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With Saturday'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: North Carolina
It's not every day a team utilizes the Johnny Wholestaff approach in the middle game of a series, but in a way, North Carolina did that on Saturday in a series-clinching 6-2 win over Virginia. Tar Heels starting pitcher Chris Munnelly was lifted from the game after walking four batters in two innings of work. Hobbs Johnson, Chris McCue, R.C. Orlan and Michael Morin then closed out the game, with Morin tossing 1 1/3 perfect innings with a strikeout. Also worth noting, UNC outfielders Chaz Frank and Shell McCain each finished the game with two hits.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Trevor Williams, rhp, Arizona State
ASU junior right-handed pitcher Brady Rodgers pitched an absolute gem in the series opener against Southern California. Well, sophomore right-hander Trevor Williams also put together an outstanding performance. Williams struck out six batters and allowed just four hits in a complete game shutout and 4-0 win over USC to clinch a huge Pac-12 series win. With the win, Williams improved his outstanding record to 7-2. He also has a 1.41 ERA.
UPSET OF THE DAY: Memphis over East Carolina
Even with somewhat of an iffy postseason resume, the Pirates still have high hopes of somehow finding a way to host an NCAA Regional at the end of the season. Well, to do that, they must avoid dropping a series to Memphis. ECU starting pitcher Tyler Joyner allowed four runs on nine hits in five innings, as the Pirates dropped a tough 5-2 decision to Memphis. ECU's offense was stymied by Memphis starting pitcher Sam Moll, who allowed two runs on nine hits in 7 1/3 innings of work. It's an important series finale on Sunday for both teams.
-- There's absolutely no doubt at this point the Wildcats are the best story in college baseball so far this season. UK dropped the series opener to Arkansas on Friday, but fought back on Saturday to win the series with a pair of wins by scores of 5-4 and 2-1. In the first game of the day, relievers Chandler Shepherd and Tim Peterson pitched extremely well to preserve a lead throughout the game. Meanwhile, in the series finale, left-handed starting pitcher Corey Littrell was fantastic, striking out three and allowing just a run on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.
-- What an incredible weekend of baseball the Ducks are putting together against Stanford. They edged the Cardinal in Friday's series opener, but had little trouble earning a 5-0 series-clinching win on Saturday. UO outstanding freshman right-handed pitcher Jake Reed was terrific, allowing just two hits in seven shutout frames, while reliever Jeff Gold tossed two shutout frames to close things out. First baseman Ryon Healy had a huge day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs and three RBIs.
South Carolina (26-10) -- It might be safe to say at this point that South Carolina is back on track when it comes to SEC play. The Gamecocks clinched a third-straight SEC series win on Saturday with a 5-3 triumph over Mississippi State. Gamecocks freshman left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery once again put together a great start, striking out four and allowing just a run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, outfielder Tanner English had three hits and third baseman LB Dantzler added two hits and two RBIs.
Arizona State (21-13) -- The Sun Devils certainly appeared to be in some trouble entering the weekend after the way they performed the past two weekends. But this has been a different team against USC, as the Devils secured a Pac-12 series win with a 4-0 triumph over the Trojans. We highlighted earlier the tremendous pitching performance put together by right-hander Trevor Williams, while first baseman Abe Ruiz led the way at the plate with three hits.
Pepperdine (22-13) -- The Pilots and Waves both entered the weekend as teams that definitely could be on the NCAA postseason bubble at the end of the spring. The Waves, though, are riding high after Saturday, taking a pair of games from the Pilots by scores of 3-2 and 4-3. In the opener, starting pitcher Jon Moscot tossed 6 2/3 strong innings, while reliever Eric Karch earned the win for his 3 1/3 shutout innings of work. Meanwhile, in the second game, prized sophomore right-hander Scott Frazier didn't record a strikeout, but allowed just three runs on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Fresno State (15-18) -- It's safe to say the Bulldogs have fallen on hard times this season. Typically in the race for the WAC regular season title, the Bulldogs just hope to compete well enough to have a chance in the conference tournament. Fresno dropped both games of a doubleheader to San Jose State by scores of 4-0 and 4-3, effectively falling to 1-5 in WAC play entering Sunday's series finale.
Texas State (20-14) -- It's crazy to think the Bobcats are completely working their way out of postseason contention after they swept a midweek series over Oregon just a few weeks ago. Texas State starting pitcher Colton Turner allowed eight runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings of work, as the Bobcats dropped an 8-1 decision to Southeastern Louisiana to clinch a series loss. Amazingly, the Lions have outscored the Bobcats 18-2 in two games.
Houston (12-20) -- UH coach Todd Whitting would probably be more than willing to turn the page and get ready for next season. The Cougars have suffered yet another series loss this weekend, dropping a 7-1 decision to Texas Tech. UH starting pitcher Jordan Mannisto allowed three runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings of work, while the bullpen didn't do much better. Meanwhile, the Cougars touched up Tech starting pitcher Duke von Schamann for 11 hits in seven innings, but left 11 runners on base.
Stetson (22-13) -- The Hatters already had some seriously falling stock when it came to the NCAA postseason race. Well, they've taken yet another step back this weekend, dropping the first two games of the Kennesaw State series. Stetson starting pitcher Lyndsey Caughel allowed six runs on 10 hits in five innings of work, while reliever Cameron Griffin struggled, allowing four runs on seven hits in two innings of work. The Hatters simply aren't living up to expectations this season.
Duke (13-23) -- Go ahead and add the Blue Devils to the lengthy list of teams wishing the 2013 season was already here. The Blue Devils are having a dismal campaign, and things are worse this weekend. They dropped a 21-2 decision to Maryland on Saturday with starting pitcher Trent Swart allowing seven runs on six hits in 1 1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, the offense was only able to score two runs on seven hits.
PG TOP 50 ROUNDUP
#1 Florida State 6, Boston College 3
#2 Kentucky 5,2 -- #8 Arkansas 4,1
#3 Texas A&M 6, Kansas 4
Alabama 1, #4 LSU 7
#5 Florida 4, Tennessee 5
#10 UCLA 15, #6 Arizona 3
#18 Oregon 5, #7 Stanford 0
#9 North Carolina 6, #31 Virginia 2
#11 Cal State Fullerton 1,13 -- UC Irvine 4,2
#33 Mississippi State 3, #12 South Carolina 5
#13 Baylor 10, Kansas State 8 (suspended 8th inning)
#14 Rice 5, Marshall 1
Illinois vs. #15 Purdue (ppd. rain)
#16 Central Florida 11, Southern Miss 6
#17 Miami (Fla.) 4, Virginia Tech 5
#19 Mississippi 8, #35 Georgia 3
LaSalle 1,0 -- #20 San Diego 4,2
#21 N.C. State 3, #32 Clemson 1
#36 Southern California 0, #22 Arizona State 4
Seton Hall 7, #23 Louisville 12
#24 East Carolina 2, Memphis 5
Oklahoma State 0,2 -- #25 Texas 5,3
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 2, #26 Oregon State 12
#27 Appalachian State 3, Georgia Southern 13
#28 Cal Poly 5,6 -- Cal State Northridge 6,1
#29 Georgia Tech 8, Wake Forest 7
#30 Auburn 5, Vanderbilt 2
#34 Texas State 1, Southeastern Louisiana 8
#37 New Mexico State 16, 6 -- Sacramento State 4,1
#38 Sam Houston State 2, Lamar 5
#40 Washington 2, #39 California 5
Missouri 4, #41 Oklahoma 8
#42 Liberty 5, Winthrop 6
#43 Stetson 7, Kennesaw State 11
#50 Portland 2,3 -- #44 Pepperdine 3,4
#45 Indiana State 4, Bradley 5
Southern Illinois 6, #46 Dallas Baptist 11
Illinois State 4,4 -- #47 Missouri State 14,10
Air Force 1, #48 TCU 6
Virginia Military 0, #49 Coastal Carolina 3
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org