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With Thursday'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: LSU
The Tigers recorded a huge home series win over Arkansas last weekend and continued that impressive stretch with a 7-6 win over Florida in the series opener in Gainesville, Fla. LSU right-handed pitcher Kurt McCune put together a respectable start, allowing just two earned runs on seven hit sin five innings, while the bullpen did a serviceable job. Most impressive about the win was the offense, which touched UF starting pitcher Brian Johnson for six runs on seven hits in four innings. LSU outfielder JaCoby Jones led the way at the plate, recording three hits, two of them doubles, and knocked in two runs.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Jon Moscot, rhp, Pepperdine
After dropping a tough series to Gonzaga last weekend, the Waves hit the road this week knowing they desperately need a series win over St. Mary's. Well, junior right-handed pitcher Jon Moscot rose to the occasion at the right time. The imposing 6-foot-4, 210-pounder, was phenomenal in a 7-1 win over the Gaels. He struck out 10 batters, walked one, and allowed just one hit in a complete game performance. Most impressive is the fact Moscot didn't allow a hit for 8 2/3 innings of work.
UPSET OF THE DAY: Nevada over New Mexico State
The Aggies have truly been one of the nation's biggest surprises so far this season, entering Thursday's contest against Nevada riding a 14-game winning streak. Well, that win streak came to an end at the hands of Wolf Pack. Nevada starting pitcher Braden Shipley struck out five batters and allowed just two earned runs in six innings of work, as his team defeated the Aggies 10-5. It's also worth noting catcher Carlos Escobar Jr., went 2-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the offensive cause.
Gonzaga (20-7): The Bulldogs continued their incredibly hot play on Thursday with an impressive 6-2 road win over San Diego. Zags starting pitcher Tyler Olson was tremendous against the Toreros, striking out just four batters, but allowing just two runs on seven hits in a complete game performance. Offensively, second baseman Alex Stanford led the way with two hits and two RBIs.
Baylor (23-7): Who will actually be able to slow the Bears down? BU starting pitcher Josh Turley struck out five batters and allowed just one run on six hits in 8 1/3 innings of work, as the Bears defeated Missouri 3-1 in a thrilling road contest. Bears reliever Max Garner closed out the game with bases loaded. With the win, the Bears now are 10-0 in the Big 12 and winners of 12-straight.
Stanford (18-6): Big-time players typically always step up in big-time situations. That certainly was the case Thursday night as Mark Appel willed his way to a great start against Washington. Appel allowed two runs in the first inning, but settled in and led the Cardinal to a 5-2 win over the Huskies. Appel only struck out three batters, but allowed just two runs on four hits in a complete game performance. Offensively, catcher Eric Smith and shortstop Lonnie Kauppila each had three hits.
Arizona State (17-12): The Sun Devils had an extremely poor showing against Oregon last weekend, but vowed to return to normalcy this weekend against Oregon State. ASU starting the weekend on the right foot with an 8-2 win over the Beavers. ASU starting pitcher Brady Rodgers struck out six and allowed just two runs (no earned) on seven hits in eight innings of work. Meanwhile, five ASU hitters, including shortstop Deven Marrero, chipped in multi-hit performances.
Oregon (19-8): Well, it's safe to say the Ducks are really heating up on the diamond. UO made a statement last weekend with a home series sweep over Arizona State. It began the weekend with a fantastic 6-2 road win over red-hot UCLA. UO veteran right-handed pitcher Alex Keudell was brilliant against the Bruins, allowing eight hits in seven shutout innings. Meanwhile, the offense did just enough, touching up UCLA starting pitcher Adam Plutko for five runs in just 4 1/3 innings of work.
Florida (24-6): The Gators must be careful not to fall into a slump in the heat of SEC play. The Gators played a bad brand of baseball in a midweek loss to North Florida, and things weren't much better in a 7-6 loss to LSU. UF left-handed pitcher Brian Johnson allowed six runs on seven hits in four innings. He also only recorded two strikeouts in the game.
Texas Tech (17-14): Again, truly one of the toughest teams in college baseball to figure out. The Red Raiders had plenty of chances against Texas on Thursday, but couldn't seal the deal in a 7-4 loss to their in-state foes. Tech relievers Brennan Stewart and Rusty Shellhorn didn't throw well, while there was very little offensive production outside of Jamodrick McGruder, Barrett Barnes and Scott LeJuene. With the loss, the Red Raiders are now 2-8 in the Big 12.
St. Mary's (14-14): What began as a potentially special season for the Gaels has simply turned into a nightmare lately. The Gaels lost their sixth-straight game on Thursday in a 7-1 setback to Pepperdine. St. Mary's starting pitcher Ben Griset had a wild day on the mound. He struck out 11 hitters, but also allowed six runs (two earned) on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of work.
TCU (14-13): Even TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle is to the point of calling his team a bad, bad baseball team. The Horned Frogs took a step back on Thursday with a 7-5 setback to UNC Wilmington. TCU starting pitcher Stefan Crichton had a rough night on the mound, allowing five runs on nine hits in just 5 1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, not a single TCU hitter finished the night with a multi-hit performance.
Houston (11-17): I'm still a believer that Houston coach Todd Whitting will be a winner at this stop, but it won't be this season. The Cougars are struggling in a big way, and dropped to 1-6 in Conference USA with a 10-3 loss to East Carolina. UH starting pitcher Jared Ray had a rough night, allowing nine runs on 10 hit sin just four innings of work. Meanwhile, the offense was unable to muster much against ECU starting pitcher Kevin Brandt, who tossed eight shutout frames.
PG TOP 50 ROUNDUP
#12 LSU 7, #1 Florida 6
#20 Oregon 6, #4 UCLA 2
#6 Arizona 11, Utah 2
#7 Stanford 5, #38 Washington 2
#31 Oklahoma 3, #9 Texas A&M 4
UC Davis 4, #10 Cal State Fullerton 5
#14 Rice 5, Tulane 4
#18 Baylor 3, Missouri 1
Gonzaga 6, #21 San Diego 2
#22 Oregon State 2, #26 Arizona State 8
#23 Louisville 5, Georgetown 1
Houston 3, #27 East Carolina 10
#28 California 5, #39 Southern California 4
#29 Texas 7, Texas Tech 4
#34 Texas State 6, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
#41 UC Irvine 0, #35 Cal Poly 6
UNC Wilmington 7, #40 TCU 5
Central Arkansas 4, #43 Southeastern Louisiana 5
Jacksonville 9, #44 Stetson 6
#45 Pepperdine 7, St. Mary's 1
Nevada 10, #46 New Mexico State 5
Northwestern State 4, #47 Sam Houston State 5
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org