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PREMIUM HD VIDEO: Check out top 2011 MLB draft prospect Texas P Taylor Jungmann
Samford pitcher Kyle Putkonen: The Bulldogs received a boost from Putkonen in the opening game of a doubleheader against Toledo. Putkonen led the Bulldogs to a 3-0 victory over the Rockets by striking out six and allowing just five hits in a complete game shutout. For the year, Putkonen is one of the more under the radar arms with a 1.74 ERA in 20 2/3 innings.
Kent State’s Andrew Chafin and Louisville: It was a disappointing day for the Golden Flashes, who wasted a fantastic performance by starting pitcher Andrew Chafin. Chafin struck out 10 and allowed just a hit in seven innings. However, the Cardinals rallied and captured an important 3-2 win over the Flashes. Chafin’s outing shouldn’t go unnoticed. He was masterful against the Cardinals.
UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole: The Bruins are still having issues scoring runs, but at least the pitching staff is on track with Cole leading the way. The top pitching prospect for the upcoming draft and talented right-hander was masterful against Nebraska, striking out eight and allowing just two hits in nine innings. He didn’t earn a decision against the Huskers, but helped the Bruins capture a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
Penn State defeats N.C. State: N.C. State starting pitcher Cory Mazzoni struck out 13 batters in just seven innings, but it was Penn State’s Heath Johnson that helped lead his team to a 3-2 victory over the Wolfpack. The senior right-handed pitcher only allowed two hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings. It was a good win for the Nittany Lions and a bad loss to start the weekend with for the Wolfpack.
Stanford’s Mark Appel and Texas’ Taylor Jungmann: Appel is one of the top pitching prospects for the 2012 MLB draft and Jungmann is expected to be a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft. Both pitchers took care of business on Friday with Jungmann’s club earning a 4-3 victory. Appel topped out at 96 mph and allowed four runs on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. Jungmann, meanwhile, topped out at 93 mph and allowed three runs in 8 2/3 innings.
Mark Pope and Georgia Tech: Everyone has talked about Georgia Tech left-handed pitcher Jed Bradley, but what about right-hander Mark Pope? The experienced righty was fantastic in a 10-0 win over Rutgers in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Pope struck out six and allowed just six hits in a complete game shutout. He highlighted a great day for the Jackets, who also won the nightcap 9-5.
Oklahoma’s starting rotation: The OU starting rotation probably doesn’t get enough credit. Michael Rocha tossed a complete game shutout against San Diego State to start the weekend and Bobby Shore continued their rash of success on Friday with a stellar showing in a 7-1 win over San Diego. The senior struck out four and allowed just a run on eight hits in a complete game performance. OU is playing a fantastic brand of baseball.
East Carolina’s Seth Maness: Virginia coach Brian O’Connor raved about ECU’s pitching staff earlier this week, and it’s now easy to see why. ECU ace pitcher Seth Maness tossed a gem in a 2-0 win over Pepperdine. Maness, a senior right-hander, struck out 11 and allowed just two hits in a complete game shutout. He also only had to throw 101 pitches to get the job done.
Wright State: Rob Cooper’s Raiders hadn’t exactly played great up until this weekend, but they’re showing just how volatile the beginning of the season can be. The Raiders had a fantastic start to the weekend that included victories over West Virginia and legitimate postseason contender Elon. Somewhere, Ole Miss is very pleased with the day’s results.
Arkansas’ Kyle Robinson: The Razorbacks captured a dominating 15-6 victory over Milwaukee to start the weekend and Robinson again had a productive performance. The talented outfielder knocked in four runs against the Panthers. He’s now hitting .514 with a double, two triples, two homers and 18 RBIs. He also is slugging .829 and has a fantastic .525 on-base percentage.
Utah’s Rick Anton: Texas A&M pitcher John Stilson is one of the top prospects at the Houston College Classic and struck out 10 batters in just six innings against the Utes, but he was upstaged by Anton, the senior left-hander. Anton struck out eight and allowed just a run on five hits in seven innings as the Utes shocked the Aggies 2-1. It was a clutch performance by a seasoned veteran.
St. Mary’s pitcher Mark Anderson: UC Irvine was sizzling at the plate entering Friday’s matchup with the Gaels, but right-handed pitcher Mark Anderson cooled down the Anteaters. Anderson was fantastic against the ‘Eaters, striking out six and allowing just four hits in a complete game shutout. The Gaels defeated the Anteaters 1-0 and started the series on a positive note.
UNLV: A culture change can be the difference between winning and losing. That’s what’s happening at UNLV. Though the Rebels still haven’t played elite competition, they’re clearly playing better right now with coach Tim Chambers in charge. The Rebels defeated rival Nevada 9-0 with starting pitcher Tanner Peters leading the way by striking out eight and allowing just five hits in a complete game performance. UNLV is 9-2 with the victory.
South Carolina beats Clemson: The Gamecocks extended their streak against rival Clemson on Friday when veteran pitcher Michael Roth led them to a 6-3 victory by striking out six and allowing just three runs on seven hits in seven innings. With the win, the Gamecocks have now won 13 of the last 18 contests against the Tigers, including the last three.
Mississippi’s Matt Crouse: The Rebels were encouraged last week when junior left-handed pitcher Matt Crouse got back on track against Houston. He again was solid Friday against Tulane, allowing just a run on four hits in five innings in a 5-1 victory over the Green Wave. It’s also worth noting that reliever Jake Morgan was fabulous, allowing just two hits in four scoreless innings of relief work.
Washington State: The Cougars are yet another Pac-10 off to a hot start this season. The Cougars had one of the most impressive victories to start the weekend, thrashing Oklahoma State 13-2 on the road. Taylor Ard led the way offensively while top prospect and junior left-hander Adam Conley led the way on the mound. Conley struck out five and allowed just a run on nine hits in seven innings.
Washington’s struggles: There’s a good chance that coach Lindsay Meggs, with his track record, eventually guides the Huskies to a rash of success. However, that likely isn’t coming this season. The Huskies continued their struggles with another loss to BYU, this time a 9-6 setback. UW starting pitcher Aaron West actually put together a respectable performance, but the bullpen imploded.
Cal State Bakersfield: Bill Kernen clearly is doing one of the best coaching jobs so far this season. Just a day after the Roadrunners upset Arizona State, they showed zero signs of a letdown in a dominating 12-0 victory over Kansas. With the win, the surprising ‘Runners are 9-2. They’re legitimately solid club and Kernen deserves all the credit.
Army: The Black Knights were expected to take a step forward this season from a record standpoint, but that likely won’t happen unless some things change the rest of the way. The Black Knights dropped to 1-8 after losing contests to Akron and Ohio State on Friday. Most disappointing is the fact Army only scored two runs in the two games and was outscored 11-2.
Jason Coats and TCU: The Horned Frogs hoped to bounce back from a midweek loss when they faced Texas Tech, and got exactly what they needed in a 7-0 victory over the Red Raiders. Kyle Winkler was fantastic on the mound in eight shutout innings of work. However, the biggest story of the day was Jason Coats’ four-hit performance that included a home run. Coats previously had struggled at the plate.
Cal State Fullerton’s Noe Ramirez: Fullerton coach Dave Serrano said last week that Ramirez wasn’t great in a setback against TCU. Well, Ramirez answered the call against USC on Friday. The talented right-hander struck out eight and allowed just a run and a hit in eight innings on the way to an impressive 10-1 triumph over the Trojans.
Florida’s Brian Johnson: The Gators wasted little time responding from a tough midweek loss to rival Florida State earlier this week. UF starting pitcher Brian Johnson was sensational in an 8-3 triumph over Miami. Johnson, a talented lefty, struck out nine and allowed just three hits in five shutout innings. Greg Larson, meanwhile, closed the game with two hitless innings.
Georgia Southern: The Eagles have their sights on reaching the NCAA postseason, and a series win over St. John’s could help their case for an at-large bid as the season progresses. The Eagles defeated the Johnnies 4-3 on Friday, and reliever Matt Murray was fantastic, striking out five and allowing just three hits in five shutout innings. GSU goes for the series win on Saturday.
San Diego State’s Ethan Miller: The Aztecs desperately needed a win on Friday and got exactly what they needed from starting pitcher Ethan Miller in a 2-1 victory over red-hot California. Miller struck out seven and allowed just a run on five hits in seven innings. The Aztecs, though, are now just 2-7, and need more victories sooner rather than later.
Oregon’s Tyler Anderson: The Ducks still are having issues scoring runs this season, but at least pitchers such as Anderson are taking care of business. The junior left-handed hurler was sensational in a 5-0 win over Long Beach State. He struck out 14 batters and allowed just six hits in eight shutout innings.
New Mexico: The Lobos have had a nightmarish start to the spring and entered Friday’s contest against Texas-San Antonio winless with an 0-8 record. Well, the Lobos are now 1-8 after exploding offensively en route to a 13-6 triumph over the Roadrunners. First baseman DJ Peterson had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs in the winning cause. We’ll see if UNM can get on a roll.
Louisiana Tech’s Will Alvis: The Bulldogs erupted at the plate and defeated Middle Tennessee State 12-9 on Friday, improving to an impressive 7-2 on the year. But the most impressive note of the night pertains to outfielder Will Alvis, who blasted a pair of homers in the victory and finished the night with five RBIs. While the Bulldogs are clicking, the Blue Raiders are now a dismal 1-8.
Kendall Rogers is the managing editor of college baseball for Perfect Game USA and has covered the sport for over 10 seasons. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org