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D1 Digest: Friday Roundup


Pitcher of the Day

  • Bouncing back after getting an early hook last weekend, Hagen Smith was the talk of the college baseball community on Friday night. In a premiere college baseball matchup that pitted #2 Arkansas against #7 Oregon State, the Hogs lefthander dazzled, spotting the ball wherever he wanted while striking out 17 Beavers over six scoreless innings. Our own Aaron Fitt has more from Globe Life on Smith’s historic night. Additionally, look for a scouting breakdown on Smith from David Seifert in this week’s Scouting Trail.
  • Dallas Baptist righty Ryan Johnson gets an honorable mention for punching out 13 Chippewas in the Patriots 8-0 shutout victory over Central Michigan. Johnson worked seven innings and allowed just two hits: a double to lead off the game, and a third inning single. Underscored by a turbo sinker, the DBU righty efficiently sequenced a four-pitch mix to retire the final 14 hitters he faced.

Hitter of the Day

  • Hitting out of the nine-hole, Creighton third baseman Ben North absolutely went off at the plate on against Houston Christian on Friday, going 3-for-4 with a triple, two home runs and 10 RBIs. Both of North’s home runs were grand slams and they came in back-to-back innings in the second and third. Remarkably, North would find himself up at the plate AGAIN with he bases juiced in the third after already clearing them twice. He was then plunked which scored one which ended up being one of the more fortuitous results that Houston Christian endured during the shortened seven-inning game. The 10 ribeye steaks for North ties a program record set by Ryan Martindale back in 1991. The Bluejays are off to a torrid start offensively, scoring 55 runs in three games (18.3 R/G).

Oh, The Humanity!

  • Countless baseballs were orphaned in a senseless massacre in Lubbock, Texas, on Friday afternoon, as #19 Texas Tech completed a comeback victory over visiting Texas Southern by the score of 32-5. After the Tigers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the first, the Red Raiders responded with 22 unanswered runs over the next five innings. Credit Texas Southern for not laying down, scoring four runs in the sixth inning. The Texas Tech offense was just relentless, posting a remarkable four six-run innings and scoring in eight of the nine frames. The 32 runs scored established a new program record. Drew Woodcox (2 HR, 5 RBI), Landon Stripling (5-for-7, 2 HR, 7 RBI), and Kevin Bazzell (4-for-5, 3 2B, 5 RBI) and TJ Pompey (4-for-7, 4 R) led the way offensively. Red Raiders starter Kyle Robinson allowed one run on one hit with eight strikeouts over five innings.

Upset Specials

  • Stony Brook came into Baton Rouge at 1-3 as heavy underdogs against #3 LSU but no one seemed to inform the Seawolves, who beat the Tigers 5-2. Coming off a loss to Purdue last weekend, Seawolves starter Eddie Smink was terrific, holding the explosive LSU offense to two runs (one earned) on three hits over five innings. Erik Paulsen was equally impressive in relief, working four scoreless innings to shut the door on the upset victory. Tigers starter Thatcher Hurd struck out eight in just four and a third, but he ran his pitch count up by allowing 10 baserunners in that stint. Robert Taylor led the way offensively for the Seaswolves, going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs. First baseman Brett Paulsen went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
  • I didn’t have Kennesaw State boat racing #10 Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on my college baseball bingo card this weekend, but the Owls did just that, beating the Tigers in all facets. Kennesaw starter Braden Osbolt was lights out (6IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 7K) while Nick Hassan (4-for-5, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBIs) and Jackson Chirello (4-for-5, 3 RBI, 3 R) led the offensive explosion. Clemson will look to even the series on Saturday after getting outhit 20-to-5 on Friday.
  • How about Penn State going into Stanford and manhandling the Cardinal 15-4?!? Travis Luensmann (5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 2K) was cromulent enough on the mound to allow the older, experienced Nittany Lions offense to take over. Penn State got huge contributions from a trio of newcomers as St. John’s transfer Bryce Molinaro (3-for-5, HR), College of Charleston transfer J.T. Marr (4-for-6, 2B), and Wake Forest transfer Adam Cecere (1-for-2, 3 RBI) led the way. This Penn State lineup has a lot of career at-bats under their belt, and it shows in the batters box, drawing 17 walks on Friday.
  • Louisville entered the weekend 0-3 after disappointing – but understandable – losses to three pretty good teams in Indiana State, UConn and Xavier. What I didn’t expect to see was St. Bonaventure taking game one of a Friday doubleheader in the ‘Ville, which pushed the Cardinals to an 0-4 start. Bonnies starter Chance Moore needed just 88 pitches to toss a complete game (8IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K) and Adam Rankie (2-for-4) delivery the big blow with an RBI double in the eighth. Perhaps that was the kick in the pants that Louisville needed, as the Cardinals responded by taking game two of the doubleheader 21-3.

Around the Horn

  • The first game of the #11 East Carolina vs #15 North Carolina series was everything college baseball fans could hope for. After these two teams combined to score 76 runs last weekend, of course Friday’s game was a pitching duel that ended in a 2-1 Tar Heels victory. Pirates righthander Trey Yesavage was dominant, scattering one run on four hits and a walk over six innings with 11 punchouts. UNC starter Folger Boaz (4.2IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 1K) kept the potent Pirate bats at bay, and had good defensive play behind him. Vance Honeycutt’s homer to left in the bottom of the eighth was the difference, breaking a 1-1 tie and propelling North Carolina to victory.
  • Kicking off one of the more visible series in jam packed week two, #5 TCU hung on to a 4-3 victory over #20 UCLA in Fort Worth. TCU starter Payton Tolle (5IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 7K) was competitive despite not having his best control on Friday, earning his first victory in a Horned Frogs uniform. Slugging first baseman Kurtis Byrne went 3-4, with a homer and a pair of RBIs. TCU third baseman Brody Green came up big in the nine-hole, going 2-3 with a home run. The Bruins couldn’t string together much offensively, mustering six hits and stranding seven.

#23 Indiana continued their hot start at Baylor doubling up the Bears by a score of 8-4. Josh Pyne stood out on the both sides of the ball, going 3-for-5 with two doubles at the plate and making several elite level plays at the hot corner. Devin Taylor (3-for-3) continued his scorching start and looks like a much improved defensive player. Brock Tibbitts had his best game of the young season, going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. After missing last season with an injury, the Hoosiers will like having Grant Holderfield back, as the low slot left-hander struck out four in a six-out save.


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