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D1 Digest: Arkansas’ Robert Moore Finally Goes Off To Headline Friday


>> Aaron Fitt on Oregon State’s Cooper Hjerpe, Ben Ferrer
>> Shotgun Spratling on UConn’s Austin Peterson

Did you see that? 

— Miami outfielder Jacob Burke had a night to remember as the Hurricanes obliterated North Dakota State, 22-0. Burke hit two three-run home runs, tallied four hits and knocked in eight runs in the victory. It’s also worth mentioning that Hurricanes battery mate Ariel Garcia also hit two homers in the win.

— Oklahoma State continued its red-hot ways Friday night in a 4-0 win over a solid SEMO club. But it was all about righthanded pitcher Justin Campbell in this one. The All-American righty struck out 12, walked one and allowed six hits in seven scoreless innings in the win.

— Northwestern State’s Jeffrey Elkins hit two homers and knocked in six runs in a wild one in the Southland Conference, as the Demons defeated McNeese, 16-12. 

— Belmont lefthanded pitcher Andy Bean tossed an absolute gem in an 8-1 win over UT Martin. Bean struck out 13, walked one and allowed a run on five hits in a complete game performance. 

— East Carolina needed 13 innings to beat Memphis, 4-1, but how about the starting pitching for both teams? ECU’s C.J. Mayhue was phenomenal, striking out nine in nine no-hit innings, while for the Tigers, Landon Gartman struck out 10 in eight no-hit innings. 

— Texas A&M continued its red-hot ways with a dominant 16-4 win over South Carolina. The Aggies hit five homers in the game with Austin Bost recorded a pair of solo shots. 

— Stanford righthanded pitcher put together a terrific start in a dominant 6-2 win over rival California. Williams struck out seven, didn’t walk anyone and allowed no earned runs on four hits in 8.1 innings of work. 

Marquee Matchups

• Pitching was the flavor of the day in Storrs as the two-best teams in the Big East Conference met on the diamond. And once again, Connecticut flexed its muscles on the mound in a 3-1 win over the Bluejays. Connecticut’s Austin Peterson put together a strong start, striking out nine, walking one and allowing a run on three hits in eight innings, while for the Jays, Dylan Tebrake was masterful as well with 13 punch outs in eight innings — he allowed just three runs. 

• Arkansas All-American second baseman Robert Moore has had a rough season offensively. He entered Friday’s game against Auburn with a batting average around .200 in SEC play. However, Friday’s performance at the plate might have been a tide turner, as the Hogs defeated Auburn, 11-8. Moore hit a mammoth three-run home run in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach. He finished the night with a pair of hits, while Kendall Diggs, who was a hero last weekend, also hit a big home run for the Hogs. The top four hitters in the Arkansas lineup combined for nine hits. 

• TCU had a rough start to the series opener against Oklahoma, but the offense came alive as the game progressed in a 9-7 win over Oklahoma. With Riley Cornelio out of the weekend rotation this weekend because of a sore forearm, the Frogs went with lefthander Austin Krob in the starter role. Krob struggled, allowing three runs in one inning of work. With that said, TCU’s offense came alive, touching up OU lefty Jake Bennett for seven runs in 4.2 innings of work. Bobby Goodloe knocked in three runs and 10 total TCU players had a hit in the game. TCU’s RPI is back into the 20s. Could the Frogs be making a move?

Notable Upsets

• Old Dominion took a step back last weekend with a home series loss to Louisiana Tech but might get back into the thick of the bubble race this weekend if it wins another game against Southern Miss. ODU took the series opener against No. 7 USM, 4-1, on Friday night. USM’s Tanner Hall struck out 14 in eight innings of work, but it was all for nothing as Blake Morgan allowed just one run in seven innings for the Monarchs. Jason Hartline tossed two shutout innings out of the pen while Matt Coutney hit his 23rd homer. 

• Boston College righthanded pitcher Joe Mancini put together his strongest start of the season in a 3-2 win over No. 23 Florida State. Mancini was terrific in the win over the Seminoles, striking out four and allowing just two runs on five hits in a complete game performance. Meanwhile, FSU lefthanded pitcher Parker Messick battled through an ankle sprain and struck out 12 in eight innings. BC’s Daniel Baruch led the offense with a pair of doubles and two RBIs. 

• Clemson might be the toughest team in college baseball to figure out. Right on cue, the Tigers responded in impressive fashion Friday night in a dominant 9-3 win over No. 21 Georgia Tech. Mack Anglin struck out eight and allowed three runs in seven innings, while Ty Olenchuk allowed just one hit in two scoreless innings of work. Offensively, Bryar Hawkins had three hits and two RBIs and Blake Wright had two hits and two RBIs. Amazingly, the Tigers, despite having a 7-14 ACC mark, are up to 27 in the RPI. 

• Vanderbilt has had a lot of trouble hitting with runners in scoring position the past few weeks. And sure, it still left 11 runners on base Friday night against Georgia. However, the Commodores also recorded eight hits (.444) with RISP and defeated the Bulldogs, 11-9. Javier Vaz and Dom Keegan each hit home runs for the ‘Dores, while Spencer Jones had a double and three hits and leadoff hitter Enrique Bradfield put together yet another strong showing, recording four hits — one a double — and an RBI. Vandy moves to .500 in the SEC with the win, and now faces Jonathan Cannon with the series on the line on Saturday.

• There can still be wild RPI swings this late in the season, and Mercer is a perfect case in point after dropping a 9-2 decision to 22-23 Western Carolina on Friday. With the loss, the Bears are down 15 spots in the RPI from the first of the week. For Western Carolina, starting pitcher Zach Franklin struck out 10 in seven strong innings, while Pascanel Ferreras hit a home run, recorded two doubles, and knocked in four runs.

Bubble Watch

• Louisiana Tech entered the weekend as one of our last few teams in this week’s Field of 64. Well, the Bulldogs are behind the eight ball already this weekend, dropping a 10-2 decision to FAU on Friday. FAU’s Hunter Cooley put together a strong start, striking out five and allowing two runs in eight innings of work, while the offense exploded with 10 runs on 12 hits with Dylan Goldstein and Caleb Pendleton each hitting a home run and knocking in three runs each. Tech is down five spots in the RPI with the loss.

• Both Louisiana and Coastal Carolina won their opening games of the weekend. The Cajuns, who were in our field of 64, took care of UT Arlington, 4-3, while Coastal, who narrowly missed our field, pummeled Little Rock, 13-3. Bo Bonds was terrific out of the pen for the Cajuns with five strikeouts in three shutout frames, while for the Chants, Tyler Johnson hit a pair of homers and tallied four RBIs. 

• Alabama entered the weekend as one of our first four teams out of the field, and the Tide dropped their opener to LSU on Friday night, 6-5. LSU’s bullpen, led by Riley Cooper, Eric Reyzelman and Paul Gervase, held the Tide offense at bay, while Tre Morgan hit a home run, tallied three hits, and knocked in two runs. Alabama is now sitting at 9-13. In other words, ‘Bama is in desperate need of a win.

• UTSA was one of our first teams out of the postseason projections earlier this week, and the Roadrunners picked up a 6-3 win over Marshall to begin the weekend. Ian Bailey hit a home run for the Roadrunners, while Josh Killeen chipped in a two double and three RBI performance. Unfortunately for UTSA, its RPI dipped several spots by just playing the game against the Thunder Herd, which has a losing overall record. 

• San Diego was one of our final teams in the postseason field this week, and the Toreros began the weekend with a 9-4 win over Pacific. Chase Meidroth had a huge night for the Toreros, going 3-for-4 with a home run and a walk, while Kevin Sim, Caleb Ricketts, and Cody Jefferis each had big nights at the plate, too. 

• Florida has a little leeway right now because of its lofty RPI, but is still in a danger zone with a 9-13 SEC record. However, Mississippi State is downright in a must-win position the rest of the weekend after dropping to 9-13 in the SEC and to 91 in the RPI after an 8-6 loss to Florida. Florida’s B.T. Riopelle hit a three-run home run, tallied four hits, and knocked in six runs, while Brandon Sproat chipped in a solid performance, bumping 98-99 mph on the radar gun, and allowing just two runs in six innings.