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Alabama: The Crimson Tide continues to impress in SEC play. Alabama starting pitcher Nathan Kilcrease struck out seven and allowed just two runs on six hits in seven innings as the Tide defeated Arkansas 5-3 to win their sixth-straight SEC game. Tide reliever Jonathan Smart also had a solid performance, striking out three and allowing just a hit in 1 1/3 innings.
North Carolina: There was some uncertainty about the Tar Heels entering Friday’s contest after playing arguably the three bottom feeders in the ACC. But the Heels silenced any doubters present with a 13-3 win over Clemson. UNC starting pitcher Patrick Johnson struck out 11 and allowed just three runs in seven innings while Tommy Coyle and Seth Baldwin led the way at the plate with home runs. The Heels couldn’t have put together a more impressive performance.
Florida’s Hudson Randall: Mr. Efficiency was back at it again for the Gators on Friday in a 3-0 win over Tennessee. Randall, the talented right-handed pitcher, struck out four Volunteers and allowed just four hits in a complete game performance. But most amazing about his performance was the fact he threw 74 pitches in the victory. Randall is entrenching himself as an All-American right now.
Stetson: The Hatters suffered a tough midweek loss to Central Florida earlier this week, and didn’t rebound with a vengeance in a 6-0 loss to South Carolina-Upstate. Stetson starting pitcher Lindsey Caughel was lifted after allowing a run in two innings, while reliever Jimmy O’Neill allowed three runs without recording an out. Upstate starting pitcher Scott DeCecco was the man of the night with four strikeouts and no runs allowed in seven innings.
Oklahoma State: We’ve said for a while the Cowboys will be incredibly dangerous this season if they hit at all. Well, the Pokes hit when they needed to on the way to an impressive 12-7 road win over Nebraska. Third baseman Mark Ginther had a four-hit performance against the Huskers, while Gabe Weidenaar had three hits and six other Cowboys chipped in two-hit performances. Earning a road series win over the Huskers would be huge for the Pokes.
Oklahoma: Luck hasn’t been on the Sooners’ side the past two weeks with a home series loss to Texas A&M and a road series split with Missouri. But OU finally put everything together on Friday in a dominant 10-1 win over Texas Tech. OU starting pitcher Michael Rocha struck out five and allowed a run on three hits in a complete game performance, while Caleb Bushyhead and Casey Johnson led the Sooners at the plate with two hits and three RBIs each. The Sooners are expected to win at least another game this weekend, but could use a series sweep.
East Carolina: The Pirates are on the road against UAB this weekend, and didn’t start the series on a positive note. ECU starting pitcher Seth Maness allowed just two earned runs in eight innings, but was outdueled by UAB’s Dillon Napoleon on the way to a 4-1 setback. Napoleon had a huge day for the Blazers, striking out five and allowing just a run on four hits in a complete game performance. ECU’s sketchy offense finally caught up with it in this contest.
Troy’s Tyler Ray: It’s tough to be as consistent as Ray has been this season. The outstanding right-handed pitcher improved his earned run average to 1.45 after a great performance on the way to a 1-0 win over Arkansas State. Ray only struck out four batters, but allowed just six hits in 8 2/3 shutout innings. With the win, the Trojans reached the 20-win mark and are 6-1 in Sun Belt play.
Virginia: The Cavaliers were fully aware they were entering a rival series against win hungry Virginia Tech. The Hokies being slightly more motivated than usual didn’t matter, though, as the Cavaliers captured an 18-3 win in the series opener. Stud left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen struck out seven and allowed just two runs on four hits in six innings, while the offense was big-time with Steven Proscia and Jared King leading the way. Proscia recorded three hits and knocked in five runs while King recorded three hits and knocked in four runs.
Louisville: The Cardinals and their inconsistent ways continued on Friday with a dismal 9-2 home loss to West Virginia. UL starting pitcher Matt Koch allowed five runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, while the bullpen didn’t fair much better. WV starting pitcher Jonathan Jones allowed two runs in four innings while reliever Ryan Tezak was fantastic, striking out seven and allowing just a hit in five innings. The Cardinals really need to get their act together at home.
Southern Mississippi: The Golden Eagles took a step forward last weekend with a home series win over Tulane, and started their series against Central Florida on a positive note Friday with a 6-5 triumph. USM starting pitcher Todd McInnis struck out four and allowed just two runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings, while offensively, DH Marc Bourgeois led the way with three hits, a home run and three RBIs. A road series win over the Knights would be huge for USM.
Minnesota: The series between the Boilermakers and Golden Gophers could decide the Big Ten regular season title. And Round 1 between the two clubs went to the Gophers, who captured a 9-5 victory on Friday. Nick O’Shea and Matt Puhl each had two hits in the game, while Dan Olinger collected four RBIs in the winning cause. Minnesota starting pitcher TJ Oakes allowed four runs on 10 hits in six innings. The Gophers are above .500 with the victory.
Baylor: The Bears suddenly are having issues winning games. They lost their third-straight contest on Friday in a 6-2 setback to Kansas. Baylor starting pitcher Logan Verrett struck out four and allowed four runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings, but was bested by KU starting pitcher T.J. Walz. Walz struck out 11 and allowed just two runs on three hits in 7 2/3 innings. The Bears dropped to 3-4 in conference with the loss, and needs to finish the weekend with a pair of wins.
TCU’s Kyle Winkler: There are few pitchers more improved this season than the TCU right-handeder. Winkler had another phenomenal night on the mound as the Horned Frogs captured a 10-2 win over improved Air Force. Winkler struck out 15 and allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings. First baseman Joe Weik led the Frogs at the plate with two hits, a home run and three RBIs. The night, though, belonged to the veteran pitcher.
Coastal Carolina: Remember when we said earlier this week the Chanticleers had a chance to breakout against Liberty this weekend? Well, it’s just one game, but the Chants broke out of their slump on Friday with a 17-1 win over the Flames. Coastal starting pitcher Anthony Meo struck out eight in seven shutout frames, but this game was more about the offense. Taylor Motter, Hayes Orton and Daniel Bowman each hit home runs in the game, with Bowman collecting six RBIs in the win. Now we’ll see if the Cants can close the deal the rest of the weekend.
Tulane: The Green Wave is in dangerous territory after a tough 2-0 loss to Houston in a Conference USA series opener on Friday. Tulane starting pitcher Conrad Flynn struck out six and allowed just two runs on nine hits in eight innings, but was bested by UH starting pitcher Matt Creel, who struck out six and allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings. With the loss, the Green Wave has lost four of their last five contests. They need to bounce back on Saturday.
Georgia: The Bulldogs have played a treacherous schedule this season, but could take another step forward this weekend with another win over Mississippi State. Left-handed pitcher Alex Wood put together another fantastic start as the Bulldogs defeated Mississippi State 4-1. Wood struck out eight and allowed just a run on three hits in seven innings. State starting pitcher Devin Jones allowed two runs in five innings. For Georgia, a series win over State would be huge considering it earned a series win over LSU last weekend.
Vanderbilt: Going on the road apparently isn’t a huge problem for the Commodores. They hit the road last weekend and took two of three from Arkansas. They started the Auburn series on a positive note with an 11-6 triumph. Vandy starting pitcher Sonny Gray struck out four and allowed two runs on four hits in five innings, but the offense was productive enough to earn a victory. Vandy sluggers Tony Kemp, Anthony Gomez and Riley Reynolds each collected four hits in the contest.
South Carolina’s Michael Roth: The Gamecocks created a monster when they decided to start Roth twice in Omaha last June. Roth moved to the ace role this season and has been fantastic. He was great again on Friday in a 3-1 win over Kentucky. Roth struck out six and allowed just a run on three hits in eight innings in the winning cause. Roth’s story is one of the best in college baseball.
LSU: After losing series to Florida and Georgia to begin SEC play, the Tigers entered Friday’s series opener against Mississippi with some urgency. LSU starting pitcher Kurt McCune struck out seven and allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings, while reliever Kevin Berry was outstanding and earned his second save by tossing two shutout innings to end the game. LSU veteran outfielder Mikie Mahtook led the way at the plate with a 4-for-4 day and two home runs.
Arizona: The Wildcats dropped a tough road rivalry series to Arizona State last weekend and played with some urgency in their series opener with Oregon State. The Wildcats were great on the mound and at the plate in a dominant 18-0 triumph. ‘Zona starting pitcher Kurt Heyer struck out nine in a complete game shutout, while Jett Bandy, Robert Refsnyder and Alex Mejia led the offense with three hits each. Bandy was the ringleader with three runs scored and six RBIs. The Wildcats made a statement.
Washington State: The Cougars have struggled immensely the past couple of weeks and appeared to be in bad shape with Stanford leading them at home 8-0 through 4 1/2 innings. However, the Cougars came alive offensively and defeated the Cardinal 10-8 in a win that could help them turn the corner. Washington State was led at the plate by outfielder Derek Jones, who went 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. Taylor Ard and Jason Monda also had big nights three hits each. On a negative note, Cougars starting pitcher and top prospect Adam Conley allowed eight runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils earned an important series win over Arizona last weekend and started their series against Oregon on a positive note with a 5-2 win. ASU starting pitcher Brady Rodgers struck out four and allowed just two runs on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings, while Oregon talented left-hander Tyler Anderson allowed five runs on 10 hits in seven innings. The Sun Devils are looking good this spring.
Florida State’s Sean Gilmartin: The talented left-handed pitcher is having a sensational season for the Seminoles, and continued his successful ways Friday in a 6-0 win over Maryland. Gilmartin struck out nine and allowed just three hits in six shutout innings. FSU reliever Mack Waugh allowed just a hit in three scoreless innings of work, while Mike McGee and Jayce Boyd led the way at the plate, each knocking in two runs.
Rice’s Anthony Rendon: Rendon has had some ups and downs this season, but the outstanding prospect and third baseman was sensational in a 9-0 win over Marshall. Rendon went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and five RBIs. While he led the way at the plate, Rice freshman right-handed pitcher Austin Kubitza took care of business on the mound by allowing just three hits in eight shutout frames.
Texas A&M: The Big 12 leader continues to play well on the road, as evidenced by their 6-3 win over Kansas State to begin an important three-game set. A&M starting pitcher and top prospect, right-hander John Stilson struck out seven in seven innings, while Nick Fleece and Joaquin Hinojosa did the honors out of the bullpen. A&M was led at the plate by DH Matt Juengel, who knocked in three runs.
UNLV: The Rebels haven’t had much success in Mountain West play thus far, but hope to get back in the mix with a series win over Utah this weekend. The Rebels started the road series on a positive note Friday with a 6-1 triumph. UNLV starting pitcher Tanner Peters struck out eight and allowed just a hit on seven hits in a complete game performance. DH Brandon Bayardi led the way at the plate with a pair of hits and two RBIs.
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