TEAM OF THE DAY
If we said it once, we've said it again; the Gamecocks just have the mojo. The Gamecocks picked two more dramatic ways to win on Saturday as they swept a doubleheader from Tennessee to clinch a home series victory. In the first game, a 4-3 triumph, second baseman Jordan Gore hit a walk-off home run on a 1-0 pitch to give the Gamecocks a 4-3 triumph. Then, it wasn't over, as the always-reliable Grayson Greiner hit a two-out grand slam in the ninth inning to give South Carolina a 9-6 victory. The most impressive thing about the rally? The Gamecocks began the final frame with a fly out and strikeout -- everything in the inning being accomplished with two outs.
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Brian Wolfe, of, Washington: The Huskies might just be the nation’s hottest teams with Wolfe and others leading the charge. Wolfe had a huge night at the plate, as the Huskies captured a 19-4 victory over USC to clinch an important Pac-12 road series. While starting pitcher Tyler Davis allowed just a run and a hit in six innings, Wolfe led the offense going 4-for-6 with a pair of homers, four runs scored and eight RBIs. Meanwhile, second baseman Andrew Ely also had a nice game for the Huskies with three hits and two RBIs.
UPSET OF THE DAY
Arizona 11, No. 7 Oregon State 2
It hasn’t been much of a season for head coach Andy Lopez’s Wildcats, but they at least experienced some success Saturday in an impressive win over the Beavers. Arizona’s Trent Gilbert continues to have a nice season at the plate, and collected three hits, a triple and three RBIs to lead the offensive charge, while starting pitcher Cody Hamlin battled throughout the night, striking out 12, walking no one and allowing just two runs in 8 2/3 innings. Interestingly, the Wildcats touched up usually reliable Beavers righthanded pitcher Andrew Moore for six runs on 10 hits in just three innings of work.
Air Force 5, New Mexico 0 (P Griffin Jax: 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)
Northeastern 4, College of Charleston 3 (P Chris Carmain: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ...
The score of the day goes to Jacksonville State and Eastern Illinois, as the Gamecocks defeated the Panthers 23-15. JSU had four players finish the afternoon with three hits, while Eastern Illinois outfielder Demetre Taylor smacked a pair of homers in the losing cause.
Florida: The Gators were in dire need of a series win this weekend, and got what they needed with a pair of wins over LSU to clinch a home series victory. Florida won the first game 2-1 with righthanded pitcher Eric Hanhold striking out three and allowing just a run on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings, while in the second game, the Gators won 6-2 with talented freshman righthanded pitcher Logan Shore striking out five, walking one and allowing just two runs on six hits in 8 2/3 innings. Florida's first win of the day was in dramatic fashion, as Justin Shafer hit a walk-off home run off LSU heralded righthanded pitcher Aaron Nola.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils have really struggled this spring, only improving to 14-11 with an 8-5 road win over UCLA. But it was a big win for Tim Esmay's club, knotting the series up at 1-1. ASU outfielder Trever Allen led the way at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a home run and an RBI, while outfielder Jake Peevyhouse went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. On the mound, ASU's bullpen was the strength, as Jordan Aboites and Ryan Burr combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
Kevin McAvoy, rhp, Bryant: The Bulldogs swept a pair of games from Albany on Saturday with the veteran righty leading the way. McAvoy struck out 12, walked one and allowed just six hits in seven shutout frames in a 6-0 victory.
Wichita State: Though the Shockers dropped the series opener to the Titans, they responded in impressive fashion Saturday with a 3-2 victory. Wichita righthanded pitcher Cale Elam put together a nice performance against the Titans, striking out eight, walking one and allowing just two runs on four hits in a complete game performance. Meanwhile, Fullerton freshman righty Phil Bickford struck out nine, walked two and allowed just two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Blake Fox, lhp, Rice: Color me a big fan of the Rice lefthanded pitcher. Fox, after the Owls lost the series opener on Friday, led the charge on Saturday in an 8-0 victory over Middle Tennessee State. Fox struck out seven, walked three and allowed just three hits in eight shutout innings.
Alex Luna, rhp, UAB: The Blazers got their second-straight outstanding pitching performance, as they clinched a series win over Florida International with Luna leading the way. Luna struck out four, didn't walk one and allowed just six hits in seven shutout innings in a 1-0 win. UAB improved to 19-8 overall, 6-2 in C-USA.
Liberty: Here's another team that should get some strong consideration for the Perfect Game College Top 25. The Flames had another strong day, beating Presbyterian 8-0 to clinch a road series win. Liberty righthanded pitcher Carson Herndon struck out six, walked two and allowed just two hits in six shutout frames, while the bullpen shined with Jared Lyons, Michael Stafford and Nate Blaylock leading the way.
Oklahoma: How about the Sooners? This could very well be one of your newest entrants into the PG Top 25. Head coach Pete Hughes continues to do a terrific job this season, as the Sooners clinched a series win over Kansas with a 2-1 victory. OU lefthanded pitcher Adam Choplick struck out six, walked two and allowed just a run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings, while the OU bullpen shined with Jacob Evans and Ralph Garza each throwing shutout frames. OU is now 20-8, 4-1 in the Big 12.
UNLV: The Rebels showed again this weekend why they were included in the latest PG Top 25. UNLV righthanded pitcher John Richy struck out 10, walked no one and allowed just four runs on nine hits in 8 1/3 innings in a 5-4 road win over Nebraska. UNLV catcher Erik VanMeetren led the way offensively with two hits and two RBIs.
Duke: Blue Devils outfielder Ryan Deitrich hit a walk-off RBI single in the 12th inning to propel his club to a 9-8 win, and series victory, over rival North Carolina. Deitrich finished the afternoon with three hits and three RBIs, while third baseman Chris Marconcini finished the day with three hits as well.
Sean Newcomb, lhp, Hartford: The elite lefthanded pitcher continues to have an unblemished earned-run average after silencing Stony Brook in a 1-0 win, splitting the Saturday doubleheader. Newcomb struck out eight and walked four in seven hitless innings.
Bryant Holtmann, lhp, Florida State: With lefty Brandon Leibrandt on the shelf because of the flu, the Seminoles looked to Holtmann to get the job done in his absence. Holtmann was impressive, striking out four, walking one and allowing just a run on three hits in six innings in a 10-1 victory over Boston College to secure a series sweep. With the win, the 'Noles likely will stay atop the PG Top 25.
Jackson McClelland, rhp Pepperdine: The Waves received yet another outstanding performance from a starting pitcher as they captured a 1-0 home win over Portland to clinch a series victory. McClelland, an imposing 6-foot-5, 220-pounder, struck out six, walked one and allowed just four hits in seven shutout innings.
Auburn facing adversity: The Tigers haven’t had to face a lot of adversity the past few weeks, so I was curious to see how they’d handle, at home, losing the first two games of the weekend to Missouri. Well, Sunny Golloway’s club passed the test with flying colors, winning 7-3 to avoid the series sweep. AU starting pitcher Michael O’Neal allowed just two runs in five innings, but the story was senior righthander Jay Wade, who allowed just one hit in four innings of relief work.
Arkansas, Mississippi State starting pitching: The Razorbacks and Bulldogs split a pair of games on Saturday, with both squads getting excellent starting pitching performances in their respective wins. For Arkansas in a 4-0 triumph to start the day, lefthander Jalen Beeks allowed nine hits, but no runs in eight innings. Then, in an MSU 5-1 nightcap win, Mr. Reliable, lefthanded pitcher Ross Mitchell was terrific yet again, striking out two and allowing just a run on four hits in another complete game performance.
Alabama’s tenacity: It’s integral you take care of business at home in the Southeastern Conference, and that’s what Alabama is doing this weekend. ‘Bama scored a pair of runs in the 10th inning, including a walk-off single from Hunter Webb, to beat Ole Miss 6-5 and take the three-game series. Alabama righthanded reliever Ray Castillo shined in 2 2/3 innings, while second baseman Kyle Overstreet led the offense with a pair of hits and two RBIs.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores dropped the series opener to Kentucky on Friday, but bounced back in impressive fashion Saturday with a 9-3 victory. Dansby Swanson led the Vandy offense, going 4-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored and two RBIs, while Rhett Wiseman, Bryan Reynolds and Xavier Turner each chipped in three-hit performances.
Florida Atlantic: You have to take care of business at home in major conferences, and the Owls aren't accomplishing that goal this weekend. FAU's offense was silenced by Southern Miss' pitching staff in a 5-2 home loss to lose the series. USM starting pitcher Conor Fisk allowed two runs on six innings, while Jake Winston tossed 2 2/3 scoreless frames.
Georgia Tech: As Danny Hall alluded to in our feature on the Yellow Jackets last week, his club has little margin for error. Well, the Jackets lost this weekend's series against Pittsburgh, dropping Saturday's contest 5-0. GT starting pitcher Devin Stanton allowed two runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings, while Pitt starting pitcher Joseph Harvey was terrific, striking out three and allowing just three hits in eight shutout frames.
North Carolina State: The Wolfpack desperately needed to return home and captured a home series win over Miami to get back in business. Well, that didn't happen, as the Pack lost a pair of contests, both by scores of 2-1. Miami's Andrew Suarez struck out three and allowed a run on five hits in eight innings, while in the second game, the Wolfpack couldn't get much going against Miami's pitching trio of Chris Diaz, Thomas Woodrey and Cooper Hammond.
Texas A&M’s offense: The Aggies were expected to be much improved offensively this spring, but that just isn’t happening. A&M was silenced for the second-straight day in a 6-1 loss to Georgia to lose the road series. Georgia hard-throwing freshman Robert Tyler struck out six in eight shutout innings, while the Aggies mustered just eight hits, scoring their only run in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly. A&M is hitting .271 as a team entering the series finale.