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College | Story | 3/12/2011

27 takes: Looking back at Friday

Kendall Rogers        

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PREMIUM: In-depth look at UCLA and Georgia and top prospect Gerrit Cole

PREMIUM: In-depth look at Louisville and Pepperdine and top prospect Tony Zych

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Kent State pitcher Andrew Chafin: The Golden Flashes received yet another outstanding performance from the left-handed hurler. Chafin struck out six batters and allowed just four runs in seven shutout innings in a 2-0 victory over Coastal Carolina. Chafin is increasing his draft stock with every dominant performance.

Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen: There’s not a player in the country more impressive than the two-way star. Hultzen again was fantastic on the mound against Clemson on Friday, striking out 14 and allowing just five hits in 6 2/3 innings as the Cavaliers defeated their ACC foe 5-0. Hultzen is the leader for National Pitcher of the Year honors.

Florida State pitcher Sean Gilmartin: The Seminoles have repeatedly said Gilmartin is back to his freshman form. And it’s now easy to believe. The talented left-handed pitcher struck out 11 and allowed just a run on two hits in seven innings as the ‘Noles defeated Boston College on Friday. Getting a solid start on Friday is setting the tone for the weekend for the Seminoles.

Fresno State: Nebraska made a statement last weekend with a series win over UCLA, but was cooled off by the Bulldogs on Friday. Fresno starting pitcher Derek Benny didn’t exactly impress, but reliever Cody Kendall tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings as the Bulldogs captured an 8-5 victory. Fresno’s Kenny Wise led the way at the plate with a three-hit performance.

Florida Atlantic: The Sun Belt favorites have yet to impress this season and added another bad loss to their resume Friday with an 8-4 setback to Seton Hall. FAU starting pitcher Paul Davis put together a solid outing, but reliever Andy Mee allowed five runs in two innings in the losing cause. Seton Hall clinched the series win with the victory. FAU, meanwhile, heads back to the drawing board.

Georgia Tech’s Mark Pope: The Yellow Jackets’ two-headed monster of Pope and Jed Bradley continues to impress. Pope, the talented junior right-handed pitcher, had another great outing on Friday, striking out six and allowing just four hits in a complete game shutout. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Terrapins 1-0 in a hard-fought contest.

Baylor’s Logan Verrett: The Bears and Verrett had a night to remember on the way to a 7-0 victory over Louisiana Tech. Verrett had a career performance against the Bulldogs, striking out 14 and allowing just one hit in a complete game shutout. Verrett is another solid prospect that continues to increase his stock.

James Madison: The Dukes have had one of the nation’s better offenses this season, but took a step back Friday with a 4-3 setback to previously winless Hofstra. The Dukes, who have played a poor non-conference schedule, can’t afford too many bad losses if they want to make an NCAA postseason appearance.

Long Beach State’s Drew Gagnon: The Dirtbags continue to get excellent starts from the talented right-handed pitcher. Gagnon again was fantastic against Rice, striking out six and allowing just a run on six hits in eight innings as the Dirtbags upset the Owls with a 2-1 victory. It was a fantastic win for the Dirtbags.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks were expected to have a solid offense this season, but we’re not sure anyone expected them to be as good as they have been. Hot-hitting outfielder Kyle Robinson had a three-hit day as the Razorbacks captured an 11-6 victory over San Diego State to improve to 2-0 in the series.

Tulane: The Green Wave might be in rough shape when it comes to pitching the rest of the weekend with Randy LeBlanc and Robby Broach on the shelf, but Conrad Flynn did his job on Friday with nine strikeouts with just a run on five hits in seven innings allowed in a 6-5 triumph over Wichita State. A series win over the Shockers without LeBlanc and Broach would be huge.

Texas State: In a series that is huge for the Bobcats, right-handed pitcher Carson smith got the weekend started on a positive note. The hard-throwing Smith struck out 10 and allowed just a run on seven hits in seven innings in a 2-1 victory over the Houston Cougars. Smith improved to 2-1 and the Bobcats are an impressive 10-3.

UCLA’s Gerrit Cole: The talented right-handed pitcher is having an amazing campaign and continued his dominant ways for much of the Bruins’ loss to Georgia. Cole struck out 12 batters in just seven innings of work, but also allowed four runs, including two home runs, in the losing cause. Cole, though, topped out at 98 mph and untouchable for much of the game.

South Carolina’s Michael Roth: The Gamecocks couldn’t ask for more consistent starts from Roth. The talented left-handed pitcher was fantastic again on Friday against Cal State Bakersfield, striking out nine and allowing just a run on five hits in eight innings as the Gamecocks defeated the Roadrunners 5-1. Roth improved to 4-0 with the win.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils truly showed what they were made of against Auburn. Down 7-6 entering the top of the ninth inning, the Sun Devils seemed to be doomed. However, they scored two runs, including a game-winning RBI single from Zack MacPhee, to defeat the Tigers 8-7 in comeback fashion. Perhaps the victory will put the Sun Devils on a path of consistency.

LSU: We said before the weekend the key to this series were the Tigers’ freshman arms. Well, the Tigers passed their first test on Friday with freshman right-handed pitcher Kurt McCune tossing a gem in a 7-6 win over Cal State Fullerton McCune struck out four and allowed just a run on three hits in seven innings. LSU’s young arms continue to impress.

North Carolina’s Patrick Johnson: Johnson might not light up the radar gun like previous staff aces Matt Harvey and Alex White, but he’s a stud in his own right. The talented right-handed pitcher put together another fantastic start in a 7-1 triumph over Wake Forest. Johnson struck out nine and allowed just three hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings. Johnson improved to 3-0 with the victory.

Louisville: The Cardinals still have issues scoring runs, but pitching certainly isn’t a problem. The Cards got another fantastic start from sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch in a 4-2 win over Pepperdine. Koch was consistently 88-91 with his fastball and struck out seven and allowed just two runs on four hits in eight innings. UL is extremely consistent on the mound.

Miami’s Bryan Radziewski: Radziewski only is a freshman by school classification. The talented left-handed pitcher certainly pitches like a veteran. Radziewski struck out seven and allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings as the Hurricanes defeated Virginia Tech 3-1. The Hurricanes still can’t get in a groove at the plate, but at least their pitching staff continues to do a good job.

Mississippi’s Matt Crouse: The Rebels continue to get solid performances from left-handed pitcher Matt Crouse since his iffy start against Wright State to begin the season. The lefty held Lipscomb at bay, striking out nine and allowing just four hits in a complete game shutout and an 8-0 victory. Crouse now is 4-0 with the victory and has developed into a legitimate staff ace.

St. John’s: The Johnnies definitely are having a week to forget right now. They dropped contests to UNC Greensboro and North Carolina earlier this week, and things got worse Friday with a 3-2 setback to Gardner-Webb. St. John’s starting pitcher Kyle Hansen struck out 12 in seven innings, but the Johnnies still lost. The Johnnies have had issues establishing consistency.

Cal Poly: The Mustangs suddenly are red-hot as they continue their series against Loyola Marymount. CP starting pitcher Mason Radeke struck out four and allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings as the Mustangs captured an important 2-1 win over LMU and their fifth-straight victory. Finishing off a series win over the Lions would be a huge step forward for this team.

San Diego State: The Aztecs have played a tough schedule this season, but there’s no excuse to be 2-12. SDSU starting pitcher Ethan Miller had a tough outing against Arkansas, allowing seven runs in just two innings on the way to a disappointing 11-6 loss. The Aztecs desperately need to finish the weekend with at least one win over the Razorbacks. We’re not sure that happens at this point.

Georgia’s Alex Wood: With Gerrit Cole dealing, the Bulldogs needed an incredibly strong start from the talented left-handed pitcher. Wood, though, rose to the occasion in a big way. He struck out 11 and allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings on the way to a 6-2 victory over UCLA. The victory over the Bruins could’ve set the tone for a successful weekend.

San Diego: The Toreros have been struggling in the past week, but they finally tasted some success on Friday with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Connecticut. USD starting pitcher Paul Sewald allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings while relievers Paul Paez and Chris Jensen tossed up scoreless frames. Jensen, who previously has served as a starter, did a fantastic job in the relief role.

Utah: The Utes are ready to prove that last week’s success at the Houston College Classic absolutely was no fluke. Utah right-handed starting pitcher Zach Adams struck out seven and allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings as the Utes defeated Santa Clara 5-3. The surprising Utes finish the weekend against San Jose State, and with another game against the Broncos.

Oregon State’s Sam Gaviglio: The Beavers are quietly putting together a solid campaign and the talented junior right-handed pitcher is the ringleader. Gaviglio struck out five and allowed just three hits in eight shutout innings as the Beavers captured a 7-0 win over hard-hitting New Mexico State. The Beavers are 11-3 and becoming worthy of ranking consideration.

Missouri: The Tigers were expected to be down this season, but we’re not sure anyone expected them to struggle this much. Missouri had another bad day on the diamond in a 6-5 loss to LeMoyne. Sitting at 4-9 with Big 12 play on the horizon, the Tigers must find a way to turn the tide the rest of the weekend. Consistency has been a major issue with the Tigers.

Kendall Rogers is the managing editor of college baseball for Perfect Game USA and has covered the sport for over 10 seasons. He can be reached at kendall@perfectgame.org

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