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College : : Story
College roundup: Power surge
Kendall Rogers        
Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014




TEAM OF THE DAY


San Diego

The Toreros have been somewhat of a surprise so far this season, along with Pepperdine and San Francisco from the West Coast Conference. USD increased the league’s profile again on Tuesday with an impressive 5-3 home win over Cal State Fullerton. USD’s Troy Conyers had a home run and two RBIs in the contest, while on the mound, starting pitcher Lucas Long gave the Toreros four strong innings, while the bullpen took care of the best … For the Titans, the offense mustered seven hits against USD, leaving 11 runners on base.



PLAYER OF THE DAY


Zack Bowers, c, Georgia

After a very slow start to the Scott Stricklin era, the Bulldogs are beginning to play with a bit more confidence, as illustrated in Tuesday’s 26-7 home win over Western Kentucky. Georgia catcher Zack Bowers had a day to remember, going 2-for-5 with a pair of homers, four runs scored and seven RBIs to lead the charge.



UPSET OF THE DAY


Bethune-Cookman over Miami

The Wildcats have a very impressive pitcher in Montana Durapau, and he once again shined as they defeated Miami 7-3 on the road. Durapau struck out seven, walked two and allowed just three runs (two earned) on nine hits in eight innings of work. Meanwhile, second baseman Matt Noble led the Wildcats at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs.


More notable upsets


UTSA 9, Sam Houston State 2

Charlotte 5, VCU 4

UNC Greensboro 6, East Carolina 5




THE GOOD


South Carolina’s pitching staff: People can say what they want about where the Gamecocks are ranked, but the pitching staff continues to earn rave reviews after pitching yet another shutout in a 5-0 home win over Furman. Gamecocks starting pitcher Taylor Widener, a freshman, tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings in the contest, while fellow freshman Josh Reagan was impressive, tallying a pair of strikeouts and tossing 2 2/3 shutout frames.


Virginia 1B Mike Papi: The Cavaliers cruised to an impressive 13-2 win over James Madison with Papi leading the charge. The hard-hitting first baseman had two hits, both homers and three RBIs. Meanwhile, Branden Cogswell and Daniel Pinero each finished the afternoon with three hits.


Ole Miss: There have been few things more impressive so far this season than the Rebels’ pitching staff. And yet, once again, Jeremy Massie becomes yet another Rebels starting pitcher to have a solid performance, striking out three, walking one and allowing just three hits in six innings in a 2-1 win over Southeastern Louisiana. Mississippi’s weekend series at South Carolina this weekend suddenly is very intriguing.


UCLA RHP Grant Dyer: With the Bruins scuffling a bit over the past weeks, they desperately needed a strong performance from the young right-handed pitcher. He didn’t disappoint, striking out six, walking two and allowing just three hits in seven innings in a 5-0 home win over previously red-hot UC Irvine.


Texas’ clutch play: Just a season ago, the Longhorns had a very difficult time rebounding from slow starts. So, after starting pitcher Blake Goins allowed three runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings of work against Texas State, there was some intrigue about how the ‘Horns would handle that situation. The answer? Texas pitched extremely well the rest of the way and the offense did just enough with leadoff hitter Ben Johnson going 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs in the 6-3 victory.


Rice RHP Chase McDowell: The Owls were coming off a good weekend against Old Dominion, and needed right-handed pitcher Chase McDowell to set the tone against TCU. He did that and much more, allowing just five hits in six shutout frames in a 5-0 home win over the Horned Frogs. Rice reliever Ryan McCarthy also threw very well, striking out three and allowing a hit in three shutout frames.


Mississippi State RHP Preston Brown: Speaking of teams trying to avoid a midweek slide, how about the Bulldogs? The Bulldogs sent talented sophomore right-handed pitcher Preston Brown to the mound, and he didn’t disappoint. Brown struck out six, walked one and allowed just four hits in eight shutout frames in a 3-0 win over Southern Illinois at home.


Indiana: The Hoosiers really could’ve used a good midweek win, and got just what they needed in a 7-2 home victory over sizzling Kentucky. IU left-handed pitcher Kyle Hart struck out eight, walked no one and allowed just two runs (one earned) on five hits in eight innings … Also worth noting, IU catcher Kyle Schwarber smacked his fourth home run of the season in the contest.


Tennessee: The Vols put together what was a very business-like performance in a 2-0 road win over Middle Tennessee State in front of 1,312 fans. Vols starting pitcher Drake Owenby threw two shutout innings to begin the game, while Peter Lenstrohm led the way after that, tossing three shutout frames … A.J. Simcox, Christin Stewart and Taylor Smart each finished the contest with a pair of hits.


Houston: Baylor had a terrific weekend against Cal State Fullerton, so entered Tuesday’s contest against the Cougars with a full head of steam. UH, though, took care of business in impressive fashion with a 7-2 triumph. UH starting pitcher David Longville allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits in 4 2/3 innings, while freshman reliever Andrew Lantrip tossed three shutout frames out of the bullpen.


Connecticut RHP Andrew Zapata: The Huskies might leave something to be desired with a 5-8 overall record thus far, but Zapata was outstanding in a 5-0 win over Sacred Heart. He struck out five, walked four and allowed just one hit in seven shutout frames. 


Cincinnati DH Devin Wenzel: The Bearcats had quite a night on the way to an 18-5 win over Dayton, but how about Wenzel? He went 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and five RBIs to lead the Cincy charge, while Ian Happ, Jake Richmond and Russell Clark each finished the afternoon with three hits each.


Georgia Southern: On the same night we featured the Eagles here, they welcomed North Florida to Statesboro, Ga., and took care of business with a 13-1 win. GSU starting pitcher Eric Alonzo tossed four shutout frames, while the biggest story once again was hard-hitting outfielder Aaron Mizell, who had a pair of homers and four RBIs … Dalton Busby and Aaron Palmer each finished the afternoon with a pair of hits.


UNLV: The Rebels getting swept at Tennessee a couple weeks ago not only seems like ancient history, but also doesn’t seem to bad anymore. UNLV improved to 11-4 with a nice 4-3 home win over West Virginia. Right-handed pitcher Kenny Oakley struck out six, walked one and allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits in six innings, while reliever Cody Roper tossed 2 2/3 shutout frames, earning his first win of the season.


Coastal Carolina: It has not been an easy year for the Chanticleers so far, but they captured a really nice 7-3 home win over sizzling Wake Forest, improving to 8-8 for the year. CCU starting pitcher Austin Kerr was lifted after allowing three runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings, but relievers Chase Adkins and Seth Lamando shined, with Lamando tossing five shutout frames to end the contest … Offensively, CCU leadoff hitter Richard Carter went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs.


UC Santa Barbara: There’s no telling where the Gauchos would be in our rankings had they played and beaten N.C. State opening weekend. At any rate, the Gauchos are off to an impressive start this season, and captured a nice 2-1 midweek win over Pepperdine. UCSB starting pitcher Andrew Vasquez struck out seven, walked three and allowed just a run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings, while reliever Greg Mahle was terrific, tossing 3 2/3 innings to finish out the contest.


San Diego State RHP TJ Kendzora: The Aztecs are off to a very good start this spring, improving to 11-4 overall after a 12-0 road win over Cal State Northridge. SDSU right-handed pitcher TJ Kendzora was terrific against the Matadors, striking out only two, but also only allowing seven hits in seven shutout innings … Hot-hitting Ty France led the Aztecs against the Matadors, going 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs.


Bradley: I’m not sure anyone outside of the Braves’ locker room had them starting the season at 11-3, but it has happened after a very good 9-1 road win over Saint Louis. BU starting pitcher Cameron Roegner allowed just five hits in five shutout innings, while offensively, Drew Carlile, Austin Jarvis and Isaac Smith each led the offense on the way to victory.




THE BAD 


Ohio State: Not all is lost for the Buckeyes, but they sure wanted to make some noise during that West Coast swing. Instead, the Buckeyes finished that swing with a 1-3 record, dropping a 4-3 decision to Oregon State in midweek action. Ohio State starting pitcher Jake Post wasn’t able to go the distance against the Beavers, being lifted from the contest in 4 1/3 innings after allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits.


Oklahoma State: It’s very much an important weekend ahead for the Cowboys from a momentum standpoint. The Cowboys were feeling good until San Diego rolled into Stillwater, Okla., over the weekend and put together an upset series win. OSU’s fate didn’t improve Tuesday night in a 6-4 home loss to Oklahoma State. OSU starting pitcher Mark Robinette struggled in the contest, allowing six runs on seven hits in six innings of work.


Florida Atlantic: The Owls would like to get their situation back on track sooner rather than later. FAU dropped a tough series to UTSA over the weekend, and followed that up with a 3-2 home loss to Maine. FAU young freshman pitcher Sean Labsan struck out six, walked one and allowed just four hits in five innings.


Gonzaga: The Bulldogs were expected to have somewhat of a rebuilding campaign with several key cogs off to professional baseball, but to start the year 3-12 after a disappointing 11-6 road loss to UC Riverside? We didn’t see this start coming, as Gonzaga staff ace pitcher Will Abram was lifted after allowing five runs on three hits in two innings.



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