.


NATIONAL NOTABLES

* Cal Poly starting pitcher Bryan Granger tossed five shutout innings, but that wasn't enough, as the bubble boy Mustangs dropped a disappointing 3-2 decision to Fresno State. Interestingly, the Bulldogs are now just 17-20 overall on the season.

* Washington is yet another bubble team that hopes to avoid any sort of hiccup down the stretch. The Huskies took care of business on Tuesday, earning a 6-4 win over Portland with designated hitter Branden Berry leading the way with two hits and two RBIs.

* Some teams have a huge lull when they drop a road series to a heated rival, much less get swept in ugly fashion. Well, Miami isn't one of those teams. Hurricanes starting pitcher Javier Salas struck out 10 batters and allowed just a run on six hits, as his team took care of a good Florida Atlantic club, 3-1, at home.

* Mississippi State appeared to be in some serious trouble a couple of weeks ago, but perhaps that home series sweep over Tennessee got it going. Bulldogs starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff tossed four shutout frames, while Nick Routt and Ross Mitchell pitched beautifully in relief, as they captured an impressive 5-0 win over in-state foe Southern Miss.

* Oklahoma is another team that can't lose too many games down the stretch. The Sooners, though, dropped a disappointing 6-1 bout to rival Oklahoma State. Sooners starting pitcher Damien Magnifico allowed four runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of work, while OSU starting pitcher Kyle Ottoson struck out four and allowed just a run on five hits in 8 1/3 innings of work.

* Cal State Fullerton hopes to fight for a national seed by the time the regular season ends, but it must avoid some bad losses. That's why Tuesday's 6-5 setback to Loyola Marymount is important. Fullerton starting pitcher Koby Gauna didn't have a good day on the mound, allowing four runs on eight hits in just four innings of work.


Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game and can be reached at kendall@perfectgame.org



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