TEAM OF THE DAY: LSU
The Tigers are playing such an impressive brand of baseball these days. Shortstop Aaron Nola went two for three with a double and three RBIs, as LSU defeated red-hot Kentucky 5-4 in an important SEC series opener. While Nola led the charge at the plate, LSU sophomore right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman put together another solid outing. He allowed four runs on 10 hits in seven innings of work, but also struck out 11 batters, only walking one in the game. With the win, the Tigers are now 32-7 overall, an outstanding 12-4 in the SEC.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Matthew Reckling, rhp, Rice
Few college baseball players have made more strides than Reckling this season. Reckling has always had very good overall stuff, but consistency had always been an issue -- that was until this spring. Reckling put together his sharpest outing of the year in a 2-0 win over East Carolina. The talented righty struck out 10 and allowed just one hit in a complete game performance. He overshadowed a good performance by ECU starter Kevin Brandt, who allowed just two runs on six hits in eight innings.
UPSET OF THE DAY: Boston College over N.C. State
Could N.C. State be working its way out of an NCAA Regional host site? It's certainly possible, especially if it loses another game this weekend. Usually reliable starting pitcher Ethan Ogburn had a rough night against the Eagles, allowing three runs in just 4 1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, the N.C. State bullpen also was unable to take care of business in a disappointing 11-10 loss to the Eagles. Shortstop Anthony Melchionda led the way offensively for the Eagles, finishing the contest with three hits.
Mississippi State (23-16)-- -- The Bulldogs have really struggled in SEC play, but finally have something to smile about after they clinched a series win over Tennessee with a 7-1 triumph. State starting pitcher Kendall Graveman was outstanding against the Volunteers, striking out eight (walking two) and allowing just one run on three hits in a complete game performance. Meanwhile, first baseman Wes Rea had two doubles and three RBIs in the game.
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game and can be reached at email@example.com