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College : : Story
Midweek dominance
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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CB TICKET: Wake Forest inside scoop | UCLA inside scoop


With Tuesday's college baseball action in the books, here's our inside look back at the highlights and lowlights from around the country.


TEAM OF THE DAY:
Florida

The Gators' amazing campaign continued Tuesday night with an extremely impressive 9-2 triumph over Florida State. Preston Tucker went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs, while shortstop Nolan Fontana also had a big night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored, a home run and two RBIs. Meanwhile, Gators starting pitcher Bobby Poyner didn't put together a good start, but the bullpen did a fantastic job with Steven Rodriguez leading the way. Just an impressive performance all the way around for the Gators.


PLAYER OF THE DAY: Bill Cullen, of, Virginia Commonwealth

The Rams entered Tuesday with a 10-6 record and left it 11-6, thanks a great deal to the offensive performance put together by outfielder Bill Cullen. Cullen went 4-for-6 with three doubles, five runs scored and four RBIs as the Rams shocked previously red-hot East Carolina. Cullen also walked once in the game. He's hitting .397 with seven RBIs so far this season.


UPSET OF THE DAY: Virginia Commonwealth over East Carolina

Outfielder Bill Cullen had a big-time night at the plate, as the Rams shocked red-hot East Carolina in Greenville, N.C., with an 18-11 triumph. While Cullen headlined the Rams' big night at the plate, others also chipped in productive performances. Third baseman Joey Cujas knocked in four runs, while designated hitter Chris Ayers knocked in three runs, and outfielder Paul Nice knocked in two runs. It easily was VCU's most impressive performance of the season. 

 


FIVE BEST TEAMS

Rice: The Owls had one of their most impressive performances of the season, dominating Arizona on the way to a 5-1 victory. Junior right-handed pitcher Andrew Benak was fantastic, allowing just six hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings. Meanwhile, outfielder Jeremy Rathjen hit his fourth home run of the season and went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.

Louisville: The Cardinals had a tough showing at the Alabama tournament last weekend, but responded in impressive fashion with a 4-3 triumph over Ole Miss. UL starting pitcher Jared Ruxer allowed just a run and two hits in 5 2/3 innings, while third baseman Ty Young 2-for-4 with a triple, a run scored and two RBIs. It's also worth noting that second baseman Nick Ratajczak went 4-for-4.

UCLA: The Bruins are absolutely sizzling right now, winning their 11th-straight contest on Tuesday with a 7-2 triumph over rival USC. UCLA starting pitcher Grant Watson struck out five batters and allowed just a run and seven hits in six innings. Meanwhile, catcher Trevor Brown led the way at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

Texas: The Longhorns haven't played particularly well this season, but took a step forward on Tuesday with a solid 6-1 win over red-hot Texas State. UT starting pitcher Parker French tossed four shutout innings, while Hoby Milner and Corey Knebel both threw extremely well in relief. Additionally, Alex Silver, Kevin Lusson and Erich Weiss each finished the contest with three hits.

N.C. State: That series between Wake Forest and N.C. State later this week ought to be a dandy. The Wolfpack recorded yet another solid win, beating Elon 8-1 on the road Tuesday. N.C. State starting pitcher Vance Williams struck out three batters and allowed just a run on and five hits in five innings of work. Meanwhile, first baseman Andrew Ciencin went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. 

 


FIVE DISAPPOINTING TEAMS

Oklahoma: The Sooners appeared to be well on their way to a solid road victory, leading Dallas Baptist 6-3 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning. However, they gave up four runs in the bottom of the inning, and the Patriots -- not the Sooners -- vaulted to a 7-6 triumph. OU reliever Jordan Johnson struggled, allowing four runs on four hits in just an inning of work;.

Baylor: Remember when the Bears were one of the nation's hottest teams? They've struggled in recent weeks, and the frustration continued on Tuesday in a 5-4 loss to Texas-Arlington. BU was leading the contest 4-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning, where the Mavericks scored three runs to win the game. BU reliever Max Garner blew the game, allowing three runs in the ninth.

Tulane: The Green Wave just can't seem to find a way to get in a groove. They dropped a tough home bout, 5-3, to Louisiana-Monroe on Tuesday. Tulane starting pitcher Alex Byo allowed three runs and six hits in fie innings, while ULM reliever Shelby Aulds shut down the Green Wave offense, tossing four scoreless innings of relief work.

Tennessee: The Volunteers have picked a bad time to go into a slump, losing their third-straight contest on Tuesday in a disappointing 5-1 loss to Tennessee Tech at home. The Vols didn't pitch badly in the game, but were stymied offensively by TTU starting pitcher Seth Lucio. Lucio struck out 11 Vols and allowed just a run and five hits in 8 1/3 innings of work.

East Carolina: The Pirates made a huge statement last weekend with a 3-0 record at the Alabama tournament, but took a step back in midweek action with an 18-11 setback to VCU. Junior left-handed pitcher Jake Harris had a tough day on the mound, allowing five runs and five hits in 1 1/3 innings of work. The ECU bullpen didn't fare much better.



PG TOP 50 ROUNDUP
* For live in-game scoring, check out our partners at D1Baseball.com

#1 Florida 9, #6 Florida State 2
#3 South Carolina 5, Charleston Southern 2
#4 North Carolina 5, UNC Greensboro 1
#5 Arkansas 1, Gonzaga 0
#7 Rice 5, #8 Arizona 1
Washington State 9, #9 Cal State Fullerton 8
#10 Texas A&M 10, Texas-Pan American 4
#11 Arizona State 9, Utah Valley 0
Southeastern Louisiana 4, #13 Mississippi State 3
#14 Georgia Tech 15, Wagner 4
#15 Miami (Fla.) 11, Illinois State 6
#21 Louisville 4, #16 Ole Miss 3
#17 UCLA 7, #37 Southern California 2
#20 Purdue 4, #47 Missouri State 2
#22 Georgia 8, Alcorn State 5
#50 Texas 6, #24 Texas State 1
Virginia Commonwealth 18, #25 East Carolina 11
Dallas Baptist 7, #27 Oklahoma 6
#29 N.C. State 8, #41 Elon 1
#32 TCU 7, Texas-San Antonio 5
Texas-Arlington 5, #33 Baylor 4
#34 Pepperdine 4, #44 UC Irvine 3
#35 San Diego 9, Indiana 3
#36 Wake Forest 14, Georgia Southern 4
Alabama 8, #38 Southern Miss 3
Bryant 6, #40 Liberty 2
#42 Kentucky 9, Wright State 1
#43 Texas Tech 21, Alabama A&M 1
UNC Wilmington 6, #45 College of Charleston 3
Louisiana-Monroe 5, #46 Tulane 3
#48 Appalachian State 6, Duke 3


Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game and can be reached at kendall@perfectgame.org



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