Helped its case
Oregon: I felt very good about the Ducks' national seed chances entering the weekend, and thought they needed one win over rival Oregon State and no huge hiccup the final weekend of the regular season to get one of the top eight national seeds. Well, left-handed starting pitcher Tommy Thorpe started the weekend in solid fashion, striking out seven and allowing just two hits in eight shutout frames in a 3-0 win over the Beavers.
BYU: The Cougars entered the weekend on the good side of the NCAA bubble, but might just be working their way into the field. BYU captured a 6-3 win over St. Mary's on Friday to clinch another WCC series. Adam Law and Brock Whitney each had solid nights at the plate with two hits and two RBIs each. From an RPI standpoint, BYU is up to 61 with a 12-15 mark vs. RPI Top 100 clubs.
Troy: The Trojans are in terrific shape for an at-large bid, and only solidified their position Friday night in an 8-3 road win over South Alabama. Danny Collins led the way at the plate with a 5-for-5 day, along with three runs scored and three RBIs, while third baseman Logan Pierce had a pair of doubles, a home run and two RBIs. From a resume standpoint, the Trojans have an RPI of 35 with an 11-8 record vs. RPI Top 100.
Sam Houston State: Though we think the Bearkats will win the Southland Conference automatic bid to begin with, they actually could be making sure they also get an at-large bid to the NCAA postseason. SHSU clinched the SLC regular season title with a 4-0 win over Central Arkansas. Left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson struck out 10, walked no one and allowed four hits in a complete game shutout. SHSU is up to 44 in the latest RPI with a 14-9 mark vs. RPI Top 100.
Texas A&M: The Aggies could be making a last-second push for an NCAA at-large bid this weekend on the road against Tennessee. The Aggies would still need to win a few games in the SEC tournament, but improved to 30-24 overall, 13-15 in the SEC with an 8-4 win over the Volunteers. Mikey Reynolds and Cole Lankford each had two hits and two RBIs, as the Aggies improved to 40 in the RPI with an 8-20 mark vs. RPI Top 100.
Alabama: With the Crimson Tide heading to Vanderbilt this weekend, I wasn't expecting a series win. However, I felt like one win over the Commodores would really position the Tide well to lock up an at-large berth in the NCAA postseason. Well, the Tide got that win on Saturday, a 5-4 decision over the Commodores. 'Bama starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings of work, while at the plate, shortstop Mikey White had three hits and an RBI. Alabama's RPI is up to 12-18 mark vs. RPI Top 100 clubs.
Illinois State: Could you see a surprise at-large bid in the way of the Redbirds on Selection Monday? Illinois State captured at least a share of the Missouri Valley regular season crown on Friday in a 2-0 road win over Southern Illinois. ISU starting pitcher Dan Savas put together another solid start, striking out eight and allowing just four hits in a complete game shutout. Illinois State is up to 78 in the latest RPI with a 1-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50.
Houston: The Cougars are making things rather interesting from a postseason standpoint this weekend against Southern Mississippi, clinching an important series win with a 7-5 triumph on Friday. UH starting pitcher Austin Pruitt struck out four, walked just one and allowed three runs on nine hits in seven innings of work. With the win, UH is up to 54 in the RPI with a 5-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50 clubs.
South Florida: The Bulls desperately need to take care of business against Rutgers this weekend to stay in the mix for an NCAA postseason at-large bid. Well, they're having a good weekend, clinching a series win over the Scarlet Knights with a 6-5 triumph. USF outfielder Jimmy Falla had two hits, one a double with two RBIs in the victory. USF has an RPI of 53 with a 2-10 mark vs. RPI Top 100.
Kansas State: The Wildcats have put themselves in very good position to host an NCAA Regional after taking the first game of their home series against Oklahoma. K-State won the opener on Thursday 6-5 with Jon Davis going 2-for-4 with a double, along with Mitch Meyer's hit and two-RBI performance. With the win, the Wildcats are up to 19 in the latest RPI with a 6-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50. Another win this weekend and K-State seems golden.
Illinois: The Fighting Illini appear to be getting hot at exactly the right time, beating Minnesota 4-3 to take an important road series. Illini leadoff hitter Thomas Lindauer went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Jordan Parr and David Kerian each chipped in two-hit performances. With the win over the Golden Gophers, the Illini is now 29 in the latest RPI with a 3-6 mark vs. RPI Top 50.
Miami (Fla.): I'm not sure the Hurricanes were truly in danger of losing their spot in the NCAA postseason, but if there were any reservation, they are now gone after Miami clinched a series win over Georgia Tech with an 11-7 triumph. Miami third baseman David Thompson went 2-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored and five RBIs, while catcher Garrett Kennedy went 2-for-2. The 'Canes have a very respectable overall resume, sitting 17 in the RPI with a 14-12 mark vs. RPI Top 50 clubs. That's a pretty solid resume.
Hurt its case
Memphis: The Tigers needed to avoid any hiccups this weekend against Southeast Missouri State to feel good about their NCAA at-large chances entering the Conference USA tournament next week. However, despite a solid start from left-handed pitcher Erik Schoenrock (5 IP, 7H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K), the Tigers dropped a 3-2 decision to the Redhawks. With the loss, Memphis' RPI slid to 91.
Kentucky: It's safe to say the Wildcats are likely done from an NCAA postseason standpoint without winning the SEC tournament next week. UK starting pitcher Kyle Cody allowed three runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings of work in a 4-3 road loss to Missouri to drop the series. With the loss, the Wildcats, who still have a high RPI, are now 10-19 in the SEC.
Florida: The Gators are still OK from a postseason standpoint, but things could get interesting if they lose one more to Georgia this weekend. UF just couldn't get anything going against Georgia starting pitcher Sean McLaughlin, who struck out four and allowed one run on four hits in seven innings of work. UF still is safe with an RPI of 23 with 15 wins vs. RPI Top 50.
Arizona State: At least in our projections, the Sun Devils barely held on to one of the 16 NCAA Regional host sites in our latest piece. Well, another loss to the Wildcats this weekend and the Devils might not be looking so good. ASU dropped a 10-7 decision to the Wildcats with right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams allowing 10 runs on 12 hits in six innings of work.
Pittsburgh: Could the Panthers actually drop out of the NCAA at-large mix this weekend against Louisville? It's possible, especially if Pitt can't win the series finale after getting pummeled 12-4 on Friday. Pitt starting pitcher Matt Wotherspoon really struggled in his start, allowing 10 runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, while UL starting pitcher Jeff Thompson struck out seven and allowed three runs in seven innings. Pitt's RPI is sitting at 65 with a 3-2 mark vs. RPI Top 50 clubs.
Michigan State: Speaking of must-win situations, how about the Spartans, who dropped a 9-0 decision to Penn State on Friday? MSU starting pitcher David Garner had a tough performance, allowing six runs on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings of work, while the offense was unable to do anything against PSU starting pitcher Greg Welsh, who allowed just five hits in a complete game shutout. MSU has an RPI of 41 with an 8-6 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams.
* Florida State right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver struck out eight, walked two and allowed just one run on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings of work in a 2-1 win over Clemson to even that series at 1-1. Meanwhile, at the plate, designated hitter Marcus Davis had a hit and two RBIs, while reliever Robby Coles earned his ninth save of the season by tossing a scoreless ninth inning.
* North Carolina was on the brink of losing a tough home series to Virginia, but scored six runs in the eighth inning to take control and win 8-5. UNC's Mike Zolk had a double, triple and four RBIs to lead the offensive charge, while Michael Russell went 4-for-4 and Landon Lassiter went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
* Indiana evened up the crucial Big Ten series against Ohio State with a 7-2 win on Friday, scoring all seven runs the final two innings of play. IU starting pitcher Aaron Slegers allowed just two runs on nine hits in 8 1/3 innings of work, while at the plate, shortstop Michael Basil had a double and two RBIs. Ohio State wasted a strong start from Brian King, who tossed 6 2/3 shutout frames. Saturday's series finale will be for the Big Ten title.
* Cal State Fullerton freshman right-handed pitcher Thomas Eshelman put together yet another solid performance in a 5-2 win over UC Irvine. Eshelman struck out seven, didn't walk anyone and allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings. The Titans scored all five runs in the seventh inning, with catcher Chad Wallach getting things going with an RBI double.
* South Carolina left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery struck out four, walked one and allowed three runs on nine hits in seven innings, while relievers Adam Westmoreland and Tyler Webb rose to the occasion in a 5-3 win over Mississippi State to even that series at 1-1. At the plate, catcher Grayson Greiner went 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs.