Friday’s D1 Digest: Comfortable Top 25 wins galore headline the action


Friday’s Coverage:

• Aaron Fitt on WVU’s win over UCF in Big 12 Showdown
• Eric Sorenson on Wake Forest’s continued awakening
• Check out D1Baseball’s PreD1ctive Plays
• Discuss Friday’s action on the D1Baseball Forums!
• Advanced Player/Team Statistics

It was a good day for teams inside the D1Baseball Top 25, as a vast majority of them came away with wins, and a good portion of those wins came fairly easily. 

To begin our recap of Friday’s action, let’s separate the Top 25 wins into three categories: blowouts, comfortable wins and narrow wins. Then, we’ll take a look at the Top 25 upsets and some other notable results from the day.  

Blowout Top 25 wins

  • No. 14 Wake Forest was the first ranked team to collect a win on Friday, as it took down Boston College 13-1 on the road behind a strong effort by Chase Burns. The righthander gave up two hits and one unearned run with two walks and eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings. It was a nice bounceback for Burns after he gave up five runs last weekend against Virginia Tech. Nick Kurtz and Seaver King combined for five hits and two home runs to lead the way offensively. 
  • East Carolina pitching no-hit Charlotte, as the No. 9 team in the country came away with an 11-0 win in seven innings. Righthander Trey Yesavage threw the first six innings and collected 12 strikeouts, with Jackson DiLorenzo coming on to get the final three outs. Yesavage has a 1.66 ERA this season with a .151 opponent batting average and an 86-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 54.1 innings. 
  • The Virginia lineup exploded for 21 runs as the No. 11 Cavaliers beat Louisville 21-3. Virginia was all set to come away with a routine 11-3 win, but then it scored 10 runs in the top of the ninth to make it a football score. Ethan Anderson went 5-for-5 at the plate, while both Henry Ford and Jacob Ference had two home runs. Virginia lefthander Evan Blanco gave up six hits and three runs and struck out 11 in six innings. 
  • In one of just two games between ranked teams on Friday, No. 3 Texas A&M ran away from No. 6 Vanderbilt for a 15-0 win. The Aggies set the tone in the first inning with back-to-back homers, a Jace LaViolette two-run shot and a Braden Montgomery solo blast, and never looked back. Both also homered again later and the duo combined for 10 RBIs. On the mound, Ryan Prager threw a seven-inning shutout, striking out 10. 

Comfortable Top 25 wins

  • No. 7 Florida State held off a late rally by rival Miami to win game one of the series 11-7. The Seminoles scored at least one run in each of the first seven innings, chasing UM starter Rafe Schlesinger after just 3.1 innings along the way. The first four batters in the FSU lineup, Max Williams, Cam Smith, James Tibbs III and Jaime Ferrer, all had two hits, with Tibbs adding a homer, two walks and four RBIs. Florida State starter Brady Louck lasted just two innings, but reliever Brennen Oxford (4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R) picked him up and bridged the gap to the late innings. 
  • No. 8 Kentucky ran its SEC record to 13-1 with a 9-1 win over Auburn. This Wildcats team has more physicality than last year’s, and they showed it by clubbing six homers in this one, including two for Ryan Nicholson. Ryan Waldschmidt and Nolan McCarthy also had three hits and a home run each. Starter Dominic Niman gave up one run in 5.1 innings, while Jackson Nove was the star out of the bullpen, as he tossed three scoreless frames. 
  • No. 22 Mississippi State hasn’t lost a series to Ole Miss since 2015, and it got one step closer to extending that streak with an 8-0 win Friday night. MSU righthander Khal Stephen threw eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts, and a seven-run sixth inning for the Bulldogs put this game out of reach. That frame featured a Dakota Jordan two-run home run, a Bryce Chance RBI groundout, a Logan Kohler RBI single, an Amani Larry RBI groundout and a two-RBI single off the bat of David Mershon
  • Though the final score looks narrow, No. 1 Arkansas’ 5-3 win over No. 25 Alabama was actually fairly comfortable as it played out. The Razorbacks held a 5-0 lead after three innings and Hagen Smith threw six shutout innings. The Crimson Tide got to reliever Will McEntire, something that hasn’t happened really at all this season, and scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth, but Stone Hewlett and Gabe Gaeckle settled things down and closed out the win after McEntire exited. Once again, the Arkansas lineup didn’t blow anyone’s doors off, but it did enough in tandem with some excellent pitching. 
  • No. 4 Tennessee won its opener against LSU 6-3. Spot starter Chris Stamos was solid in giving up one run in 2.2 innings, but the star on the mound was AJ Causey, whose spot Stamos took in the rotation. Causey threw 4.2 shutout innings with seven strikeouts, perhaps signaling that he’s back on the right track after several tough outings. Meanwhile, the Volunteers’ lineup put five runs on LSU starter Gage Jump in four innings. Two of those runs came on a first-inning two-run homer for Billy Amick in his first game back after missing a couple of weeks due to appendicitis. 
  • No. 5 Oregon State shut out Stanford 6-0. Righthander Aiden May was excellent in throwing six scoreless innings for the Beavers and the lineup made the most of its five hits to get the win. OSU is clearly the class of the Pac-12 in its final season as currently constructed, but every win is big when it’s still fighting off pesky teams like Arizona, Oregon and Utah

Narrow Top 25 wins

  • No. 15 Dallas Baptist got a push from Air Force on the road. The teams went into the ninth tied 2-2 before the Patriots jumped ahead 3-2 in the top half of the ninth on an RBI double for Michael Dattalo. On the mound, DBU’s Ryan Johnson tossed a complete game, giving up seven hits and two runs with no walks and nine strikeouts on 107 pitches. For the season, Johnson has a 1.80 ERA, a .199 opponent batting average and 91 strikeouts compared to eight walks in 65 innings. 
  • Marshall pitching did a nice job against the Louisiana lineup, holding the No. 19 Ragin’ Cajuns to three runs on eight hits, but it wasn’t enough because UL pitching held the Thundering Herd to one run on five hits in a 3-1 win that pushed its Sun Belt winning streak to 12 games. Andrew Herrmann started and gave up one run in 6.1 innings, with LP Langevin throwing 2.2 scoreless innings to close it out. Both of those guys have been outstanding for the Cajuns this season. Herrmann has a 1.91 ERA in 47 innings this season, while Langevin has a 2.97 ERA and a minuscule .156 opponent batting average in 36.1 innings. 
Andrew Herrmann, Louisiana (UL photo)
  • USC jumped out to a 1-0 first-inning lead over No. 18 Oregon, but from there the Ducks went about playing add-on the rest of the game by scoring one run in each of the second, third, fourth and eighth innings. RJ Gordon was superb in his start for Oregon, giving up five hits and one run in 8.1 innings on exactly 100 pitches. The Ducks had just seven hits but made them count, with Anson Aroz and Drew Smith collecting two hits each. 
  • For most of Friday night, it looked like No. 21 Oklahoma State was going to be an upset victim at the hands of Cincinnati. The Bearcats led 4-1 going to the bottom of the eighth, but the Cowboys rallied to win it in 10 innings, thanks in large part to Lane Forsythe. His sacrifice fly in the eighth tied the game, and then his walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th gave OSU its win. He drove in six of Oklahoma State’s eight runs on the day. 

Top 25 Upsets

  • In a wild back-and-forth contest, NC State upset No. 2 Clemson 11-8. The Wolfpack held a 9-8 lead after five innings, and then the bullpen threw four zeroes the rest of the way while the lineup added a couple of insurance runs. Eli Serrano III went 3-for-4 for NC State, while Josh Hogue homered. It wasn’t always pretty, as he gave up two runs and walked four batters, but Shane Van Dam gave the Pack some needed length in relief by throwing 4.2 innings and striking out eight batters as he bridged the gap to the end of the game. 
  • No. 23 Nebraska looks like the class of the Big Ten this season, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy for the Huskers, and we saw that Friday night with a 7-6 walk-off loss to Rutgers in 11 innings. The Scarlet Knights trailed 6-3 going to the bottom of the ninth, but then scored three runs in the ninth on a two-run double for Joshua Kuroda-Grauer and a Tony Santa Maria RBI single to send it to extra innings. And with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Rutgers walked off with the win on an RBI single for Johnny Volpe. The Scarlet Knights had been off to a slow start in Big Ten play, but perhaps this win will get them going in the right direction.
  • A close game early turned into a runaway late as South Carolina took down No. 24 Florida on the road by a 10-3 score. The Gamecocks led 5-3 after eight innings but then scored five more in the top of the ninth to make the bottom of the ninth stress-free. In his return to the lineup after a concussion, South Carolina catcher Cole Messina had three hits out of the leadoff spot, and Parker Noland, Talmadge LeCroy and Will Tippett all homered. 
  • West Virginia outlasted No. 17 UCF 7-6 on a wet day in Morgantown in which the start of the game was delayed about 90 minutes and ended with a steady rain coming down. With the game tied 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh, WVU scored the winning run when UCF first baseman Lex Boedicker dropped a routine flare on the infield dirt that would have been the third out of the inning. Kyle West led the Mountaineers offensively by going 3-for-4 with a triple, a home run and four RBIs. 
  • No. 12 UC Irvine got walloped on the road by UC San Diego 15-4, and the game was never really in doubt after the Tritons jumped out to a 14-0 lead after four innings, with eight of those runs coming off of UCI ace Nick Pinto. UCSD leadoff hitter Nick Costello went 5-for-6 with a triple and two homers and Patrick Hackworth went 4-for-5 with two triples in the win. Anthony Eyanson started for the Tritons and gave up one run in six innings. 

Other notable results

  • A matchup of Big South aces Riley Huge of Winthrop and Daniel Eagen of Presbyterian turned out to be quite one-sided, as the Blue Hose ran away with a 20-3 victory. The Presbyterian lineup chased Huge after 3.2 innings, ultimately hanging 10 runs on him. Meanwhile, Eagen took care of business by limiting the Eagles to one run on four hits with nine strikeouts in six innings. He has a 1.55 ERA this season with a .179 opponent batting average and 74 strikeouts in 40.2 innings. The Presbyterian lineup had 16 hits, but also took advantage of 12 walks and three hit batters. 
  • It’s a big weekend in the ASUN, as the top four teams in the standings are playing each other. On Friday, Austin Peay won an 11-10 thriller over Jacksonville. After the Dolphins took a 10-8 lead in the top of the eighth, the Governors punched back with three of their own in the bottom half, which made the difference. The Govs’ lineup had 18 hits on the day, including five homers. In the other game, Florida Gulf Coast shut out Stetson 6-0 on just two hits. Davian Garcia threw the first seven shutout innings, while Justin Henschel came on for the final two frames. As it stands right now, FGCU, Stetson and Jacksonville are all tied atop the standings at 9-4, with Austin Peay one game back at 8-5 and tied with Kennesaw State, which won Friday night as well. 
  • Texas Tech has the look of a snake in the grass in the Big 12 race. It hasn’t been easy for the Red Raiders at times this season, but with a 7-1 win over TCU Friday night, they pushed their winning streak to eight games and moved to 9-7 in league play. Ryan Free started for TTU and gave up one run in five innings, with Jacob Rogers and Josh Sanders tossing two scoreless innings of relief each. 
  • In what could turn out to be the series of the year in the Big East, UConn won the opener with St. John’s by an 11-4 score. With a four-spot in the second, the Red Storm chased Huskies starter Gabe Van Emon, but Ian Cooke saved the day for UConn with 7.2 innings of dazzling relief work. He gave up two hits and two walks with 14 strikeouts. Offensively, first baseman Maddix Dalena had a monster game, slugging three home runs and driving in five runs. 
  • Northern Kentucky has been the class of the Horizon League this season, but it was never going to feel totally real until they proved it against Wright State. Well, on Friday, the Norse walked off with an absolutely bonkers 15-14 win over the Raiders. In a back-and-forth game, WSU led 14-12 going to the bottom of the ninth, but NKU scored a run on an error and then got a two-run walk-off homer off the bat of Logen Devenport, his second blast of the game. With the win, NKU moves to three games ahead of WSU in the Horizon League standings, putting them in good position for a regular-season title with a strong second-half finish. 
  • Speaking of bonkers games, Delaware State won one against Merrimack Friday by a 23-22 score. The Hornets scored 10 total runs over the final two innings, and while there were some walks issued and a few errors, most of these two teams’ runs came from big swings. The teams combined for 15 home runs, and Delaware State first baseman Krew Bouldin drove in seven runs. 
  • St. Thomas continues to make some noise in the Summit League, as its 3-2 win over Oral Roberts keeps it a half-game up on South Dakota State to lead the conference. Jacob Mrosko was excellent on the mound for the Tommies, giving up three hits and two runs (one earned) in seven innings. Frustratingly, no matter how good St. Thomas is this season, it won’t be able to play in the NCAA Tournament because it is still in its transition period to Division I, during which it is ineligible for postseason play. 
St. Thomas’ Jacob Mrosko (St. Thomas photo)
  • Georgia State absolutely put it on Southern Miss with an 18-8 win in seven innings. The Panthers scored six runs in the first inning against USM starter Niko Mazza and then scored four more off him in the third, sending him to an early shower. Georgia State had 15 hits but also took advantage of 10 walks issued by Golden Eagles pitching. With the win, Georgia State moves into a four-way tie for second place in the Sun Belt with USM, Coastal Carolina and Georgia Southern, all of which are behind Louisiana. 
  • San Diego got a 10-4 win over Portland in a matchup of two of the best teams in the WCC. USD got to Portland ace Nick Brink for eight runs on 11 hits in his five innings, and Jakob Christian led the way for the Toreros with two home runs and five RBIs. With the win, USD stays even atop the WCC standings at 8-2 with Gonzaga.

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