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D1 Digest: Saturday Roundup

Roundup

HOUSTON — Alright you college baseball StitchHeads like me, here we are together on the epic Saturday of good quality horsehide being played out there. And as it turns out I am the one tabbed to write the D1 Digest for the day. That’s a big honor. It seems like forever since I got to do the daily writeup, but upon second glance I noticed that I did the D1 Digest on May 13th last season. 

One word of note; and yes I am playing on your sympathies here. After a late night at Globe Life Field last night, I got about three hours of sleep before boarding my private Learjet to fly down here to Houston for day two of the Astros Foundation College Classic. So if I don’t get to some of the late games out West or to one of your favorite teams, my apologies. 

On a side note, the games at Minute Maid Park were a panic today. Great action to catch. You can read up on all the goings-on from Kendall Rogers’ writeup tonight. 

In the meantime, let’s go ahead and break down the happenings on diamonds all around the country today. This is gonna be good. 

THREE UP

The best of the day in college baseball

1- The insane atmosphere and the insane happenings in that TexasTexas State game

I won’t go too far into this one since Kendall is going to have a write-up about it tonight. But this was one incredible shot of adrenaline after another. A back and forth game that featured numerous lead changes and also seven home runs. And the drama?…. It’d be hard for Hollywood to script something better. The only thing that was missing was the end of the season for one of these teams because it FELT like a Monday seventh game of the Regionals. 

This is the swing that LOOKED like it was going to win the game for Texas. Porter Brown unloads. Note the ball in the upper left.
Brown’s Longhorn teammates are primed and ready to celebrate with him after touching home.
… but Aaron Lugo – shown here skipping and yelling down the third base line – had other ideas when he crushed a two-run dinger in the ninth.
Bobcats pitcher Matthew Tippie had a little yelling to do as well after setting down the Longhorns in the ninth inning.

Again, check out Kendall’s write-up from a wild day at Minute Maid Park, the highlight of which was the back-and-forth game between these two Lone Star rivals. 

2- Andrew Ciufo… hero shot

Boy, Clemson almost blew its game with rival South Carolina. The Gamecocks overcame a 4-1 deficit by scoring three runs in the top of the ninth, two of them from a home run by Ethan Petry, and sent the game into extras. Keep in mind the Tigers had taken a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning so they had the lead for most of the game. Anyway, fast forward to the 12th inning where the game was still tied and this is how Andrew Ciufo decided he’d had enough and ended it himself. 

3- Miami may have avoided the Ouch List

After losing in the midweek to Florida Gulf Coast and then dropping the Friday night matchup to the Gators, boy, did the Hurricanes need today’s 10-6 win over their rivals from Gainesville. The Hurricanes jumped on the Gators early for five runs (home runs by Jason Torres and Edgardo Villegas) in the first two innings and then clinched things late with five runs in their final two at-bats (the key blow coming from a two-run yard call by Daniel Cuvet). Cuvet and Torres each had two hits, a home run and three RBI on their ledger. 


HONORABLE MENTIONS

A couple other things here and there which caught our attention on Saturday

– A HUGE night on the mound

We found one of the better All Name Team candidates of the season…wait for it, wait for it…Riley Huge

And guess what he did today? Riley Huge struck out 20 Maine Black Bear batters as his Winthrop Eagles beat the boys from the North 8-0. Huge threw 7.2 innings with those 20 Ks and two walks, giving up just one hit along the way. Think he’ll be up for some Pitcher of the Week honors? He and reliever Parker Whittle combined on a one hitter with 22 total Ks and just those two walks.

– Good redemption for the Hoosiers

Yesterday Indiana got a collective black eye and a busted nose in a 12-0 loss to Alabama, but today, despite playing with medical tape, gauze pads and a lot of anti-inflammatory meds, the Hoosiers bounced back for a 9-7 win over Dallas Baptist. Even more impressive is the fact that IU overcame a 6-1 deficit against a team that has DBU’s level of high-quality pitching. The Hoosiers scored two in the sixth, four in the seventh and two in the eighth to pull off the win.

If you want a good read on the game and the atmosphere in Frisco, check out Aaron Fitt’s daily write-up on the D1 site tonight…or tomorrow morning. 

– The pitching and defense of GeorgiaGeorgia Tech

All the bluster. All the overhyped offensive stats. All the home runs. Well guess what won the day in Athens today? Yep, pitching and defense. Well, sort of. I mean there were two home runs hit, one by each team (none of which were hit by anyone named Charlie Condon or Drew Burress). There were only 11 hits in the game but four Bulldog pitchers combined to hold Tech to just four of them, which keyed the 3-1 Georgia win. After the game Bulldog head coach Wes Johnson even commented, “We played good defense including Charlie (Condon), who helped us win that game with his glove.”

– Gauchos winning in Bigfoot Country, boosting its SOS/RPI

One of the scores that jumped off the page at me tonight was UC Santa Barbara taking the second straight game in their series at Oregon. And as you might recall, that series was supposed to take place in Santa Barbara but the Gauchos’ home field is still not quite ready for play, so the series was switched to Eugene. Now the Gauchos can brag that they are picking up some RPI road points with their second straight win. On Friday they pulled off a 6-1 win and today it was a 7-3 decision. Zander Darby was the hero, going 3-for-5, including a two-RBI double in the fourth which made it a 5-1 game. 

Louisiana Tech continues to set a torch to the Sugar Land Classic

For the second day in a row the Bulldogs posted a shutout in Sugar Land, this time blanking my beloved Creighton Bluejays by a run-ruled 12-0 count. Keep in mind that the Bluejays came into the weekend ranked second in the nation with a team batting average of .376. Saturday the Jays managed three hits. Ouch. Luke Nichols and Jacob Havern combined on the three-hitter and also gave up just one walk between them while striking out eight. The Techsters are currently on a 17-inning blank streak going into tomorrow’s game with Air Force.


THREE DOWN

The worst of the day in college baseball

1- Akron downs No. 12 Duke, 4-3

I know baseball is a different kind of game. It’s not like basketball and it is certainly not like football, where bigger schools can simply out-physical a mid-major. But it still boggles my mind when a team as unassuming as Akron can go on the road and beat a ranked team on a weekend. The Zips overcame an early Duke lead by scoring a single marker in the fourth and then taking their first lead of the weekend with three runs in the sixth, including an RBI double from nine-hole hitter Charlie Rhee. Even though Duke pulled within one in the ninth inning on Devin Obee’s home run, the Devils barely threatened in the second half of the game, not having stranded a single runner from the sixth inning onward.

2- Virginia falls to the Minutemen

Wait a minute man, you tellin’ me the 13th-ranked Cavaliers lost to a UMass team that is still fighting the red coats in the snow? Yep, they did, by a 10-5 score. It was bad enough when last night the Wahoos had to score a run in the ninth inning just to tie their game with the Minutemen at three apiece. They would save face from losing to a team that has barely practiced outside by plating a run in bottom of the 10th inning, winning 4-3. But today? Oof. The Minutemen scored two runs in each of the first, second and fourth innings to stake out to a lead it would never relinquish. To make matters worse, four of their 10 runs would score unearned.  

3- Liberty blows a big lead at Coastal

The series between these two is sneaky important, especially when you consider that these two might just need all the RPI points they can muster. I mean, you never know, right? But the Flames raced out to a 6-1 lead after three innings and appeared to be on their way. But the Chants kept crawling their way back into the game, eventually pulling within 7-5 going into the bottom of the ninth. And yep, sure enough, the Flames couldn’t hold on. A wild pitch scored the first run of the last inning and then Graham Brown did this…


DISHONARABLE MENTIONS

A little bit more of the bad out there, because we can.

Fullerton gets heartbroken

Aye-yaye-yaye, the Titans might be headed for the Ouch List. Not because a 2-1 loss to East Carolina is any big shame at all. No it is not. But after getting held to one run on four hits with seven strikeouts in a loss to Southeastern Louisiana on Friday night, things only got worse today. In 11 innings, the Titans were held to one run once again and just five hits. And this time they were struck out 17 times by Pirate pitchers. The Titans will try to shake their bad luck vs. Purdue on Sunday. 

Oral Roberts‘ bats continue to come up non-clutch

The College World Series participants from last season took another loss on the chin today dropping their second straight at Baylor, this time by a 9-3 count. Although they collected eight hits in both the first two games in Waco, they have plated just five runs in 11-2 and 9-3 losses. On top of that, the Eagles have currently sunk to a 4-6 mark in this early season. They’ll try to avoid the sweep tomorrow. 

– Poor Towson

The Tigers were mere lambs for power North Carolina State today, dropping a pair of run-rule games on the day 15-4 and 10-0. Considering the Tigers gave State all it could handle on Friday in a 6-5 loss, today was quite the opposite, as both games were halted in the seventh inning. Tiger pitchers issued 16 walks in the first game, which is how the Pack could score 15 runs on just seven hits. Yep, seven. In the second game, Towson walked only three Wolfpack batters but they also gave up six home runs along the way to account for the rout.

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