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D1 Digest: Stars shine in Saturday action


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Saturday’s Coverage:

Take Two (Wins)

Three different ranked teams lost twice on Saturday due to the numerous series where scheduling was altered due to the weather. No. 3 Vanderbilt was one of these three teams, as host South Carolina came out on top in both of its contests, 8-4 and 8-3. The Commodores couldn’t figure out how to get Gamecocks DH Ethan Petry out on this day as he went a combined 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, three runs scored, four RBIs and four walks. Joe Healy was in attendance in Columbia and filed this report, focusing on an impressive performance from Eli Jones.

After finding it difficult to crack the Top 25 the past few weeks, No. 12 Florida State sustained its first two losses of the season on the same day. After FSU took an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first of the first game, No. 4 Clemson piled on, taking a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in the third inning and then exploding for five runs in the fifth and four more in the seventh for the run-rule shortened 15-5 victory in game one.

In the second game it looked like the Seminoles were in complete control, taking an 8-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth before the Tigers exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the ninth, tying the game on a grand slam by Blake Wright and winning it on a run-scoring single by Jacob Hinderleider, who also hit a three-run homer earlier that same inning. Aaron Fitt was on hand for the madness at Clemson and filed this report.

The third ranked team to lose twice on Saturday was No. 11 Alabama, which dropped both of its games at unranked Georgia. Charlie Condon continues to be an absolute force to be reckoned with, going 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the first game, a 9-5 win, and then adding a 3-for-4, two-home run and four-RBI performance in the second game, a 6-5 win. Condon reclaimed the nation lead in home runs with 17 thanks to his huge day at the plate.

Winning Ways

No. 7 Texas A&M strengthened its position among the top 10 teams in the nation with another impressive weekend performance. The Aggies claimed the third and final game over No. 21 Mississippi State, 6-1, and were in complete control from beginning to end. The top of the lineup was especially productive for A&M, and Braden Montgomery continues to stand out, hitting a pair of home runs in this one, a solo shot in the first and a two-run dinger in the fourth. Justin Lamkin was dominant on the mound, moving to 2-0 on the year with a 12-strikeout performance in 7 1/3 inning, allowing just one run on a pair of hits and a walk. Once again D1Baseball was in attendance as Kendall Rogers filed this report.

NC State didn’t take too kindly to being removed from the rankings last week, already claiming its series against Duke with a 9-8 victory on Saturday. This was another contest in which it looked like Duke was in complete control, entering the bottom of the ninth with an 8-3 lead. But the Wolfpack offense exploded, as Garrett Pennington hit a three-run home run to put them in striking distance and Eli Serrano’s two-run shot gave NC State the dramatic, walk-off winner. Making the comeback even more impressive was the fact that all of the damage was done off of Duke’s usually untouchable closer, Charlie Beilenson, who now has been roughed up in back-to-back appearances.

Among the mid-major series to watch, No. 15 DBU took care of business on both Friday and Saturday to claim its Conference USA-opening series at Sam Houston. Four different Patriots hit a home run, including what turned out to be Chayton Krauss’ game-deciding three-run shot in the third inning. This has been quite the week as part of an impressive overall season for Dallas Baptist, who beat No. 17 Oklahoma in Norman on Tuesday and moved to 19-3 on the season with Saturday’s win over the Bearkats.

No. 1 Arkansas, No. 2 Oregon State, No. 14 Virginia, No. 16 Wake Forest, No. 19 Virginia Tech, No. 20 North Carolina and No. 24 UC Irvine also won their weekend series.

There will be no shortage of movement in Monday’s Top 25 as Top 3 Vanderbilt, No. 9 Duke, No. 11 Alabama, No. 12 Florida State, No. 21 Mississippi State and No. 23 Auburn all lost their weekend series.

Series To Be Determined

The college baseball world will be in for a treat on Sunday as No. 5 LSU and No. 6 Florida will square off one more time this weekend with the series on the line in Baton Rouge. Saturday’s matchup was a dandy, as the Gators scored single tallies in the top of the eighth and ninth innings to force extras. In the 11th it was Jac Caglianone who came up big, hitting a two-run jack that proved to be the game winner, taking game two 6-4. Stars certainly were on display on Saturday.

No. 8 Tennessee was in position to claim its series against Ole Miss on Saturday but was unable to secure a victory after entering the ninth inning with a 5-4 lead. The Rebels battled back with four runs in the top of the ninth as part of their 8-5 victory, sending eight batters to the plate. Jackson Ross’ run-scoring double tied the game, 5-5, before Ethan Groff’s two-run single pushed Ole Miss ahead.

No. 25 UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly exchanged some big innings before playing free baseball on Saturday night, a game the Gauchos won in 12 innings, 11-10. Brendan Durfee had an especially big day at the plate, going 4-for-6 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and three driven in; his RBI double in the top of the 12th broke a 9-9 tie. After lefthander Mike Gutierrez worked the first five innings in this game for UCSB, flame-throwing sophomore Tyler Bremner came on to work the next six frames and ultimately picked up the win, moving to 3-0 on the year.

One day after Payton Tolle pitched a gem as part of a 1-0 win for TCU, Brian Holiday returned the favor for Oklahoma State. Holiday went the distance, striking out 14 batters without issuing a walk over nine innings as part of a 6-2 win for the Cowboys to even up the series in Stillwater. Holiday is enjoying a huge season, now 2-1, 1.87 on the year with a 51-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio and only 25 base hits allowed in 43 1/3 innings.

Here are the other series involving Top 25 teams that will be determined on Sunday:

  • No. 10 East Carolina at UTSA
  • West Virginia at No. 17 Oklahoma
  • No. 22 Campbell at Delaware

And No. 13 Coastal Carolina will need to win a pair of games at Appalachian State on Sunday to win that series after the Mountaineers doubled up on the Chants in the first game of the series on Saturday, 16-8.

Quick Hits

• Travis Bazzana has hit a leadoff home run in three consecutive games for No. 2 Oregon State, which cruised to an 18-2 blowout of Washington. Bazzana now has 12 home runs on the season and is slugging 1.023.

• Florida Atlantic won a pair of one-run games against Charlotte on Saturday, the first 4-3 and the second 6-5 on a walk-off bases-loaded walk by Andrew McKenna. FAU is now 14-7 overall with their 2-0 start in the American Athletic Conference.

• Another big day at the plate led to another big win for Rutgers, out-scoring UConn 13-6 to take the weekend series and move to 17-6 overall. RJ Johnson, Jr. set the tone at the top of the order reaching all six times he batted with a 2-for-2, four-walk effort.

• Creighton continues to take care of business, improving to 16-3 overall with a 3-2 win at Stanford to open their three-game series. Bluejays’ ace Dominic Cancellieri is now 5-0 on the year with seven strong innings against the Cardinal.

• After an 0-3 showing at the Astros Foundation College Classic the first weekend in March, Louisiana has won 10 of its last 12 games, which includes a 4-1 start in Sun Belt Conference action. The Cajuns already claimed their series against Old Dominion this weekend after winning Saturday’s contest in dominant fashion, 13-1. There were no shortage of standout performers on offense while Carson Fluno, Jackson Martinez and JT Etheridge combined to limit ODU to just one hit in the run-rule shortened win.


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