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College : : Story
Saturday college roundup
Kendall Rogers        
Published: Saturday, May 05, 2012

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TEAM OF THE DAY: UCLA

-- The Bruins, like their counterparts on the field Saturday -- Purdue, entered the weekend in the mix for a national seed. Well, they certainly helped their chances by sweeping an impressive doubleheader from the Boilermakers. In the series opener, UCLA starting pitcher Adam Plutko was fantastic, while outfielder Beau Amaral went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI in the 5-1 triumph. The Bruins won the nightcap 3-2 as Grant Watson, David Berg and Scott Griggs each threw well, Griggs earning his 11th save in the game.

UPSET OF THE DAY: West Virginia 4, Louisville 3

-- The Cardinals faced the Mountaineers in a doubleheader on Saturday. And though the Cards saved a little face in the second game with a win, they dropped a disappointing opener, 4-3. UL starting pitcher Justin Amlung struck out 10 and allowed just a run in eight innings of work, but reliever Derek Self wasn’t able to preserve a 3-1 lead, as the Mountaineers put together a three-run ninth inning.

PLAYER OF THE DAY: RHP Adam Plutko, UCLA

-- Plutko started the Purdue series on a positive note for the Bruins. The talented right-hander struck out seven batters and allowed just one run on two hits in 8 1/3 innings of work in the 5-1 triumph. Plutko finished the game with 93 pitches, 61 of which he threw for strikes. He’s now 6-3 on the season with a 3.38 ERA in 77 1/3 innings of work. He also has struck out 69 and walked 28, while teams are hitting him at a .223 clip.

FIVE PLUSES

Florida State (38-7) -- The Seminoles likely are on their way to another solid series win this weekend with an easy 10-3 triumph over Maryland. FSU starting pitcher Brandon Leibrandt struck out four batters and allowed just four hits in six shutout frames. Meanwhile, veteran third baseman Sherman Johnson led the way at the late, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, a home run, double and two RBIs.

Mississippi (31-17) -- The Rebels suffered a tough 13-inning loss to LSU on Friday, but bounced back in strong fashion on Saturday with a 7-4 triumph. Ole Miss starting pitcher Mike Mayers gave coach Mike Bianco four innings, while the Rebels bullpen did a terrific job with Tanner Bailey, Chris Ellis and Brett Huber leading the way. Also worth noting, leadoff hitter Tanner Mathis recorded three hits in the game.

Arkansas (34-14) -- The Hogs used an unorthodox approach to a Saturday game, using several pitchers in a 7-6 series evening triumph over South Carolina. Arkansas had a big day at the plate, smacking 17 hits against the Gamecocks. Arkansas third baseman Matt Reynolds went 3-for-5 with two RBIs while Jacob Morris had two hits and two RBIs.

Oregon State (29-15) -- There’s no doubt the Beavers have one of the nation’s best freshman pitchers in left-handed hurler Jace Fry. Fry was terrific in a 4-2 win over Stanford. He struck out just two batters, but only allowed two runs on five hits in nine innings of work. He threw 76 of his 123 pitches for strikes.

Tulane (31-16) -- The Green Wave might just move their way into the NCAA postseason after all. Jeremy Schaffer smacked a two-RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to capture a thrilling 3-2 win over Southern Miss, but most importantly, another Conference USA series victory. Tulane starting pitcher Dave Napoli allowed two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings, while Kyle McKenzie allowed just three hits in 3 2/3 innings in relief. 

FIVE MINUSES

Southeastern Louisiana (32-16) -- This is definitely one of those series the Lions need to win if they want to reach the NCAA postseason. SELA won the series opener against SFA, but stumbled Saturday in a 5-3 setback. SFA starting pitcher Cameron Gann put together a solid start against the Lions, allowing just one run in 5 1/3 innings.

College of Charleston (31-14) -- The Cougars had a golden opportunity to take a 1-0 series lead over Clemson on Saturday, leading 3-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning. However, the Cougars were unable to preserve the lead and dropped a disappointing 4-3 decision. The Cougars wasted some strong pitching by starter Christian Powell and reliever Kyle Owings.

Auburn (25-21) -- The Tigers sure are making things difficult these days. They entered the weekend hoping to solidify their postseason chances. Instead, they’ve taken yet another step back, dropping a 6-5 bout to Georgia in 11 innings to lose the series. The Tigers are now just 10-13 in the SEC and must take care of business in the series finale.

Southern California (22-20) -- The Trojans entered the weekend in desperate need of a series win, but they’ve taken yet another step back against Washington. USC starting pitcher Andrew Triggs allowed three runs on 13 hits in five innings of work, as the Trojans dropped a 6-3 decision to the Huskies to lose the series.

Kansas (19-28) -- The Jayhawks have had a season to forget, and a disappointing 3-0 loss to Air Force on Saturday reinforced that idea. The Jayhawks were absolutely stymied by the Falcons, especially starting pitcher Ben Bertelson. Bertelson struck out eight and allowed just eight hits in a complete game shutout.

OTHER NOTABLES

* Kentucky salvaged a game in its series against Florida, capturing a 2-1 triumph in the series finale. UK starting pitcher Corey Littrell struck out five and allowed just one run on nine hits in eight innings of work.

* Texas A&M right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling put together yet another solid start, striking out 13 and allowing just two runs (one earned) on four hits in eight innings of work. He threw 86 of his 121 pitches for strikes.

* Oklahoma right-handed pitcher Jonathan Gray struck out seven batters and allowed just two runs in seven innings of work, as the Sooners captured an 8-4 win over Oklahoma State. Designated hitter Matt Oberste went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

* The Ivy League title winner and automatic bid to the NCAA postseason will be decided on Sunday as Cornell and Dartmouth continue their heated series. The Big Green won the series opener 7-1 before Cornell fought back with an 11-3 triumph in the nightcap.

* Mississippi State right-handed pitcher Kendall Graveman put together yet another solid start, striking out two batters and allowing just one run on six hits in 4 2/3 innings, as the Bulldogs captured a series win over Alabama with a 3-2 triumph.



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