College : : Story
Monday, February 18, 2013

Roundup: Already in flight

Kendall Rogers        
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Team of the day

What a weekend of performances the Rebels put together against TCU. Ole Miss won a pair of thrilling contests to begin the series before sweeping the series with Sunday's 5-2 triumph over the Horned Frogs. Ole Miss starting pitcher Chris Ellis struck out three and allowed just one run on two hits in four innings of work, while the bullpen took care of business with Tanner Bailey tossing 1 2/3 shutout frames to end the game. Also worth noting, catcher Stuart Turner smacked a grand slam in the first inning and finished the contest with two hits.

Player of the day

RHP John Simms, Rice

With freshman right-handed pitcher Kevin McCanna on the shelf because of a mild injury, the Owls looked to expected closer John Simms to provide a punch as a starter in the series finale against Stanford. Simms certainly didn't disappoint in the win, carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning and allowing just one hit in 7 1/3 innings of work. Simms topped out at 91 and still was touching 90 at least until the sixth inning. He threw 116 pitches in the game, 69 for strikes.

Upset of the day

Western Illinois 7, Arkansas 5
The Leathernecks were very pleased with the addition of new coach Ryan Brownlee for a reason. Brownlee's first career head coaching win came Sunday afternoon in a 7-5 triumph over highly-ranked Arkansas. WIU starting pitcher Mason Pingel struck out five and allowed three runs in five innings, but it was the bullpen, led by Aaron Michel and Brian Loconsole, that took care of business. Michel allowed just two hits in an inning of work, while Loconsole closed things out with 1 2/3 scoreless frames.

Teams feeling good

Creighton: The Bluejays put together three solid performance over the weekend and finished off a series sweep of Dallas Baptist with a 3-1 triumph on Sunday. CU starting pitcher Matt Warren allowed just a run on three hits in four innings, while the bullpen also did a solid job with Taylor Elman and Mark Winkelman stepping up. Winkelman struck out three batters and allowed just four hits in 4 2/3 innings of work.

Rice: It definitely was a statement weekend for the Owls. Right-handed pitcher John Simms put together a memorable start for the Owls, while reliever Zech Lemond, who again was up to 93-94 with his fastball, struck out two batters and didn't allow a hit in 1 2/3 innings of work. Offensively, much improved third baseman Shane Hoelscher went a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBIs.

Florida International: The Panthers entered the season with high hopes, and it's easy to see why when you look at how well they played against Stony Brook over the weekend. FIU earned an impressive series sweep, outscoring the Seawolves 14-4 in the three-game set. FIU defeated SBU 1-0 in the series finale. Starting pitcher Mike Franco struck out four and allowed just one hit in 2 2/3 innings of work, while Alex Seibold, Mitchell Davis and Michael Gomez each threw well out of the bullpen.

UC Irvine: It's safe to say the Anteaters made a bold statement against Baylor over the weekend. The 'Eaters won the first two games of the series, and captured a series sweep over the Bears with a 15-3 triumph in the finale. Third baseman Taylor Sparks went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, while outfielder Dominique Taylor went 3-for-4 with five RBIs. The Anteaters outscored Baylor 26-7 in three contests.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels dealt with some weather issues over the weekend, but still managed to pull off a 2-0 series sweep over Seton Hall. UNC was outstanding in the series finale against the Pirates, taking a 17-2 decision. Landon Lassiter went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, while talented freshman Skye Bolt went 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs. On the mound, UNC starting pitcher Benton Moss struck out seven and allowed just one run on two hits in five innings of work.

Mercer: What an outstanding weekend the Bears put together. Mercer went a perfect 3-0 over the weekend, finishing things off with a 5-4 win over a good Notre Dame club. Mercer reliever Dimitri Kourtis led the way on the mound with 2 2/3 shutout frames to end the game, while at the plate, third baseman Chesny Young went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. 

Pittsburgh: The series between the Panthers and Wichita State kind of flew under the radar much of the weekend, but Pitt made a huge statement on Sunday by sweeping the road series with a dominant 11-3 triumph. Pittsburgh starting pitcher Rhys Aldenhoven put together a solid start, striking out three batters and allowing just two runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. At the plate, first baseman Eric Hess went 2-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and four RBIs, while outfielder Casey Roche hit his second home run of the weekend and ended the contest with two hits and two RBIs.

Teams wanting a do-over

Georgia: The Bulldogs had hoped to start the season on a positive note, but that didn't happen in a tough series loss to Georgia Southern. The Bulldogs dropped the series finale 11-2 on Sunday. UGa. starting pitcher Luke Crumley had a tough afternoon on the mound, striking out just two batters and allowing seven runs on seven hits in two innings of work.

San Diego: So much for the Toreros being ranked high, at least for now. USD had a very tough weekend against heated rival San Diego State. The Toreros dropped all three games of the series, losing the finale 5-3. USD starting pitcher Max MacNabb struck out six in the finale, but also allowed five runs on six hits in five innings of work.

Stony Brook: The Seawolves entered the spotlight last season by reaching the College World Series. They had a tough time handling the spotlight opening weekend with an 0-3 slate against FIU. Stony Brook struggled mightily in the first game, while starting pitchers Frankie Vanderka and Daniel Zamora each performed very well in Games 2 and 3, respectively. SBU's offense scored just four runs the entire weekend.

Tennessee: With the Volunteers relying on many youngsters to rise to the occasion, it's no surprise they struggled opening weekend. UT went 1-3 against UNLV this past weekend, losing the series finale 3-2. Vols starting pitcher Aaron Quillen was a bright spot in the finale, allowing just one run on five hits in five innings of work. Furthermore, the silver lining for this UT club moving forward is that all three losses were by just one run.

San Francisco: Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine grabbed many of the Big West headlines before the season, but Cal Poly is a very good club. That much is for certain after the Mustangs swept the Dons on the road. Still, USF has to feel very disappointed to not win a game in its first series. USF starting pitcher Sheldon Lee allowed three runs on five hits in five innings of work, while reliever Christian Cecilio struggled in the series finale, allowing three runs on seven hits in two innings of work.

Individual performances to remember

1B Zack Powers, Florida: The Gators needed a big-time power boost from someone on Sunday, and Powers answered the call in impressive fashion. Powers went 2-for-3 with a pair of grand slams, two runs scored and nine RBIs. He also induced a walk in the contest.

OF/LHP Mason Robbins, Southern Mississippi: Robbins collected some important hits against Missouri over the weekend, but also stepped up in impressive fashion on the mound in Sunday's series finale. Robbins struck out two batters and allowed just one run on two hits in six innings of work. He threw 82 pitches, 46 for strikes.

OF Skye Bolt, North Carolina: The Tar Heels were ecstatic when Bolt decided to head to college. It's easy to see why at this point. Bolt had an outstanding showing in Sunday's series finale against Seton Hall, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs. 

LHP Grant Watson, UCLA: Watson certainly got plenty of help from his offense in a 14-1 trouncing of Minnesota, but still put together an impressive pitching performance. Watson struck out eight batters and allowed just two hits in six scoreless innings of work. He threw 86 pitches, 54 for strikes.

3B Taylor Sparks, UC Irvine: What an impressive weekend it was for the Anteaters and Sparks. They captured the series finale over Baylor 15-3 with Sparks and others leading the charge. The talented third baseman went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs scored and four RBIs.

C Elliot Stewart, Cal Poly: The Mustangs had a terrific weekend with a series sweep on the road over struggling San Francisco. CP finished the weekend with a 10-5 win over the Dons, with Stewart leading the charge at the plate. He went 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. He finished opening weekend with a .375 batting average.

OF Danny Collins, Troy: Collins had a phenomenal overall weekend at the plate for the Trojans, finishing things off in style on Sunday with a two-hit performance that included a triple. Collins is hitting .571 with two doubles, two triple, a home run and nine RBIs through the first four games of the season.

1B Clint Freeman: The hard-hitting first baseman couldn't have had a more impressive weekend for the Buccaneers. He finished off the Penn State series in absolute style, going 1-for-2 with another home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. For the weekend, Freeman batted .800 with a double, triple, three homers, five RBIs and seven runs scored. Not a bad way to start the season.

How the Perfect Game Top 25 fared ...

No. 1 North Carolina (2-0) -- Swept two-game series from Seton Hall

No. 2 Arkansas (2-1) -- Took two of three from Western Illinois

No. 3 Vanderbilt (2-1) -- Took two of three from Long Beach State

No. 4 Stanford (1-2) -- Lost two of three on the road to Rice

No. 5 LSU (3-0) -- Swept a three-game series over Maryland

No. 6 UCLA (2-1) -- Took two of three at home from Minnesota

No. 7 Florida (2-1) -- Took two of three at home from Duke

No. 8 Oregon State (3-0) -- Captured tournament wins over Utah Valley, Gonzaga, UC Riverside

No. 9 North Carolina State (0-1) -- Rain wreaked havoc after losing opener to Appalachian State

No. 10 Oregon (3-0) -- Won all three games against Hawaii over the weekend, with one game left in the series (Monday)

No. 11 South Carolina (2-1) -- Captured a home series win over gritty Liberty

No. 12 Georgia Tech (3-0) -- Swept a three-game home series from Akron

No. 13 Kentucky (2-0) -- Won a pair of games over UNC Asheville and Niagara

No. 14 Texas Christian (0-3) -- Lost all three games on the road to Ole Miss

No. 15 Louisville (2-1) -- Defeated South Florida, Purdue, lost to Indiana

No. 16 Mississippi State (4-0) -- Swept a home series from Portland

No. 17 Florida State (3-0) -- Swept a three-game home series from Rhode Island

No. 18 San Diego (0-3) -- Got swept at home by rival San Diego State

No. 19 Mississippi (3-0) -- Swept a huge home series over TCU

No. 20 Oklahoma (4-0) -- Swept a four-game home series over Hofstra

No. 21 Rice (2-1) -- Captured a home series win over Stanford

No. 22 Arizona (3-0) -- Swept a home series over Coppin State

No. 23 Cal State Fullerton (4-0) -- Defeated USC, Nebraska (twice), Cal State Bakersfield

No. 24 Texas (2-1) -- Captured a home series win over Sacramento State

No. 25 Arizona State (2-1) -- Won a three-game home series against Bethune-Cookman

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