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TEAM OF THE DAY: Louisville -- Sitting two games back of St.
John’s in the Big East regular season title race entering the weekend, the
Cardinals are hoping to make a statement. They did just that in the series
finale against the Johnnies, claiming a 5-0 victory. UL starting pitcher,
right-hander Justin Amlung, struck out six and allowed just three hits in seven
shutout innings. He threw 67 of his 103 pitches for strikes.
UPSET OF THE DAY: Loyola Marymount over San Diego -- Though
the Toreros have been red hot lately, we’re not that surprised LMU beat them.
What we are surprised about is the final in the contest, a 13-1 triumph for the
Lions. LMU starting pitcher Colin Welmon struck out six and allowed just one
run on five hits in a complete game performance, while Alex Guthrie and Cullen
Mahoney each hit a home run.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: RHP Nick Petree, Missouri State -- What
an absolutely amazing tear Petree is on right now for the Bears. The talented
right-handed pitcher struck out nine and allowed just three hits in eight
shutout innings and a 2-0 win over Evansville. But more impressive is the fact
Petree now has tossed 72 2/3 innings over 11 starts without allowing an earned
South Carolina (38-12) -- The Gamecocks continued their
winning ways against Georgia on Friday, capturing a 3-0 win in an important SEC
opener. Gamecocks left-handed pitcher Michael Roth put together yet another
good performance, striking out six and allowing three hits in seven shutout
Florida (37-13) -- Mississippi State right-handed pitcher
Chris Stratton was the headliner entering Friday’s contest against the Gators,
but was overshadowed by UF right-handed pitcher Hudson Randall. Randall allowed
just a run on five hits in seven innings of work in a 4-1 win over the
Bulldogs. UF reliever Steven Rodriguez also pitched exceptionally well, tossing
two shutout innings to finish the game.
Louisiana State (39-11) -- The Tigers picked up a huge road
series win over Mississippi last weekend. They’ve started this weekend on a
positive note, beating Vanderbilt 2-1 to start an important three-game set. LSU
right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman was terrific against the Commodores,
striking out 11 and allowing one run on five hits in a complete game
UCLA (33-13) -- The Bruins are aiming for a national seed
and started the weekend on the right foot with a 2-0 win over Washington. UCLA
sophomore right-handed pitcher Adam Plutko put together a big-time performance
against the Huskies, striking out four and allowing just five hits in seven
Virginia (33-14) -- The Cavaliers have played a good brand
of baseball the past few weeks, and began the weekend on a positive note with a
6-5 triumph over Georgia Tech. Cavaliers starting pitcher Branden Kline was
lifted after allowing five runs in 3 1/3 innings, but reliever Kyle Crockett
was sensational in 3 2/3 shutout innings of work. Also worth noting, third
baseman Stephen Bruno smacked a pair of homers in the game.
Wake Forest (27-21) -- The Demon Deacons hope to somehow get
back into the NCAA postseason mix, but dropping a series-opening 11-0 contest
to Miami isn’t the way to gain some followers. The Deacs had a horrible night
overall, as ace left-handed pitcher Tim Cooney allowed nine runs on 11 hits in
just five innings of work. With the loss, the Demon Deacons are now 9-16 in the
Long Beach State (24-22) -- The Dirtbags just went over the
.500 mark, but now have some work to do the rest of the weekend, on the road
mind you, to just take two of three from a below average UC Davis club. LBSU
starting pitcher Matt Anderson allowed two runs in five innings of work, while
reliever Kyle Friedrichs really struggled, allowing two runs in the ninth to
blow the save.
Portland (23-18) -- The Pilots are another team that hopes
to somehow find their way back on the NCAA bubble at some point before
Selection Monday. The Pilots, though, now have some work to do at home after
dropping a 4-1 decision to St. Mary’s. Portland starting pitcher Kyle Kraus
didn’t have a bad performance, but was overshadowed by top prospect Martin
Agosta, who struck out 12 and allowed just one run in eight innings.
Gonzaga (29-18) -- Speaking of teams that desperately need
something to go their way down the stretch, how about the Zags? Gonzaga
starting pitcher Tyler Olson allowed just three runs in 7 1/3 innings of work,
but that wasn’t enough in a 4-2 loss to Arizona State. ASU starting pitcher
Brady Rodgers struck out four and allowed two runs in eight innings.
Dallas Baptist (34-16) -- The Patriots have very little room
for error when it comes to making the NCAA postseason down the stretch. That’s
why DBU must respond accordingly after dropping a 4-1 decision to Creighton on
Friday. DBU starting pitcher Taylor Massey allowed three runs in five innings,
while CU starting pitcher Ty Blach, a premier arm, struck out five and allowed just
one run in a complete game.