MIDWEEK TAKES: Looking back at Tuesday (5/10)
5/10/2011 11:23:36 PM
The midweek action around the country is beginning to dwindle and several teams are looking to make lasting impressions with solid midweek wins. Tuesday's midweek action once again was exciting and here's an inside look at some results that stood out.
* Oregon State didn't have the biggest headlined midweek matchup with Portland on the docket. But the return of catcher and top draft prospect Andrew Susac was a huge story line. Susac has missed the past few weeks with a hamate bone injury, but returned to the lineup as designated hitter in a 13-3 win over the Pilots. Susac actually had a solid night, finishing the contest with a two-RBI single to lead the Beavers. While Susac was solid at the plate, starting pitcher James Nygren struck out four and allowed just a run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings. Oregon State slugger Ryan Dunn hit for the second cycle in program history in the contest. The Beavers improved to an impressive 35-11 with the triumph.
* Florida State is aiming for a national seed and Stetson is aiming for an NCAA Regional host. And in a battle between two solid teams, the Seminoles were the most impressive on Tuesday with a dominating 13-1 triumph. Florida State starting pitcher Robert Benincasa allowed just a run on five hits in five innings, while relievers Brian Busch, Tyler Everett and Mack Waugh did solid jobs. Offensively, five Seminoles ended the night with two hits. While the win was huge for the Seminoles, it certainly was a mild setback for the Hatters.
* TCU is aiming for an NCAA Regional host, and the Horned Frogs put together a solid performance in a 7-6 home triumph over Baylor. TCU starting pitcher Nick Frey allowed two runs in four innings, while Trent Appleby and Stefan Crichton did just OK in relief. Offensively, DH Kyle Von Tungeln went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBIs, while shortstop Taylor Featherston went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. The Bears got a solid performance from first baseman Max Muncy, who went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs.
* Texas A&M has struggled in midweek action the past few weeks, but it made those setbacks look like ancient history on Tuesday with a dominant 15-5 win over Texas State. Aggies first baseman Jacob House went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a run scored and four RBIs, while outfielder Krey Bratsen and shortstop Kenny Jackson each added three hits. It's also worth noting Gregg Alcazar went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Pitching-wise, starter Derrick Hadley didn't escape the third inning, but reliever Brandon Parrent tossed three scoreless frames to lead the way on the mound. While it's a nice win for the Aggies, the Bobcats' struggles against elite teams continues.
* Rice is playing a solid brand of baseball at the right time. The Owls extended their impressive winning streak to five games on Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. Rice starting pitcher Tyler Duffey allowed just a run in three innings, while relievers Jeremy Fant, Abe Gonzales and Tony Cingrani teamed up to solidify the victory. The Ragin' Cajuns wasted a solid start from Ryland Parker, who struck out five and allowed just a run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. Rice's winning ways should continue this weekend with a series against Memphis.
* UCLA is certainly still in solid shape to make a NCAA Regional, while Long Beach State needs an incredibly strong finish to have any chance of reaching the NCAA postseason. Well, the Dirtbags at least took a small step forward Tuesday with a 4-2 win over the Bruins. LBSU starting pitcher Shawn Stuart struck out four and allowed just two hits in five shutout innings. The Dirtbags bullpen did the rest of the wrong. UCLA starting pitcher Zack Weiss didn't have a solid performance, but the bullpen with Brandon Lodge and Mitchell Beacom leading the way was able to hold the Dirtbags scoreless the final four frames. Jeff McNeil, Mike Marjama and Matt Duffy each had two hits for LBSU.
* Could Cal State Fullerton seriously be in danger of losing an NCAA Regional host if it doesn't finish the season on an incredibly high note? It's certainly possible. The Titans were silenced by Pepperdine 7-0 on Tuesday, and fell a couple of spots in the latest RPI. Pepperdine starting pitcher Alex Najera struck out five and allowed just five hits in 6 1/3 shutout innings, while reliever Ricky Villarreal allowed just two hits in 2 2/3 shutout innings. Offensively, Waves slugger Eric Karch recorded three hits, while Sam Meyer, Nate Johnson and David DiPaola each had two hits in the game. Pepperdine has had a tough campaign, but this was a solid triumph.
* UPSET WATCH: If you're keeping track of upsets, Samford defeated Auburn 9-8, BYU defeated Gonzaga 4-3, Oral Roberts defeated Wichita State 8-7, Western Michigan defeated Michigan State 10-4, Longwood defeated James Madison 6-4.