TEAM OF THE DAY: North Carolina
The Tar Heels are playing a terrific brand of baseball right now. They defeated USC 11-1 in the series opener before using more strong pitching to win the second game, 1-0. Tar Heels right-handed pitcher Chris Munnelly struck out three and allowed just a hit in seven innings of work to guide the Heels to victory. The Heels also got solid relief performances from five different pitchers. This goes down as a nice series win for the Heels.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Brett Mooneyham, lhp, Stanford
With a final score of 16-0 in favor of the Cardinal over Fresno State on Saturday, you'd think the player of the day would be an offensive star. Not hardly. Stanford left-handed pitcher Brett Mooneyham continues to pitch at an extremely hard level this season. Against the Bulldogs, he struck out 13 batters and allowed just two hits in only seven innings of shutout baseball. Though Mark Appel may get most of the headlines, Mooneyham is having an amazing campaign worthy of plenty of headlines as well.
UPSET OF THE DAY: Lamar over Baylor
Fortunately for Baylor, it responded in a huge way in the nightcap with a win over UC Irvine. However, the Bears started their Saturday with a disappointing 8-0 loss to Lamar. Cardinals starting pitcher Jonathan Dziedzic deserves a lot of credit for striking out four batters and allowing just six hits in a complete game shutout. Meanwhile, five Lamar hitters chipped in multi-hit performances.
FIVE BEST TEAMS
Houston: The Cougars suddenly are a team to watch. They began the Houston College Classic with a win over Tennessee before beating Arkansas 4-1 on Saturday. UH starting pitcher Jordan Lewis struck out three and allowed just a run on four hits in six innings.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks' recent mastery of Clemson continued on Saturday with a 9-6 triumph to clinch yet another series win over the Tigers. South Carolina veteran hitter Adam Matthews led the way with a three-run home run, two hits, two runs scored and three RBIs. What an impressive weekend thus far for the Gamecocks.
Fresno State: Talented Bulldogs outfielder Aaron Judge apparently wasn't overly impressed with Stanford stud right-hander Mark Appel. Judge had a huge night in a 7-4 Fresno upset win. He slammed two homers and went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Winning a series over red-hot Stanford would be a huge boost to a Bulldogs club that has started a little slow.
Florida: Speaking of recent dominance, look no further than the Gators and their mastery of Miami. The Gators clinched yet another series win over the Hurricanes with a 13-5 triumph on Saturday. UF two-way star Brian Johnson had a huge day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a double and a home run, two runs scored and five RBIs.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels might've looked just OK opening weekend against Xavier, but they've been outstanding ever since. On Saturday against the Trojans, starting pitcher Chris Munnelly tossed an absolute gem in the winning cause.
FIVE WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE
Michigan State: The Spartans just can't seem to make a statement against the nation's better teams. They dropped a 4-0 decision and the series to Texas A&M on Saturday. Spartans starting pitcher Andrew Waszak put together a solid outing, but A&M starting pitcher Ross Stripling didn't allow MSU to get anything going.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders prided themselves on strong pitching the first couple of weekends, but struggled Saturday in a 6-2 loss to Rice. Tech starting pitcher Rusty Shellhorn had an uncharacteristic start, allowing six runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. Tech needs to finish the tournament with a victory.
Stetson:The Hatters had just their second hiccup of the season in a disappointing 11-8 loss to Southern Illinois at home. Stetson starting pitcher Lyndsey Caughel didn't have a good day, striking out seven, which was impressive, but also allowing eight runs on 10 hits in just four innings of work.
Washington State: The Cougars suffered a hiccup on Saturday that shouldn't happen. They dropped a 7-3 decision to previously winless Northern Colorado. WSU starting pitcher Kyle Swannack was lifted after allowing three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings, while reliever Scott Simon didn't fare much better. Meanwhile, UNC starting pitcher Nate Steinmetz held the Cougars to just two runs on eight hits in six innings.
New Mexico State: The Aggies are having a tough weekend thus far and needs to change the tide back their direction on Sunday. NSMU had a 4-2 lead over Nebraska entering the bottom of the ninth inning before reliever Scott Coffman imploded, allowing four runs on four hits in just 2/3 innings of work. Coffman wasted yet another solid start from Ryan Beck, who allowed just two runs on seven hits in eight innings.
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org