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Roundup: Happy day for Irish
Saturday, February 23, 2013
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Team of the day
Florida Gulf Coast
The Eagles had a good opening weekend with a pair of wins over St. John's, but they've taken a significant step forward this weekend with a series win over in-state power Florida. FGCU clinched that series win Saturday afternoon with an impressive 8-3 victory. Eagles pitchers Brandon Bixler and RJ Brown were solid in the contest, while offensively, outfielder Michael Suchy led the way with two hits, one a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. The Eagles now sit at 4-1.
Player of the day
Carlos Rodon, LHP, So., N.C. State
Rodon had a tough first start against Appalachian State last weekend, but bounced back in a big way in a 5-0 win over La Salle. He teamed up with reliever Karl Keglovits to throw a no-hitter against the Explorers. As for Rodon, he struck out 14 batters and walked just one in seven shutout innings of work. He also threw 97 pitches, 64 for strikes.
Upset of the day
BYU 9, LSU 4
The Cougars have played a solid brand of baseball in Baton Rouge, La., this weekend, and they recorded a huge win Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium, a 9-4 triumph over LSU. BYU second baseman Brennon Anderson had a huge night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run and five RBIs, while outfielder Kelton Caldwell finished the contest with three hits a run scored and an RBI. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Mark Anderson had a serviceable start -- though lacking command -- allowing three runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.
Teams feeling good
Tennessee: The Volunteers suffered a tough loss to Arizona State in the series opener on Friday, but responded in impressive fashion on Saturday with an 11-2 triumph. Tennessee starting pitcher Aaron Quillen only worked three innings, allowing two runs in the process. Meanwhile, the UT bullpen was phenomenal with Drake Owenby and Eric Martin leading the way. Owenby struck out two and allowed just two hits in four shutout frames, while Martin struck out two and allowed just a hit in two innings of work.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish didn't have an offensive onslaught against Tulane Saturday afternoon, but still took care of business in a 3-1 series clinching victory. Irish starting pitcher Adam Norton put together a solid start, striking out five and allowing just one run on seven hits in five innings of work, while the bullpen rose to the occasion. The Irish, who now are 4-1, will now get a serious look at the PG Top 25 rankings.
Oregon State: What a terrific brand of baseball the Beavers are playing against San Diego State this weekend. Freshman right-handed pitcher Andrew Moore was outstanding in a 5-0 win over the Aztecs. Moore, who sat 88-92 with his fastball and showed a good changeup and curveball, struck out two batters and allowed just two hits in 8 1/3 innings of work to lead the Beavers. Outfielder Dylan Davis led OSU with two hits and an RBI.
Baylor: The Bears have struggled out of the gate early this season, but played very well in Saturday’s 5-0 win over UCLA. BU junior right-handed pitcher Dillon Newman twirled a gem against the Bruins, only striking out two batters, but also only allowing four hits in five shutout innings of work. Meanwhile, talented reliever Ryan Smith also was fantastic, striking out three and allowing just one hit in 3 1/3 shutout innings.
Missouri State: The Bears are the favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title for a reason. MSU collected yet another nice win on Saturday with a 5-1 triumph over ranked Southern Mississippi. Bears junior right-handed pitcher Nick Petree led the charge on the mound, striking out seven batters, walking four and allowing just one run on five hits in seven innings of work. Meanwhile, third baseman Eric Cheray collected two hits, two runs scored and an RBI.
Middle Tennessee State: The Blue Raiders had an afternoon to remember at the Auburn tournament. Starting pitcher Hunter Adkins shined in the first game, a 2-1 win over the Tigers. Adkins struck out five, walked three and allowed just one run and three hits in eight innings of work. Meanwhile, in the nightcap, a MTSU starting pitcher Johnathan Frebis struck out five, walked two and allowed five hits in six innings of work.
Alabama: What a series the Crimson Tide is having against Florida Atlantic thus far this weekend. Alabama clinched the series Saturday night in a 4-2 triumph over the Owls. Tide starting pitcher, sophomore left-hander Jon Keller, struck out five, walked three and allowed just one run (none earned) and four hits in six innings of work. Reliever Ray Castillo also pitched at a high level, while freshman leadoff hitter Georgie Salem collected three hits and an RBI.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes have played a very competitive brand of baseball the past couple of weeks, and that finally paid some dividends Saturday afternoon with a huge win over hard-hitting New Mexico. Iowa veteran left-handed pitcher Matt Demody struck out two batters and allowed just two runs on five hits in six innings of work, while left-handed reliever Taylor Kaufman was terrific out of the pen, striking out three and allowing just four hits in four shutout frames.
Teams wanting a do-over
Texas Tech: There’s no question head coach Tim Tadlock has a rebuilding process on his hands in Lubbock, Texas. The Red Raiders dropped the opening game of the UCF tournament to Troy before getting blasted 13-8 on Saturday. Red Raiders starting pitcher Corey Taylor allowed 10 runs on 10 hits in four innings of work.
Stony Brook: Starting pitcher Brandon McNitt put together a solid 2012 campaign for the Seawolves, but is probably their No. 3 pitcher at this point in the season. McNitt had a tough start in an 11-2 loss to top-ranked North Carolina. McNitt walked two batters and allowed seven runs on seven hits in three innings of work in the setback.
Stetson: It’s safe to say the Hatters are having a tough weekend on the diamond. They dropped the series opener to Maine, and also lost Saturday in ugly fashion, 16-2. Stetson starting pitcher Cameron Griffin had a tough night on the mound, striking out just three batters and allowing eight runs on seven hits in three innings of work.
Akron: The Zips would just appreciate scoring a couple of runs at some point this weekend. There’s no question this program has some serious rebuilding to do, but they still haven’t scored a run against Louisville after dropping Saturday’s game 8-0. UL starting pitcher Jeff Thompson was solid against the Zips, striking out five and allowing no runs and just four hits in six innings.
Washington: The Huskies wouldn’t mind setting the reset button to the start of the season. UW dropped three of four on the road to UC Davis last weekend. This weekend, the Huskies are off to an 0-2 start after dropping a pair of contests to Lamar by scores of 3-1 and 6-3, respectively.
Best individual performances
Kenny Oakley, RHP, Fr., UNLV: The Rebels couldn’t have gotten a more impressive start from the true freshman. Oakley was fabulous in the 4-0 win over Gonzaga, striking out seven batters and allowing just two hits in seven shutout innings of work.
Jordan Stephens, RHP, So, Rice: The Owls’ starting rotation has performed at a high level so far this season, with Stephens shining in Saturday’s win over Hawaii. Stephens struck out 10 batters and allowed just one run on five hits in a complete game performance, as the Owls defeated the Rainbows 3-1.
Buck Farmer, RHP, Sr., Georgia Tech: You knew Farmer would be motivated like no other this season after getting drafted in the teens in last summer’s MLB draft. Farmer continues to pitch at an extremely high level, helping the Yellow Jackets earn a 3-2 win over St. John’s. Farmer struck out seven batters and allowed just four hits in seven shutout innings of work.
Austin Pruitt, RHP, Sr., Houston: The Cougars are looking for a huge road series win over Texas State this weekend, and couldn’t have gotten a better performance from the senior right-handed pitcher. Pruitt struck out 10 batters, walked two and allowed just one hit in a complete game performance.
Duncan McAlpine, C, Sr., Dallas Baptist: The Patriots had a tough 0-3 weekend against Creighton last week, but are taking their frustrations out on Mississippi Valley State this weekend, earning a 24-3 victory Saturday afternoon. The senior catcher had an afternoon to remember by hitting for the cycle, scoring three runs and knocking in four.
Tommy Thorpe, LHP, So., Oregon: The Ducks dropped the series opener to Loyola Marymount on Friday, but bounced back in impressive fashion Saturday afternoon with a 6-1 victory. The talented left-handed pitcher struck out six batters, walked two and allowed just four hits in seven shutout innings of work.
Mike Mayers, RHP, Jr., Mississippi: The Rebels clinched another series win on Saturday with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Rhode Island. Mayers put together another solid start, striking out four batters, walking three and allowing just two hits in six shutout frames. He threw 99 pitches, 60 for strikes. Honorable mention in this contest goes to URI starting pitcher Sean Furney, who struck out seven in eight shutout frames.
Daniel Mengden, RHP, So., Texas A&M: It was double your pleasure for Mengden and the Aggies. Mengden pitched a gem for the Aggies, sitting 89-92 with his fastball, striking out eight batters and allowing just a run and five hits in seven innings of work. He also took care of business offensively, going 2-for-4 with a two-RBI triple.
Steve Wilkerson, 2B, Jr., Clemson: Wilkerson is one of the nation’s more talented infield prospect this spring for a reason. The talented second baseman had a huge day at the plate in a twinbill against Wright State. He recorded two hits and two RBIS in the first game of the doubleheader, while going 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI in a 6-0 triumph in the nightcap.
Justin Garza, RHP, Fr., Cal State Fullerton: Garza jumped on the scene in a big way opening weekend with a strong start, and he only increased his stock in the college baseball world on Saturday with a stellar performance against TCU. Garza struck out five batters and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in 7 1/3 innings of work. He sat 91-93 with his fastball, sometimes touching 94, while he also utilized a very good low 80s changeup and a mid 80s cutter.
Matt Imhoff, LHP, So., Cal Poly: The Mustangs are off to an outstanding 6-0 start this season with Imhof and others leading the charge. The talented lefty struck out nine batters and allowed just three hits in six innings of work in a hard-fought 1-0 win over Seattle.
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