Midweek Madness: Tuesday, April 7
The Big Winner: Oklahoma State
There wasn’t much doubt about this category after the Cowboys’ total dismantling of rival Oklahoma in a non-conference midweek game, 24-2. In the grand scheme of things, this game doesn’t mean a whole lot because it doesn’t count in the Big 12 Conference standings. But boy, what a hit to OU’s ego losing to a rival like that.
As you might imagine, the OU-OSU box score is in much disarray, but here are some quick details for starters: The Cowboys scored eight runs in the first inning, roughing up OU starting pitcher Jeffrey Curran for six runs on five hits in just 2/3 of an inning while lefthander Adam Choplick didn’t fare any better for Hughes’ club, allowing eight runs on four hits in 2.1 innings. In all, the Cowboys scored eight in the first, five runs in the fifth, and also had four-run innings in the third and sixth, while also scoring three runs in the fifth.
Whew, that’s the quick review. How about OSU’s individual performances? Gritty OSU leadoff hitter Tim Arakawa had a huge day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored and four RBIs, while Conor Costello had another big night, going 3-for-5 with four RBIs, while Donnie Walton, Gage Green, Jon Littell and David Petrino each knocked in multiple runs.
OSU finished the night with 20 hits.
Costello helped his case, too, on the mound, tossing four innings in the victory, while Tyler Nurdin was terrific out of the bullpen, striking out two and tossing three scoreless frames.
Oklahoma State is red-hot following a home series sweep of Texas and this dominant win over Oklahoma. Now, it gets ready for a weekend date at Kansas.
More big winners:
Cal State Fullerton: Rick Vanderhook’s Titans finally seem to be getting their act together again. The Titans hit the road and captured a really nice 6-4 win over San Diego. Fullerton first baseman Josh Estill had two hits and two RBIs, while the bullpen did a terrific job with Miles Chambers (3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K), Maxwell Gibbs (2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and Tyler Peitzmeier (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) leading the charge. It was a tough night on the bump for USD starting pitcher Drew Jacobs, who allowed five runs on four hits in three innings.
College of Charleston: The Cougars have flown under the radar since the first few weeks of the season, but coach Monte Lee has his club playing exceptionally well. Charleston hosted Georgia Southern on Tuesday and captured a dominant 11-0 victory. C of C third baseman Carl Wise has a huge night at the plate, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs, while shortstop Champ Rowland had three hits, Alex Pastorius had a home run and two RBIs, and leadoff hitter Ryan Brown went 2-for-5 with an RBI … Charleston’s RPI was up to 32 entering Tuesday’s contest.
Memphis: The Tigers got into the Top 25 discussion with a home series win over Houston, and they helped their case even more Tuesday night with a 7-1 win over Mississippi State. Memphis first baseman Tucker Tubbs went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, but the story of the game was starting pitcher Alex Gunn silencing the Bulldogs, allowing just a run on three hits in seven innings … Mississippi State righthander Trevor Fitts didn’t have a good outing out of the pen. He allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits in just 2/3 of an inning … The craziest statistic entering this game? Memphis entered the day with an RPI of 58, while MSU had an RPI of 122.
Georgia: It was a good day for the Bulldogs for a couple of reasons. First, they went on the road and defeated Clemson 3-2 with the back-end of the bullpen in Bo Tucker and Jared Cheek doing a terrific job, while the offense was led by leadoff hitter and outfielder Stephen Wrenn, who went 2-for-4 with a home run, stolen base and an RBI, and catcher Brandon Stephens, who finished the contest with a pair of hits … But the biggest story of the night was the return of righthander David Sosebee, who had been out with a back injury. Sosebee allowed a run on two hits in two innings, and his return from a production and experience standpoint definitely is needed down the stretch.
Texas A&M does it again … Just a little note to any team facing the Aggies, you better leave no doubt late in the game. Rice starting pitcher Austin Orewiler allowed just two runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings, but down 3-1 in the seventh inning, the Aggies went to work. They led off the seventh with homers from JB Moss and Logan Nottebrok, while they took the lead in the eighth on an infield hit into the hole between third base and shortstop. A&M won the contest 4-3 … Here’s a statistic for you: The Aggies now have 38 homers as a team this season and are 31-2 overall.
UC Irvine has been one of the hotter teams in the country the past few weeks, and it improved its overall record to 19-10 with a 7-4 road win over San Diego State. UCI’s Andrew Martinez set the tone in the first inning with a three-run home run to center field, while outfielder Wyatt Castro had a triple, two hits and an RBI … The win was UC Irvine’s 13th-straight.
TCU has flown a little under the radar since the Oklahoma State series loss at home a few weeks ago. But after taking a road series from Texas Tech over the weekend, the Frogs responded with yet another solid win, this time beating ranked Dallas Baptist 6-2. The Frogs scored five runs in the third inning to set the tone, with all but one batter in the lineup recording a hit. Meanwhile, TCU sophomore lefthander Tyler Alexander was terrific, striking out five, not walking anyone and allowing just two runs on seven hits in eight innings.
Upset of the day
Lipscomb over Vanderbilt
Midweek action is a lot of fun to follow because of the intriguing upsets that tend to take place. Take for instance, the Bisons 3-1 road win over Vanderbilt. Lipscomb University is only a few miles away from Vandy’s campus, so we’re sure a few members of the purple and gold fan club were able to witness, and enjoy this one.
The story of the game was pretty clear, and it was LU freshman righthander Brady Puckett. Puckett mystified the Commodores on the way to victory. He sat 88-92 mph with his fastball and showed good feel for his changeup and slider. The righty struck out six, walked two and allowed just a run on five hits in 7.1 innings. The Bisons bullpen also was able to close things out in style, with Nick Andros finishing the contest with 1.1 shutout frames.
Lipscomb’s Josh Lee led the offensive charge by going 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs, while the Commodores wasted a solid start by lefthander John Kilichowski, who struck out seven, didn’t walk anyone and allowed just two runs on five hits in seven innings.
LU could be an interesting team to follow moving forward. The Bisons are 19-11 overall and have just an RPI of 152. However, the Atlantic Sun regular-season title race is very much open between now and the end of May.
• North Carolina took care of business against No. 22 Coastal Carolina at home, 9-3, with outfielder Tyler Ramirez having a big night at the plate. Ramirez went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while leadoff hitter Adam Pate went 3-for-4 with a home run and a double.
• Elon has had a tough season thus far, but recorded a nice midweek 7-5 triumph over NC State. Phoenix third baseman Danny Lynch had a nice night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, while the bullpen did a terrific job in relief of starting pitcher Mike Krill. Jake Stalzer tossed two shutout frames, while Joe McGillicuddy finished the contest in style with two strikeouts in two shutout innings.
Player of the day
JJ Schwarz, c, Florida
Not only did Schwarz have a big-time offensive performance in the 22-2 win over Stetson — it might be the best single-game production we’ll see from an individual the rest of the season.
The talented freshman catcher went 5-for-6 with a school-record four homers, a double and 10 RBIs. Schwarz increased his home run total from four to eight in the contest, and is now hitting .304/.366/.616.
Schwarz and the Gators’ big night comes at exactly the right time as they looked to recover from a tough road series loss to Missouri last weekend.
Staying in the Sunshine State … Florida State lefthanded Bryant Holtmann put together an impressive home start in a 5-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast. Holtmann struck out six, walked two and allowed just seven hits in eight shutout innings.
• Ole Miss dropped a 6-5 midweek decision to Southern Mississippi, as starting pitcher Evan Anderson was lifted after allowing three runs on seven hits in 1.1 innings. With the loss, the Rebels, who reached the College World Series last season, are now 16-17 overall with a series at Vanderbilt looming on the horizon.
• UC Santa Barbara is having a season to remember, improving to 24-7 overall with a 2-1 road win over sizzling hot USC. UCSB’s Domenic Mazza was terrific on the mound, striking out five, walking just one and allowing four hits in seven shutout innings …. On a positive note for the Trojans, leadoff hitter Bobby Stahel continues to be great, going 2-for-4 with a run scored in the game.
• Hartford threw a midweek no-hitter on Tuesday in a 10-0 win over Sacred Heart. Hartford had four pitchers combine for the no-hitter, with Ben Brown tossing two innings to start, Jake Regula (getting the win) tossing three innings after that, and then Justin Robarge and Kevin Tise each throwing two shutout frames to end the contest, with Tise finishing the game with two strikeouts.
One last thing …
There’s absolutely no caption needed, and it’s not college baseball — it’s actually a game between the Dodgers and Padres — but I think all fans of baseball will like, err, be amused:
If Monday was one play pic.twitter.com/zke0Ds0PPz
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) April 6, 2015