College : : Story
Sunday, March 23, 2014

College roundup: Surprising risers

Kendall Rogers        

More coverage: Friday roundupWeekend preview | Q & A with OU's Pete Hughes



Head coach Sunny Golloway has the Tigers playing at a high level right now. AU made a first statement under Golloway by taking an SEC series from Texas A&M at home last weekend. Now, the Tigers have made another statement by clinching a series victory over Tennessee with Saturday's 4-2 triumph. Freshman righthanded pitcher Keegan Thompson was terrific again against the Vols, striking out two and allowing a run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings, while shortstop Damon Haecker went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.


Frankie Vanderka, rhp, Stony Brook

Remember this name from that College World Series run a couple of years ago? Well, Vanderka, now a senior, tossed an absolute gem in a 7-0 win over Albany, one of two wins on the day over the Great Danes. Vanderka tossed the third no-hitter of his career against the Great Danes, striking out 10 and walking two in a complete game performance.


Maryland 7, N.C. State 4 (clinched series win)

The Terrapins desperately needed a statement series win over the Wolfpack this weekend, and they got what they needed in Saturday's 7-4 triumph. Terps freshman righthanded pitcher Mike Shawaryn impressed yet again, striking out six, walking no one and allowing just a run on four hits in seven innings. Meanwhile, leadoff hitter Charlie White led the way at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.

More upsets:

Arizona State 3, Oregon State 2 (Ryan Kellogg: 9 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

California 8, Cal Poly 3 (Nick Halamandaris: 3 hits, 1 run scored, double)

Miami 7, Virginia 1 (Chris Diaz: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K)

Long Beach State 3, Cal State Fullerton 2 (Andrew Rohrbach: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)


Mississippi State: The Bulldogs moved lefthanded pitcher Ross Mitchell to the weekend rotation last weekend against Georgia, and that decision has worked out like a charm. Mitchell put together yet another solid performance in a 6-3 win over Vanderbilt to clinch a big home series victory. Mitchell struck out three, walked two and allowed just two runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, designated hitter Alex Detz led the offense with two hits, while Seth Heck knocked in a pair of runs.

Georgia Tech: Danny Hall's club just might have figured things out. The Yellow Jackets made a statement last weekend with a home series win over Miami, but made an even bigger statement this weekend by taking a road series from North Carolina, sweeping Saturday's doubleheader 6-5 and 9-1. In the first game, Mitch Earnest's RBI single in the top of the 13th inning was the decisive blow, while in the nightcap, righthanded pitcher Matt Grimes struck out three and allowed just a run on eight hits in seven innings. Meanwhile, Keenan Innis led the offense with three hits and two RBIs.

Rhys Hoskins, of, Sacramento State: The Hornets captured a 16-1 win over Northern Colorado with the talented outfielder leading the way. Hoskins went 4-for-4 with a home run, double, three runs scored and three RBIs. Hoskins, who was a rising prospect after last summer, now is hitting .293 with a home run and six RBIs.

Seth Harrison, of, Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin' Cajuns got after Georgia State 14-6 on Saturday to clinch a series win with Harrison leading the charge. He went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers, three runs scored and four RBIs to lead the offensive onslaught.

Loyola Marymount: Veteran righthanded pitcher Patrick McGrath struck out two, walked one and allowed just a run on three hits in six innings, as the Lions captured a huge road series win over San Diego with a 5-3 victory. Offensively for the Lions, catcher Kevin Garcia went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

James Plaisted, of, Wofford: The Terriers captured a dominant 20-7 road win over Davidson on Saturday with Plaisted leading the charge. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of homers, three runs scored and six RBIs.

Trey Killian, rhp, Arkansas: With the Hogs having their backs against the wall at home to Alabama, the sophomore righty rose to the occasion in a big way. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed just a run on four hits in a complete game performance in a 2-1 victory.

Jared Poche, lhp, LSU: The Tigers got yet another solid pitching performance, this time from the freshman lefty, who struck out six, walked two and allowed just a run on three hits in 8 2/3 innings of work in a 2-1 win over Georgia at home.

Kentucky: We didn't drop the Wildcats out of the PG Top 25 because they had shown a lot of upside so far this season, in addition to tallying some solid wins. UK made us feel good about that on Saturday with a 2-1 win over South Carolina to clinch a huge home series victory. Junior righthanded pitcher Chandler Shepherd, who created plenty of buzz during the offseason, struck out six, walked four and allowed just a run on six hits in 7 1/3 innings, while Michael Thomas continued his hot hitting with a home run, two hits and an RBI.

Grant Watson, lhp, UCLA: The talented lefthanded pitcher just continues to do his thing. Watson struck out five, walked one and allowed just two runs on four hits in eight innings in a 4-2 home win over Washington State. Watson now has a 1.76 ERA in 41 innings, along with 28 strikeouts and six walks.

Kody Kerski, rhp, Sacred Heart: SHU split a doubleheader with Cornell, as the talented righty threw a gem in the first game of the day. Kerski struck out nine, walked one and allowed just four hits in a complete game shutout and 3-0 win.

San Diego State: The Aztecs dropped the series opener to UNLV, but responded in a big way Saturday with a 5-2 triumph over the Rebels. Catcher Brad Haynal had a home run, two total hits and two RBIs, while starting pitcher Bubba Derby put together a solid performance, striking out five, walking no one and allowing two runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Andrew McGee, lhp, Monmouth: The Hawks swept a twinbill from Marist with the lefthanded senior leading the way. McGee struck out six, didn't walk anyone and allowed five hits in a complete game shutout and 2-0 win over the Red Foxes. 

Rice: The Owls have been sizzling hot as of late, and that trend continued Saturday afternoon in an easy and dominant 14-1 win over Florida Atlantic. Lefthanded pitcher Blake Fox sat 87-89, touching 90 on a couple of occasions, and had a nice 73-75 curveball that he threw with success. Fox struck out three, walked one and allowed a run on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, Skyler Ewing had two hits, a double and knocked in two runs, while hot-hitting John Clay Reeves chipped in three hits.

Houston: The Cougars clinched a series victory over College of Charleston with a 3-2 victory in one of the most bizarre finishes I've ever seen. Charleston staged a fierce rally in the latter innings, and appeared to tie the game at 3-3 when Carl Wise smashed a double to bring a runner home from second base. However, after the runner crossed home plate to tie the game, UH players and coaches immediately pointed to third base to appeal. UH felt the runner skipped over third base while in stride. Well, the home plate umpire, after being asked for an appeal, called the runner out, effectively ending the game. Charleston was devastated, and rightfully so. The ending overshadowed some impressive pitching. Charleston tall freshman righty Bailey Ober topped out at 90 in the contest with a good changeup and low-70s curveball, while UH righthanded pitcher Jake Lemoine tossed five shutout innings, again flashing elite stuff with a 93-95 fastball and filthy mid-80s slider.

Oklahoma: Pete Hughes' Sooners are moving closer and closer to perhaps being in the PG College Top 25. The Sooners captured a series win over Kansas State with an 11-2 triumph on Saturday, backed by hot-hitting junior catcher Mac James going 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs to lead the offensive charge. Meanwhile, Hector Lorenzana had three hits and an RBI, while on the mound, Adam Choplick struck out four, walked two and allowed just two runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Austin Stone, rhp, Baylor: The Bears have one of the hottest starting rotations in the country right now after Stone tossed yet another gem in a 4-1 win over Oklahoma State to clinch a huge series win. Stone struck out seven, walked two and allowed just a run on three hits in a complete game performance. He threw 108 pitches against the Pokes, 69 for strikes.

Florida State: The Seminoles showed a lot of resiliency this weekend against Clemson. Daniel Gossett's performance on Friday seemed to set the tone for the weekend, but the top-ranked Seminoles responded Saturday with a pair of wins, 11-1 and 4-3. In the first game, Justin Gonzalez had a pair of doubles and three RBIs, while DJ Stewart had four hits and three RBIs. Lefthanded pitcher Brandon Leibrandt also had a big afternoon, allowing just a run (none earned) on four hits in a complete game performance. In the nightcap, FSU righthanded pitcher Jameis Winston tossed 2 1/3 scoreless frames, while Gonzalez continued his hot day at the plate with a pair of hits.


Arizona: It's safe to say the Wildcats just might be in some trouble. Andy Lopez's club dropped to 11-14 overall, 1-4 in the Pac-12 with a 5-2 loss to Washington to drop the series. Arizona starting pitcher Cody Hamlin allowed five runs on 12 hits in 7 /13 innings, while the Wildcats couldn't do anything against UW starting pitcher Tyler Davis, who allowed just a run in seven innings.

Charlotte: The 49ers aren't exactly having a great first impression in Conference USA, dropping to 3-14 overall, 0-7 in conference play after getting swept in a Saturday doubleheader to East Carolina, going 0-3 in the series. Brock Hudgens and Ryan Butler didn't have great performances against the Pirates, with Butler also the beneficiary of some bad luck throughout the afternoon.

Duke: The Blue Devils have plans to be an NCAA postseason club at the end of the year, but this weekend was a definite setback. Duke got swept by Pittsburgh on the road this weekend, dropping both ends of a doubleheader -- 5-1 and 8-5 -- on Saturday. In the first game, the Devils couldn't figure out Pitt starting pitcher Joseph Harvey, who allowed just a run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings, while in the second game, the Devils couldn't recover from Michael Matuella being lifted from the game after just two innings.

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