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| Mid-major spotlight
TEAM OF THE DAY
The Catamounts have already made a small statement this season by going on the road and taking a series from Washington State, but they took yet another step forward on Tuesday with a dominant 18-10 win over scuffling Clemson.
WCU has one of the nation’s most potent lineups, and the unit was back to business against the Tigers. For instance, hard-hitting catcher Adam Martin went 4-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBIs, while outfielder Cody Jones had two hits and five RBIs, and Jacob Hoyle, Dykota Spiess and Taylor Sandefur each finished the contest with a pair of hits.
As for Clemson, and as you might expect by looking at the score, it was a dismal day on the mound. Tigers starting pitcher Alex Bostic allowed five runs on two hits in just an inning, while even Clate Schmidt got hit around, allowing two runs on four hits in only 1 2/3 innings.
While WCU is surging at 8-2 overall, Clemson drops to just 6-5.
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Javi Salas, rhp, Miami (Fla.)
The Miami Hurricanes have several quality pitchers this season, and Salas gave coach Jim Morris and his staff something else to smile about on Tuesday, tallying the 20th perfect game in NCAA history in a 17-0 route of Villanova.
Salas was dominant throughout the contest, not throwing his 100th pitch until the eighth inning, while he struck out six batters in the complete game shutout performance. Salas also threw 113 pitches in the contest, 76 for strikes.
“I don’t even know what to think. In that last inning, I was trying to keep my adrenaline down. The fans were getting up and I couldn’t believe it. It’s a dream come true,” Salas said after the game. “That’s the only reason I showed up today, to get our team back on track. I didn’t care how it happened or what the score was, we really needed to win. I think it all came together tonight.”
UPSET OF THE DAY: Toledo over College of Charleston
College of Charleston has been one of the nation’s hottest teams to start the season, opening the year with a huge home series over North Carolina. However, the Cougars took a slight step back on Tuesday with a surprising 5-2 home loss to previously 2-6 Toledo.
Toledo left-handed pitcher Ross Achter pieced together an outstanding performance against the hot hitting Cougars, striking out five, walking three and allowed just a run on two hits in five innings. He also threw 89 pitches, 47 of them for strikes.
For the Cougars, hard-throwing freshman pitcher Tyler Thornton was just OK, striking out three and allowing three runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, while in good news, reliever Chase Henry threw yet another scoreless frame. For the season, Henry has now tossed 13 1/3 innings with an unblemished earned-run average.
Other notable upsets:
Jackson State 5, South Alabama 4 — Alexander Juday (3 IP, 1 R for JSU)
Loyola Marymount 6, UCLA 1 — David Fletcher (2H, 2 RBI for LMU)
DID YOU SEE THIS?
It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while you’ll see a complete game in the midweek. That was the case Tuesday night for Cal State Bakersfield, as junior right-handed pitcher James Barragan struck out seven, walked one and allowed just a run on four hits in a complete game performance, 3-1 home win over Cal State Northridge. Barragan threw 126 pitches, 90 for strikes.
Florida State: The FSU coaching staff raved about the fall senior right-handed pitcher Peter Miller had, so it was nice to see him go out and put together a good performance in a 5-1 midweek road win over USF. Miller struck out 11, walked two and allowed just a run on four hits in five innings.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks have a stable of impressive young arms, and lefty Josh Reagan got his turn in midweek action against Stetson. Reagan didn’t disappoint in a 7-1 victory, striking out six, not allowing a walk, and allowing just a run on six hits in five innings.
Vanderbilt: Everyone knows about the elite arms the Commodores possess, but how about the duo of righty Walker Buehler and lefty Hayden Stone in a 4-0 home win over Tennessee Tech? Buehler allowed just two hits in six shutout frames, while Stone was incredible, striking out all but one batter he faced in three shutout innings of work. Stone threw 32 of his 48 pitches for strikes.
Texas Tech: After going 1-2 in the Houston College Classic, but finishing the tournament with a victory, it was interesting to see what the Red Raiders would do in a short turnaround game against a very solid New Mexico club. Tech didn’t disappoint in a 9-3 victory, as leadoff hitter Stephen Smith went 4-for-5 with a triple and an RBI. Shortstop Ryan Long also had a big day with three hits and four RBIs.
Texas A&M: It’s safe to say the Aggies had a dismal trip out to the West Coast over the weekend. But talented freshman lefty Tyler Stubblefield deserves kudos for the outing he had against UT-Arlington in a 5-4 victory. Stubblefield struck out nine, walked one and allowed just five hits in 5 2/3 shutout frames.
Tennessee: The Vols have an infusion of talent, and it’s paying dividends early in the season, as they improved to a fantastic 11-0 with a 14-0 home thrashing of La Salle. UT starting pitcher, freshman Hunter Martin, struck out four and allowed just three hits in three shutout frames, while leadoff hitter Scott Price and outfielder Christin Stewart led the way at the plate, each hitting homers. Also, shortstop A.J. Simcox had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs.
Georgia: The Bulldogs got an absolute steal when talented right-handed pitcher Robert Tyler decided to head to college. Tyler, a former Perfect Game All-American, was terrific Tuesday night in a 1-0 home win over Georgia Tech. Tyler, who can get up to 93-94 with his fastball at times, struck out five, walked one and allowed just two hits in eight shutout frames. Meanwhile, at the plate, Zack Bowers led the offensive cause with three hits.
Kennesaw State: The Owls haven’t gotten off to a terrific start, but perhaps a nice midweek win over Georgia State will get the ball rolling for good. Kennesaw State starting pitcher Will Lowman allowed just one hit in 2 2/3 shutout innings, while Chris Erwin tossed three shutout frames. Meanwhile, offensively, elite prospect and catcher Max Pentecost led the charge with a pair of hits.
Cal Poly: One of the nation’s fastest starters, the Mustangs continued their impressive ways with a 6-0 midweek win over improved Santa Clara. Cal Poly freshman right-handed pitcher Justin Calomeni was impressive in his start, striking out six, walking one and allowing just four hits in six shutout innings.
Pepperdine: Nestled in the paradise of Malibu, Calif, the Wave quietly are putting together an impressive season, improving to 9-3 with a very solid 2-1 home win over UNC Wilmington. Waves starting pitcher Matt Maurer tossed two shutout frames to begin the contest, while A.J. Puckett was terrific out of the bullpen, striking out six, walking one and allowing no runs and just two hits in three innings.
Stanford: There hasn’t been a lot to smile about for the Cardinal so far this season, but they took care of business against rival California, 11-1, on Tuesday night. Stanford freshman starting pitcher Tyler Thorne tossed a gem against the Golden Bears, striking out four, walking two and allowing just three hits in five shutout frames, while All-American third baseman Alex Blandino went 3-for-3 with four RBIs to lead the offense.
San Diego State: After failing to meet expectations the past few seasons, the Aztecs actually are exceeding expectations right now, improving to 9-3 overall with a 7-3 victory over rival San Diego. SDSU starting pitcher, lefty Brett Seeburger, allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits in three innings, while righty TJ Kendzora struck out two, walked one and allowed just a run on three hits in four innings. Offensively, Ty France had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while leadoff hitter Greg Allen went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
UCF: Terry Rooney’s club will give some teams fits before the season really gets rolling, but his club had a tough time getting over an 0-3 weekend out at Ole Miss, as they dropped a 5-2 decision to Bethune-Cookman. UCF starting pitcher Zach Rodgers struggled out of the gate, allowing five runs on eight hits in four innings, while Bethune’s Montana Durapau shut down the Knights, striking out six, walking no one and allowing just two runs (one earned) on six hits in seven innings.
Arizona: Some shockwaves were sent around college baseball after the weekend out in Tucson, Ariz., and not for a good reason for the Wildcats, as they were swept by Seton Hall. Well, the Wildcats didn’t return to normalcy Tuesday in a tough 3-2 loss to suddenly rising Long Beach State. LBSU starting pitcher Jason Alexander held the Wildcats at bay, striking out four, walking two and allowing a run on six hits in six innings, while for ‘Zona, starting pitcher Cody Hamlin allowed a run in three innings, with Nathan Bannister being a bright spot with three shutout frames out of the bullpen.
Utah: The Utes actually impressed me quite a bit a couple of weeks ago at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge, but certainly had a night to forget in a 20-3 loss to rival BYU. Utah starting pitcher Tanner Banks had a tough night, allowing six runs on four hits in just a 1/3 of an inning, while the rest of the bullpen didn’t fare much better. BYU’s Kelton Caldwell had a huge game at the plate, going 3-for-6 with a pair of triples, three runs scored and three RBIs.