TEAM OF THE DAY
The Cardinals have been very solid this spring, but have somehow flown a little under the radar this spring. That won't last if UL wins another game against Houston this weekend, after taking the series opener 4-2 with righthanded pitcher Kyle Funkhouser leading the charge. Funkhouser allowed two runs in the first inning, but settled in, striking out eight, walking two and allowing just two runs on five hits in seven innings. Offensively, outfielder Cole Sturgeon led the way, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs.
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Drew Van Orden, rhp, Duke
It's not easy to outduel N.C. State lefthanded pitcher Carlos Rodon, but Van Orden did that Friday night in a 2-0 win over N.C. State. Van Orden, a talented righty who sits in the low-90s with his fastball and has good stuff when he command things, struck out 11, walked just one and allowed three hits in eight innings. Meanwhile, Rodon's velocity seemed to be back, as he struck out 12, walked three and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits in 7 2/3 innings of work.
UPSET OF THE DAY
Georgia Tech over Florida State
The Yellow Jackets scored five runs in the first inning, and that's all they needed in a 5-3 victory over Florida State. Georgia Tech starting pitcher Josh Heddinger allowed two runs in five innings, along with five strikeouts, while the bullpen was the big story with Sam Clay (two innings, one run) and Dusty Isaacs (two innings, no runs) leading the charge. FSU righthanded pitcher Luke Weaver showed good velocity against the Jackets, but allowed five runs on six hits in seven innings, along with five strikeouts and two walks.
Washington State 4, Oregon State 1 (P Joe Pistorese: 9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K)
Texas A&M 10, Vanderbilt 4 (P Parker Ray: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K)
Auburn 2, Alabama 1 (P Dillon Ortman: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)
Missouri 8, Kentucky 7 (DH Eric Anderson: 3-for-5, double, HR, 2 R, three RBIs)
Georgia 4, Tennessee 1 (P Ryan Lawlor: 9 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K)
Adam Oller, rhp, Northwestern State: Oller has been impressive as a freshman this season, and had another stellar performance in a 3-0 road win over McNeese State. He struck out six, walked one and allowed just six hits in a complete game performance.
Aaron Nola, rhp, LSU: Righthanded pitcher Aaron Nola had a career-high 13 strikeouts in a 5-3 home win over Arkansas. Nola allowed just two runs on four hits in seven innings, while also throwing 115 pitches, 76 for strikes.
Jordan Montgomery, lhp, South Carolina: The talented lefthanded pitcher tossed a gem in a 4-1 home win over Florida. He struck out eight, walked one and allowed a run on seven hits in seven innings. Meanwhile, reliever Joel Seddon was excellent out of the bullpen, striking out two in two hitless innings.
James Kaprielian, rhp, UCLA: The talented righthanded pitcher struck out four, walked one and allowed just four hits in seven shutout frames in an 8-0 win over Arizona. Amazingly, with the loss, the Wildcats dropped to 15-20 overall, 4-9 in the Pac-12.
John Valek, lhp, Akron: The lefty put together an absolute gem in an 8-0 home win over Ohio. Valek struck out two, walked one and allowed just six hits in a complete game shutout performance. Rick Rembielak's club, with the win, improved to 7-3 in the Mid-American Conference.
Josh Prevost, rhp, Seton Hall: Not that Prevost didn't have a little cushion in a 21-0 win over New York Tech, but he put together yet another strong performance in the victory. Prevost struck out 12 and allowed just one hit in eight shutout frames.
Dallas Baptist: The Patriots are aiming for an NCAA postseason appearance at the end of the year, and could capture a solid series win over Baylor after winning the series opener 12-8. DBU's KJ Alexander went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and four RBIs, while Austin Listi went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, and Mike Wesolowski went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
TCU: Horned Frogs first baseman Kevin Cron hasn't had the powerful spring we thought he could, but perhaps he's heating up after hitting a pair of homers in a 5-2 road win over Kansas. Cron went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, while Boomer White had two hits and two RBIs. In the win, lefthanded pitcher Brandon Finnegan struck out four, walked two and allowed just two runs on eight hits in five innings.
Texas: What a wild one this was to begin the Red River Rivalry series this weekend. Texas jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning, only to see Oklahoma fight back with six runs of its own in the third inning. UT won the game in the 10th inning, 10-8, with C.J Hinojosa hitting a home run and third baseman Zane Gurwitz finishing the night with two hits and two RBIs. On the mound, talented freshman Morgan Cooper struck out four in three shutout innings of relief work.
North Carolina: I said earlier this week that Tar Heels righthanded pitcher Trent Thornton would get this series started on a positive note, and that happened Friday night in a 9-0 home win over Wake Forest. Thornton struck out 10, walked three and allowed just two hits in eight innings, while at the plate, Tyler Ramirez went 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBIs.
Miami: The Hurricanes won their 10th-straight contest in a 12-2 home win over a solid Pittsburgh club. Miami lefthanded pitcher Chris Diaz struck out 10, walked one and allowed two runs on six hits in six innings, while offensively, leadoff hitter Dale Carey went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
Caleb Wallingford, lhp, Memphis: The talented lefty tossed a gem in a 2-1 home win over lefty Eric Skoglund and UCF. Wallingford struck out 11, walked one and allowed just a run and two hits in 8 2/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, Skoglund struck out six, walked three and allowed two runs on there hits in eight innings.
Washington: Can anyone slow down the Huskies right now? UW righthanded pitcher Jared Fisher struck out five, walked three and allowed just four hits in six shutout frames in a 6-1 home win over Stanford. With the win, the Huskies improved to an outstanding 11-2 in the Pac-12 Conference.
Southern California: Trojans righthanded pitcher Wyatt Strahan showcased good stuff and struck out 11 in seven innings, but that wasn't enough as his club dropped a tough 3-2 contest to Utah at home. Utah starting pitcher Mitch Watrous struck out eight, walked two and allowed two runs on four hits in eight innings, while reliever Nick Green tossed five shutout frames.
Ohio State: Buckeyes head coach Greg Beals probably would like to have a do-over to begin Big Ten Conference play. The Bucks dropped to 2-8 in the league with a 5-4 home loss to Penn State. PSU reliever Jack Anderson tamed the Buckeyes in the latter innings, striking out five and allowing just a hit in three shutout frames.