Parker Caracci and teammates celebrate (Ole Miss)


D1 Digest: Saturday, March 31


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Team of the day: Ole Miss

After taking a road series from Texas A&M last weekend, the Rebels added an even bigger series win to their resume with a home series win over Arkansas. The Hogs and Rebels went back and forth throughout the weekend, but the Rebels captured an 11-10 win in the finale. Righthander Parker Caracci once again saved the day with 1.2 shutout innings to end the game, while Tyler Keenan led the Ole Miss offense with a home run, three hits and three RBIs. Cole Zabowski also hit a home run for the Rebels, while Ryan Olenek had a big day at the plate, too, with two hits and two RBIs. Ole Miss is up to four in the RPI with the series win over the Hogs.

Player of the Day (1): Bren Spillane, Illinois

At this point, the year Spillane is having at the plate is becoming rather comical. After showing off his power earlier in the series, the hard-hitting first baseman went back to work in the series finale with a pair of homers, four hits and two RBIs to lead the Illini to a thrilling 13-12 win over Iowa to take the series. For the season, Spillane is now hitting a ridiculous .500 with 13 doubles, a triple, 14 homers and 38 RBIs. He also has a .569 on-base percentage. This is very Brent Rooker-esque from last season.

Player of the Day (2): Noah Song, Navy

What an afternoon it was for the Midshipmen. Navy outscored Lafayette 26-9 in the doubleheader sweep and was led by righthander Noah Song in the opener. Song only threw seven innings against the Leopards. But get this: He struck out 15, yes, 15, walked just one and allowed one hit in those seven shutout frames. It’s hard to put together a more dominant start than that. Wow.

Upset of the day: Utah over No. 1 Oregon State

It’s safe to say the Beavers can’t wait to get back to Corvallis. After spending a few weeks atop the Top 25 Rankings, the Beavs will now have to work back toward the top after dropping a shocking series to a Utah team that entered the weekend with four overall wins. Unbelievable. The Beavers struggled on the mound throughout the series and played a sloppy brand of baseball, with righthander Bryce Fehmel allowing five runs on nine hits in just 3.1 innings. The bullpen didn’t fare much better, with even Jake Mulholland struggling, allowing three runs and four hits in two innings. Of course, let’s give some serious credit to the Utes, as Erick Migueles smacked a pair of homers, while DaShawn Keirsey hit a home run and knocked in two runs. Chris Rowan also capped off a productive weekend with three hits. To make matters worse, the Beavers saw their RPI drop more than 14 spots this weekend.

Notable upsets

• Georgia Southern knocked off No. 24 Coastal Carolina this afternoon with starting pitcher Chase Cohen leading the way. Cohen struck out eight, walked one and allowed just a run on five hits in seven innings.

• As Kentucky can now attest, life on the road in the SEC isn’t easy. The Wildcats dropped a surprising road series to Alabama with a 4-2 loss on Saturday. Alabama starting pitcher Jake Walters was outstanding, striking out seven, walking one and allowing a run on seven hits in 7.1 innings.

• California starting pitcher Aaron Shortridge struck out three, didn’t walk anyone and allowed just three runs (one earned) on seven hits in 6.1 innings in a series-clinching 8-3 win over UCLA. There’s also Andrew Vaughn, who had a monster day in the win over the Bruins, smacking a home run, double and knocking in five runs. This was a series the Golden Bears desperately needed to win after such a slow start to league play.

• Missouri starting pitcher Michael Plassmeyer tossed a gem in 2-1 road win over No. 13 Auburn. Plassmeyer struck out seven, walked two and allowed just a run and six hits in five innings. Meanwhile, Andy Toelken was terrific out of the pen with four shutout frames, while Trey Harris had a pair of hits and an RBI.

• Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday recently said he thought his team would figure everything out in due time, as they got healthier and gained more experience. Well, the Pokes made a huge statement this weekend by sweeping TCU at home. The Pokes won the first game Saturday, 12-7, with Michael Neustifter tallying two hits and knocking in four runs. Meanwhile, they finished off the sweep in the nightcap by overcoming a 6-0 deficit in a 9-8 triumph. Carson McCusker, who hit a home run in the first game of the doubleheader, smacked two more homers in the nightcap.

Quick Hitters

•  With Oregon State dropping a pair of games at Utah over the weekend, No. 2 Florida is a safe bet to ascend to the top spot next week. The Gators wrapped up a series win over Vanderbilt with a 10-2 victory. Righty Jackson Kowar struck out six and allowed a run (none earned) on five hits in 6.1 innings. Meanwhile, Keenan Bell led the offense with a home run and three RBIs, while JJ Schwarz had two hits and three RBIs. Our Aaron Fitt had much more on Jackson Kowar’s performance.

• No. 16 East Carolina showed what it’s made of this weekend against Wichita State. The Shockers punched ECU in the mouth in the series opener, but Cliff Godwin’s club bounced back in impressive fashion winning the last two games with a series-clinching 5-0 victory in the series finale. Tyler Smith put together a strong start for the Pirates, striking out five, walking just one and allowing five hits in 7.1 shutout innings.

• No. 10 NC State avoided the upset epidemic this weekend with a 1-0 win over Virginia Tech to take that road series.  Brian Brown put together a solid start for the Wolfpack, striking out seven, walking two and allowing just five hits in 6.2 shutout innings. Brock Deatherage led the Pack offense with a pair of hits.

• It wasn’t easy for No. 3 Stanford, but it captured a series win over Oregon, winning 4-0 this afternoon. Stanford used five pitchers in the win, with starting pitcher Erik Miller allowing four hits in four shutout innings. Meanwhile, Kyle Stowers had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.

• No. 14 Southern Miss got a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 12th inning to beat Rice, 8-7, solidifying a home series win over the Owls. While the Golden Eagles continue to roll along, the headaches continue for the Owls, who are shockingly now 11-18 overall, 1-7 in league play.

• LSU appears to have found its No. 3 weekend starter, and that should be a game changer the rest of the season. Freshman righty Ma’Khail Hilliard put together a strong start in a 4-0 win over Mississippi State to claim the series. Hilliard struck out nine, walked two and allowed three hits in six shutout innings.

• Texas Tech dropped the series opener to West Virginia, but bounced back to win the final two games of the series, grabbing an 8-5 decision in the series finale. Grant Little had a huge day at the plate with a home run and two RBIs, while Michael Davis knocked in three runs.

• South Carolina has had a roller coaster season thus far, but the Gamecocks responded in impressive fashion this weekend by doing a clean sweep of Tennessee, winning the series finale, 6-3. Matt Williams hit a double, two hits and knocked in two runs, while LT Tolbert, Jonah Bride and Carlos Cortes each finished the day with a pair of hits.

• Arizona State avoided getting swept by Washington State with a 7-0 win in the series finale. Devils lefthander Eli Lingos tossed a gem in the win, striking out seven, walking one and allowing just six hits in a complete game performance.

• Florida A&M swept a doubleheader from North Carolina Central on Saturday, and the headliner performance came from starting pitcher Thomas Nicoll in the first game. Nicoll struck out 11, didn’t walk anyone and allowed just four hits in a complete game shutout performance.

• Quinnipiac swept a doubleheader from scuffling St. Peter’s by outscoring the Peacocks 32-2 in the two games. Well, in the second game, Evan Vulgamore led the charge with three homers and six RBIs, while Brad Gibson smacked two homers.

• Michigan has won 11-straight games or more for the first time since 2008 after beating Delaware 11-0 on Saturday. Tommy Henry allowed just two runs on six hits in eight innings, while Blake Nelson led the offensive charge with a pair of hits.

• Fresno State righthander Edgar Gonzalez put together an absolute gem in a 2-0 win over Long Beach State. Gonzalez struck out 11, didn’t walk anyone and allowed just two hits in a complete game performance. Meanwhile, LBSU’s Clayton Andrews also put together a solid start with 11 strikeouts and just two runs allowed in six innings.

• Oklahoma improved to 6-0 in the Big 12 with a series sweep over Baylor this weekend. OU finished off the three-game set with a 6-1 win over the Bears. OU’s Nathan Wiles allowed just a run on and five hits in five innings, while Dylan Grove tossed four shutout innings out of the bullpen to close out the contest.

• In what was billed as the series of the year in the Atlantic 10 ended with a Saint Louis series win despite losing the series opener on Friday. The Billikens answered that loss in impressive fashion with wins by scores of 7-1 and 9-0 on Saturday. In the first game, Jackson Wark struck out seven, walked three and allowed a run and four hits in seven innings, while in the second game, Drew Reveno set the tone with five shutout innings. Meanwhile, Carter Hanford went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs.

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