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Gage Ziehl, Miami (Eric Espada/Miami)


Thursday’s Rogers Wrap: Miami’s Ziehl headlines 10 moments to remember



Here’s an in-depth look at 10 moments you need to remember from Thursday’s college baseball action.

Let’s dive in:

1. Miami’s Ziehl shows plenty of zeal to dominate against Clemson

Clemson entered Thursday’s contest as one of the hottest hitting teams in college baseball. After all, it absolutely tormented Florida State’s pitching staff — especially the bullpen — at home last weekend. Well, going on the road to Mark Light to face the Hurricanes was a different story, thanks to Miami starting pitcher Gage Ziehl and others. The Hurricanes beat the Tigers 3-2 on a walk-off two-run home run from Jack Scanlon in the bottom of the ninth inning, but for me, the story of the game was the performance put together by the 6-foot, 223-pound, righthanded pitcher against Clemson’s offense. Ziehl had a career night, striking out 15, not walking a single batter and allowing just two runs — one earned — on seven hits in a complete game performance. Of the 118 pitches that Ziehl threw against Clemson, 88 of them were strikes. In addition to having a career night on the mound for Ziehl, the Hurricanes completed their 11th comeback of the season in the win.

2. Arkansas was all business against LSU

With Javen Coleman getting the start for LSU tonight instead of Luke Holman, Hagen Smith and Arkansas were the heavy favorite for a very good reason. Well, that’s pretty much how t his entire game played out throughout the note. Yes, the Tigers got home runs from Tommy White and Hayden Travinski off Hagen Smith, but otherwise? It was a pretty quiet night for Jay Johnson’s club. Smith had yet another double-digit strikeout game, punching out 10, not allowing a single walk and giving up just two runs on five hits in six innings of work. Will McEntire was a big story for the Hogs yet again with eight strikeouts in 2.2 innings out of the bullpen. As for the offense, Kendall Diggs provided the dagger in the bottom of the eighth inning with a three-run shot. Smith now has 72 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 35 innings of work so far this season.

3. Duke has looked great since two-straight losses to NC State

The Blue Devils dropped the first two games of their series against NC State over the weekend. Since that point? It’s been a scorched Earth process for Chris Pollard’s Devils. In addition to rolling Campbell, 11-1, earlier this week, Duke continued its hot streak with a dominant 9-4 win over Virginia at home. Ben Miller had a huge game with three hits, a double and two RBIs, while Devin Obee had a double, two hits and knocked in two runs. On the mound, Jonathan Santucci struck out six and allowed two runs on five hits, and the bullpen did a solid job with James Tallon and Gabe Nard leading the way. We’ll see what happens the rest of the weekend, but I think we learned something about this Duke team by the way it responded from the NC State series loss.

4. Upset of the day: UL Monroe over Coastal Carolina

Coastal Carolina’s pitching staff might want to unplug itself and plug it back in after the way they’ve pitched over the past week. The Chanticleers got roughed up against Appalachian State over the weekend, and it wasn’t better on the road in an 11-3 loss to UL Monroe. Alexander Meckley had a rough start for the Chants, allowing eight runs on nine hits in four innings of work. Meanwhile, ULM lefthanded pitcher Cam Barlow put together a strong start against the Chants, striking out seven, walking one and allowing just one run on five hits in five innings of work. The bullpen also did a solid job with Joey Cirelli tossing three solid frames. As for CCU, it is now 3-4 in the Sun Belt and has lost five of its last seven games.

5. Stock Up: Lamar surges past Oklahoma in Norman

It might be time to start taking a hard look at Will Davis’ Cardinals club. Lamar improved to a whopping 20-5 on the year after beating the Sooners, 12-10, on Thursday night. Lamar was down 10-7 heading to the seventh inning before putting up a five-spot and surging to a 12-10 win. Ethan Ruiz had a big night at the plate with a home run, two hits and three RBIs, while Tanner Wilson and Austin Roccaforte combined for five hits. Austin Neal was terrific out of the bullpen for the Cards, allowing just one hit in three innings of work. As for the Sooners, defense was a serious issue in this one with four errors, while righty Brendan Girton didn’t get out of the third inning after giving up six runs. It’s still very early, but Lamar continues to climb the RPI rankings.

6. Louisiana turning into team we thought it could be

If you remember back in the fall, I was high on this Ragin’ Cajuns club. Though we didn’t have Matt Deggs’ club in our Preseason Field of 64, they were one of my teams to keep close tabs on this spring. We’re beginning to find out why. The Cajuns have won nine-straight games after beating Texas State, 4-1, on the road on Thursday. Lefthanded pitcher Andrew Herrmann, who impressed me earlier this year at Minute Maid Park, put together yet another strong start, striking out three, walking two and allowing a run on four hits in 5.2 innings of work, while LP Langevin was stout out of the pen again with six strikeouts and just one hit allowed in 3.1 shutout innings. In addition to being an impressive 6-1 in the Sun Belt, UL’s overall resume continues to improve.

7. Washington State’s Taylor the King of Washington for one night

So, I’m just thumbing through results from Thursday night’s college baseball action, and I get to the Washington and Washington State box score. I’m still blown away by what Washington State righthanded pitcher Grant Taylor did against his rivals in a 4-0 victory over UW. Taylor was masterful in the win, striking out a whopping 17 and not walking a single batter in a one-hitter and complete game performance. Not that the Cougars really needed much offense, but Casen Taggart hit a double, recorded two hits and knocked in two runs. As for Taylor, his ERA dropped the mid-four range to below three with this performance. Washington State is now 6-4 in the Pac-12.

8. NC State appears to be on a heater

The Wolfpack is proof positive that a college baseball team’s season can change at any second. NC State appeared to be in a world of hurt a couple of weekends ago after getting swept by Georgia Tech in ugly fashion. But the Pack took a series from Duke last weekend and roughed up Notre Dame, 10-0, on Thursday night. NC State righthanded pitcher Sam Highfill tossed a gem in the win over the Fighting Irish, striking out 10, not walking anyone and allowing just three hits in eight shutout innings. The offense was headlined by Alec Makarewicz, who had two hits, a home run and two RBIs, while Brandon Butterworth knocked in three runs for the Pack.

9. Florida State leaves nothing to chance against Louisville

The Seminoles played exceptionally well last weekend against Clemson — until the middle to late innings in each game. Because of the slow finish in each game, the Noles didn’t leave Clemson with a win. Well, the ‘Noles didn’t leave anything to chance in an 8-3 win over Louisville to kick off yet another important ACC series. FSU righthanded pitcher Cam Leiter struck out 12 in 5.2 innings of work. But the big story of the game was the job done by Joe Charles out of the bullpen. Andrew Armstrong was lifted after allowing two hits in less than an inning of work, and you can bet that there were collective groans in the crowd at Dick Howser Stadium. However, Charles wasn’t about to let another meltdown occur as he struck out four and tossed three hitless innings. FSU got a strong offensive performance from Marco Dinges, who hit a home run, tallied two doubles, and knocked in five runs.

10. USC pitching impresses in marquee win over Oregon State

The season is still young to some extent, but until now, the Trojans had been a huge disappointment, sitting at 9-15 entering the weekend. Yes, the Trojans have played a brutally tough schedule, but that’s an ugly record for a club expected to make the NCAA tournament. The good news? There’s still plenty of time to make a big move, and perhaps that vault started Thursday night in a 2-1 win over Oregon State. USC righthanded pitcher Caden Aoki struck out eight, walked two and allowed just one run on four hits in six innings of work, while Xavier Martinez and Josh Blum were terrific out of the bullpen with five strikeouts in three shutout frames. Though he didn’t go past four innings as he continues to ramp back from an injury, Beavers righthanded pitcher Aiden May was solid yet again this week, striking out three and allowing a run on two hits in four innings.


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