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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Roundup: Power in Virginia

Kendall Rogers        
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Team of the day

San Diego State
The Aztecs couldn't ask for a better start to the 2012 campaign. They started things on the right foot Friday with a dominant win over San Diego. SDSU followed that win up with a businesslike triumph, a 4-2 decision, to clinch a statement-like series victory. SDSU starting pitcher, junior right-hander Phillip Walby, allowed just one run in 3 1/3 innings with a fastball up to 93, while relievers Ethan Miller and Bubba Derby closed things out. The Aztecs, whose struggles over the years are well documented, should be on cloud nine.

Player of the day

3B Eric Jagielo, Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish had a day to remember with the hard-hitting third baseman leading the charge. Jagielo had a highly productive pair of games against Florida Gulf Coast and Ohio State at the plate. The rising prospect went a combined 5-for-9 with two homers, three runs scored and seven RBIs to pace the Notre Dame offense. With the two wins, the Irish now are 3-0 on the young season.

Upset of the day

William & Mary 11, Clemson 2
The Tigers certainly have some holes to fill early this season, but we didn't expect this type of early-season result, an 11-2 setback to the Tribe. William & Mary second baseman Ryan Lindemuth went 4-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and a walk on the way to the huge victory. Meanwhile, Tribe starting pitcher John Farrell struck out four and allowed just two runs on nine hits in seven innings of work. For Clemson, starting pitcher and right-hander Patrick Andrews struggled, allowing four runs on five hits in three innings of work.

Teams feeling good

Virginia: Cavaliers starting pitcher Scott Silverstein put together a solid performance, but this impressive 13-9 series-clinching victory over East Carolina has more to do with the offense. Sophomore outfielder Derek Fisher hit a home run and finished the game 3-for-6 with two runs and five RBIs, while outfielder Joe McCarthy also had a huge afternoon, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two walks. With the series finale cancelled, UVa. moves on to next week at 2-0.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are making a strong case to be ranked in next week's Perfect Game Top 25. VT improved its record to 3-0 on the young season with a dominant 8-1 win over Kent State. Hokies starting pitcher Brad Markey, a junior college transfer, had an impressive debut, striking out five and allowing just one run on eight hits in seven innings. He threw 82 pitches, 66 for strikes. Meanwhile, third baseman Chad Pinder and outfielder Tyler Horan each were fantastic offensively with a combined five RBIs.

Southern Mississippi: It has been a tough week for the Golden Eagles with the tornado that hit Hattiesburg, Miss., early this week. However, this baseball team is giving folks something to smile about with a series clinching 5-3 win over Missouri. USM starting pitcher Jake Drehoff struck out five and allowed just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings, while outfielder Mason Robbins had a huge night, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs.

Mississippi: The Rebels had their 2012 season ended by TCU in College Station, Texas, last June, but really rose to the occasion this weekend by clinching a series win with Saturday's 5-2 triumph. Ole Miss starting pitcher Mike Mayers was just OK, while the bullpen flourished led by Aaron Greenwood and Brett Huber. Greenwood struck out four and allowed just one hit in 3 1/3 innings, while Huber struck out two in a scoreless inning of work.

San Diego State: What a statement the Aztecs are making this weekend. SDSU has been overshadowed by nearby San Diego for several seasons, but perhaps things finally will change this spring. The Aztecs clinched a very surprising series win over USD with Saturday's 4-2 win. SDSU starting pitcher Philip Walby allowed just a run in 3 1/3 innings, with some command issues, while Ethan Miller and Bubba Derby were excellent out of the bullpen. Miller allowed just a run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings, while Derby tossed a scoreless frame. Offensively, both outfielder Greg Allen and second baseman Tim Zier were very impressive, with Allen, the leadoff hitter, collecting three hits.

Stanford: After looking rather pedestrian in the series opener against the Owls, the Cardinal bounced back in impressive fashion Saturday with a 3-2 victory to even the series at 1-1. Stanford starting pitcher John Hochstatter only topped out at 88-89 with his fastball, but allowed just two runs on four hits in five innings. Freshman right-handed reliever Daniel Starwalt allowed just three hits in 3 1/3 innings, while Garrett Hughes finished out the contest.

Oregon State: In what best could be described as a full-team effort, the Beavers captured an impressive 9-2 victory over Gonzaga. Oregon State third baseman Jerad Casper had a double and two RBIs in the game, while the offense as a whole took care of business, dinging highly touted Gonzaga left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales for six runs on eight hits in six innings of work. Meanwhile, OSU starting pitcher Matt Boyd struck out four and allowed just two runs on six hits in seven innings, while reliever Scott Schultz tossed two scoreless frames.

Cal State Fullerton: The Titans are off to a fantastic start to the season this weekend, capturing a pair of victories on Saturday with a 10-5 and 9-0 win over Nebraska. In the second game of the double header, Titans freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Garza was very solid, topping out at 96 with great overall stuff. Garza struck out six, walked one and allowed just two hits in six shutout.

UC Irvine: There's been a lot of talk about Fullerton, and rightfully so, but the Anteaters also have begun the season on a very positive note, clinching a series win over Baylor with a 5-0 win over Baylor. Irvine starting pitcher Matt Whitehouse, who had a mid 80s fastball, struck out six batters and allowed just two hits (no runs) in 6 1/3 innings of work, while reliever Kyle Hooper also performed at a high level with 2 2/3 shutout frames.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have been one of the more surprising teams so far this weekend. The Pokes appeared to be in serious trouble on Saturday, down eight runs entering the eighth inning. However, the offense erupted for four in the eighth, four in the ninth, to force extra innings. OSU won the contest 15-14 over New Mexico in 13 innings to clinch a huge series victory. OSU sophomore Zach Fish had a big night at the plate with three hits, a home run and four RBIs.

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish started the 2013 campaign with a win on Friday, and added to their resume with a pair of wins on Saturday. The Irish took care of a solid Florida Gulf Coast team, 6-5, in the opening game of the day, while they trounced Midwest rival Ohio State 13-3 in the nightcap. Notre Dame third baseman Eric Jagielo had a monster day at the plate with seven RBIs.

Teams wanting a do-over

Texas: The Longhorns narrowly escaped a late-inning loss to Sacramento State on Friday, and luck wasn't in their favor in a 5-3 loss in Game 2. UT starting pitcher Nathan Thornhill struggle out of the gate, allowing four runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, Sacramento State starting pitcher Brennan Leitao was very solid, striking out four UT sluggers and allowing just two runs on six hits in seven innings of work.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes are expected to have a solid starting rotation this spring, but it has been a tough weekend thus far. OSU starting pitcher Brian King was rough in his season debut, striking out just two batters, while allowing five runs on 10 hits in five innings in a tough 13-3 loss to Notre Dame. Reliever Jake Post also struggled, allowing seven runs (four earned) in just 1 1/3 innings.

Purdue: The Boilermakers might've started the season on a positive note on Friday, but were blown away on Saturday in a 20-2 loss to South Florida. Purdue starting pitcher Jordan Minch struggled mightily, allowing eight runs (two earned) on three hits in just 2/3 innings of work to start the game. The Boilers never were able to rebound from the slow start.

UCF: After beginning the season with a 7-1 win on Friday, the Knights put together a disappointing performance on Saturday in a 7-4 loss to Siena. Knights starting pitcher Eric Skoglund couldn't get in a groove against the Saints, striking out just one batter, while allowing six runs (three earned) on four hits in four innings of work.

Dallas Baptist: The Patriots were hoping to open their new ballpark in grand fashion this weekend, but have suffered a pair of tough losses to Creighton thus far. DBU dropped a 15-6 decision to the Bluejays on Saturday. DBU starting pitcher Jake Johansen, a high-level MLB draft prospect, had a tough day on the mound, allowing seven runs (five earned) on six hits in five innings of work.

Stony Brook: After getting washed out on Friday, the Seawolves played a doubleheader against Florida International on Saturday. It didn't turn out too well, as the Seawolves dropped both ends of the DH, getting outscored 13-4 by the hard-hitting Panthers. SBU's lone bright spot was starting pitcher Frankie Vanderka in Game 2. Vanderka only struck out two batters, but also only allowed four hits (no runs) in six innings of work.

Individual performances to remember

RHP Taylor Black, Texas State: Tulane put together quite an impressive performance on Opening Day, but Black was able to take control on Saturday. Black was fantastic for the Bobcats in a 2-0 triumph. The sophomore righty struck out seven, walked two and allowed just four hits in 7 2/3 innings of work.

RHP Trevor Megill, Loyola Marymount: The Lions dropped a heartbreaker to the Utes on Opening Day, but Megill made sure the same result didn't occur on Saturday. the talented sophomore right-hander was up to 90 with his fastball and struck out 11, while allowing just two hits in seven shutout frames. Megill threw 102 pitches, 67 for strikes.

3B Chad Pinder, Virginia Tech: There might not be a player in college baseball off to a hotter start than the talented infielder. Pinder had yet another solid performance against Kent State in an easy win. Pinder went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. The Hokies, very much with Pinder's help, are 3-0 on the young season.

RHP Justin Garza, Cal State Fullerton: Titans head coach Rick Vanderhook raved about Garza throughout fall workouts for a reason. The young, but very mature freshman, was sensational in his debut against Nebraska. The righty struck out six, walked one and allowed just two hits in six shutout frames. Garza flashed a big-time fastball up to 96.

RHP Ryan Eades, LSU: It was difficult to emulate the performance put together by sophomore right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola on Friday, but Eades did his best impression with a stud performance in a 5-1 win over Maryland. Eades struck out six, walked one and allowed just six hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Eades, who was 92-93 with his fastball with good secondary stuff, threw 89 pitches, 55 for strikes.

LHP Matt Whitehouse, UC Irvine: The Anteaters have pitched well this weekend with Andrew Thurman, and now Matt Whitehouse, leading the charge. Whitehouse, a crafty left-hander, was fantastic in a win over Baylor. Whitehouse struck out six, walked one and allowed just two hits in 6 1/3 shutout innings. He threw 84 pitches, 49 for strikes.

RHP Trey Masek, Texas Tech: The Red Raiders continue to be in the midst of a rebuilding process, but have a constant in the talented junior right-handed pitcher. Masek was terrific in a win over BYU. He was up to 94 with his fastball, striking out eight, walking five and allowing just two hits in six shutout frames. Masek threw 90 pitches, 50 for strikes.

LHP Matt Imhof, Cal Poly: The pitching matchup might not have had much fanfare on the national stage, but it was an absolute dandy between Imhof and San Francisco rising prospect pitcher Alex Balog. Imhof outlasted Balog with a terrific performance. He struck out four, walked one and allowed just five hits in eight shutout frames.

OF James Ramsay, South Florida: The Bulls have one of the nation's elite outfielders in Ramsay. The athletic and versatile outfielder showed his strength at the plate in a rout of Purdue. Ramsay went 2-for-6 with a home run, three runs scored and four RBIs. He also induced a walk to help the Bulls.

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