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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Friday roundup: Nasty stings

Kendall Rogers        
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Team of the day


The Tigers didn't show any signs of a hangover after dropping last weekend's series to rival South Carolina. Clemson catcher Garrett Boulware went 4-for-5 with two homers, three runs scored and five RBIs, as the Tigers got past North Carolina State 10-5. Most impressive is the fact the Tigers touched up outstanding Wolfpack left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon for eight runs on eight hits in just 4 1/3 innings of work. While Boulware led the offense, starting pitcher Daniel Gossett allowed just two earned runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings of work.

Upset of the day

UNLV over Stanford
Perhaps coach Tim Chambers has the Rebels ready to take a huge step forward this season. The Rebels hit the road Friday to face right-handed pitcher Mark Appel and Stanford. UNLV captured a huge 3-2 victory despite Appel punching out 15 Rebels hitters. UNLV starting pitcher Erick Fedde allowed just two runs on six hits in six innings of work, while Brady Zuniga closed out the contest, striking out four batters and allowed just one hit in three scoreless innings of work.

Player of the Day

Tom Windle, LHP, Jr., Minnesota

What a night it was for Windle and the Gophers. The talented left-handed pitcher put himself in the Minnesota history books forever with a brilliant no-hit performance in a 3-0 win over Western Illinois. Windle, a rising MLB draft prospect, struck out eight batters and walked just one in a complete game no-hit performance. For the season, Windle now has a 1.96 ERA in 23 innings of work. He also has struck out 19 and walked seven, while teams are hitting him at a .188 clip.

Teams feeling good

Texas A&M: The Aggies went 1-2 last weekend down in Houston, but started this weekend's series against Cal State Fullerton in style with a 6-1 triumph. A&M starting pitcher Kyle Martin struck out four and allowed just one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings of work, while reliever Jason Jester was terrific out of the pen, striking out four and allowed no hits in 2 1/3 innings. Offensively, first baseman Cole Lankford went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs.

Louisville: With Big East play on the horizon, the Cardinals know just how important this weekend's Alabama series might just be. That's why the Cards played a complete game in a 4-3 extra-inning win over the Crimson Tide. UL starting pitcher Chad Green struck out five batters and allowed just three runs on five hits in seven shutout innings, while the bullpen with Anthony Kidston, Nick Burdi and Kyle McGrath leading the charge, also performed at a high level.

Elon: The Phoenix made a statement earlier this week by thrashing North Carolina State's pitching staff. Well, the Phoenix didn't pound the baseball, but used strong pitching by Dylan Clark and Andrew MacDonald to get the job done in a 3-2 extra-inning win over College of Charleston. Clark struck out five batters and allowed just two runs (one earned) on 10 hits in 8 1/3 innings of work, while MacDonald allowed just one hit in 1 2/3 scoreless frames.

Mercer: It's safe to say the Bears are closing in on a Top 25 ranking as they just continue to take care of business. The Bears captured an impressive 9-2 road win over Indiana State on Friday. First baseman Austin Barrett had two hits and two RBIs in the win, while hard-hitting Nick Backlund had three hits and Logan Gaines hit a home run and finished the night with four RBIs.

UNC Wilmington: The Seahawks picked up an impressive win in CAA play Friday night with a 9-3 triumph over VCU. UNCW starting pitcher Mat Batts struck out four batters and allowed just one run on nine hits in eight innings of work, while third baseman Ryan LaGrange led the charge at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and three RBIs. 

Georgia Tech: The Jackets really couldn't be playing much better right now. Tech starting pitcher Buck Farmer struck out seven batters and allowed just one run on two hits in six innings of work, while outfielder Daniel Palka and catcher Zane Evans had huge days at the plate, each hitting a home run, and combining for four hits and eight RBIs.

Cal Poly: The Mustangs showed Friday they can win games in a variety of ways. While CP is known more for its pitching staff than anything else, the offense rose to the occasion early in the day with a 13-10 win over Kansas State, paced by Brian Mundell's pair of homers. Then in the nightcap, starting pitcher Matt Imhof put together yet another solid start in a 6-2 victory. CP is now 13-1 overall.

Indiana: The Hoosiers are proudly carrying the Big Ten banner to SEC country this weekend. IU starting pitcher Joey DeNato struck out five batters and allowed just one run on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings of work, as they captured a 4-1 win over Florida. The Hoosiers got a solid offensive performance from designated hitter Scott Donley, who went 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Georgia: The Bulldogs have taken some heat for their slow start this season, and rightfully so. But it's also important to give the Bulldogs credit when it's deserved. Georgia captured an impressive 12-0 win over Liberty to start the weekend. Freshman starting pitcher Sean McLaughlin struck out seven and allowed just four hits in six shutout innings of work, while shortstop Kyle Farmer had three hits and four RBIs, and catcher Zack Bowers had a home run and two RBIs.

Vanderbilt: What a year junior left-handed pitcher Kevin Ziomek is having for the Commodores. The outstanding left-hander was terrific Friday night as the 'Dores captured a 4-1 win over Oregon. Ziomek struck out 13 batters and allowed just one run on two hits in a complete game performance.

UCLA: The Bruins and Notre Dame were entangled in an epic contest for 9 1/2 innings until Eric Filia smacked a walk-off RBI single to win the game 2-1. UCLA's pitching staff, though, once again took center stage. Bruins starting pitcher Adam Plutko struck out four and allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings, while relievers Zack Weiss and David Berg each tossed scoreless frames.

Teams wanting a do-over

East Carolina: The Pirates just can't seem to find any consistency. ECU starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman struck out four and allowed just three runs on six hits in eight innings of work, but Monmouth's pitching staff outdid him in a 4-3 setback. MU starting pitcher Andrew McGee allowed just three runs on four hits in seven innings of work, while Adam Yunginger was huge out of the bullpen, striking out two and allowed just one hit in three scoreless frames.

BYU: The Cougars made a statement earlier this season by upsetting LSU. Now, they've done it again, beating UC Irvine 3-1 at home. BYU starting pitcher Adam Miller, who was up into the mid 90s against LSU, allowed just a run on six hits in six innings of work, while relievers Matt Milke and James Lengal each pitched at a high level. Meanwhile, first baseman Brock Whitney led the Cougars at the plate with two hits and a run scored.

Wichita State: Thanks to some inclement weather the past few weeks, the Shockers really have been unable to get into a groove on the diamond. That much was evident again Friday night in a tough 7-5 loss to Texas-Pan American. WSU starting pitcher Kris Gardner didn't have a good night on the bump, allowing five runs on seven hits in five innings of work.

Texas State: The Bobcats hit the road to face a very good Oregon State club, and faltered in the series opener. TSU starting pitcher Kyle Finnegan, a hard-throwing rising prospect, had a tough night on the mound, allowing nine runs on 10 hits in five innings of work. Meanwhile, the bullpen didn't fair much better in the difficult 16-4 loss to the Beavers.

Miami (Fla.): The Hurricanes certainly have been impressive in the midweek, but once again, they're in some tough shape on the weekend. UM starting pitcher Chris Diaz allowed four runs on 11 hits in six innings of work, as the Hurricanes dropped a tough 4-2 decision to Duke at home. The 'Canes struggled at the plate, unable to get much going off Duke ace Trent Swart, who allowed just two runs on seven hits in six innings.

Oklahoma: The Sooners are at the Dodgertown Classic this weekend, but began the tournament in negative fashion with a 5-3 loss to USC. Sooners left-handed pitcher Dillon Overton struck out four, walked two and allowed five runs on a whopping 13 hits in eight innings of work, while OU's offense was unable to do much against Bobby Wheatley and the USC pitching staff.

San Diego: What a disappointing Friday night it was for the Toreros. Starting pitcher Michael Wagner struck out seven batters and allowed just one run on two hits in five innings of work, but the bullpen was unable to take care of business in a 6-3 loss to Saint Louis. USD's offense also was tamed by SLU starting pitcher Alex Aleman, who tossed seven strong frames.

Best individual performances

Jaron Long, RHP, Jr., Ohio State: The Bucks had a great night with Long on the mound against Harvard. Long was terrific against the Crimson, striking out three and allowing just three hits in a complete game shutout. He threw 87 pitches, 60 for strikes.

A.J. Reed, UT, So., Kentucky: Reed might've gone 0-for-4 at the plate, but he certainly helped himself by putting together an excellent pitching performance in a win over Michigan State. Reed struck out five, walked two and allowed just five hits in seven shutout frames.

Chris Anderson, RHP, Jr., Jacksonville: Anderson continues to rise as an MLB draft prospect. The talented right-handed pitcher struck out 10 batters and allowed just four hits in eight shutout frames as the Dolphins captured a 4-0 win over UCF. He threw 108 pitches, 74 for strikes.

Brandon Leibrandt, LHP, So., Florida State: Leibrandt carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Boston College, but was unable to hold it. Fortunately for him, the Seminoles still captured a controlling 4-0 win over Boston College. The talented lefty struck out three batters and allowed just one hit in eight innings. He threw 105 pitches, 62 for strikes.

Kent Emanuel, LHP, Jr., North Carolina: Emanuel willed his way against Rice last weekend, but that wasn't needed Friday night in an outstanding performance in a 4-0 win over Wake Forest. Emanuel was efficient and struck out seven, walking three and allowing just five hits in a complete game shutout. He threw 131 pitches, 89 for strikes.

Nick Petree, RHP, Jr., Missouri State: The Bears continue to perform at a very high level, and to no surprise, Petree is shining once again. Petree struck out eight batters, walked two and allowed just five hits in seven innings of work. 

Peter Kelich, RHP, Jr., Bryant: The Bulldogs have gotten off to a very slow start this season, but Kelich helped them get their first win Friday night, a 7-0 win over Wright State. Kelich, the Preseason NEC Pitcher of the Year, struck out six batters, walked two and allowed just one hit in seven shutout frames.

Austin Kubitza, RHP, Jr., Rice: Kubitza looks like he had the velocity he had against Stanford a few weeks ago back in a 7-2 win at FIU. The talented right-handed pitcher struck out 11 and allowed just two runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.

Phil Maton, RHP, Jr., Louisiana Tech: It seems like every time we open a box score on a Friday night, Maton has a good start. The talented sophomore right-hander was on his game again this week in a 5-0 win over Nebraska. Maton struck out eight batters, walked two and allowed just four hits in seven shutout frames.

Parker French, RHP, So., Texas: The Longhorns got into a groove offensively, but the story of the night in a win over UC Santa Barbara was the start by right-hander Parker French. French set the tone for the night with his 89-92 fastball that he was able to locate around the plate. French struck out just three batters, but also allowed just one run on five hits in eight innings.

Mike Couch, RHP, Sr., Santa Clara: The Broncs picked up an impressive 5-0 road win over San Jose State with Couch leading the charge. The veteran righty struck out five batters, walked just one and allowed 10 hits in a complete game shutout.

Jeff McKenzie, LHP, Sr., Cal State Bakersfield: What a night the talented senior put together for the Roadrunners in an 11-0 win over UC Davis. McKenzie struck out four batters and allowed just eight hits in a complete game shutout.

DJ Peterson, 3B, Jr., New Mexico: Peterson certainly helped spark the Lobos Friday night in an 11-9 win over UC Riverside. Peters went 4-for-5 with a double, home run a run scored and two RBIs.

National notes

* Mississippi State starting pitcher Jacob Lindgren left Friday's contest against Central Arkansas in the first inning after he took a line drive off his knee. Lindgren left the game and was on crutches in the dugout the rest of the contest. According to the MSU coaching staff, Lindgren will be reevaluated in the morning with an MRI, and a full diagnosis will be determined at that point.

* Texas A&M junior right-handed pitcher Jason Jester is an impressive prospect and with his stocky frame, silenced Cal State Fullerton the final 2 1/3 innings on Friday. Jester, sources say, was 92-93 with his fastball with wipeout stuff, as evidenced by his four strikes. That velocity is normal for Jester, who was only up to 91 in cold temperatures last weekend in Houston.

* Texas junior right-handed pitcher and closer Corey Knebel was terrific against UC Santa Barbara on Friday. Knebel, who has funky arm action, but still is an excellent first/second-round type of prospect, was consistently 93-95 with his fastball, while he also mixed in a wipeout 82 mph slider that resulted in a strikeout.

* Mississippi State sophomore right-handed pitcher Jonathan Holder was outstanding in relief against Central Arkansas. Holder, who notched his sixth save of the season, struck out three batters and allowed a hit in his inning of work. Holder was consistently 93-94 with his fastball, though, the MSU coaching staff confirmed that the scoreboard gun did read a 97. Again, take that last reading with a sort of caution.

* UC Santa Barbara junior shortstop Brandon Trinkwon didn't have a great first day of the series against Texas, at least from an offensive standpoint. Trinkwon went 0-for-3 with a strikeout against the Longhorns, but while he struggled at the plate, his defensive skills were obvious. He showed a good arm, instincts and very good range on several plays. I'm intrigued to see Trinkwon again Sunday afternoon.

* It was a big night in Minneapolis, Minn., as Golden Gophers left-handed pitcher Tom Windle tossed a no-hitter. However, it also was an important day for coach John Anderson, who notched his 1,100th career victory in the triumph over Ryan Brownlee's Western Illinois Leathernecks.

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