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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Roundup: Baylor marches on

Kendall Rogers        
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MORE: PG Top 50 rankings | Breaking down Texas A&M-Baylor GM2, plus prospects (4.21)

With Saturday's college baseball action in the books, here's our inside look back at the highlights and lowlights from around the country.


There's not a team in college baseball playing a better brand of baseball than the Bears. Baylor extended its amazing sport-leading winning streak to 23 games on Saturday night, earning an impressive 1-0 win over rival Texas A&M in a thrilling contest to clinch yet another Big 12 series win. With the victory, the Bears are now 34-7 overall, 17-0 in the Big 12. BU starting pitcher Trent Blank only topped out at 86 in the contest, but pounded the strike zone with a steady diet of good off speed pitches, particularly a stout changeup. Blank struck out six and allowed just four hits in eight scoreless innings. Meanwhile, closer Max Garner once again shined, tossing a scoreless frame to end the game.

PLAYER OF THE DAY: Jace Fry, lhp, Oregon State

The Beavers were ecstatic when freshman left-handed pitcher Jace Fry decided to attend college, especially after he raised his stock with a strong summer after high school senior season. UCLA found out why there was so much excitement surrounding his game on Saturday in a 3-0 loss to the Beavers. Fry was tremendous against the Bruins, striking out six and allowing just six hits in a complete game performance. He threw 107 pitches in the game, 65 of them for strikes.

UPSET OF THE DAY: Washington State over Oregon

Oregon has been one of the hottest teams in college baseball the past few weeks, so losing a series at home to Washington State certainly would be a surprise. Well, that hasn't happened just yet, but the Cougars shocked the Ducks on Saturday with an 8-3 triumph. Cougars starting pitcher Joe Pistorese struck out six and allowed three runs on four hits in five innings of work, while the bullpen did a terrific job. The Cougars didn't do much offensively against UO starting pitcher Jake Reed, but certainly stepped up against the Ducks bullpen.


Florida State (32-7) -- I really couldn't be more impressed with the Seminoles, especially their pitching staff, right now. FSU freshman right-handed pitcher Mike Compton struck out three batters and allowed just one run on five hits in five innings of work, as the Seminoles defeated Miami 6-1 to clinch a series victory. Meanwhile, the FSU bullpen, led by Luke Weaver and Robert Benincasa was outstanding, while John Holland led the way at the plate with three hits and two RBIs.

Rice (30-11) -- We said a couple of weeks ago the key to the season for the Owls was right-handed pitcher Austin Kubitza returning to normal. Well, the righty is back to normal and the Owls clinched a series win over C-USA foe East Carolina on Saturday with a 6-2 triumph. Kubitza struck out four batters and allowed just two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. Meanwhile, catcher Craig Manuel had the big blast of the game with a walk-off grand slam. Rice is playing very well.

Georgia Tech (24-17) -- The Yellow Jackets entered this week in dire need of a big ACC series win, especially a road series win over a highly ranked and high RPI team. Well, the Jackets dropped the second game of the UNC series, but bounced back in the finale and second game of the doubleheader, 4-2 to capture a monumental series victory. Tech starting pitcher Cole Pitts allowed just two runs on eight hits in five innings of work, while reliever Alex Cruz stepped up, allowing just two hits in four innings.

Stanford (24-10) -- The Cardinal has exited the national seed discussion the past couple of weeks, but might just reenter it this weekend, especially if they can finish off a series sweep of Arizona State. Stanford starting pitcher Brett Mooneyham struck out two and allowed three runs on five hits in six innings of work, as the Cardinal defeated the Sun Devils 8-7. Meanwhile, what a weekend third baseman Alex Blandino is putting together. He went 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs.

Mississippi (27-12) -- The Rebels are having a huge weekend. After struggling in SEC play the past couple of weeks, they're finally back on track. They finished off a series-opening win in a resumed game to start Saturday before beating Arkansas 1-0 in the second game of the doubleheader. Rebels right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers struck out four and allowed just two hits in 6 1/3 shutout innings of work. Meanwhile, R.J. Hively tossed 2 2/3 shutout innings.


Gonzaga (26-11) -- The Bulldogs entered the weekend in strong contention for an NCAA Regional host site, but have taken a step back. They dropped the series opener to San Francisco before losing the second game, 2-1. USF starting pitcher Alex Balog allowed just a run on six hits in 8 1/3 innings, while the Zags wasted a solid start by Marco Gonzales, who allowed just two runs in eight innings.

Tulane (26-13) -- The Green Wave entered the weekend in dire need of a huge series win to bolster their postseason resume. However, they've only taken a step back so far this weekend with a series-loss clinching setback to UCF on Saturday, 8-7. The Green Wave was stymied by UCF starting pitcher Chris Matulis, while they didn't get off to a good start on the mound. The Green Wave needs to find a way to end the series with a positive statement.

Auburn (21-18) -- It wasn't too long ago the Tigers were in great shape to reach the NCAA postseason. Now, they hope to find a way to just reach the SEC tournament. The Tigers dropped to 7-10 in the SEC with a 5-3 setback to South Carolina. Auburn starting pitcher Jon Luke Jacobs allowed four runs on three hits in six innings of work, while Cory Luckie and Slade Smith threw well in relief. The series finale against the Gamecocks suddenly is an important one.

Texas Tech (22-19) -- This definitely will go down as one of the most disappointing campaigns in Texas Tech history unless something changes before the end of the regular season. The Red Raiders have a wealth of potential, but just can't seem to put things together. Starting pitcher Duke von Schamann allowed just two runs on six hits in seven innings of work, but Tech was unable to do anything offensively against Oklahoma State pitchers Vince Wheeland and Chase Stevens in a disappointing loss.

Tennessee (22-18) -- The Volunteers have been much better than expected this season with new coach Dave Serrano in charge. But their postseason chances took a huge hit over the weekend with a tough series sweep at Mississippi State. Tennessee starting pitcher Nick Williams put together a solid start, and relievers Drew Steckenrider and Nick Blount threw well, but the Vols still dropped a 3-2 decision in the series finale. State used seven pitchers to record the huge victory.


* In the first game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon, Army starting pitcher Logan Lee tossed a no-hitter in seven innings, as the Black Knights captured a dominant 8-0 win over Bucknell. Lee struck out seven and allowed just one walk. Additionally, Lee tossed the first no-hitter for Army since 1957.

* Penn State hasn't had a ton to cheer about this season, but keep an eye on right-handed pitcher Steven Hill, who tossed a no-hitter in a 2-0 road win over Iowa. Hill struck out three batters and allowed just one walk in the complete game performance. 

Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game and can be reached at

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