College : : Story
Saturday, March 15, 2014

College roundup: Aces in action

Kendall Rogers        


Florida State

N.C. State left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon and Florida State right-hander Luke Weaver didn’t disappoint in a pitching matchup that was dubbed one of the season’s best. FSU, behind Weaver and some solid late-inning offensive production, bested the Wolfpack 6-1, but both Rodon and Weaver did some nice things in their respective performances.

Weaver, for instance, struck out the side to start the game and retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. Though Weaver, as with Rodon, escaped several jams throughout the contest, both rose to the occasion in big situations.

"I felt like I threw the ball well," said Weaver. "It wasn't quite up to my standards but it was good enough for our hitters to scratch some runs and play some defense and get the win.

"It was a hyped up match-up. I didn't treat it any differently. I know a guy (Rodon) like that you can't make too many mistakes. You really just got to zone in and have your best game and not put up any runs because a guy like that is tough to scratch them across. He is a great guy and a huge competitor. He threw very well tonight but it just ended up in our favor and I'm really happy for our guys.”

Weaver struck out seven, walked two and allowed just a run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings in the contest. He also threw 114 pitches, 77 for strikes. Meanwhile, Rodon threw 125 pitches, struck out 12, walked four and allowed just two runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Offensively for the Seminoles, shortstop Justin Gonzalez, who had been struggling at the plate, had a triple and two RBIs to lead the way, while for the Wolfpack, shortstop Trea Turner finished the night with just one hit.


Auston Bousfield, of, Mississippi
South Carolina had been absolutely terrific the first few weeks of the season until Friday night. The Gamecocks entered the contest with a 16-0 record, but Bousfield, especially, and the Rebels surprised the home crowd in a 6-4 victory to hand Chad Holbrook’s club their first setback of the season.

Bousfield, who has been very productive so far this spring, led the charge with three hits, one of them a double, and the other the decisive grand slam in the sixth inning. He finished the night with four RBIs and gave the Rebels the momentum moving forward into Saturday’s contest.


Kansas over Texas
The Jayhawks had a huge chance to make a statement last weekend by taking a road series from Stanford, but that didn’t happen. Perhaps KU just had something bigger in mind, as it defeated Texas 3-2 on the road to start a crucial Big 12 series.

Kansas junior left-handed pitcher Wes Benjamin struck out four, walked two and allowed just two runs on six hits in 8 2/3 innings to the lead the way for KU, while at the plate, Connor McKay had a huge night, going 4-for-5 with an RBI to lead the way. For Texas, junior righty Parker French was just OK, allowing three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

More notable upsets:

Southern California 3, No. 10 Oregon 2 (Wyatt Strahan — 7 K, 1 BB, 2 R, 7 H, 7.2 IP)
Wake Forest 4, No. 14 Clemson 3 (Jack Fischer — 5 K, 3 BB, 3 ER, 3 R, 3 H, 8 IP)
Georgia 7, No. 20 Mississippi State (Ryan Lawlor — 7 K, 0 BB, 0 ER, 1 R, 8 H, 7.2 IP)
Alabama 3, No. 18 Kentucky  0 (Spencer Turnbull — 3 K, 5 BB, 0 ER, 0 R, 4 H, 7.1 IP)
Missouri 5, No. 19 Tennessee 2 (Brett Graves — 4 K, 1 BB, 2 ER, 2 R, 7 H, 7 IP)
Long Beach State 4, No. 22 Indiana 3 (Zack Rivera — 2 for 4, two doubles, RBI)


The most lopsided score of the day award goes to William & Mary, which defeated Iona 31-1 at home, scoring eight runs in the second and six runs in both the fourth and sixth innings. Tribe catcher Charley Gould went 5-for-7 with two homers, a double and nine RBIs, while first baseman Michael Katz went 3-for-6 with six RBIs.


UCLA: The Bruins certainly haven’t had the best of luck so far this season, but they started the California series on a positive note, scoring a run in the ninth inning to grab a 3-2 victory. UCLA right-handed pitcher James Kaprielian led the charge on the mound, striking out five, issuing no walks and allowing just two runs on seven hits in eight innings.

Virginia LHP Nathan Kirby: The Cavaliers had high hopes for lefty Nathan Kirby coming into the season, and he put together a solid start in an 8-1 win over Boston College. Kirby struck out four, walked one and allowed just four hits in 6 1/3 shutout innings.

LSU: In what was billed as one of the top pitching matchups of the spring, right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola and Vanderbilt righty Tyler Beede didn’t disappoint. Nola, whose Tigers captured a 4-2 victory with a four-run eighth inning, struck out 12, walked two and allowed just a run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, Beede struck out seven, walked one and allowed just two runs (none earned) on three hits in 7 1/3 innings.

Louisiana-Lafayette RHP Austin Robichaux: The Ragin’ Cajuns hit the road on Friday and captured a 4-1 win over Louisiana-Monroe with the righty leading the way. Robichaux struck out 10, walked two and allowed just a run on four hits in a complete game performance.

Louisville 2B Zach Lucas: The Cards had a huge day at the plate in a 20-10 home win over Samford with Lucas and others leading the way. Lucas went 2-for-5 with a pair of homers and five RBIs. Also give credit to designated hitter Grant Kay, who went 3-for-4 with five RBIs.

Rice: Conference USA action this weekend is headlined by the series between the Owls and Florida International. In what was a thriller, Rice’s Michael Aquino had an RBI single in the 13th inning to guide his club to a 3-2 win over FIU. Owls right-handed pitcher Zech Lemond struck out five, walked two and allowed just eight hits in eight innings, while reliever Matt Ditman was outstanding, striking out eight and allowing just two hits in five innings of relief work.

Auburn RHP Dillon Ortman: The senior right-hander put together an outstanding performance as the Tigers captured a 4-0 win over Texas A&M to begin SEC play. Ortman struck out three, walked one and allowed just four hits in a complete game shutout performance.

TCU LHP Brandon Finnegan: The outstanding left-hander is having a great season and he continued his impressive ways in a 4-1 win over Dartmouth. Finnegan struck out 10, walked one and allowed just two hits in seven shutout innings. He threw 96 pitches and now has 55 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings this season.

Elon: It’s not easy to outduel Sam Howard and Georgia Southern, but the Phoenix accomplished the goal with junior right-handed pitcher Lucas Bakker leading the charge. Bakker was terrific against the Eagles, striking out seven, walking three and allowing just two hits in a complete game shutout in a 1-0 victory. As for Howard, he struck out eight, walked one and allowed a run on four hits in seven innings.

UC Santa Barbara: The Gauchos are sizzling hot and captured an impressive 2-1 win over Wichita State to begin the weekend. UCSB talented left-handed pitcher Justin Jacome struck out five, walked one and allowed just a run on five hits in 8 1/3 innings while at the plate, Woody Woodward and Andrew Calica each had two hits and an RBI.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels have been playing very good lately, and right-handed pitcher Trent Thornton couldn't have been better in a 7-0 road win over Maryland. Thornton struck out eight, walked two and allowed just six hits in seven shutout frames. Reliever Reilly Hovis, who has been very good this season, finished things with two shutout innings.

Baylor: The Bears made a big statement last weekend by taking two of three from Cal State Fullerton. Well, right-handed pitcher Dillon Newman made sure the Bears continued their winning ways in a 1-0 home win over Texas Tech Newman struck out seven, walked two and allowed just six hits in seven shutout innings.

Arkansas State RHP David Owen: The Red Wolves picked up a nice win over Arkansas-Little Rock and improved to 9-8 overall with sophomore right-handed pitcher David Owen leading the way. Owen was simply dominant, striking out 10, walking one and allowing just six hits in seven shutout frames.

Oral Roberts RHP Kurt Giller: Though the Golden Eagles aren’t having a great year thus far, perhaps they’ll get things going in conference play. Giller struck out eight, walked two and allowed just six hits in seven innings, as the Eagles defeated Northwestern State 15-0.

Florida: The Gators still aren’t exactly where they want to be, but coach Kevin O’Sullivan has to be pleased with a nice 2-1 home win over Arkansas to begin SEC play. Talented UF freshman right-handed pitcher Logan Shore struck out five, walked two and allowed just a run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, while reliever Aaron Rhodes tossed 2 1/3 shutout innings to finish off the contest, striking out six Razorbacks hitters in the process.

Cal Poly LHP Matt Imhof: The Mustangs are without right-handed pitcher Reed Reilly this weekend because of a hamstring issue, but perhaps that won’t matter much with Imhof and Inc., taking care of business in the opener. Imhof was terrific in an 8-1 win over Wagner, striking out 14, walking three and allowing just a run on three hits in eight innings.

UNLV 3B T.J. White: The Rebels had a huge night at the plate in a road 18-2 win over San Jose State, and White led the way. White went 3-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored and five RBIs to lead the way at the plate. Meanwhile, first baseman Patrick Armstrong also had a productive night, going 3-for-6 with three RBIs.

Florida Gulf Coast RHP Michael Murray: The talented right-hander is having an impressive campaign and had yet another strong performance in an 8-1 win over Florida A&M. Murray struck out 13, walked one and allowed just four hits in seven shutout frames.

Bowling Green tosses no-hitter: Though the Falcons wound up splitting a doubleheader with Bucknell Friday afternoon, the first game was memorable as they tossed a combined no-hitter with Brett Fitzwater and Chris Miller leading the way. Fitzwater struck out six and walked three in five innings, while Miller closed things out in a 7-0 win with three shutout frames.

Miami (Ohio) offense shines: Canisius entered Friday in the midst of an eight-game winning streak, but that came to an abrupt halt as the Redhawks captured a 20-11 victory. Gary Russo went 4-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and six RBIs for the Redhawks, while Max Andresen went 5-for-6 with a pair of doubles and five RBIs.

UC Irvine: Anteaters ace right-handed pitcher Andrew Morales didn’t have his best performance against the Huskers, but the offense more than picked him up in a 7-6 win over Nebraska. All-American third baseman Taylor Sparks led the way at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs to lead the way.

Liberty: Jim Toman’s Flames couldn’t have started Big South play in more impressive fashion, beating Campbell 17-1 as leadoff hitter Nick Lacik went 4-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the way. Though the offense did more than enough against the Camels, LU starting pitcher Trey Lambert had a good start, striking out three and allowing just two hits in six shutout frames.


San Francisco: For the Dons to reach the NCAA postseason at the end of the year, they must take care of business in the very winnable series like the one this weekend against Gonzaga. USF, though, didn’t start the weekend on a positive note, losing a 6-5 decision to the Bulldogs with staff ace Abe Bobb struggling, allowing six runs on 10 hits in seven innings.

Washington State: It only was a couple of weeks ago the Cougars looked to be a force in the Pac-12. However, times have quickly changed, as the Cougars dropped to 4-9 overall with a disappointing 12-1 loss to Arizona. Washington State starting pitcher, two-way player Jason Monda, allowed three runs on six hits in six innings, while reliever Layne Bruner had a tough night on the mound, allowing six runs on two hits in just 2/3 an inning. For the Wildcats, right-handed pitcher James Farris struck out nine and allowed just a run in a complete game performance.

East Carolina: Billy Godwin and the Pirates sure wouldn’t mind something going their way at some point. ECU is off to a 1-3 start in Conference USA play, 8-10 overall after a 7-2 home loss to Tulane to start the weekend. ECU right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman struck out five, walked two and allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, while the offense couldn’t figure out Green Wave starting pitcher Tyler Mapes, who tossed five shutout frames.

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