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College : : Story
Thursday college roundup
Kendall Rogers        
Published: Friday, May 18, 2012

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TEAM OF THE DAY: North Carolina State -- The Wolfpack already is in very good shape to earn an NCAA Regional host, but could wind up being a national seed as well if they finish the Florida State series with another win. N.C. State starting pitcher Carlos Rodon had a rough night on the mound, but designated hitter Ryan Mathews smacked a pair of homers and knocked in four runs, as the Wolfpack shocked FSU 10-5.

UPSET OF THE DAY: West Virginia over South Florida -- The Mountaineers appear to be playing the role of spoiler so far this weekend. WVU starting pitcher Corey Walter allowed just three runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings of work, as they shocked at-large chasing USF in a 6-3 triumph. USF left-handed pitcher Andrew Barbosa had a surprisingly iffy day on the mound, allowing four runs on nine hits in five innings.

PLAYER OF THE DAY: TJ Pecoraro, Vanderbilt -- The Commodores hope to take yet another step forward with a series win over Ole Miss. Well, the talented right-handed hurler got things going in a big way. Pecoraro struck out three batters and allowed just five hits in a complete game shutout. Pecoraro was up to 92 with his fastball and tossed his second-straight complete game.

 

FIVE PLUSES 

Indiana State (41-13) -- What a night it was for the Sycamores. Indiana State captured a 6-3 win over Missouri State. But two important things happened, as the Sycamores snapped Missouri State pitcher Nick Petree’s scoreless streak, and captured their first Missouri Valley Conference regular season title with the triumph. ISU starting pitcher Dakota Bacus was fantastic, striking out five and allowing just three runs on eight hits in a complete game performance.

Purdue (41-10) -- Speaking of memorable games, how about the Boilermakers capturing an 11-8 win over Iowa? Perhaps not so surprising, but factor into the equation that Purdue, with the win, grabbed its first Big Ten regular season title since the early 1900s with the triumph. Boilermakers third baseman Cam Perkins had a huge day at the plate, going 2-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs.

Samford (35-19) -- After defeating Florida in midweek action earlier this week, the Bulldogs have their sights set on an NCAA at-large berth. The Bulldogs picked up yet another solid win, as starting pitcher Josh Martin allowed just two runs in five innings of work in a 4-2 win over Oklahoma. Samford relievers Michael Gunter and Tyler Vanderheiden also performed at a high level.

Texas A&M (39-14) -- Aggies starting pitcher Michael Wacha and Oklahoma State starting pitcher Andrew Heaney were locked into one of the best pitching matchups of the season for several innings. But in the end in extra innings, the Aggies got a three-run homer from third baseman Matt Juengel to capture a 5-2 triumph over the Cowboys. The Aggies moved one step closer to possibly getting back into the national seed mix.

Mississippi State (32-21) -- The Bulldogs dropped a tough midweek game to Central Arkansas this week, but responded in style Friday night with a 3-1 win over Kentucky. State starting pitcher Chris Stratton struck out eight and allowed just one run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Stratton threw 64 of his 87 pitches for strikes, while Ross Mitchell and Jonathan Holder took care of business out of the bullpen.

 

FIVE MINUSES

Texas (29-19) -- Could the Longhorns find their way to the NCAA bubble before the weekend is done? It’s certainly possible. UT starting pitcher Dillon Peters allowed four runs on five hits in just 1 2/3 innings of work, while the bullpen struggled in a rough 16-5 loss to in-state rival Baylor. Meanwhile, BU starting pitcher Josh Turley put together yet another impressive start.

Georgia Tech (31-23) -- The Yellow Jackets are in serious trouble entering their final two regular season games against Miami. The Jackets carried a 4-1 lead into the eighth inning against the Hurricanes, but allowed four runs the final two frames to lose 5-4. Tech starting pitcher Buck Farmer put together an impressive performance, but reliever Alex Cruz collapsed in the ninth inning. GT is now 11-17 in the ACC.

Auburn (29-25) -- Speaking of serious trouble, keep an eye on the Tigers the rest of the weekend. A series loss to the Gators could spell doom for this club after dropping a bad midweek game to Jacksonville State earlier in the week. AU starting pitcher Jon Luke Jacobs was lifted after just 3 1/3 innings as he gave up five runs, while Florida starting pitcher Hudson Randall tossed a complete game shutout.

Texas State (29-22) -- It’s getting to the point where the Bobcats must win the Southland Conference tournament to make the NCAA postseason. The Bobcats squandered an RPI opportunity earlier this week in a loss to Texas A&M. They took another step back Friday, earning a 7-2 loss to Northwestern State. Bobcats starting pitcher Travis Ballew allowed seven runs in just five innings, while Demons starting pitcher Mason Melotakis, a rising MLB draft prospect, tossed 6 1/3 strong innings.

Southeastern Louisiana (34-19) -- The Lions are another Southland Conference club that earned a bad and potentially devastating loss on Friday. Southeastern dropped an 8-6 bout to in-state rival McNeese State. Lions starting pitcher Andro Cutura allowed five runs in seven innings, while reliever Dylan Hills was tabbed with the loss after allowing three runs in two innings of work.


BUBBLE WATCH

* North Carolina leadoff hitter Chaz Frank went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, as the Tar Heels blasted Virginia Tech 13-2. With the loss, the Hokies, who are on the NCAA bubble, dropped a dismal 11-17 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

* Virginia hard-throwing right-handed pitcher Branden Kline put together a respectable start, allowing just two earned runs in six innings of work, as the Cavaliers beat bubble team Maryland 7-6. The Terps now have a 9-19 ACC record.

* Michigan State desperately needs to take care of business the rest of the way to make the NCAA postseason. Well, the Spartans had a hiccup in their plan on Friday, dropping a 3-2 decision to Penn State. PSU starting pitcher Joe Kurrach allowed just two runs on nine hits in seven innings of work.

* St. John’s needs a few more quality wins to have a chance to make the NCAA postseason without winning the Big East tournament. However, it took a step back on Friday with a 4-1 loss to Seton Hall. SHU starting pitcher Jon Prosinski was fantastic against the Johnnies


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