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PREMIUM: Scouting report on Oklahoma-Texas Game 1 plus UT RHP Taylor Jungmann
Virginia: The Cavaliers are away from home this weekend, but that doesn’t appear to matter too much. They crushed Boston College 17-0 on Friday in the opener of a three-game series. Virginia pitchers Danny Hultzen and Shane Hailey combined to throw a one-hit shutout in the victory, while infielder Kenny Swab went 3-for-5 with a double, triple, two runs scored and five RBIs. The Cavaliers are playing an outstanding brand of baseball.
Southern Mississippi: The Golden Eagles have one of the best stories of the year in starting pitcher Geoffrey Thomas. Thomas has improved greatly this spring, and once again was solid on Friday in a 3-1 road win over East Carolina. Thomas only struck out one batter, but allowed just a run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. Relievers Chase Horn and Collin Cargill also took care of business, while catcher Jared Bales led the offense with a pair of hits. A road series win over the Pirates at this juncture would be huge for the Eagles.
San Francisco: The Dons may not have the greatest RPI in the world, but they’re taking care of business in the West Coast Conference. USF recorded an important 11-7 series-opening win over Loyola Marymount on Friday. Starting pitcher Matt Lujan allowed seven runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings, but reliever Jonathan Abramson was fantastic, tossing 3 1/3 shutout innings in the win. At the plate, leadoff hitter Pete Lavin recorded three this and first baseman Nick Balog went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. USF now is 8-2 in WCC play.
South Carolina’s Michael Roth: We might as well start calling Roth the businessman. He once again showed up at the ballpark and took care of business on Friday, leading the Gamecocks to an important 2-1 win over Auburn. Roth struck out six and allowed just a run on seven hits in eight innings, while reliever John Taylor actually earned the win by closing out the ninth. Offensively, Peter Mooney and Robert Beary each finished the contest with two hits.
Tulane: The Green Wave desperately needs a home series win over UAB this weekend to keep their postseason hopes alive. And they got just what they needed with a 6-3 triumph over the Blazers. Tulane starting pitcher Conrad Flynn allowed three runs on three hits in seven innings, while relievers D.J. Ponder and Nick Pepitone closed out the game in style. Offensively, Bowen Woodson went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Saturday’s game might be the most important of the season for both clubs.
Central Florida: Unlike the Green Wave, the Knights were in our NCAA postseason projections this week. However, they, too, have little room for error. Good thing UCF began the weekend with a 6-4 triumph over Houston. UCF starting pitcher Brian Adkins allowed four runs in six innings, while relievers Ben Lively and Joe Rogers combined to throw three innings of shutout work. Offensively, Darnell Sweeney, Chris Taladay and Travis Shreve each finished the night with two hits. The Knights are in pretty solid shape with another win this weekend.
Vanderbilt: If there was a time the Commodores might slip up, it would be against Tennessee, their heated rivals. Well, instead of doing that on Friday, the ‘Dores showed their might in an easy 10-1 triumph over the Volunteers. Vandy starting pitcher Sonny Gray struck out six and allowed just a run on four hits in eight innings, while Jason Esposito, Mike Yastrzemski and Conrad Gregor led the offense. Vandy improved to 36-5 overall.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys suffered a big-time setback last weekend when they got swept on the road by Texas A&M. OSU, though, bounced back in a huge way on Friday with a 9-2 triumph over Kansas State. OSU starting pitcher Mike Strong struck out six and allowed just two runs on two hits in eight innings, while reliever Randy McCurry struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth. At the plate, first baseman Zach Johnson and catcher Jared Womack combined for seven hits and five RBIs. Big, big win for the Cowboys.
Florida: The Gators seem to be back to making things look easy at times. UF starting pitcher Hudson Randall had another fantastic start, striking out six and allowing just three runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings as the Gators captured a 9-3 win over Mississippi. Ole Miss left-handed pitcher Matt Crouse didn’t have a good start, as he allowed six runs on nine hits in four innings. Offensively for the Gators, Vickash Ramjit and Josh Adams recorded four hits while Austin Maddox and Brian Johnson each recorded two hits and knocked in two runs.
Texas A&M relief pitching: The Aggies appeared to be somewhat in control of Missouri in the last couple of innings, but their relief pitching failed them in a disappointing 10-9 loss to struggling Missouri. First reliever Nick Fleece allowed two runs and recorded just one out while closer Joaquin Hinojosa hit three batters and walked two in the ninth inning to help the Tigers capture a victory. The Aggies have to figure out their bullpen sooner rather than later.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks put together one of their most impressive performances of the season in a solid 10-4 road win over Georgia on Friday. Arkansas starting pitcher DJ Baxendale struck out five and allowed just a run on five hits in seven innings. Offensively, leadoff hitter Bo Bigham went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs, while James McCann recorded three hits and freshman Dominic Ficociello hit a home run, recorded three hits and knocked in three runs. A Hogs series win this weekend would put them in better shape to host.
South Florida pitcher Randy Fontanez: The Bulls once again aren’t having the type of season they’d hoped for a couple of months ago, but Fontanez gave them something to smile about in a 2-0 series-opening win over St. John’s. Fontanez was masterful against the Johnnies, striking out nine and allowing just six hits in eight shutout innings. Reliever Kevin Quackenbush finished the game with a perfect ninth, earning his 10th save of the season.
Clemson: The Tigers might just be on their way to finishing the regular season on an incredibly high note. Clemson starting pitcher Dominic Leone struck out 10 and allowed just two runs on two hits in eight innings as the Tigers captured an important 4-2 win over Georgia Tech. Tech starting pitcher Mark Pope allowed three hits in six innings of work. Offensively for the Tigers, shortstop Brad Miller had a mammoth night with a 4-for-4 performance. Clemson is playing well.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack got back into the NCAA postseason picture the last two weeks with a home series sweep over North Carolina and respectable showing against Virginia last weekend. However, they’ve started the weekend on a negative note with a 13-11 setback to Maryland. N.C. State starting pitcher Cory Mazzoni struck out 12, but allowed eight runs in seven innings, while reliever Chris Overman was roughed up and earned the loss. Offensively for the Terrapins, third baseman Jake Stinnett went 2-for-5 with a run scored and three RBIs. The Wolfpack really needs to win the final two games this weekend.
Southeastern Louisiana: The Lions really could help their postseason case this weekend with a road series win over Sam Houston State. Good thing the Lions started the weekend with a thrilling 5-4 extra-inning win over the Bearkats. SELA starting pitcher Brandon Efferson struck out five and allowed just two earned runs on four hits in a nine-inning performance, while closer Stefan Lopez earned his ninth save with an inning of work. Offensively, outfielder Jeff Harkensee went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. The Lions are in much better shape if they finish off the Bearkats at some point this weekend.
Memphis: The Tigers are on the bad side of the NCAA postseason bubble this week, and they didn’t exactly help their case in a series-opening 8-5 loss to Marshall. Memphis starting pitcher Dan Langfield allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings while reliever Tyler Farley allowed four runs in just three innings. The silver lining for the Tigers is the fact shortstop Chad Zurcher, who is having an incredible season at the plate, recorded three hits. For the Thundering Herd, Isaac Ballou and Kenny Socorro each had three hits while Gray Stafford went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Memphis needs to bounce back.
Baylor: The Bears are on the good side of the bubble for now, but a series loss to Nebraska this weekend would put them in rough shape. The Bears will now have to lose two-straight to the Huskers to lose the series after earning a solid 6-2 win in the opener. BU starting pitcher and solid prospect Logan Verrett struck out eight and allowed just a run on four hits in eight innings, while Max Garner closed out the game. Offensively, first baseman Max Muncy recorded three hits and shortstop Landis Ware went 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
Connecticut: Huskies starting pitcher Matt Barnes was expected to put on a display against Rutgers on Friday, but the righty had a tough outing and his team dropped an 8-3 decision to the Scarlet Knights. Barnes only struck out three batters and allowed just five runs on six hits in five innings. He was bested by RU starting pitcher Tyler Gebler, who struck out five and allowed just three runs in a complete game performance. The Huskies need to bounce back the next two games.
Cal State Bakersfield: The Roadrunners suffered a tough series loss to UC Riverside last weekend and desperately needs a series win over UC Irvine this weekend. A win in the series opener seemed in doubt with CSB down 4-0 in the ninth inning. However, the Roadrunners scored four in the ninth to tie the game and another in the tenth to win 5-4. CSB starting pitcher Mike McCarthy allowed just three earned runs in eight innings while reliever Nick Shannon tossed two scoreless frames to end the game. Andrew Letourneau led the offense with three hits and two RBIs. The ‘Runners need this series to get back in the postseason field.
Cal Poly: The Mustangs still have some work to do with their overall record to make the NCAA postseason, but took another step forward in Big West play with a dominant 10-0 win over Long Beach State to improve to 9-4 in league play. CP starting pitcher Mason Radeke struck out four and allowed just five hits in seven shutout innings, while reliever Kyle Anderson closed the game with two shutout frames. Offensively, Elliot Stewart went 2-for-4 with three RBIs while Mitch Haniger and DJ Gentile each recorded two hits and knocked in two runs.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs dropped a surprising series to St. Mary’s last weekend, but started this weekend on a positive note with a 8-0 win over Santa Clara. Gonzaga left-handed pitcher Ryan Carpenter, a solid prospect, was the player of the day for the Bulldogs, striking out nine and allowing just five hits in a complete game performance. Offensively, Tyler Chism and Cameron Edman each had two hits while Billy Moon chipped in a three-hit performance.
LSU: After coming from behind to beat Kentucky in the series opener on Friday, the Tigers took what could’ve been a huge step forward on Friday with a dominant 12-4 win over the Wildcats. LSU starting pitcher Kevin Gausman struck out eight and allowed just a run on two hits in seven innings, while the offense had a big day with Mason Katz leading the way. Katz went 4-for-5 with three doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs. Raph Rhymes and JaCoby Jones also had productive offensive performances.
Florida State: We said earlier this week the Seminoles needed to start the weekend with a win over Miami. Well, the Seminoles heeded that advice on Friday with a solid 6-5 win over the Hurricanes. FSU starting pitcher Sean Gilmartin struck out six and allowed just three earned runs on six hits in seven innings, while reliever Daniel Bennett picked up the win with 1 2/3 innings of work. Offensively, James Ramsey finished the contest with a pair of hits. Can FSU close the deal against the ‘Canes this weekend?
Hawaii: The Rainbows took a step back last weekend with a brutal home series loss to Valparaiso, but started this weekend on a great note with a thrilling 6-5 extra-inning win over Fresno State. Hawaii starting pitcher Matt Sisto was lifted after allowing four runs in three innings, but reliever Randy Yard settled things down with 3 2/3 shutout innings, while Blair Walters and Lenny Linsky (ninth save) closed out the contest. Offensively, Zack Swasey recorded three hits and two RBIs and Sean Montplaisir recorded two hits and two RBIs. With the win, the ‘Bows are 1 1 1/2 games ahead of the Bulldogs in the WAC standings.
Oregon State: The Beavers continue to be one of the greatest stories of this college baseball season. The Beavers were down 5-1 to Gerrit Cole and UCLA heading to the fifth inning. In other words, the Bruins appeared to be in great shape. OSU, though, didn’t go quietly into the night and roughed up Cole for six runs in the fifth and captured a huge 7-5 win over the Bruins. For the Beavers, starting pitcher Sam Gaviglio allowed five runs in six innings, while relievers Matt Boyd and Tony Bryant (seventh save) rose to the occasion. Offensively, Carter Bell went 2-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs.
Texas: What a big night it was for the Longhorns, especially coach Augie Garrido, who recorded his 1,800th career win with a dominant 5-0 win over rival Oklahoma. Texas starting pitcher Taylor Jungmann once again was fabulous, striking out nine and allowing just four hits in a complete game performance. It was the third time this season Jungmann has tossed a complete game shutout. At the plate, leadoff hitter Brandon Loy went 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI, while Paul Montalbano went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs. OU’s struggles against the Longhorns continued.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils tried to make things interesting with weak pitching out of the bullpen, but held on for an important 12-10 win over Stanford in the series opener. ASU starting pitcher Brady Rodgers was just OK, allowing four runs on eight hits in seven innings, while Stanford stud starter Mark Appel was touched up for seven runs on 12 hits in seven innings. ASU third baseman Riccio Torrez went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBIs and Joey DeMichele also recorded three hits, while Johnny Ruettiger, Zack MacPhee, Matt Newman, Deven Marrero and Austin Barnes each had two hits in the game, Barnes a home run, too.
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball editor for Perfect Game USA and has covered the sport for over 10 seasons. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org