Arkansas' Christian Franklin (Arkansas photo)

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D1 Digest: Hogs Go Wild In Austin

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Team of the day: Arkansas

The Hogs and Texas rekindled their long-time rivalry, and Dave Van Horn’s club were the aggressor in the opener of a two-game midweek set, scoring 10 runs the first three innings to beat the Longhorns, 11-4. Talented Arkansas freshman Christian Franklin hit a grand slam in the second to lead the way, while Heston Kjerstad smashed a solo home run in the same frame. Then, in the third, Jacob Nesbit smacked a two-run double and sophomore Casey Martin followed with a two-run single to right field. Though Texas scored four runs in the fourth to make it somewhat interesting, the Hogs were in control the entire night. Arkansas righthander Kole Ramage tossed three shutout frames out of the bullpen, while hard-throwing Zebulon Vermillion closed out the contest with three strikeouts in two shutout frames.

Upset of the day: Liberty over No. 16 UNC

It wasn’t a wild day for upsets in college baseball, but the red-hot Flames took care of business at home against the Tar Heels, 2-0. Liberty starting pitcher Mason Meyer struck out two and allowed five hits in six shutout innings, while reliever Evan Brabrand was terrific, striking out six in three shutout frames to close it out. The lone runs in the game came on a two-run home run by LU leadoff hitter Jonathan Embry. Liberty has won 10 of its last 12 games with a favorable schedule ahead.

Top 25 Breakdown

• No. 24 Michigan took care of business against Western Michigan, 12-5, as Jesse Franklin and Christian Bullock each had doubles and Jordan Brewer smacked a home run and finished the game with two RBIs. 

• No. 4 Louisville got a trio of home runs from Alex Binelas, Zeke Pinkham and Trey Leonard in a 12-8 road win over Eastern Kentucky. Meanwhile, shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald had a big day with two doubles, while talented freshman Jared Poland had two walks and a double.

• No. 5 Georgia won its 10th straight game in an 11-1 home win over Georgia State. Tim Elliott put together a solid start, striking out three and allowing three hits in five innings while Riley King had two hits and three RBIs and Connor Tate added a home run in the winning cause.

• UCF scored eight runs in the fourth and fifth innings combined in a huge 9-7 road win over No. 21 Florida State. Matthew Mika and Dallas Beaver each hit doubles and knocked in two runs, while electric leadoff hitter Ray Alejo had two hits and Tyler Osik finished the game with two hits and three RBIs. 

• No. 14 Florida responded from its series loss to Mississippi State in impressive fashion with a 13-8 home win over Jacksonville. Freshman righthander Nolan Crisp, who typically closes, started and tossed four shutout innings, while Brady McConnell (four RBIs) and Austin Langworthy each hit homers. Nelson Maldonado had three hits (one a double) and Brady Smith also hit a double. Though JU didn’t get the victory, check out this play out in center field by Ruben Someillan.

• No. 6 NC State got back to its winning ways Tuesday in an 11-1 win over Towson. Will Wilson hit a three-run home run and knocked in four runs, while Evan Edwards knocked in three runs. Leadoff hitter Jonny Butler also had a big night with a double, four hits and two RBIs, along with a walk.

• No. 18 Ole Miss took care of business at home against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 12-2. Rebels starting pitcher Jordan Fowler struck out six, walked two and allowed just one run and four hits in seven innings, while Ryan Olenek had a double, four hits and knocked in five runs.

• No. 2 Mississippi State continued its red-hot ways in a 15-4 home win over Little Rock. Leadoff hitter Jake Mangum had five hits, a double, a triple and knocked in there runs, while Jordan Westburg had three hits and two RBIs, and Josh Hatcher also had a big night with two hits and two RBIs. 

• No. 13 Texas A&M put together yet another solid performance in an 8-3 win over Rice. Chandler Jozwiak threw well out of the bullpen with five strikeouts in 2.1 innings, while Ty Coleman hit a three-run home run and Jonathan Ducoff had yet another clutch hit with two RBIs.

• No. 12 Auburn hit the road to Birmingham and didn’t get off track in a 13-5 win over UAB. The Tigers were down 4-0 early but erupted for 11 runs in a two-inning spin later in the game. Conor Davis hit a grand slam in the win, while Rankin Woley and Edouard Julien each had doubles and knocked in two runs. Freshman Ryan Bliss also had a productive night with three hits, one a double and an RBI.

• No. 8 Vanderbilt responded well from its loss to Texas A&M, beating Belmont 3-0. Righthander Mason Hickman put together a strong start, striking out 12, walking two and allowing three hits in six shutout innings, while Stephen Scott continued his hot hitting with a home run and two hits.

• No. 22 TCU picked up a nice 5-3 win over Texas-Arlington with a big weekend series against Texas coming up in Fort Worth. Young leadoff hitter Bobby Goodloe had a strong night with two doubles, while Connor Shepherd hit a home run, finished the night with two hits and knocked in three runs.

• No. 25 Oklahoma put together an impressive performance in an 8-1 road win over New Mexico. OU’s Ben Abram put together a strong start, striking out four, walking two and allowing a run and five hits in six innings, while Cade Cavalli had two doubles and Tyler Hardman finished the night with two hits and two RBIs.

National Notables

• Indiana and Indiana State had a game to remember Tuesday afternoon, with the two teams constantly trading blows. Well, the Hoosiers finally won in the end, 15-14. Indiana had five home runs from Drew Ashley, Ryan Fineman, Elijah Dunham, Cole Barr and Grant Richardson. Richardson and Dunham each finished the game with four RBIs, while for the Sycamores, Romero Harris had three hits and six RBIs. The IU victory snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Sycamores.

 • LMU and San Diego State have had some bright moments so far this season, and the Lions picked up a nice win over the Aztecs, 5-1. Trevin Esquerra led the charge for LMU with a home run, three hits and two RBIs.

• Sam Houston State scored four runs the final two innings to beat Baylor, 8-7, in a fun contest down in Huntsville. Talented freshman Colton Cowser had another strong showing with a double and three RBIs, while Shea Langeliers led the BU cause with a double and triple.

• Clemson welcomed back righthander Brooks Crawford from an injury, and he threw well in his return, tossing 4.1 shutout innings and allowing just four hits. Meanwhile, Logan Davidson hit his seventh home run and Jordan Greene smacked a three-run home run.

• Eastern Illinois got a strong pitching performance from Foster Anshutz in a 2-0 road win over butler. Anshutz allowed just two hits in 6.2 shutout innings, while EIU reliever Josh Cooper also threw well with two shutout frames.

• Illinois State’s Brett Wicklund struck out five and allowed three hits in six shutout innings in a 4-0 win over Illinois-Chicago. Meanwhile, Joe Aeilts had a big night at the plate with a double and a home run.

• Cal State Fullerton has lost three of its last four after a 6-2 setback on the road to San Diego. USD’s Noah Owen tossed four shutout innings in his start.

• Dallas Baptist scored three runs in the eighth inning to beat Oklahoma State 7-5 at home. DBU has won back-to-back midweek games over OSU and previously A&M. DBU’s Blayne Jones had a triple and two RBIs, while Luke Bandy had a pair of hits.

• Fresh off a three home run performance over the weekend, Louisiana’s Hayden Cantrelle hit for the cycle Tuesday night in an 8-3 win over Northwestern State. Cantrelle got off to a slow start this season, but has his average up to .307.

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