Louisville's Tyler Fitzgerald (Louisville)


D1 Digest: Louisville, Arkansas And Others Get Big Series Wins


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Team of the day


It’s not often that we go back-to-back nights with the same team as our ‘Team of the Day’, but boy do the Hogs deserve it. Arkansas brought out the bats once again Saturday afternoon in a 10-2 win over Mississippi State to get a series sweep over the nation’s No. 3 team. With the win, the Hogs outscored the Bulldogs 27-10 in three games. That’s called domination and it’s a huge series win for the Hogs when it comes to the SEC pecking order and more.

Arkansas freshman Jacob Nesbit had a big afternoon at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a three-run home run and four RBIs, while Jordan McFarland and Casey Martin each finished the afternoon with a pair of hits. Speaking of Martin, he upped his average to .298 on the season after the weekend. Arkansas freshman righthander Connor Noland put together a solid start, striking out five, walking no one and allowing four hits in 7.2 shutout innings, while for the Bulldogs, fellow freshman righty J.T. Ginn allowed three runs, two earned and five hits in five innings.

Upset of the day

Kansas State over No. 19 TCU

How about those Wildcats? Pete Hughes’ club is finally finding their footing in the Big 12 Conference. KSU opened some eyes last weekend with a road series win over Texas. Well, they’re back again, taking a series from TCU with a wild finish and 11-10 victory on Saturday. TCU actually scored four runs in the ninth to tie the game at 10-10, but Rainer Ausmus hit a walk-off single in the bottom half of the inning to win, 11-10. Chris Ceballos had a big afternoon at the plate, hitting a home run, tallying three hits and knocking in two runs, while Ausmus and Caleb Littlejim each knocked in three runs to lead the offensive charge. While KSU is suddenly in the postseason hunt, TCU’s already iffy resume took yet another hit.

Keep an eye on …

Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons were left for dead a few weeks ago, but here comes Tommy Walter’s club. The Deacs dropped the first game of a doubleheader against No. 8 NC State, 4-3, but bounced back in the nightcap with a 9-8 triumph. Bobby Seymour, Michael Turconi and Shane Muntz each hit home runs in the victory, while Patrick Frick and Chris Lanzilli each had two hits. On the mound, Will Fleming finished the game in impressive fashion, silencing one of the nation’s premier offenses with two shutout frames. With the win, Wake is now a game above .500 in the ACC and the RPI is getting in more respectable shape, sitting at 76 after today’s game.

Top 25 Roundup

• No. 1 UCLA got knocked off Friday night, but the Bruins showed why they’re the top team in the land Saturday afternoon in a 6-1 series-clinching victory over California. Jack Ralston put together yet another solid start, striking out six, walking two and allowing a run and six hits in 6.1 innings, while Kyle Mora and Holden Powell closed out the contest in impressive fashion with scoreless frames. Chase Strumpf had two hits and two RBIs, while Jack Stronach and Ryan Kreidler each had two hits as well … Cal’s Andrew Vaughn had two hits in the game as well.

• No. 2 Oregon State finished off an impressive series sweep over Arizona with a 9-3 triumph. Preston Jones hit a towering home run to left field, while Elliot Willy finished the night with two hits and three RBIs. Jake Harvey had two hits, Adley Rutschman knocked in three runs and Jake Dukart chipped in a three-hit performance. On the mound, righty Grant Gambrell struck out seven and allowed three runs in five innings, while lefty Jake Mulholland was terrific out of the pen with three scoreless frames. As for the Wildcats, they’re not 6-12 in the Pac 12 with an RPI of 85. In other words, they’ll need a miracle down the stretch to make the tournament.

• No. 4 Stanford went on the road and imposed its will on a solid Oregon club. The Cardinal cruised in the first two games before rolling 10-0 in the finale. With the win, Stanford outscored the Ducks 35-9 for the weekend. Brandon Wulff hit yet another home run and knocked in two runs and Andrew Daschbach also hit a home run and walked twice. Meanwhile, Tim Tawa knocked in three runs and Brandon Dieter, two runs, while lefthander Erik Miller was terrific on the mound, striking out 11, walking two and allowing four hits in six shutout frames.

• No. 5 Georgia finished off a clean sweep of red-hot Missouri in impressive fashion, beating the Tigers 4-2 to improve to 33-8 on the season. Georgia righthander Tony Locey struggled with his command at times, but only allowed two runs and a hit in six innings, while the Georgia bullpen stepped up with Zac Kristofak tossing two shutout frames to end the game. LJ Talley had a home run and two RBIs, while Aaron Schunk finished the afternoon with a pair of hits.

• No. 6 Vanderbilt clinched a road series win over Alabama with a 13-5 triumph Saturday afternoon. Outfielder JJ Bleday had a monster day at the plate, hitting two home runs and knocking in four runs, while VU welcomed back Pat DeMarco from an injury, and he proceeded to smack a three-run home run, along with four RBIs. Leadoff hitter Austin Martin also had a big night with three hits.

No. 7 Texas A&M dropped the first game of a doubleheader against South Carolina, but bounced back in impressive fashion in the nightcap with a 6-3 victory. The Aggies had a razor thin 4-3 lead over the Gamecocks entering the seventh inning before Bryce Blaum. hit a two-run home run to get some insurance. Blaum and Zach DeLoach finished the afternoon with two hits, while Braden Shewmake had a two-run double in the win. As for the Gamecocks, they’ll now need a miracle to get into the postseason hunt, sitting at 5-13 in the SEC with not exactly an easy schedule remaining.

• No. 8 Louisville dropped the series opener to No. 23 Miami, 16-11, but battled back in the nightcap with a 9-6 victory to take another crucial ACC series. Nick Bennett had a rough start for the Cardinals, but Michael McAvene calmed nerves with three shutout frames. Meanwhile, the offense surged and Tyler Fitzgerald capped off a solid weekend with a double, two hits and three RBIs, while Justin Lavey knocked in two runs and Logan Wyatt finished the game with two hits as well.

• No. 10 UC Santa Barbara held off a late UC Davis rally in a 4-3 win Saturday afternoon to clinch yet another Big West series. UCSB starting pitcher Rodney Boone struck out three and allowed two runs and three hits in 7.2 innings of work, while Jason Willow hit a home run and Thomas Rowan, Armani Smith and Cole Mueller each knocked in runs. With the sweep, UCSB is now 30-5 overall with an impressive RPI of 7.

• No. 11 Georgia Tech got two hits from Baron Radcliff, Colin Hall and Jackson Webb to beat Virginia Tech 7-4 in the front end of an important doubleheader before taking the road series with a 4-3 victory in the nightcap. Jonathan Hughes was terrific out of the bullpen for Tech, tossing five innings and allowing just one run, while Radcliff capped off a big day with three hits and an RBI.

• No. 13 East Carolina had a tough weekend at UCLA last week, but boy did they bounce back in impressive fashion this weekend with a home series sweep over Connecticut. ECU won the front-end of a doubleheader, 5-2, with Alec Burleson tallying three hits, while the bullpen stepped up with Trey Benton, Sam Lanier and Evan Voliva each throwing 1.2 shutout innings … ECU won the finale 9-7 with Spencer Brickhouse smacking two home runs and knocking in five runs, while Jake Washer and Chandler Jenkins each hit a home run. With the sweep, ECU now sits at 11-1, which is 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Tulane and 4 1/2 games ahead of third place Houston.

• No. 14 LSU had an offensive onslaught for a second straight day in an 11-2 series-clinching win over Florida. Josh Smith hit a home run, tallied three hits and knocked in two runs, while Antoine Duplantis went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and Daniel Cabrera had two hits and an RBI. On the mound, Zack Hess returned to the bump and struck out three in 2.1 shutout innings. With the series loss, the Gators are now in some trouble in league play with a 7-11 record. They need to finish strong to be safe for the postseason.

• Auburn dropped out of the rankings last week, but it might be right back in after taking a series over No. 15 Ole Miss at home. Ole Miss scored a run in the ninth to tie the Tigers before taking the lead in the top of the 10th inning. However, Auburn scored two runs in the bottom of the inning with Conor Davis hitting a walk-off single. Edouard Julien knocked in two runs, while Matt Scheffler and Ryan Bliss each had two hits in the win. With the series win, the Tigers are sitting at 17 in the RPI with a 10-8 league mark. The Tigers are still in pretty good shape.

• Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg earned career win No. 600 Saturday afternoon in a 6-3 win over No. 16 Arizona State. Erick Migueles had a huge day for the Utes, hitting two homers and knocking in four runs, while Oliver Dunn tallied three hits and knocked in a run. Rykker Tom, Shea Kramer and Isaac Deveaux each had two hits to lead the way as well. Despite the loss to the Utes, ASU still took the series 2-1, but its RPI continues to drop, moving into the 40s after today’s loss.

• No. 17 North Carolina finished off a three-game sweep of Boston College at home with a doubleheader sweep, winning 8-7 in 11 innings earlier in the day and 11-10 in 11 innings in the nightcap. In the first game, Michael Busch hit a home run, tallied three hits and two RBIs, and the Heels won on a Busch walk-off single … Then, in the nightcap, UNC’s Aaron Sabato hit a walk-off RBI double  to win the game. Danny Serretti hit a grand slam and finished the night with six RBIs.

• We’ve been waiting for No. 22 Texas Tech to look like the top five team we thought they’d be coming into the season. Well, the past two days have given fans a glimpse, as the Red Raiders crushed No. 18 Baylor 13-3 to take the series in Lubbock. Dylan Neuse hit two home runs and knocked in six, while Cameron Warren had a home run and knocked in four runs and Braxton Fulford and Gabe Holt each finished the afternoon with three hits. On the mound, righty Caleb Kilian put together yet another quality start, striking out five and allowing two runs on eight hits in six innings.

No. 20 West Virginia got rained out on Friday, but took care of business in a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, winning 1-0 and 4-3. In the opener, red-hot WVU righty Alek Manoah was phenomenal, striking out 15 and allowing just three hits in a complete game shutout performance. Manoah now has a 1.81 ERA in 69.2 innings of work, along with 95 strikeouts and 15 walks … In the second game, Paul McIntosh hit a home run, while Tyler Doanes, Brandon White, Ivan Gonzalez and Philip Dull each finished the night with two hits. Jackson Wolf put together a solid start for the Mountaineers, striking out five, walking one and allowing a run and five hits in six innings.

• Duke has had a tough season at times with Graeme Stinson on the shelf, but picked up a big road series win over No. 23 Clemson with a 5-3 win Saturday afternoon to improve to .500 (10-10) in the ACC. Bill Chillari allowed a run and six hits in 4.1 innings of work, while Jack Carey tossed two shutout frames. Chris Crabtree and Kennie Taylor each had two hits in the win, while Michael Rothenberg had a productive afternoon with a hit and two RBIs.

• No. 25 Tennessee is rolling and improved to .500 (9-9) in the SEC with an 8-2 win over Kentucky to earn an important series sweep. The Vols outscored the Wildcats 28-5 in the three games. On Saturday, righthander Zach Linginfelter struck out four, didn’t walk anyone and allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, while Justin Ammons knocked in two runs, Evan Russell had two hits and Alerick Soularie had a double, two hits and two RBIs. UT is solidly in Top 16 seed shape with an RPI of 8 along with a 12-9 mark vs. RPI Top 50. Tony Vitello is making a mighty strong case to be National Coach of the Year.

National Notables

• BYU picked up a mighty important road series win over Washington with a 4-0 triumph on Saturday. Justin Sterner put together a strong start, striking out seven and allowing just two hits in 7.1 shutout innings.

• Dutton Elske hit two homers and knocked in six runs, and Cody Hawken hit a home run, two doubles and knocked in seven runs in a 20-0 road win over San Diego.

• Northwestern State swept a doubleheader from McNeese this afternoon, and how about righthander Nathan Jones for the Demons? He struck out five, didn’t walk anyone and allowed three hits in a complete game shutout.

• In easily the surprise of the year in the Southland, Central Arkansas moved within 1 1/2 games of first place by sweeping Sam Houston State at home this weekend. Brad Verel struck out five and allowed two runs and  five hits in seven innings, while Conner Williams tossed two shutout frames out of the pen.

• Nevada picked up a huge rivalry series win over UNLV with a 16-5 triumph on Saturday. Weston Hatten was the key cog for TJ Bruce’s club, going 4-for-4 with a home run, double and three RBIs, while Matt Clayton and Nick Seamons each knocked in three runs.

• UC Irvine finished off a three-game series sweep over Cal State Northridge with Trenton Denholm tossing 6.2 shutout innings, while Taylor Rashi tossed 2.1 shutout frames.

• Nebraska entered the weekend sizzling hot, but in front of a terrific home crowd in Iowa City, Iowa beat them 17-9 to clinch an important Big Ten series. Izaya Fullard and Ben Norman each hit home runs and finished the day with three RBIs, while Chris Whelan had four hits and Mitchell Boe knocked in three runs. UI is now one game out of first place behind the Huskers and Indiana.

• Florida State was crushed in the series finale against Virginia, 13-3, but won the first game of the doubleheader, 5-3, to take its second straight ACC series. The Seminoles continue to climb the RPI and are now a solid 12-9 in the ACC. Just when you think they might be down and out, here they come.

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