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D1 Digest: Friday, April 13

Roundup


Friday Coverage

Aaron Fitt on Hofstra’s John Rooney, Elon’s Kyle Brnovich
Eric Sorenson on Creighton-St. John’s

Team of the day

Oregon State

For the first time in a long time, it felt like the Beavers had something to prove entering Friday’s doubleheader against Missouri State. Well, not anymore. The Beavers crushed the No. 19 Bears, 17-6, in the first game of the doubleheader before leading the Bears 10-1 in just the second inning in a game two that was postponed until Saturday afternoon because of inclement weather.

In the first game, OSU touched up stud Missouri State righthander Dylan Coleman for six runs in 3.1 innings, as Trevor Larnach led the way with a pair of home runs and four RBIs. Cadyn Grenier, Tyler Malone and Andy Armstrong also got in on the home run action, while speedy Steven Kwan was the typical table setter atop the lineup with two hits and two RBIs. In the second game, the Beavers jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the second inning with Adley Rutschman, Tyler Malone (again) and Michael Gretler hitting home runs.

It was a statement afternoon for the Beavers, and that was without Nick Madrigal, who will not play in this series despite entering the weekend 50-50. It’s a safe bet, however, that Madrigal returns to the lineup next weekend.

Players of the day

Because picking one just isn’t fair on a day like today, so here it goes …

Ross Haffey, Miami (Ohio)
What. A. Twinbill. Miami defeated Ball State 17-6 in the first game of a doubleheader before dropping the nightcap, 13-12. But the loss certainly wasn’t Haffey’s doing. He had a ridiculous day at the plate, going 7-for-9 with five homers and 12 RBIs. That’s not a misprint.

Parker Phillips, Austin Peay
Just like Haffey, Phillips had a monstrous Friday at the plate as the Governors swept Eastern Kentucky by scores of 18-15 and 11-9. Phillips led the charge, going 6-for-8 with five homers (including a grand slam) and 10 RBIs. Just insane.

Bryant Packard, East Carolina

It’s not easy to send USF lefthander Shane McClanahan packing early, but the Pirates and Packard accomplished that goal, as he allowed six runs in three innings. Packard had a night to remember, going 3-for-4 with a double, two homers, tow runs scored and five RBIs.

Noah Zavolas, Harvard

It’s one thing to throw the 19th hitter of the college baseball season. It’s another thing entirely to do it against your hated rival in Yale. Zavolas did just that in a 4-0 win over the Bulldogs. He struck out 12 and walked one in the complete game performance. Have a day, Noah.

The Good

Troy: The Trojans are trending the right direction in the Sun Belt and from an RPI standpoint, beating Costal Carolina 4-2 to kick off an important weekend series. Andrew Crane led the way on the mound, having some command issues at times, but also allowing just four hits in 5.2 shutout innings. But Coastal’s Jason Bilous had the most interesting line, walking seven batters, but also allowing just two runs on three hits in five innings.

Ole Miss: After moving lefthander Ryan Rolison out of the Friday spot in the weekend rotation, he’s back in his normal spot, and he didn’t disappoint in a dominant 11-3 win over Vanderbilt. Rolison struck out eight, walked three and allowed just two runs on six hits in 5.2 innings, while Vandy’s Drake Fellows allowed six runs in 5.2 innings. Will Golsan hit a home run for the Rebs, while Nick Fortes knocked in three runs.

College of Charleston: This weekend’s series against Northeastern is a battle between the top two teams in the CAA standings, and the Cougars took the first game, 4-1. C of C’s Evan Sisk struck out six, walked one and allowed six hits in six innings, while Carter Love slammed the door on the Huskies with three shutout frames out of the bullpen. From an offensive standpoint, Clay Hunt had a home run, while Luke Manzo smacked a double. Charleston is up to 44 in the RPI, while NU is down to 20.

Michigan: What in the world has gotten into the Wolverines since that ugly loss to Lawrence Tech in midweek action? The Wolverines apparently took that loss personally, because they’ve now won 16-straight games after crushing Maryland 10-4. Jonathan Engelmann had a huge afternoon at the plate, smacking a pair of doubles, hitting a home run and knocking in tow runs, while Jesse Franklin hit a home run and double and knocked in three runs. In case you’re wondering, Michigan’s RPI is up to 55 with yet another victory.

Wake Forest’s starting pitching: The Demon Deacons hit the road and swept a doubleheader from Boston College, pitching shutouts in both ends of the doubleheader. In the opener, righty Griffin Roberts struck out 11, walked one and allowed a hit in eight shutout innings, while in game two, Morgan McSweeney struck out 11, walked one and allowed two hits in six shutout innings. That’s how you set the tone to a series.

Duke: Sure, the Blue Devils suffered a tough series loss to Wake Forest earlier in the week, but they bounced back in impressive fashion with a 7-1 win over Florida State, which lost righthander Cole Sands to shoulder tightness after just four innings. Adam Laskey led the Blue Devils with just a run allowed in 6.2 innings, while Chris Proctor had three hits and three RBIs. Duke is now 11-5 in the ACC and up to 24 in the RPI.

Connecticut: The Huskies are without Preseason All-American Tim Cate this weekend, so of course they go on the road and sweep a doubleheader from Wichita State. UCONN won the series opener 7-4 before cruising in the nightcap, 9-4. In the first game, Isaac Feldstein hit a home run, while Colby Dunlop tossed four shutout innings to get it started. Then, in the nightcap, Feldstein was at it again with a home run and three RBIs, while lefty Mason Feole led the pitching staff with eight strikeouts and just three walks while allowing two runs on three hits in six innings. With the two wins, the Huskies are now up to 12 in the RPI.

Kentucky: Trey Dawson hasn’t had an overly flashy season thus far for the Wildcats, but he stepped up when they needed him the most on Friday night, smacking a two-run double in the 11th inning to give his team a 6-4 lead and the win over Georgia. While UK’s Sean Hjelle allowed four runs in eight innings, righty Chris Machamer was outstanding out of the bullpen, striking out five and allowing a hit in three shutout frames.

The Bad

Houston: My oh my, Cougars. The Cougars had a 10-run lead over Tulane in the sixth inning, but Travis Jewett’s Green Wave fought back with two runs in the sixth, three in the seventh, four in the eighth and five in the ninth, including a walk-off passed ball to win 17-16. Another loss to the Green Wave this weekend would be devastating for the Cougars from an RPI standpoint. What a horrible loss.

Oklahoma: So, the Sooners’ rallying cry tonight should be “at least we’re not Houston”. The Sooners had a 6-4 lead over rival Texas entering the ninth inning, but the Longhorns scored three runs in the ninth to take a 7-6 lead and the win. Rising OU righthander Austin Hansen, who was just praised by coach Skip Johnson earlier in the day, allowed there runs in 2/3 of an inning. Meanwhile, David Hamilton had three hits and Duke Ellis and Masen Hibbeler each had two hits for the ‘Horns. How about this nugget? Entering the night, Texas was 0-12 when trailing after seven innings, while OU was 24-0 when leading after seven.

North Carolina and NC State: The two “big” schools in North Carolina had nights to remember, as the Tar Heels dropped a 4-0 decision to Virginia and the Wolfpack dropped a surprising 12-8 contest to Notre Dame. The Heels were unable to master Virginia’s Derek Casey, who tossed six shutout innings, while the Pack got lackluster starting pitching on a Friday night yet again, as Johnny Piedmonte was lifted after allowing two runs in three innings against the Irish.

Clemson: The clear runner-up to Houston in the blown lead department is Clemson, which allowed eight runs to Miami in the top of the ninth to send the game to extra innings. There, the two teams traded zeroes for two innings before the Hurricanes took a 12-11 lead in the 12th inning on a Freddy Zamora RBI single. That hit capped off a big night for Zamora, who tallied four hits and knocked in three runs.

National Notables

• Jacksonville State’s Garrett Farmer had a night to remember in a 7-0 win over SEMO. He struck out 10, walked one and allowed two hits in eight shutout innings.

• Bryant’s Ryan Ward put together s strong performance in a 19-6 road win over Fairleigh Dickinson. He went 4-for-6 with a pair of homers and six RBIs.

• Longwood’s Steven Farkas put together a ridiculous pitching performance in a 3-0 win over UNC Asheville. He struck out 14, walked three and allowed three hits in seven shutout innings.

• Morehead State’s Niko Hulsizer continues to have a strong return from an injury that sidelined him the first half of the season. Hulsizer hit for the cycle and knocked in five runs in a 25-3 road win over SIU-Edwardsville.

• Southern Miss will not have righthander Nick Sandlin this weekend because of soreness, but Stevie Powers rose to the occasion in his absence in a 5-0 road win over FIU. He struck out 10 and walked just one in a complete game shutout.

• Earlier tonight on Twitter, I mentioned how it was abundantly clear that the wind was howling at most ballparks around the country. Well, check out these insane offensive totals from the bout between Abilene Christian and Houston Baptist. Crazy!

Catching Our Attention

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