Game 1: Texas 4, Houston 2 -- Box score
(UT leads series 1-0)
Player of the game: Nathan Thornhill, rhp, Texas
Roundup: After stifling rival Texas A&M to begin the Houston Regional last weekend, Thornhill was tremendous yet again in a win over the Cougars. Thornhill showed very good command of the strike zone, touched 91-92 on the radar gun and struck out three, while walking one and allowing just two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. Meanwhile, the Longhorns were led at the plate by a usual suspect in outfielder Mark Payton, who had three hits, including a two-run homer in the first inning, to lead the cause. For the Cougars, hard-throwing righthanded pitcher Jake Lemoine struggled against the Longhorns, allowing four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, while only striking out a pair of hitters. The top three hitters in UH's lineup went a combined 1-for-12 in the contest.
What this means: With the season on the line Saturday afternoon against the Longhorns, the Cougars will send righthanded pitcher Aaron Garza to the mound. Garza will sit 86-90 with his fastball and goes heavy with his slider. Meanwhile, the Longhorns are countering with hard-nosed Parker French, who tossed a gem in his last start last weekend against Rice. UT would advance to the College World Series with a victory over the Cougars.
Game 1: Louisville 5, Kennesaw State 3 -- Box score
(UL leads series 1-0)
Player of the game: Nick Solak, dh, Louisville
Roundup: Louisville talented freshman slugger Nick Solak broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning of Friday's contest with a two-RBI double on a 2-1 count, giving the Cardinals a 5-3 lead and the win with righthanded closer Nick Burdi finishing things out in the ninth inning with his typical 96-99 fastball and dominant slider. Solak finished the contest with doubles, three overall hits and three RBIs, while Grant Kay and Kyle Gibson each had multi-hit performances. On the mound, righty Kyle Funkhouser struck out seven but struggled with his command and allowed three runs on three hits in seven innings, along with five walks. The UL pitching staff did manage to hold Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost to an 0-for-3 performance.
What this means: With the victory over the Owls, the Cardinals are a win away from returning to the College World Series. The Cards will send Anthony Kidston to the bump Saturday afternoon, while Kennesaw State's hopes rest on the shoulders of its staff ace, Travis Bergen.
Game 1: Vanderbilt 11, Stanford 6 -- Box score
(VU leads series 1-0)
Player of the game: Bryan Reynolds, of, Vanderbilt
Roundup: Though the afternoon started out perfect for the Commodores, it ended with a little drama after Tim Corbin's club, who got up 10-0 after three innings, had their lead trimmed to 10-6 after six innings. With that said, the 'Dores calmed the storm and were led at the plate by freshman Bryan Reynolds, who went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Meanwhile, third baseman Xavier Turner had a pair of hits and an RBI. On the mound, highly touted righthanded pitcher Tyler Beede didn't have a good post-draft start. He was lifted after 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on five hits, while also walking four batters and only recording two strikeouts.
What this means: With the win over the Cardinal, the Commodores have a chance to avenge last year's NCAA Super Regional series loss to Louisville at home. The 'Dores will send righthanded pitcher Carson Fulmer to the mound, while the Cardinal will go with talented freshman pitcher Cal Quantrill, who has put together quite an impressive 2014 campaign.
Game 1: UC Irvine 8, Oklahoma State 4 -- Box score
(UCI leads series 1-0)
Player of the game: Taylor Sparks, 3b, UC Irvine
Roundup: The Anteaters hit the road last weekend to top national seed Oregon State and put on an offensive fundamentals clinic. They were up to the same tricks Friday night in a win over Oklahoma State. UC Irvine was relentless with its style of play, opting to implement some squeeze bunts, but generally just being very aggressive in its approach. Sparks had a huge night at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored, while Connor Spencer and Kris Paulino each finished the night with a pair of hits. On the mound, starting pitcher Elliot Surrey struck out five, walked two and allowed just two runs on five hits in seven innings, while for OSU, Jon Perrin allowed five runs runs -- three earned -- on five hits in five innings of work.
What this means: The Anteaters haven't been to the College World Series since 2007, but that could change Saturday with a win over the Cowboys. Irvine will give the ball to ace pitcher Andrew Morales, who's had a terrific campaign and was a second-round pick in the Major League Baseball draft to the St. Louis Cardinals.