College : : Story
Sunday, April 03, 2011

27 takes: Commodores in control

Kendall Rogers        

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PREMIUM SCOOP: In-depth report on Oregon and Arizona State

PREMIUM ANALYSIS: RPI analysis resulting from Saturday's action


Stanford: Coaches often say they learn the most about their teams after facing adversity. Well, if that’s the case with the Cardinal, coach Mark Marquess must be thrilled. The Cardinal blew an 8-0 lead against Washington State in the series finale on Friday, but bounced back Saturday with a dominant 22-3 victory. Stanford starting pitcher Jordan Pries put together a solid start, but the offense was the headliner with second baseman Lonnie Kauppila collecting six hits in the contest. Brian Ragira and Austin Wilson each hit home runs in the game. Ragira finished the night with seven RBIs while Wilson tallied four RBIs.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores continue to prove they have no problem playing with a huge target on their chests. Vandy starting pitcher Grayson Garvin allowed just two runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings as the ‘Dores defeated Auburn 11-2 to clinch another important road series win. Offensively, the top of the Vandy lineup once again was productive with Tony Kemp and Anthony Gomez each tallying two hits and two RBIs and Aaron Westlake hitting a home run and collecting a pair of hits.

Wichita State: The Shockers played a decent brand of baseball last weekend against Oregon, but took a step back this weekend with a tough series loss to Hawaii. The Rainbows captured the series finale from the Shockers 12-3. Wichita State starting pitcher Charlie Lowell, who usually is solid, had a tough night on the mound. He allowed seven runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Though it was a bad night for the Shockers, it’s worth mentioning that Hawaii top prospect and second baseman Kolten Wong collected four hits and four RBIs.

Arizona State: The pitching staff might have been the big question mark entering the season, but the Sun Devils have exceeded expectations in that area so far this season. ASU captured another important series win with a 3-1 victory over Oregon on Saturday. ASU starting pitcher Kramer Champlin struck out seven and allowed just a run on five hits in eight innings. Offensively, No. 1 and 2 hitters Johnny Ruettiger and Zack MacPhee each finished the contest with a pair of hits.

Oklahoma: The Sooners haven’t played the best brand of baseball the past two weeks, and apparently are taking their frustrations out on Texas Tech this weekend. OU used another solid offensive performance to beat Texas Tech 11-1 and clinch a much-needed series victory. OU starting pitcher Bobby Shore struck out six batters in 3 2/3 innings, while the bullpen did the rest of the work. Offensively, Cameron Seitzer, Casey Johnson and Cody Reine each finished the game with two hits.

North Carolina: Any doubts anyone had about the Tar Heels entering the weekend likely are gone after they clinched a series win over Clemson with an impressive 9-5 victory. UNC starting pitcher Kent Emanuel struck out six and allowed just two runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings, while third baseman Colin Moran led the way at the plate with two hits and three RBIs. The Tar Heels definitely took a big step forward this weekend.

Alabama: Yeah, there’s no reason to clear your glasses of possible fog. Yes, the Crimson Tide is 7-1 in SEC play after beating Arkansas again on Saturday, this time 5-3 to clinch an important series victory. Crimson Tide starting pitcher Adam Morgan struck out seven and allowed just two runs on six hits in eight innings. Offensively, the bottom of Bama’s lineup did a solid job with Brandt Hendricks and Brett Booth leading the charge.

Fresno State: It’s safe to say the Bulldogs are on a big-time roll. They clinched another series win on Saturday, this time over San Francisco, with a solid 4-3 victory. Fresno starting pitcher Justin Haley allowed just two runs on five hits in five innings while reliever Josh Poytress allowed just a run on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. At the plate, Danny Muno and Austin Wynns each finished the game with three hits. We continue to be impressed with Fresno’s consistency.

Duke: The Blue Devils aren’t having a good season, but tasted success on Saturday in a surprising 4-3 win over red-hot Georgia Tech. Duke starting pitcher Dennis O’Grady struck out six and allowed just three runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings while relievers Ben Grisz and Marcus Stroman rose to the occasion. For the Jackets, stud left-handed pitcher and top prospect Jed Bradley struck out eight and allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings.

Mississippi: Just a night after dropping a tough series opening bout to LSU, the Rebels showed what they are made of in a 16-3 thrashing of the Tigers. Ole Miss starting pitcher David Goforth struck out and allowed just two runs on seven hits in six innings, but the offense was the story of the game with 16 runs on 18 hits. Alex Yarbrough recorded three hits, a home run and three RBIs, while Tanner Mathis had four hits, Mile Hamblin added three hits and Matt Smith tallied two hits and scored three runs. The Rebels really need to win the series finale in Baton Rouge.

Southern Mississippi: The Golden Eagles appear to be the best team in the State of Mississippi. After earning a solid series opening win against UCF on Friday, they continued their winning ways on Saturday with a series clinching 13-2 win over the Knights. USM starting pitcher Geoffrey Thomas continues to throw great, striking out five and allowing just two runs on six hits in eight innings, while the offense was led by designated hitter Marc Bourgeois, who went a perfect 5-for-5 with a triple and a home run. The Eagles couldn’t have asked for a better weekend thus far.

Stetson: The Hatters avoided disaster this weekend. They dropped the series opener to South Carolina-Upstate on Friday, but responded in a big way on Saturday with a doubleheader sweep of the Spartans by scores of 9-2 and 10-4. Though the Hatters finished the weekend on a positive note, they didn’t have a great week as a result of a midweek loss to UCF.

Virginia: Consistency seems to be the name of the game for the Cavaliers. They dominated in-state rival Virginia Tech in the series opener before crushing the Hokies again Saturday with a 9-3 victory. Cavaliers starting pitcher Tyler Wilson struck out 10 and allowed just five hits in seven shutout innings, while outfielder David Coleman was the man of the hour at the plate. He went 4-for-5 with a double, home run, two runs scored and five RBIs. The Cavaliers continue to impress.

Minnesota: The Golden Gophers started the weekend on a positive note with a victory over Purdue on Friday, and continued their winning ways on Saturday with a doubleheader split with the Boilermakers, clinching an important series win. The Gophers won the series finale 4-1 behind some solid pitching. Minnesota starting pitcher Austin Lubinsky allowed just a run in 4 2/3 innings while relievers Billy Soule and Scott Matyas took care of business the rest of the way. Don’t be surprised if the Gophers again win the Big Ten regular season later this spring.

Oklahoma State: You can go ahead and call it a statement weekend for the Cowboys. The Cowboys clinched a huge road series win over Nebraska on Saturday with a 10-0 triumph. OSU starting pitcher Brad Propst struck out five and allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings, while reliever Blake Barnes tossed two scoreless frames. OSU, though, had an even better day at the plate with second baseman Davis Duren going 4-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. Big weekend so far for OSU.

Connecticut: The Huskies were a huge disappointment in non-conference play, but have started Big East action on an incredibly high note. The Huskies clinched a series win over St. John’s on Saturday with a doubleheader sweep by scores of 9-1 and 6-5. Huskies starting pitcher and top prospect Matt Barnes had the most impressive day. The talented right-handed pitcher struck out seven and allowed just a run on three hits in 8 2/3 innings in Game 1.

Houston: The Cougars still have much work to do and will need plenty of help to reach the postseason in Todd Whitting’s first season, but reaching the goal isn’t out of the equation with the Cougars sitting at .500 after Saturday’s 5-2 win over Tulane. UH starting pitcher Jordan Lewis allowed just two runs on nine hits in 7 1/3 innings, while Dakota Dill tossed 1 2/3 shutout innings in the winning cause. While the Cougars recorded a nice road series win, the Green Wave has things to figure out.

East Carolina: The Pirates have been one of the more consistent teams this season, but suddenly have some questions to answer. The Pirates dropped the opener to UAB on Friday and lost again on Saturday, 5-3. ECU starting pitcher Mike Wright allowed five runs in six innings, while UAB starting pitcher Ryan Woolley allowed just two runs on four hits in five innings. The UAB bullpen also did a great job with Ben Bullard and Ryan Nance leading the way. Perhaps the Blazers are turning the corner?

Florida Atlantic: It only was a few days ago things looked promising for the Owls. However, they head back to the drawing board after suffering a 6-2 setback to Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday. FAU starting pitcher Paul Davis didn’t give his team much of a chance after allowing five runs on seven hits in just three innings. ULL, meanwhile, got solid pitching performances from starter Joe Zimmermann and reliever Caleb Kellogg. FAU needs to find a way to win the series finale.

Kansas State: The Wildcats have had the tough chore of facing Lone Start State foes Baylor, Texas and Texas A&M to begin Big 12 play. Now, after losing another game to the Aggies on Saturday, this time 4-3, the Wildcats are a dismal 1-7 in the league. K-State starting pitcher Matt Applegate did an adequate job against the Aggies, while the offense could muster little against the A&M pitching staff, led by top 2012 pitching prospect Michael Wacha. K-State is just ready to get the weekend over with.

Georgia: There’s not a better team in the country with a losing record than the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs made a statement last weekend with a series win over LSU. Now, the Bulldogs took another step forward with a 4-3 win over previously red-hot Mississippi State to clinch an important SEC series win. Georgia starting pitcher Michael Palazzone had a great day on the mound, allowing just two earned runs on six hits in 8 2/3 innings. Georgia is playing a good brand of baseball.

South Carolina: It was business as usual for the red-hot Gamecocks against Kentucky on Saturday. Gamecocks starting pitcher Colby Holmes struck out four and allowed just two runs on seven hits in five innings as his team earned a 4-3 victory and the series win over the Wildcats. South Carolina stud reliever Matt Price finished the contest with two perfect innings of work. Offensively, Adrian Morales and Brady Thomas led the Gamecocks with three hits each.

Oregon State: After getting crushed by Arizona on Friday, we knew we’d find out a lot about the Beavers’ composure on Saturday. Well, OSU passed a tough test with an important 10-4 victory over the Wildcats. OSU starting pitcher and solid prospect Josh Osich allowed just three runs on seven hits in seven innings while shortstop Ryan Dunn had a huge night at the plate with a home run, three hits, two runs scored and three RBIs. OSU’s win sets up a huge series finale for both clubs.

Georgia State: Greg Frady’s Panthers appeared to be in fantastic shape entering CAA play a couple of weeks ago with a great record. However, things simply haven’t gone their way in conference, at least so far. The Panthers struggled in a 5-4 loss to Delaware. The loss clinched a series loss to the Blue Hens. GSU is in trouble in conference play with just a 4-4 league mark. GSU already was coming off a tough series loss to Virginia Commonwealth last weekend.

Coastal Carolina: We said earlier this week the Chanticleers were viewing the Liberty series as a way to right their ship. Well, the ship might just be righted as the Chants clinched a series win over the Flames with a 5-4 triumph on Saturday. CCU starting pitcher Joe Birmingham was lifted in the first inning after allowing two runs, but reliever Matt Rein was fantastic, striking out four and allowing just five hits in six shutout innings in the winning cause. The Chants are responding nicely this weekend.

Baylor: The Bears suddenly are in trouble in Big 12 play. They entered the weekend with high hopes, but are reeling after losing to Kansas again on Saturday 4-3 to drop the road series. Kansas starting pitcher Tanner Poppe put together a solid start, allowing just two earned runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings while reliever Frank Duncan tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings. For the Bears, starter Josh Turley allowed three runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. With the loss, the Bears now are 16-12 with a 3-5 mark in league action.

Maryland: Imagine losing 40-straight games to someone. OK, Maryland doesn’t have to imagine it. The Terrapins had lost 40-straight contests to Florida State entering Saturday’s bout. However, the Terps ended the streak with an impressive 5-0 triumph. Terps starting pitcher David Carroll struck out seven and allowed just three hits in 7 1/3 shutout innings, while Charlie White, Alfred Rodriguez, Alex Ramsay and Jake Stinnett each collected two hits. A series win over FSU with a triumph on Sunday would be huge for this program.

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

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