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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Saturday roundup: Vegas lights up

Kendall Rogers        

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Team of the day


Coach Tim Chambers had a vision when he moved from the junior college ranks to UNLV. Well, that vision finally looks to be coming together, as the Rebels have secured a huge road series win, and are 12-3, following a dominant 12-2 win over Stanford. UNLV starting pitcher Buddy Borden struck out six, walked two and allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings of work, while designated hitter Brandon Bayardi had two hits and an RBI and catcher Erik Vanmeetren went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

Upset of the Day

Columbia over Arizona

Well, if taking care of business against the defending national champions isn't the best way to record your first victory. That's precisely what the Lions accomplished Saturday afternoon in an 8-4 win over Arizona. Lions third baseman David Vanderhook had a hit and three RBIs, while relievers Alex Black and Joey Donino were terrific. Black and Donino each tossed a pair of scoreless frames in the win.

Player of the Day

Colin Moran, 3B, Jr., North Carolina

Moran is considered to be one of the nation's elite players for a good reason. Well, Wake Forest suffered the wrath of Moran on Saturday, as the talented prospect had a huge day in a 20-6 UNC victory. Moran hit two homers and went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and six RBIs. He also walked twice in the contest. For the season, Moran is hitting .340 with two homers and 18 RBIs.

Teams feeling good

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have gotten off to a fantastic start in ACC play, capturing a huge road series victory with a 14-9 win over Virginia Tech. Tech freshman second baseman Matt Gonzalez led the charge at the plate, going 3-for-5 with four runs scored and two RBIs, while reliever Jonathan King was the saving grace out of the bullpen, cooling down those pesky Hokies bats with two shutout innings to close things out.

Georgia: We've certainly given the Bulldogs grief for the way they started this season, but they've now captured an impressive home series win over a very solid Liberty club with a 3-1 triumph. Left-handed pitcher Patrick Boling struck out five batters, walked one and allowed just one run on six hits in six innings. The bullpen also performed at a high level with Bryan Benzor and Jared Walsh leading the charge.

Michigan State: What a day it was for the Big Ten Conference, with the Spartans leading the charge earlier in the day with a 6-1 win over Kentucky. MSU junior right-handed pitcher David Garner struck out six, walked one and allowed just one run on four hits in 8 1/3 innings of work, while leadoff hitter Anthony Cheky had two hits, one a home run and an RBI.

Arkansas: It was a special day in Fayetteville, Ark., for Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, who notched his 1,000th career win in a doubleheader sweep of San Diego State. Hogs freshman right-handed pitcher Trey Killian struck out seven batters and didn't allow a hit in seven innings in the first win of the day over the Aztecs, while left-handed hurler Randall Fant fanned three and allowed just four hits in six shutout frames in the nightcap.

Illinois: We're not sure anyone saw this coming, but the Fighting Illini hit the road this weekend and finished off a three-game series sweep of Baylor with a pair of wins Saturday afternoon. Illinois won the first game of a doubleheader 5-4 with reliever Tyler Jay tossing 3 1/3 shutout innings, while in the nightcap, a 6-1 win over the Bears, starting pitcher John Kravetz struck out two and allowed a run on three hits in eight innings of work.

Central Arkansas: Mississippi State entered the day with an unblemished 17-0 record, but the Bears snapped that impressive streak with a 7-5 triumph. UCA catcher Michael Marietta went 2-for-5 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs to lead the charge, while first baseman Scott Zimmerle went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, also inducing three walks.

North Carolina: What a day it was for the top-ranked Tar Heels in a 20-6 thrashing of Wake Forest. Though we featured Colin Moran earlier in today's piece, plenty of love also should be given to outfielder Brian Holberton, who went 2-for-4 with two homers, two runs scored and five RBIs. Also, first baseman Cody Stubbs went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBIs.

Louisville: The Cardinals have an impressive stable of arms with guys like junior right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson leading the way. Thompson was fantastic in a 6-0 win over Alabama. He struck out four, walked two and allowed just two hits in seven shutout innings. He also threw 99 pitches, 56 for strikes.

Clemson: Talented freshman pitcher Clate Schmidt didn't have a great performance against North Carolina State, but the offense picked up the slack in a 7-4 win to capture a huge road series victory. Clemson leadoff hitter Thomas Brittle hit a grand slam in the contest, while third baseman Jay Baum added a two-hit performance.

Furman: There are plenty of impressive mid-majors out there, but few have racked up quality wins quite like the Paladins. Furman made a statement last weekend with a road series win over Elon to begin Southern Conference play before returning home this weekend, and clinching a series win over Appalachian State with a 6-5 triumph. Outfielder Taylor Johnson led the Paladins at the plate on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and four RBIs.

Vanderbilt: Pitching wins championships, and fortunately for VU, it's something it has a lot of this season. After left-handed pitcher Kevin Ziomek shined in the series opener on Friday, sophomore righty Tyler Beede was outstanding in a 4-2 win on Saturday. Beede struck out seven batters and allowed just one run (none earned) on two hits in 6 2/3 innings of work. Also give much credit to reliever Brian Miller, who allowed no earned runs in 2 1/3 innings to notch his third save.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils made a big statement last weekend, and continue to play at a high level this weekend, sweeping a doubleheader from Long Beach State and outscoring the Dirtbags 10-0 in the two contests. Trevor Williams was magnificent in his start on the mound in the first game, while youngster Ryan Kellogg had another great start in Game 2, striking out five and allowing just two hits in seven shutout frames.

Teams wanting a do-over

TCU: The Horned Frogs won the series opener against Pacific on Friday, but dropped the second game 5-3 at home. TCU starting pitcher Brandon Finnegan allowed three runs on eight hits in five innings of work, while the Frogs were unable to get much going off Pacific starting pitcher Cory Popham, who allowed just three runs on nine hits in 7 1/3 innings of work.

Nebraska: The Huskers split a doubleheader with Louisiana Tech on Saturday, and dropped an important three-game set as a result. NU starting pitcher Christian DeLeon allowed just two runs on six hits in eight innings, but the Huskers were unable to do much against Tech pitching, namely starting pitcher Trevor Petersen, who allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings.

Tulane: Thanks to some key injuries, the Green Wave really has had issues staying on track each night so far this season. The Wave dropped a disappointing 4-2 decision to High Point on Saturday, wasting a fantastic start from Alex Byo, who allowed just one earned run in nine innings of work. Meanwhile, give a lot of credit to HPU starting pitcher Sean Townsley, who struck out five, walked three and allowed just one run on two hits in eight innings.

Fresno State: It's safe to say the Bulldogs are finding life to be tough sledding so far this spring. Fresno State starting pitcher Tim Borst put together a respectable start against California in a 4-3 setback, but the Bulldogs' offensive lineup couldn't master the Golden Bears bullpen. Cal relievers Keaton Siomkin and Michael Lowden were excellent out of the pen. Fresno is now 3-11 overall.

Pepperdine: Waves starting pitcher Corey Miller allowed just two runs on five hits in six innings of work, but the offense was unable to do much against Seton Hall in a 3-1 loss, also losing the series. SHU starting pitcher Josh Prevost had a lot of success against the Waves, striking out seven and allowing just a run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.

Washington State: The Cougars had gotten off to a hot start the first couple of weekends of the season, but really stumbled in a doubleheader against UTSA on Saturday. The Cougars dropped the first game 12-3 before losing the nightcap 13-10. The Cougars didn't have a starting pitcher get out of the fourth inning in either contest.

Miami (Fla.): If you're wondering if it's a misprint, it's not: The Hurricanes have dropped the first two games of the weekend to Duke at home. On Saturday, Miami starting pitcher Javi Salas allowed five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, the 'Canes offense wasn't able to do much against Blue Devils starting pitcher Drew Van Orden, who allowed three hits in six shutout frames.

Best individual performances

Trevor Williams, RHP, Jr., Arizona State: Williams has consistently flashed big-time stuff this season, getting up to 94-95 with his fastball the past couple of weekends. Williams continued his impressive pitching Saturday in a 4-0 win over Long Beach State. The talented right-hander struck out five batters, walked one and allowed just three hits in a complete game shutout. He threw 120 pitches against the Dirtbags, 82 for strikes.

Dan Gautieri, RHP, So., Pennsylvania: The Quakers have pitched well over the past week, and Gautieri put in another solid performance in a win over Winthrop. He struck out seven batters and allowed eight hits in a complete game shutout.

Michael O'Neal, LHP, Jr., Auburn: The Tigers put together a solid overall performance in a 6-0 win over the Brown Bears. O'Neal led the charge on the mound, striking out six, walking two and allowing just six hits in a complete game shutout. He threw 115 pitches, 83 for strikes.

Adam Norton, RHP, Sr., Notre Dame: You find out a lot about your team after a tough loss to start the weekend. Norton made sure the Fighting Irish didn't have a hangover from the UCLA loss, as he struck out three and allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings of work in a win over USC.

Carson Cross, RHP, So., Connecticut: The Huskies are having an excellent weekend against Sam Houston State. Cross struck out five batters, walked three and allowed just four hits in 7 1/3 innings in an 8-0 triumph.

Mason Katz, 1B, Sr., LSU: The Tigers continue to be consistent on the diamond, with Katz being one of those guys. Katz went 2-for-3 with a pair of homers, two runs scored and five RBIs to lead the LSU offense. He also induced two walks in the 8-4 win over Washington.

Trey Masek, RHP, Jr., Texas Tech: What a junior campaign Masek is having so far this season. Trey's dominance continued Saturday night in a 4-1 win over Texas-Arlington. Masek struck out seven batters and allowed just two hits in eight shutout frames. He threw 102 pitches, 67 for strikes.

Alex Westrick, LHP, So., Xavier: Middle Tennessee State entered the weekend red-hot, but Westrick made sure to cool down the Blue Raiders. Westrick struck out eight batters and allowed just three hits in six shutout frames in a 12-0 win.

Jonathan Dziedzic, LHP, Jr., Lamar: The Cardinals have played exceptionally well so far this season, sitting at 14-2 overall after an 8-0 win over UMass. Lamar starting pitcher Jonathan Dziedzic struck out 12 batters, walked two and allowed just one hit in 7 2/3 shutout innings.

Andrew Lee, DH, Fr., Tennessee: The Volunteers had an explosive day at the plate in an easy win over Alcorn State. Lee went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and five RBIs.

Alex Jensen, SS, So., Army: What an impressive day at the plate Jensen had in a 14-4 win over Yale. Jensen went 3-for-3 with a double, triple, three runs scored and four RBIs in the winning cause.

Ben Griset, LHP, Jr., St. Mary's: The Gaels have struggled so far this season, but put together a solid performance in a 2-1 win over Utah. The St. Mary's starting pitcher struck out five batters, walked two and allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings of work. He also threw 98 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Jonathan Gray, RHP, Jr., Oklahoma: Gray is having a phenomenal 2013 campaign and could move into the top 10 picks in the upcoming MLB draft. Gray was consistently in the upper 90s with his fastball in a 4-0 win over UCLA. Gray struck out eight batters, allowing just five hits in seven shutout innings.

Taylor Williams, RHP, Jr., Kent State: The Golden Flashes have had a tough campaign so far this spring, but Williams made sure they experienced a big road win on Saturday. Williams struck out three, walked one and allowed eight hits in a complete game performance.

Tyler Marincov, OF, So., North Florida: The Ospreys picked up an important win over South Alabama on Saturday. Marincov went 2-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored and five RBIs. 

Justin Garza, RHP, Fr., Cal State Fullerton: Garza has been phenomenal so far this season, and continued his impressive ways in a 2-0 win over Texas A&M. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out six, walked one and allowed just five hits in seven shutout innings. He also threw 107 pitches, 65 for strikes.

DJ Peterson, 3B, Jr., New Mexico: Peterson is just having a ridiculous campaign from an offensive standpoint this spring. He went 5-for-5 in the first game of the afternoon against UC Riverside, also slamming two homers in the process. Then, in the second game, he smacked yet another home run, only to be walked five times after that at-bat. There's some respect for you.

Ben Verlander, RF/1B, Jr., Old Dominion: Another outstanding, yet powerful, performance on Saturday, in a win over Northeastern, Verlander went an outstanding 4-for-4 with three homers, three runs scored and seven RBIs to lead the Monarchs.

National notes

* North Carolina State will be without electric shortstop Trea Turner for at least 4-to-6 weeks after he suffered a severe ankle sprain on the last play of Friday's game against Clemson. Turner injured his ankle jamming it on the base. The Wolfpack will have a hard time replacing Turner, who was hitting a team-best .464 with five doubles, two triples, five homers and 18 RBIs.

* Mississippi State could be without sophomore left-handed pitcher Jacob Lindgren for a couple of weeks, though, his status is undetermined at this point. Lindgren was removed from the game against Central Arkansas on Friday after taking a line drive off his left knee. State assistant coach Nick Mingione said Lindgren's X-ray's on Saturday came back negative. However, the Bulldogs will know more Monday when the talented lefty has an MRI.

* Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco has had quite the coaching career with the Rebels, but he reached an important milestone Saturday as his team captured an 8-5 win over Lipscomb. Bianco earned win No. 486 at Ole Miss, becoming the all-time wins leader at the university.

* Pepperdine two-way star Aaron Brown has missed his pitching starts the past couple of weekends, but it looks like the left-handed pitcher should return to the mound Sunday afternoon against Seton Hall. Brown, of course, suffered a fractured hamate bone prior to the Texas A&M series.

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