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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday college roundup

Kendall Rogers        

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TEAM OF THE DAY: UCLA -- The Bruins were a national seed in this week’s projections, and continue to impress. Bruins outfielder Cody Keefer went 3-for-5 with an RBI, while the bullpen did a terrific job in a 6-3 road win over Cal State Fullerton. With the win, the Bruins moved one step closer to locking down a national seed. Relievers Eric Jaffe, David Berg and Scott Griggs did commendable jobs in the contest.

UPSET OF THE DAY: Samford over Florida -- The Bulldogs are battling several teams for one of the final NCAA postseason at-large bids. They put on an impressive display Tuesday night in a 12-7 win over Florida. Samford outfielder Brandon Miller went 2-for-4 with a pair of homers, three runs scored and four RBIs to guide the Bulldogs, while two-way stud C.K. Irby collected two hits and three RBIs. On the mound, Irby allowed just a run and a hit in five innings of work.

PLAYER OF THE DAY: LHP Brandon Finnegan -- TCU has played a much better brand of baseball the past few weeks, and Finnegan led the charge as the Frogs recorded a solid midweek win over Oklahoma. The freshman lefty struck out seven and allowed just one hit in seven shutout innings of work. He threw 93 pitches in the performance, 59 of them for strikes.


TCU (33-16) -- The Horned Frogs continue to rack up some solid wins. Starting pitcher Brandon Finnegan tossed a gem, as we mentioned earlier, while reliever Justin Scharf tossed 1 2/3 shutout innings, as the Frogs defeated Oklahoma 1-0. Freshman first baseman Kevin Cron led the Frogs at the plate with a pair of hits.

Oregon State (33-17) -- The Beavers hope to finish the season with a bang and get back into the NCAA Regional hosting mix. Two-way stud Dylan Davis had a big-time night at the plate and on the mound as the Beavers captured a dominant 12-4 win over Portland. Davis went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs, while also tossed a scoreless inning in relief. Reliever Scott Schultz also put together a solid performance, allowing just one hit in 4 2/3 innings of work.

Rice (37-14) -- The Owls have played some inconsistent baseball at times lately, but put together a terrific performance in a very impressive 5-0 midweek win over Sam Houston State. Rice veteran right-handed pitcher Andrew Benak struck out nine and allowed just five hits in 7 1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, Tyler Duffey was terrific in relief, striking out three batters and allowing no hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Purdue (40-10) -- The Boilermakers were on the ropes against Indiana State, down 1-0 headed to the bottom of the ninth. However, after tying things up in the ninth, they won the contest in extra innings, 2-1. Purdue starting pitcher Robert Palmer allowed just a run in 5 1/3 innings, while Calvin Gunter and Nick Wittgren each put together impressive relief performances.

College of Charleston (35-17) -- With the Cougars trying to find their way to an NCAA at-large berth in a couple of weeks, they desperately needed a midweek win over Coastal Carolina. They got just what they needed, as outfielder Daniel Aldrich smacked an RBI single in the 12th inning to capture a 9-8 triumph over the Chanticleers. Aldrich finished the night 4-for-7 with two runs scored and three RBIs.


UC Irvine (28-21) -- The Anteaters were a long shot to reach the NCAA postseason to begin with, but they hurt their case even more on Tuesday with a 4-3 loss at home to San Diego. The Eaters were stymied by USD starting pitcher Michael Wagner, who struck out four and allowed just four hits in four shutout innings.

Utah Valley (39-12) -- The Wolverines reeled off an amazing 32-straight wins, but saw that amazing streak come to an end on Tuesday with an 11-10 loss to Utah. UVU starting pitcher Adam Gunn had a tough day on the mound, allowing six runs on nine hits in just 4 1/3 innings of work. The Wolverines made a fierce rally in the ninth inning with the winner run on second base, but were unable to finish the comeback.

Mississippi (34-19) -- The Rebels must take care of business the rest of the way to stay in the mix for an NCAA Regional host, but they didn’t do so on Tuesday in a disappointing 10-5 loss to Arkansas State. Rebels starting pitcher Josh Laxer allowed two runs in three innings, while ASU slugger Claude Johnson had a big day at the plate with a 4-for-4 day that included three runs scored and an RBI.

Mississippi State (31-21) -- Just like the Rebels, the Bulldogs hope to solidify their postseason status here in the final week. However, they didn’t do a good job of that on Tuesday with an ugly 2-0 loss to Central Arkansas. The State pitching staff did an admirable job, but couldn’t get much going against UCA pitchers Ethan McKinzie and Bryce Biggerstaff.

New Mexico State (31-20) -- It wasn’t too long ago the Aggies appeared to be in fantastic shape to reach the NCAA postseason. Now, they’re hoping to win the WAC tournament next week to have a chance to play in the postseason. NMSU starting pitcher Tyler Mack allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, as the Aggies dropped a disappointing 12-10 decision to rival New Mexico. NMSU has lost nine of its last 10 games.

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