Josh Anthony, Auburn

Josh Anthony, Auburn


D1 Digest: Friday, April 21


Team of the day: Auburn

It’s one thing to take care of business in the series opener against a ranked team, but it’s a whole other story to do so in the fashion that Auburn did it, beating Arkansas 15-2 with the offense and a strong Keegan Thompson leading the charge. Without righthander Casey Mize this weekend, who likely won’t pitch because of arm soreness, AU really needed to begin the series in positive fashion. It did just that, as Josh Anthony smacked a double and a homer (his first of the season) in the victory. Daniel Robert also had a double and a home run, while Dylan Ingram hit his fourth homer of the season. As for Anthony, he finished the night with three hits and four RBIs. Arkansas righthander Blaine Knight allowed eight runs on eight hits in 2.1 innings, while Thompson struck out seven, didn’t walk anyone and allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings. With the win, AU’s RPI is up to 24 (up three spots) and much closer to hosting territory.

Upset of the day: Duke over No. 2 Louisville

The Blue Devils haven’t had the season they’d hoped for so far with an RPI well into the 100s, but you know what? That RPI went up a whopping 16 spots overnight by hitting the road and beating Louisville 5-3. It was just the second loss at home this season for the Cards. Duke got off to a fast start against UL starting pitcher Brendan McKay, scoring three runs the first two innings on a Jimmy Herron steal of home, a Chris Proctor RBI triple and a Herron RBI single. Later in the game, Louisville trimmed the Duke lead to 3-2 going into the fifth inning, but again, the Blue Devils responded with Griffin Conine hitting a two-run homer to make it 5-2. Duke didn’t look back, as Mitch Stallings allowed three runs in seven innings and Jack Labosky tossed two shutout innings. As for McKay, he struck out seven, walked three and allowed five runs on six hits in six innings.

Other Big Upsets

— Indiana was one of the first teams outside our latest field of 64 earlier this week. Well, apparently, the Hoosiers want to be in the field next week. The Hoosiers derailed No. 13 Michigan in impressive fashion, 1-0. IU starting pitcher Jonathan Stiever struck out seven, walked one and allowed just six hits in seven shutout innings, while reliever Tim Herrin tossed two shutout frames. Meanwhile, the Wolverines wasted a quality start from big lefty Oliver Jaskie, who struck out 10, walked two and allowed just a run on five hits in 6.2 innings. The next two games become critical for Michigan, which dropped to 30 in the RPI.

Tulane now leads the American Athletic standings by two games after disposing of No. 23 Houston 7-1 on Friday night. The Green Wave continued their impressive play as of late, thanks in part to a stellar showing from the top of the lineup with the top three hitters accounting for six hits. Jarret DeHart had a three-run homer in the game, while Jake Willsey had three hits (two of them homers) and two RBIs. Tulane starting pitcher Corey Merrill allowed just three hits in eight shutout innings. The Green Wave is potentially making one of the great RPI climbs we’ve seen, as they’re now up to 74 in the RPI. Remember when the Wave was well into the 100s a few weeks ago?

Oklahoma State needed a series-opening win over Texas Tech in the worst way with its RPI slipping over the past couple of weeks. Well, the Pokes got just that on Friday in a 12-10 win over the Red Raiders. Garrett McCain had a huge night at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs, while Colin Simpson went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs. How big was this win? OSU’s RPI went up 14 spots with the victory.

Washington State hasn’t had a great season, but picked up a series-opening 5-4 win over rival Washington with a walk-off walk in the 11th inning. James Rudkin led the Cougars with four hits and two RBIs.

— BYU picked up a wild 9-8 win over San Diego. The Cougars scored six of their nine runs in their final four at bats, with Tanner Chauncey collecting three hits in the victory.

— Utah ain’t dead yet, folks. the Utes made national news last season by winning the Pac 12. Well, the Utes are up to 41 in the latest RPI after beating Arizona 7-3 on the road to clinch a huge road series victory. Utah’s Riley Ottesen struck out five, walked two and allowed two runs on five hits in 6.2 innings, while Oliver Dunn had a nice night at the plate.

Player of the day: Eli Morgan, rhp, Gonzaga

Morgan has had quite the campaign for the Zags and he continued his impressive ways Friday night in a 13-0 win over Portland. Morgan, a 5-foot-10, 185-pounder, struck out 15, walked two and allowed just three hits in eight shutout innings. Morgan entered the day with a 2.63 ERA in 65 innings, along with 80 strikeouts and just 16 walks.

Honorable Mention

Long Beach State righthander Darren McCaughan was magnificent in a 4-0 road win over UC Irvine. The righty struck out five, didn’t walk anyone and allowed just three hits in a complete game performance.

— Dallas Baptist 1B Austin Listi had a night to remember in a 20-12 win over Indiana State. Listi smashes a pair of homers and finished the contest with five RBIs. He also walked twice in the winning cause.

Troy starting pitcher Andrew Crane had a solid performance in a 4-0 win over Texas State. He struck out seven, walked three and allowed just two hits in six innings.

Prairie View A&M second baseman Jalyn Baker had a day to remember, going 4-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs in a wild 15-13 win over Southern.

Southeastern Louisiana ace Mac Sceroler was outstanding in a 4-0 road win over Nicholls. He struck out nine, walked two and allowed two hits in a complete game.

Lamar’s Chad Fleischman smacked two homers and knocked in three runs in a 17-11 win over Abilene Christian.

Davidson righthander Durin O’Linger was dominant in a 6-0 road win over North Carolina A&T. O’Linger struck out nine, didn’t walk anyone and allowed just three hits in a complete game performance.

Kent State took 15 innings to beat Toledo 1-0 on Friday night, but how about Kent lefty Eli Kraus? He struck out eight, walked one and allowed just seven hits in nine shutout innings. On the flip side, Toledo’s Steven Calhoun struck out four, walked three and allowed five hits in nine shutout frames.

Valparaiso’s Gio Garbella went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a homer and six RBIs in a dominant 17-4 road win over Northern Kentucky.

Marshall catcher Sam Finfer went 4-for-5 with a double and a homer in a dominant 22-6 home win over FIU that included an 11-run fifth inning.

— Oklahoma’s Jake Irvin returned to the mound against Kansas on Friday, but it didn’t go as planned as he allowed four runs on five hits in 3.1 innings. Kansas leadoff hitter Rudy Karre went 3-for-3 with two doubles, four runs scored and four RBIs.

UCF starting pitcher Robby Howell had a dominant performance in a 8-1 win over UCONN. Howell struck out 11, walked two and allowed a run on four hits in a complete game performance.

Vanderbilt righthander Patrick Raby put together a strong performance in a road win over Georgia, striking out four, walking one and allowing a run on eight hits in a complete game performance.

National Takeaways

Oregon State entered the ninth inning against UCLA with a 2-0 lead and big-time reliever Jake Mulholland on the mound. However, the Bruins made things interesting by scoring two runs on a Nick Kern two-run homer. The Beavers responded in the 10th inning with two runs of their own on a Michael Gretler RBI double and a Jack Anderson RBI single. OSU lefty Luke Heimlich, who sat 90-93 with his fastball early in the contest, struck out 10, walked three and allowed two hits in 7.1 innings, while UCLA’s Griffin Canning was very good as well, striking out 10, walking three and allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings.

South Carolina dropped the series opener to Florida on Thursday, but responded in impressive fashion Friday night with a 4-2 win. Gamecocks righthander Wil Crowe answered the call to arms, striking out three, not walking anyone and allowing a run on six hits in seven innings, while Carlos Cortes showed his impressive strength with a homer and two RBIs. As for the Gators, righty Brady Singer allowed three runs on six hits in 5.1 innings.

Missouri is one of those teams in desperate need of a series win this weekend. And well, the Tigers, who have an RPI in the 50s, got what they needed in a 9-3 road win over Ole Miss. The Tigers got a strong performance from leadoff hitter Connor Brumfield, who went 2-for-4 with a homer, while five other Mizzou hitters had a hit in the game. Meanwhile, Cole Bartlett threw well in place of Tanner Houck, striking out three and allowing just three runs (two earned) on 10 hits in nine innings. On a side note, speaking of teams trending the wrong direction, the Rebels are now down to 42 in the RPI.

Stanford could really lose a road series win over Oregon, and reliever Colton Hock made sure his club started the weekend with a bang in a 4-3 win over the Ducks. Stanford starter Kris Bubic struck out seven, walked three and allowed two runs on five hits in 6.1 innings, while Hock allowed just two hits in 2.2 shutout innings. As for UO’s David Peterson, he struck out five, didn’t walk anyone and allowed four runs on 10 hits in seven innings.

TCU lost righthander Jared Janczak for the weekend because of arm soreness, but that didn’t hold it back in a 9-4 win over rival Baylor. TCU lefty Nick Lodolo struck out five, walked two and allowed a run on seven hits in six innings, while leadoff hitter Austen Wade led the offense with a double and three hits.

Florida State picked up a huge home series win over Clemson last weekend and began this weekend with a big 6-3 road win over rival Miami. While the Seminoles have some breathing room from a postseason standpoint after taking the series from the Tigers, the Hurricanes enter the weekend needing some serious help. FSU’s Jim Voyles led the way on the mound with three solid innings of work, while Dylan Busby had a big night at the plate, smacking a home run, double and knocking in four runs. In case you were wondering, Miami’s RPI is down to 81. Yeah, not good.

LSU and Kentucky are amid a pivotal conference series. The winner of the series would greatly increase their national seed chances, while the loser would have more work to do. In the first game, UK used a pair of homers and five RBIs to beat the Tigers 12-5, while the Bayou Bengals responded in the nightcap with a 4-3 victory. Righty Alex Lange struck out seven, walked eight (two intentional walks) and allowed three runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings, while young Zack Hess was terrific out of the bullpen with 3.1 shutout innings. While the two teams will take tomorrow off because of impending weather, the series finale on Sunday should be a dandy.

It was an interesting Friday in the Big Ten with some intriguing results. Indiana’s win over No. 13 Michigan highlighted the day’s action, but Maryland’s 12-2 win over Michigan State and Nebraska’s 5-3 win over Minnesota also are big. Maryland starting pitcher Brian Shaffer struck out seven, walked one and allowed a run on six hits in seven innings, while Will Watson had two hits and three RBIs. As for Nebraska, starting pitcher Jake Hohensee struck out three and allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings, while leadoff hitter Jake Meyers went 4-for-5 with two RBIs to help set the table. The Huskers’ win is a good start to the weekend for a team needing some marquee victories for their postseason resume.

— The Conference USA regular season title race is heating up and Southern Miss and Old Dominion have a big series in Hattiesburg this weekend. Southern Miss got off to a strong start in the pivotal series with a 10-2 victory. USM lefty Kirk McCarty struck out six, walked two and allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings, while LeeMarcus Boyd went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs. ODU’s Sam Sinnen had a night to forget, allowing nine runs on eight hits in just four innings.

In Case You Missed It …

— UAB head coach Brian Shoop earned career win No. 1,000 in a 14-8 road win over Louisiana Tech. He’s the 80th coach in NCAA history to reach the milestone.

— Tennessee righthander Hunter Martin put together yet another studly performance, but it didn’t matter in a narrow walk-off loss to Texas A&M. But the news of the night came after the game when Tennessee announced hard-throwing righty Kyle Serrano was no longer with the team to deal with some personal medical issues. The good news? I spoke with coach and father Dave Serrano late Friday night and Serrano said the medical issues are not life-threatening. That is obviously terrific news, and we wish the absolute best for Kyle moving forward.

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