Wednesday (4/8) News Links

Discussion in 'Husker Baseball Board' started by HuskerFan31, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. HuskerFan31

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    Go Big Red!
     
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    LJS: Lubach powers Huskers past Kansas State

    MANHATTAN, Kan. - Tanner Lubach spit the bad taste of an awful weekend out of his mouth and helped No. 23 Nebraska savor a 5-4 win in 10 innings Tuesday night before 3,081 fans at Tointon Family Stadium on the Kansas State campus.

    "We traveled all the way back from Maryland with that feeling that we had given too much away in getting swept by Maryland last weekend," said Lubach, who was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate.

    The senior catcher from Lincoln Southwest had struggled lately but exploded out of the gate with a triple in the second and finished with a blazing single to drive in the winning run in the top of the 10th inning.

    "We really wanted a chance to get the bad taste of that Maryland series out of our mouths - especially the way we lost Sunday (6-5) when we had a 5-0 lead," said Lubach, who had just two hits in his previous 12 at-bats before Tuesday.

    "That's what we talk about when we talk about approach at the plate, and Tanner was hitting the ball to right-center and was dialed in," Nebraska coach Darin Erstad said. "Those are the nights when everything is in place. Some nights you hit it in holes and sometimes its right at somebody.

    "But this was a great time to come through because we wanted to turn things around after the trip to Maryland," he said. "Tonight was a big step in the right direction. We let one slip away Sunday and this was basically the same scenario tonight. But we finished it off."

    The Huskers (24-10) had won just one of the last six games against the Wildcats, but seemed in charge early when Lubach tripled in a run and scored on a single by Scott Schreiber. Schreiber then scored on a single by Jake Placzek, who drove the ball just past the glove of KSU third baseman Steve Serratore.

    Serratore scored in the second inning, but Nebraska's Blake Headley hit a home run over the right-field fence and over the scoreboard to pad the NU lead to 4-1.

    KSU (13-17) then scratched for three runs on four hits in the sixth to tie the game.

    "Garett King (NU starter) was fine but he got a couple of pitches up and then Kansas State did what they do and got right back in the game," said Erstad. "We know this is a tough place to play and we didn't get much going until the 10th inning."

    Nebraska stranded runners on second and third in the sixth and Lubach on third in the eighth. But Jake Schleppenbach, a Lincoln Pius X grad, singled with one out in the 10th, and after Headley hit a long fly into the smoky sky to the center-field wall, Ben Miller singled to short.

    Lubach then singled to left, scoring Schleppenbach, and Josh Roeder closed out the game.

    "Josh was really on tonight and that's a great way to win a game," said Lubach. "He fans the first guy, gets a liner for the second then gets a guy on a slider way down, just like we like."

    The Huskers host Minnesota in a three-game Big Ten series that starts at 7:05 p.m. Friday. That game will be televised on BTN.

    LJS: Lubach powers Huskers past Kansas State
     
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    NU: Lubach Goes 5-for-5 in Extra-Inning Win

    Manhattan, Kan. - Tanner Lubach went 5-for-5 on Tuesday night at Tointon Stadium and drove in the eventual game-winning run with his fifth hit of the night in the 10th inning, as the No. 23 Nebraska baseball team (24-10, 3-3 Big Ten) posted a 5-4 win over the Kansas State Wildcats (13-17, 2-7 Big 12) in 10 innings. Lubach notched five of NU's 12 hits and drove in a pair of runs, as the Huskers won the 277th all-time meeting between the two teams.

    Josh Roeder came in for the 10th and picked up his 10th save of the season with a pair of strikeouts. Roeder is now four saves away from breaking Brett Jensen's school record of 31 career saves.

    In front of 3,081 fans, the largest crowd at Tointon Stadium this season, Lubach came to the plate with two outs in the top of the 10th and delivered a RBI single to left field that put the Huskers on top 5-4. The senior catch, who had three career three-hit games entering the night, notched three singles, one double and one triple on the night. Lubach is the first Husker to produce five hits in a game since Michael Pritchard last season, when he produced five hits in a 14-5 win over Kansas State in Lincoln on April 15.

    Lubach's two-out RBI single was possible after Jake Schleppenbach and Ben Miller also singled in the top of the 10th. Schleppenbach reached on a one-out single and moved to second when Miller came through with a two-out infield single. Lubach capped his heroic night with a single on a 1-1 offering from reliever Bryce Ward and on the play Schleppenbach scored from second base to put the Huskers on top 5-4.

    Extra innings was needed after the Huskers squandered away a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth when the Wildcats scored four runs to even the game. The two teams then went scoreless over the next three innings before Lubach untied the game in the 10th.

    Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision after the Wildcats tied the game. NU freshman Garett King went 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits. King had his streak of batters faced without a walk snapped at 36 over 17.0 innings in the third when he gave up a one-out walk. King's last walk came in the Indiana State game on March 17 and he hadn't allowed a walk in each of his last two starts.

    KSU's Kyle Halbohn lasted just 2.1 innings in his fourth start of the season. The junior allowed four runs, all earned, on five hits. Jordan Floyd and Jackson Douglas kept the Wildcats in the game with a combined 5.2 innings of scoreless four-hit relief behind Halbohn.

    After going down in order in the first, the Huskers offense picked up steam in the second with three runs on four hits, including a RBI triple by Lubach. Miller got the inning started with an infield single and then scored on Lubach's triple. Scott Schreiber later added a one-out RBI single and then put himself in scoring position with his third stolen base of the year. After Halbohn got the second out of the inning, Jake Placzek delivered a two-out single that scored Schreiber and gave the Huskers a 3-0 lead.

    The Wildcats, who also were retired in order in the first, responded with a run in the bottom of the second on three hits. Nebraska got the run back in the third though on a deep blast by Blake Headley that cleared the scoreboard in right field. It was Headley's first homer of the season and the fourth of his career.

    King hung zeroes in the fourth and the fifth, but was unable to make it through the sixth. The Wildcats started the frame with consecutive singles to put runners on the corners. King then got a fly ball out before Steve Serratore delivered a RBI ground out that cut NU's lead to 4-2. With two outs, the Huskers turned the ball to Jeff Chesnut, who promptly gave up a RBI double and a RBI single that tied the game, 4-4. Following a stolen base the Wildcats had the go-ahead run in scoring position, but Chesnut ended the inning with a 6-3 groundout.

    The Huskers had the go-ahead run in scoring position in the eighth when Lubach blasted a double off the right field wall. Douglas kept the game tied with a strikeout of Austin Darby to end the frame.

    KSU then had the go-ahead run on base in the bottom of the eighth with a one out walk, but Chesnut got consecutive pop outs to second base and the game went to the ninth, tied 4-4.

    After the Huskers went down in order in the top of the ninth, the Wildcats has the winning run on base in the bottom of the ninth after Taylor Anderson led off with a single and he was quickly in scoring position following a sacrifice bunt. The Husker then intentionally walked pinch-hitter Alex Bee to setup the double play. With the top of KSU's order coming to the plate, sophomore Jake Hohensee got a shallow fly out and a ground ball to escape the jam and send the game to extra innings, where Lubach put on a stamp on a career night.

    The Huskers will be back in action at Hawks Field on Friday night when they open a three-game series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:02 p.m. and the game will be carried nationally on the Big Ten Network.

    NU: Lubach Goes 5-for-5 in Extra-Inning Win
     
  5. HuskerFan31

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    KSU: K-State Falls in Extras, 5-4, to No. 23 Nebraska

    MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The K-State baseball team fought back from an early deficit and forced the game into 10 innings against No. 23 Nebraska, but the Wildcats surrendered a two-out RBI single in extras to fall, 5-4, on Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium.

    K-State (13-17, 2-7 Big 12) trailed by three runs after the top of the second and third innings, but by holding Nebraska (24-10, 3-3 Big Ten) scoreless for six straight frames and scoring three runs in the sixth, the Wildcats took the contest into their second extra-inning game of the season.

    The Wildcats had the go-ahead run in scoring position in the eighth and ninth innings, but a pop-out in the eighth and back-to-back outs in the ninth left the Wildcats scoreless. K-State finished 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position while Nebraska was 3-for-9.

    It was the third straight loss for K-State after it lost the final two games of the series against West Virginia last weekend. In the series finale vs. the Mountaineers, K-State left the go-ahead run on base in the eighth and surrendered the game-winning hit in the ninth to lose, 3-2.

    "We just didn't get it done again," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "We got the leadoff hit in the bottom of the ninth, sacrificed him over and got two shots at it. You just felt like we were going to get a walk-off win."

    K-State had 10 hits in the game, led by two apiece from Tyler Moore and Taylor Anderson. Both Moore and Anderson used one of their two hits to drive in runs in the sixth, with Anderson's RBI single plating Moore to tie the game at 4-4. Moore preceded Anderson by hitting a hustle double into center to score Shane Conlon, who along with Tyler Wolfe ignited the rally with back-to-back singles to start the inning.

    Moore led K-State with two RBIs, with his first being registered in the second on a single that drove in Steve Serratore and made it 3-1 Nebraska. Moore is tied with Max Brown for the team-lead in RBIs this season with 19.

    "I thought we did a great job of coming back tonight," said Hill. "The guys fought back much better offensively. We had 10 hits and another four or five balls hit really well. Hopefully that's a sign of some things to come."

    Nebraska reliever Jake Hohensee picked up the win after throwing a scoreless ninth despite allowing a hit and an intentional walk. The right-hander surrendered a leadoff single to Anderson and then issued a free pass to pinch-hitter Alex Bee before inducing a fly out by Carter Yagi and fielder's choice by Wolfe.

    K-State freshman Bryce Ward tossed a perfect top half of the ninth, but in the 10th, he allowed two infield singles among the first four batters he faced to set up Tyler Lubach's game-winning RBI single into left field. The base hit by Lubach was one of his game-high five. Meanwhile, the loss for Ward was his first of the season.

    Nebraska's Josh Roeder earned the save after working around a two-out walk to Serratore in the 10th. For Roeder, it was his team-leading 10th save of the season.

    K-State starting pitcher Kyle Halbohn surrendered all four of the early Nebraska runs in his 2 1/3 innings. In the second, the right-hander allowed an RBI triple to Lubach followed by RBI singles to Scott Schreiber and Jake Placzek. In the third, a solo home run by Blake Headley made it 4-1 Nebraska and chased Halbohn from the game.

    Two Wildcat southpaws, Jordan Floyd and Jackson Douglas, combined to hold Nebraska scoreless over 5 2/3 innings. Floyd, who threw 3 2/3 innings, spelled Halbohn in the third and went on to surrender three hits over the 14 batters he faced. Douglas, meanwhile, allowed just one hit over his season high-tying 2.0 innings while also striking out two. One of the punchouts by the K-State freshman ended the eighth when a two-out double and error on the relay throw from Yagi moved the go-ahead run to third. Douglas settled in and struck out Austin Darby to keep the game tied.

    For Douglas, it was his fifth straight outing in which he did not allow a run. Over the same span, he has six strikeouts and no walks in 4 1/3 innings.

    K-State will play the second of its two midweek contests on April 8 at Omaha. The Wildcats and Mavericks will square off at Werner Park in Papillion, Nebraska, home of the Kansas City Royals' Triple-A affiliate, the Omaha Storm Chasers. Mark Biesma will start for K-State and face Shane Meltz.


    NOTES
    The loss to Nebraska was just the second for K-State in the last nine meetings between the two schools in Manhattan. It also snapped a three-game home winning streak for the Wildcats against the Huskers.

    K-State is 0-2 in extra-inning games this season. The first loss was on February 21 vs. Washington in Mesa, Arizona (6-5 in 10 innings).

    Tuesday marked the first time since February 21, 2013 that K-State played a ranked non-conference opponent in the regular season. The Wildcats beat No. 8 Kentucky, 7-5, back in 2013.

    KSU: K-State Falls in Extras, 5-4, to No. 23 NU
     
  6. HuskerFan31

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    D1 - Midweek Madness: Tuesday, April 7

    The Big Winner: Oklahoma State

    Oklahoma State University logoThere wasn't much doubt about this category after the Cowboys' total dismantling of rival Oklahoma in a non-conference midweek game, 24-2. In the grand scheme of things, this game doesn't mean a whole lot because it doesn't count in the Big 12 Conference standings. But boy, what a hit to OU's ego losing to a rival like that.

    As you might imagine, the OU-OSU box score is in much disarray, but here are some quick details for starters: The Cowboys scored eight runs in the first inning, roughing up OU starting pitcher Jeffrey Curran for six runs on five hits in just 2/3 of an inning while lefthander Adam Choplick didn't fare any better for Hughes' club, allowing eight runs on four hits in 2.1 innings. In all, the Cowboys scored eight in the first, five runs in the fifth, and also had four-run innings in the third and sixth, while also scoring three runs in the fifth.

    Whew, that's the quick review. How about OSU's individual performances? Gritty OSU leadoff hitter Tim Arakawa had a huge day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored and four RBIs, while Conor Costello had another big night, going 3-for-5 with four RBIs, while Donnie Walton, Gage Green, Jon Littell and David Petrino each knocked in multiple runs.

    Oklahoma State's Conor Costello. (OSU)
    Oklahoma State's Conor Costello. (OSU)
    OSU finished the night with 20 hits.


    Costello helped his case, too, on the mound, tossing four innings in the victory, while Tyler Nurdin was terrific out of the bullpen, striking out two and tossing three scoreless frames.

    Oklahoma State is red-hot following a home series sweep of Texas and this dominant win over Oklahoma. Now, it gets ready for a weekend date at Kansas.

    More big winners:

    Cal State Fullerton Titans logoCal State Fullerton: Rick Vanderhook's Titans finally seem to be getting their act together again. The Titans hit the road and captured a really nice 6-4 win over San Diego. Fullerton first baseman Josh Estill had two hits and two RBIs, while the bullpen did a terrific job with Miles Chambers (3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K), Maxwell Gibbs (2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and Tyler Peitzmeier (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) leading the charge. It was a tough night on the bump for USD starting pitcher Drew Jacobs, who allowed five runs on four hits in three innings.

    College of Charleston Cougars logoCollege of Charleston: The Cougars have flown under the radar since the first few weeks of the season, but coach Monte Lee has his club playing exceptionally well. Charleston hosted Georgia Southern on Tuesday and captured a dominant 11-0 victory. C of C third baseman Carl Wise has a huge night at the plate, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs, while shortstop Champ Rowland had three hits, Alex Pastorius had a home run and two RBIs, and leadoff hitter Ryan Brown went 2-for-5 with an RBI … Charleston's RPI was up to 32 entering Tuesday's contest.

    Memphis logoMemphis: The Tigers got into the Top 25 discussion with a home series win over Houston, and they helped their case even more Tuesday night with a 7-1 win over Mississippi State. Memphis first baseman Tucker Tubbs went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, but the story of the game was starting pitcher Alex Gunn silencing the Bulldogs, allowing just a run on three hits in seven innings … Mississippi State righthander Trevor Fitts didn't have a good outing out of the pen. He allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits in just 2/3 of an inning … The craziest statistic entering this game? Memphis entered the day with an RPI of 58, while MSU had an RPI of 122.

    Georgia Bulldogs logoGeorgia: It was a good day for the Bulldogs for a couple of reasons. First, they went on the road and defeated Clemson 3-2 with the back-end of the bullpen in Bo Tucker and Jared Cheek doing a terrific job, while the offense was led by leadoff hitter and outfielder Stephen Wrenn, who went 2-for-4 with a home run, stolen base and an RBI, and catcher Brandon Stephens, who finished the contest with a pair of hits … But the biggest story of the night was the return of righthander David Sosebee, who had been out with a back injury. Sosebee allowed a run on two hits in two innings, and his return from a production and experience standpoint definitely is needed down the stretch.

    Texas AM logoTexas A&M does it again … Just a little note to any team facing the Aggies, you better leave no doubt late in the game. Rice starting pitcher Austin Orewiler allowed just two runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings, but down 3-1 in the seventh inning, the Aggies went to work. They led off the seventh with homers from JB Moss and Logan Nottebrok, while they took the lead in the eighth on an infield hit into the hole between third base and shortstop. A&M won the contest 4-3 … Here's a statistic for you: The Aggies now have 38 homers as a team this season and are 31-2 overall.

    UC Irvine logoUC Irvine has been one of the hotter teams in the country the past few weeks, and it improved its overall record to 19-10 with a 7-4 road win over San Diego State. UCI's Andrew Martinez set the tone in the first inning with a three-run home run to center field, while outfielder Wyatt Castro had a triple, two hits and an RBI … The win was UC Irvine's 13th-straight.

    TCU logoTCU has flown a little under the radar since the Oklahoma State series loss at home a few weeks ago. But after taking a road series from Texas Tech over the weekend, the Frogs responded with yet another solid win, this time beating ranked Dallas Baptist 6-2. The Frogs scored five runs in the third inning to set the tone, with all but one batter in the lineup recording a hit. Meanwhile, TCU sophomore lefthander Tyler Alexander was terrific, striking out five, not walking anyone and allowing just two runs on seven hits in eight innings.

    Upset of the day

    Lipscomb over Vanderbilt

    Lipscomb logoMidweek action is a lot of fun to follow because of the intriguing upsets that tend to take place. Take for instance, the Bisons 3-1 road win over Vanderbilt. Lipscomb University is only a few miles away from Vandy's campus, so we're sure a few members of the purple and gold fan club were able to witness, and enjoy this one.

    The story of the game was pretty clear, and it was LU freshman righthander Brady Puckett. Puckett mystified the Commodores on the way to victory. He sat 88-92 mph with his fastball and showed good feel for his changeup and slider. The righty struck out six, walked two and allowed just a run on five hits in 7.1 innings. The Bisons bullpen also was able to close things out in style, with Nick Andros finishing the contest with 1.1 shutout frames.

    Lipscomb's Josh Lee led the offensive charge by going 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs, while the Commodores wasted a solid start by lefthander John Kilichowski, who struck out seven, didn't walk anyone and allowed just two runs on five hits in seven innings.

    LU could be an interesting team to follow moving forward. The Bisons are 19-11 overall and have just an RPI of 152. However, the Atlantic Sun regular-season title race is very much open between now and the end of May.

    More upsets:

    • North Carolina logoNorth Carolina took care of business against No. 22 Coastal Carolina at home, 9-3, with outfielder Tyler Ramirez having a big night at the plate. Ramirez went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while leadoff hitter Adam Pate went 3-for-4 with a home run and a double.

    • Elon logoElon has had a tough season thus far, but recorded a nice midweek 7-5 triumph over NC State. Phoenix third baseman Danny Lynch had a nice night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, while the bullpen did a terrific job in relief of starting pitcher Mike Krill. Jake Stalzer tossed two shutout frames, while Joe McGillicuddy finished the contest in style with two strikeouts in two shutout innings.

    Player of the day

    JJ Schwarz, c, Florida

    Not only did Schwarz have a big-time offensive performance in the 22-2 win over Stetson - it might be the best single-game production we'll see from an individual the rest of the season.

    The talented freshman catcher went 5-for-6 with a school-record four homers, a double and 10 RBIs. Schwarz increased his home run total from four to eight in the contest, and is now hitting .304/.366/.616.

    Florida freshman JJ Schwarz. (Aaron Fitt)
    Florida freshman JJ Schwarz. (Aaron Fitt)
    Schwarz and the Gators' big night comes at exactly the right time as they looked to recover from a tough road series loss to Missouri last weekend.

    FloridaStateStaying in the Sunshine State … Florida State lefthanded Bryant Holtmann put together an impressive home start in a 5-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast. Holtmann struck out six, walked two and allowed just seven hits in eight shutout innings.

    Quick Hitters

    • Ole Miss dropped a 6-5 midweek decision to Southern Mississippi, as starting pitcher Evan Anderson was lifted after allowing three runs on seven hits in 1.1 innings. With the loss, the Rebels, who reached the College World Series last season, are now 16-17 overall with a series at Vanderbilt looming on the horizon.

    • UCS Santa Barbara logoUC Santa Barbara is having a season to remember, improving to 24-7 overall with a 2-1 road win over sizzling hot USC. UCSB's Domenic Mazza was terrific on the mound, striking out five, walking just one and allowing four hits in seven shutout innings …. On a positive note for the Trojans, leadoff hitter Bobby Stahel continues to be great, going 2-for-4 with a run scored in the game.

    • Hartford Hawks logoHartford threw a midweek no-hitter on Tuesday in a 10-0 win over Sacred Heart. Hartford had four pitchers combine for the no-hitter, with Ben Brown tossing two innings to start, Jake Regula (getting the win) tossing three innings after that, and then Justin Robarge and Kevin Tise each throwing two shutout frames to end the contest, with Tise finishing the game with two strikeouts.

    One last thing …

    There's absolutely no caption needed, and it's not college baseball - it's actually a game between the Dodgers and Padres - but I think all fans of baseball will like, err, be amused:

    D1 - Midweek Madness: Tuesday, April 7
     
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    PG - National college notes: April 7

    Draft Watch

    Here is how the players currently ranked among the top 50 of Perfect Game's top 250 draft-eligible prospects have fared so far this season.

    Hitters

    Rk. Player Pos. School Stats
    6 Dansby Swanson SS Vanderbilt .372/.488/.620, 11 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR
    16 Richie Martin SS Florida .290/.389/.411, 5 2B, 2 HR, 11 SB
    17 Alex Bregman SS Louisiana State .333/.408/.629, 12 2B, 7 HR, 17 SB
    20 Ian Happ OF Cincinnati .400/.523/.690, 8 2B, 7 HR, 5 SB
    25 Christin Stewart OF Tennessee .320/.455/.691, 5 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR
    26 D.J. Stewart OF Florida State .295/.519/.590, 4 2B, 9 HR, 30 RBI
    34 Chris Shaw OF Boston College .318/.422/.692, 7 2B, 11 HR, 41 RBI
    40 Gio Brusa OF Pacific .299/.405/.542, 10 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR
    44 Steven Duggar OF Clemson .271/.368/.347 6 2B, 1 HR, 6 SB
    47th-ranked prospect, Joe McCarthy, out with back injury

    Pitchers

    Rk. Player Pos. School Stats
    3 Michael Matuella* RHP Duke 1-1, 1.08 ERA, 25 IP, 24:11
    4 Kyle Funkhouser RHP Louisville 4-2, 2.22 ERA, 52.2 IP, 54:23
    5 Walker Buehler RHP Vanderbilt 3-0, 2.76 ERA, 29.1 IP, 28:8
    8 Carson Fulmer RHP Vanderbilt 5-1, 2.25 ERA, 48 IP, 67:23
    11 Cody Ponce RHP Cal Poly Pomona 3-0, 0.89 ERA, 20.1 IP, 24:4
    14 Nathan Kirby LHP Virginia 4-2, 1.94 ERA, 51 IP, 69:23
    18 Kyle Cody RHP Kentucky 2-3, 5.87 ERA, 38.1 IP, 37:8
    19 Jake Lemoine RHP Houston 1-1, 4.50 ERA, 24 IP, 15:4
    21 Riley Ferrell RHP Texas Christian 0-1, 1.20 ERA, 9 SV, 15 IP, 25:6
    27 James Kaprelian RHP UCLA 6-2, 2.09 ERA, 51.2 IP, 64:9
    29 Dillon Tate RHP UC Santa Barbara 4-3, 1.34 ERA, 60.2 IP, 67:16
    31 Alex Young LHP Texas Christian 6-1, 1.03 ERA, 43.2 IP, 45:9
    36 Brett Lilek LHP Arizona State 2-2, 4.33 ERA, 35.1 IP, 31:22
    38 Tyler Ferguson RHP Vanderbilt 0-0, 12.79 ERA, 6.1 IP, 8:20
    43 Marc Brakeman RHP Stanford 0-1, 3.71 ERA, 17 IP, 13:7
    *Out for the season
    30th-ranked prospect, Jon Duplantier, out with arm soreness



    Freshman/Sophomore Stat Pack

    During the course of the season our friends at CollegeSplits.com are going to be providing statistical leaders in the freshmen and sophomore classes in five different offensive categories and four different pitching categories. Each week we will choose one of those categories to share in the weekly PG college baseball national notebook, with home runs and strikeouts being listed this week.


    Home Runs


    Freshmen



    Sophomores

    Rk. Name School HR
    Rk. Name School HR
    1 K.J. Harrison Oregon State 7
    1 Will Craig Wake Forest 11
    1 Kel Johnson Georgia Tech 7
    2 Kyle Lewis Mercer 10
    1 Ryan Noda Cincinnati 7
    3 Donnie Dewees North Florida 9
    4 Logan Heiser UCF 6
    3 Andrew Benintendi Arkansas 9
    4 Drew Ellis The Citadel 6
    5 Nate Mondou Wake Forest 8
    4 Brett Cumberland California 6
    5 Logan Gray Austin Peay State 8





    5 Lucas Erceg California 8

    11 tied with 5


    8 Matt Thaiss Virginia 7





    8 Andrew Martinez UC Irvine 7





    8 Bobby Dalbec Arizona 7





    8 Brandon Lowe Maryland 7





    8 David Martinelli Dallas Baptist 7





    8 Hunter Swilling Samford 7





    8 Ky Parrott James Madison 7
    Strikeouts


    Freshmen



    Sophomores

    Rk. Name School SO
    Rk. Name School SO
    1 Alex Lange Louisiana State 61
    1 Alec Hansen Oklahoma 64
    2 Eddie Macaluso Iona 57
    2 Boomer Biegalski Florida State 62
    3 Brendan McKay Louisville 55
    3 Brandon Bailey Gonzaga 60
    4 Michael Baumann Jacksonville 49
    3 Mike Shawaryn Maryland 60
    5 Griffin Canning UCLA 48
    5 Anthony Kay Connecticut 57
    6 David Peterson Oregon 47
    6 Corbin Burnes St. Mary's 56
    7 J.B. Bukauskas North Carolina 46
    6 Wil Crowe South Carolina 56
    7 Tanner Houck Missouri 46
    8 Alex Cunningham Coastal Carolina 54
    9 Lane De Leon Delaware State 45
    9 T.J. Zeuch Pittsburgh 53
    10 Drew Rasmussen Oregon State 43
    9 Brady Bramlett Mississippi 53
    10 J.P. Sears The Citadel 43









    Iona 3, at Fairfield 2 (Saturday)

    Yes, he is the son of the great Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, but Iona righthander Mariano Rivera Jr. is very much a prospect in his own right. What the younger Rivera shares with his father though is that they both appear to be late bloomers in terms of overall stuff on the mound.

    Drafted by the Yankees last spring in the 29th round, the then Iona College sophomore decided to head back to school for his junior season and so far it's proved to be the right move. Compare his stats from last year to his current line and a couple of the numbers will jump out while keeping in mind that we're only halfway through 2015. Through eight starts this spring Rivera's ERA is more than two runs lower then in 2014. Known for having quality raw stuff, Rivera has taken the next step forward in terms of command, already surpassing his strikeout total from 2014 by 12 with 62 over 47 innings pitched this spring with just 13 walks.

    Something you wouldn't know from looking at just box scores is that the 5-foot-11 Rivera has seen a steady climb in velocity and has showed the big numbers on the radar gun throughout 2015. Working mostly in the 89-91 range while touching 92 mph, with reports of 93's and 94's toward the end of the 2014 spring, the Iona righty came out and proved those reports to be true and has taken it a tick higher.

    In a quick first inning in Saturday's game against Fairfield, Rivera sat in the 93-95 mph range with his fastball while employing a full and fluid arm action coming through the back. With a near over-the-top delivery, Rivera did a nice job of consistently getting on top of the ball, allowing for command of either side of the plate throughout his seven innings of work. His arm is fast and he's able to produce premium velocity without much effort, but more importantly, he is able to hold it over the course of a game despite his lean and athletic 5-foot-11, 155-pound build.

    Showing a similar velocity range in the second inning and still up to 94 in both the third and fourth, Rivera sat in the 91-93 mph range the rest of the way despite the cold and windy conditions. He dipped below the 91 mark only a time or two and showed nothing below 90 mph with his heater. His fastball gets on hitters quick as he does a nice job of hiding it through the back of his delivery with a small curl at the top before driving to the plate.

    Generally true in terms of life, Rivera showed occasional hard life to his arm side on his fastball and lived low in the zone, hardly ever throwing a pitch above the batter's waist. He only walked one batter, following up a strong start the week prior in which he didn't issue any free passes, as he showed a strong feel for both his fastball and slider throughout the game.

    The Fairfield offense was able to pick up six hits off Rivera, but once runners reached base he buckled down and only once allowed multiple hits in an inning. One reason for the success was Rivera's slider, a pitch that he showed more than enough confidence in and executed it on a consistent basis.

    Not afraid to double up on the low-80s offering, Rivera maintains his arm slot on the pitch that almost looks like a curveball with the amount of depth it shows due to his high release. With tight rotation and downward life, Rivera showed as much command of his breaking ball as he did his fastball. Finding himself with a 3-2 count in the sixth inning, Rivera went back to his slider, freezing a hitter for a backwards K. He didn't wait long to go back to that pitch, striking out the very next batter with an 81 mph slider on an 0-2 count for another punchout looking. Rivera flashed a changeup only a couple of times as he generally went fastball/slider and didn't need much else.

    Saturday marked his second straight complete game victory, following up a performance of an 11 strikeout, one-hit performance two weeks ago. If he continues this trend of starts, watch for his name as he should continue to climb up teams' draft boards.



    National Notes

    • No. 5 Louisville leap-frogged No. 6 UCLA in this week's random thanks to a torrid start to the 2015 season, particularly since ACC play has begun. The Cardinals have swept four of their five opponents (No. 14 Virginia, Boston College, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech) and took two of three from No. 9 Miami. They are now 25-7 on the season, and 14-1 in the ACC, with series against Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State and N.C. State coming up.

    However, sweeping Virginia, who may be struggling somewhat this season, put an exclammation mark on their season, and showcased the players that have really stood out.

    Kyle Funkhouser delivered seven strong inning in a 8-1 win on Saturday, the first game of the series, while the Louisville offense touched up Cavaliers' ace Nathan Kirby for six earned runs. Fresman two-way standout Brendan McKay moved to 5-0 on Sunday in a 11-4 win on Sunday, tossing another seven solid frames, while sophomore lefthander Josh Rogers chipped in with seven shutout innings of his own in a 4-0 win on Monday.

    Sophomore outfielder Corey Ray was named the ACC Player of the Week after going 6-for-14 (.429) in the series, with a pair of walks, three runs scored, five driven in, two doubles, two stolen bases and a home run. That's especially impressive considering he went 0-for-4 in Monday's game, and he's now hitting .326/.383/.541 on the year.

    • Hitting an opposite field grand slam to bring your team to within a run in a pivotal conference series is enough to take note. A home run in your next at-bat is icing on the cake. Boston College junior outfielder Chris Shaw took it yet another step further on Sunday and went yard in three consecutive at-bats to help the Eagles knock off Wake Forest in game three of the series. After an unusual slow start to 2015, the lefthanded slugger has caught fire recently and has continued to show why he is regarded as one of the top power bats in this year's draft class.

    A strongly built 6-foot-3, 248-pound slugger, Shaw has seen his average rise to .318 while seeing his name atop of the nation's leaders in home runs, already putting 11 balls over the fence this spring. His 41 runs batted in are four shy of his 2014 total, and with one more home run he will tie the combined total of his first two seasons on Chestnut Hill.

    • Even in high school Maryland sophomore Michael Shawaryn was a proven winner and a pitcher that everybody knew would find success at the next level whether in college or the professional ranks. After a solid freshman campaign, Shawaryn has done nothing but solidify those beliefs through 2015, standing with a perfect 7-0 record over his first eight starts of the spring. Taking over the Friday role for a nationally ranked program, the New Jersey native has thrived in the limelight through to this point in the year.

    Tied for the nation's lead with his seven victories, Shawaryn shows advanced pitchability just as he always has. He's also done a very nice job of maintaining his low-90s velocity over the course of an outing, something he has improved upon since last spring. With a 2.00 ERA and just 9 walks compared to his 60 strikeouts over 54 innings, Shawaryn has been a constant for the Terps this spring and will be a key for their long term success.

    PG - National college notes: April 7
     
  9. HuskerFan31

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    BA - Tuesday Roundup: Lipscomb Upends Vanderbilt; Schwarz Pounds Four HRs

    Tuesday night was a great night for freshmen.

    Freshman Brady Puckett outdueled John Kilichowski as Lipscomb used some timely hitting and took advantage of an error in the first to beat top-ranked Vanderbilt 3-1, just the Commodores' second loss in 12 games and their first midweek loss this season.

    It was just the second time in school history that Lipscomb beat the No. 1 team in the country-the Bisons also beat then-No. 1 Vanderbilt in 2007.

    It didn't take long Tuesday for Lipscomb to get going as Kilichowski hit Michael Gigliotti with the first pitch of the game. Trying to push the freshman speedster into scoring position, senior Grant Massey dropped a bunt back to the pitcher, but Kilichowski threw the ball into right field, allowing both runners to be safe.

    Jonathan Allison followed with a sac bunt to put runners at second and third with one out. Josh Lee ripped a sac fly to center to make it 1-0. Lee drove in all three of Lipscomb's runs, adding an RBI triple to the wall in left center in the sixth and an RBI infield single in the eighth.

    Puckett, the 6-foot-8 righthander from Murfreesboro, allowed just a run on five hits through 7 1/3 innings, walking two with six strikeouts. Senior Nick Andros got the save by recording the final four outs.

    Kilichowski worked seven innings and gave up two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.

    Stetson at (10) Florida


    JJ Schwarz showed why he ranked No. 73 on the BA 500 a year ago. The freshman became the first Gator to hit four homers in a game and drove in 10 runs, and fellow first-year player Dalton Guthrie added two blasts as Florida blasted Stetson 22-2.

    Schwarz was 5-for-6 with a two-run homer in the second inning, a two-run blast in the third, a three-run shot in the fourth, a solo shot in the seventh and a two-run double in the eighth, and even he seemed stunned by the power outburst.

    "I've never hit two (home runs in a game) before," said Schwarz, who now has nine homers. "After my second one, I was really excited, and then after the third I was like, 'Holy crap, what is going on?'"

    Schwarz was the highest-ranked prep hitter out of last year's draft to land on a D-I roster.

    "Obviously, this was a special night for JJ," coach Kevin O'Sullivan told gatorzone.com. "I don't know if I have ever seen a guy hit four homers in one game. The most impressive thing is that he drove a ball to right center on his last at-bat. Sometimes home runs can be the best thing that happens to a hitter to get them going, but sometimes it can be the worst thing because they start pulling off the ball. For him to finish the night the way he did, and for him to hit the ball on the nose the other way, then that tells me tonight was a really special night for him because he was locked in."

    Freshman Alex Faedo, pitching in relief of junior Danny Young, was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, recording the win with three scoreless innings.

    Top 25 Showdowns

    (14) Rice at (2) Texas A&M: A&M, down 3-1 in the seventh, got back-to-back homers from J.B. Moss and Logan Nottebrook to tie it and an eighth-inning single by Ronnie Gideon to grab a 4-3 win over Rice. With one out in the seventh, Moss connected on an 0-1 pitch from Rice starter Austin Orewiler to cut the Owls' lead to 3-2. Rice went to the bullpen, handing the ball to Josh Pettitte, but Nottebrook crushed Pettitte's third pitch to center to tie it.

    (16) Dallas Baptist at (4) Texas Christian: Sophomore lefthander Tyler Alexander (8 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K) went a season-high eight innings after some first-inning struggles and senior Jeremie Fagnan homered and drove in two runs in TCU's 6-2 win. Dallas Baptist jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as it sent six men to the plate, but TCU batted around in the third and scored five times to take a lead it would never relinquish.

    (13) UC Santa Barbara at (6) Southern California: Junior lefthander Domenic Mazza (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) improved to 4-0 and senior second baseman Peter Maris and freshman infielder Kyle Plantier had RBI hits in the sixth inning as the Gauchos upset the Trojans 2-1. Four USC pitchers combined to allow only five hits, but Bernardo Flores (3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K) took the loss.

    Top 25 Upsets

    (18) Coastal Carolina at North Carolina: Adam Pate reached base five times, including his first career homer, and finished a triple shy of the cycle as North Carolina beat Coastal Carolina 9-3. Tyler Ramirez added three hits for the Tar Heels. Four Tar Heel pitchers combined for a six-hitter, as Jason Morgan (3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K) made his first career start before handing it over to the bullpen. Spencer Trayner (2-3) picked up his second win of the year and Trent Thornton worked the final two innings for his sixth save.

    Other Top 25 Results

    New Orleans at (3) Louisiana State


    First baseman Chris Chinea, left fielder Chris Sciambra and designated hitter Kade Scivicque each had three hits and combined for eight RBIs as LSU won its fifth in a row, 11-2. Sciambra, leading off, homered and drove in four runs.

    (9) Arizona State at Nevada-Las Vegas: The game was suspended in the third inning due to lightning with Arizona State ahead 5-2. The game will be resumed Wednesday afternoon.

    Florida Gulf Coast at (8) Florida State

    Behind a career-high eight shutout innings from senior Bryant Holtmann, the Seminoles blanked Florida Gulf Coast 5-0.

    "Well, obviously Bryant Holtmann was the story of this ball game," Florida State head coach Mike Martin told seminoles.com. "It was a great outing for him and (Alec Byrd) came in and did a nice job to close things out. It was an impressive win, I mean he gives up seven hits, walks two, that's doggone impressive."

    Holtmann (5-1) allowed seven hits and walked two while striking out six. Josh Delph and D.J. Stewart each had three of Florida State's 12 hits.

    Jacksonville at (12) Central Florida


    James Vasquez's ninth-inning single broke a 5-5 tie as UCF beat Jacksonville 6-5. Vasquez drove in two runs on the night and Erik Barber had three RBIs for the winners. If the ending seemed familiar, it's because it was. Just nine days earlier, Vasquez stepped up to the plate against No. 15 Houston in the same situation and singled to win it.

    Oklahoma at (15) Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State scored eight times in the first and handed the Sooners their worst loss in a decade, 24-2. The Sooners last gave up 20 runs to Ole Miss in the Oxford Regional on June 5, 2005. The Cowboys pounded out 20 hits, led by senior Tim Arakawa, who homered and had four RBIs, while David Petrino had four hits and starter Conor Costello added three hits. The Cowboys scored four times in the third, three in the fourth, five in the fifth and four in the sixth.

    (17) Illinois at Eastern Illinois: Junior Jason Goldstein, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, was 3-for-5 with a grand slam and six RBIs and senior David Kerian and sophomore Ryne Roper homered as the Illini outlasted Eastern Illinois 14-10. Sophomore righthander Cody Sedlock (2.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 0 BB, 0 K) struggled but J.D. Nielsen allowed just two hits in 3 1/3 innings.

    "We did a great job offensively and hit the ball out of the park a few times," head coach Dan Hartleb told fightingillini.com. "We were very patient at the plate to put runners on and got the big hits to bring them home. We got production from top to bottom as everyone contributed, and Jason had a monster day."

    West Virginia at (19) Maryland: Junior Kevin Martir had three hits and four RBIs as Maryland outslugged WVU 12-7. The Terps used a seven-run fourth to erase a 2-0 lead as junior Anthony Papio had three hits and sophomore Brandon Lowe and freshman Kevin Smith homered.

    "Coming off a big weekend, you can get lethargic," head coach John Szefc said, referring to Maryland's sweep of Nebraska. "We had to create our own energy. We did a good job of minimizing the damage early. I thought our staff did a good job and they gave our hitters a chance to get in there and do what they've been doing."

    Freshman Ryan Selmer (1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K) picked up the win after taking over for starter Bobby Ruse (3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K).

    Southeast Missouri State at (24) Missouri State: Missouri State scored twice in the seventh, with pinch-hitter Cory Kay's single the go-ahead hit, to nip Southeast Missouri State 2-1. Down 1-0, Matt Fultz began the rally with a double and he scored the tying run on Jake Burger's double off the right field wall. Kay then singled back through the middle for the deciding run. Missouri State got 3 2/3 scoreless innings from its bullpen, including the final two from weekend starter Matt Hall, who struck out four batters for his first save.

    Other Notable Games

    Davidson at Duke: Freshman Johnathan Lloyd was 3-for-5 as Duke notched 12 hits-its most since March 18 against Columbia-in a 10-6 win. Freshman Ryan Day had two doubles and an RBI for the Blue Devils.

    "I thought both those guys had terrific games," head coach Chris Pollard said. "They have both waited patiently to get their opportunities. You can only take advantage of the opportunities you're given. Both Day and Lloyd have done a really good job of taking advantage of the limited opportunities they've gotten. They stepped in there today. Both made starts. Both made the most of them. Both are going to be back in there. I'm proud of them."

    Eastern Michigan at Michigan: The Wolverines ripped a season-high 20 hits and sophomore Johnny Slater and junior Cody Bruder combined for 11 RBIs in an 18-4 win. Slater went 3-for-3 with a pair of home runs and six RBIs, and Bruder was 5-for-6 with five RBIs and four extra-base hits. Senior Jackson Glines belted his first home run of the season while scoring three runs.

    UC Irvine at San Diego State: The Anteaters have won 13 in a row following a 7-4 win at the SDSU. Redshirt sophomore first baseman Andrew Martinez-who has emerged as a power threat as Jim Shonerd wrote in Three Strikes-clubbed a three-run homer in the first and Wyatt Castro tripled and drove in a run.

    Nebraska at Kansas State: Senior catcher Tanner Lubach went 5-for-5 and drove in the eventual game-winning run with his fifth hit in the 10th inning as Nebraska edged Kansas State 5-4.

    Mercer at Georgia Tech: Daniel Spignola's three-run homer in the seventh broke a 1-1 tie and A.J. Murray also homered in a 4-3 win for Georgia Tech. Sophomore lefthander Ben Parr (7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K) was solid to improve to 5-1.

    Appalachian State at South Carolina: The Gamecocks scored six runs in the first and belted 14 hits in an 11-1 win shortened to seven innings due to severe weather. Kyle Martin had a two-run double in the big first. Sophomore righthander Reed Scott (5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K) was the beneficiary of the scoring outburst.

    Houston at Louisiana-Lafayette: Junior outfielder Brian Mills capped a three-run, ninth-inning rally with an RBI double as the Ragin' Cajuns knocked off the Cougars 6-5. Junior Kyle Clement got the rally started with a one-out single. After Brenn Conrad drew a walk from lefthander Aaron Fletcher, Evan Powell delivered an RBI single off of reliever Aaron Garza to cut the Cougars' lead to one. Pinch-runner Jam Williams then scored the tying run when Garza made a bad throw on a safety squeeze attempt by Blake Trahan.

    Cal State Fullerton at San Diego: The Titans scored five times in the first three innings and held off the Toreros 6-4. Josh Estill went 2-for-4 with a two-run double and Tyler Stieb had an RBI double for the winners.

    Oregon at Portland: The Ducks, who scored nine runs in getting swept by Michigan State last weekend, saw their offense wake up, thanks to a three-run homer from Josh Graham and a two-run blast from Mitchell Tolman in an 11-3 win.

    BA - Tuesday Roundup: Lipscomb Upends Vanderbilt
     
  10. HuskerFan31

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    ESPN: Baseball Power Rankings (Week 8)

    On March 8, TCU edged Vanderbilt 4-2 in a very enthralling game played at venerable Dodger Stadium on a sun-splashed Sunday. Since then, the two high-power programs have been running neck-and-neck on the rankings merry-go-round. Does that mean we'll be seeing these two after the second weekend in Omaha? Either way, if March taught us anything it's that the Horned Frogs and Commodores are probably going to stick around the top the rest of the season.

    For now, it looks like UCLA, Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M are trying to make a move as well. Stay tuned, because as you know college baseball is a game of streaks, both good and especially bad.


    1. Vanderbilt (27-6)

    Trending: Last ranked: 2

    Of note: As they seem to be rounding into shape, don't expect the Commodores to fall outside of the top five again this year. Although it is still weird to see their team ERA way down at No. 32 nationally at 3.02, and they've walked more batters (169) than their opponents have issued (166).


    2. TCU (24-6)

    Trending: Last ranked: 2

    Of note: Not a bad weekend for the Horned Frogs as they won 2-of-3 at Texas Tech, one of the tougher places to play in the country. Their No. 1-ranked team ERA of 1.97 and No. 6 fielding percentage of .980 ensure they are in every game.


    3. UCLA (23-6)

    Trending: Last ranked: 3

    Of note: The Bruins lead the Pac-12 with a 10-2 mark. But things are about to get much more serious as they'll play at USC this coming weekend, followed by a home weekend against Cal. Of course, they are also immune to tough opponents by having played the 12th-toughest slate in the country. Typical Bruins.


    4. Arizona State (21-8)

    Trending: Last ranked: 5

    Of note: Since they opened Pac-12 play with a 1-0 loss to Oregon State, the Devils have gone 11-2 including seven one-run or extra-inning wins. This weekend, they came up clutch at Utah with a pair of wins that went to extra frames, 5-3 in 12 innings and 6-5 in 10 innings.


    5. Oklahoma State (22-9)

    Trending: Last ranked: 7

    Of note: I'm starting to wonder if sweeping Texas is an impressive feat anymore. But either way, the Cowboys looked good with a stout bullpen and a capable offense all weekend. Once the injuries heal, this team could become even more of a monster.


    6. Texas A&M (30-2)

    Trending: Last ranked: 10

    Of note: The first team in the nation to reach the 30-win plateau. It's hard to find a better foursome of intimidating bats than Nick Banks (.431 avg, 3 HRs, 22 RBI), Mitchell Nau (.365-3-29), Logan Taylor (.360-6-27) and Ronnie Gideon (.355-6-26). In all, seven Ags hit .300-plus and they have blasted 36 home runs as a team.


    7. Illinois (24-6-1)

    Trending: Last ranked: 11

    Of note: What, you're going to scoff at a Big Ten team now? Careful there, Hondo. The Illini could be the best of a surprisingly strong conference in 2015. What's their secret? it's got to be their knack of burying opponents early, as the Illini have outscored the opposition 83-25 in the first four innings of games.


    8. LSU (27-5)

    Trending: Last ranked: 8

    Of note: Nice weekend sweep at Alabama, don't you think? This was LSU's first sweep in Tide country since 2001. Shortstop Alex Bregman is living up to his All-American billing, going 9-for-17 with three doubles, two triples and a home run in the four wins last week.


    9. Miami (Fla.) (24-9)

    Trending: Last ranked: 14

    Of note: After a 10-6 start that included series losses to Florida and Louisville, the Hurricanes have been scorching since then, going 14-3. The running game has been particularly impressive as the fleet-afoot Canes have stolen 48 bases this season and only been thrown out eight times.


    10. UC Santa Barbara (23-7)

    Trending: Last ranked: 16

    Of note: The Gauchos have won 10 of their last 11 games and will have a huge Big West series at Cal State Northridge this weekend. Their pitching staff ranks third in the nation with a 2.15 ERA, led by Friday ace Dillon Tate, who is 4-3 with a 1.34 ERA, after spending last season as the ace closer.


    11. USC (25-6)

    Trending: Last ranked: 19

    Of note: Talk about abusing opposing pitchers. In their surprising three-game sweep at Arizona this past weekend the Trojan batting order smacked around the three starting Wildcat pitchers with 21 hits and 16 runs in their 10 combined innings. Now, rival UCLA comes calling this weekend. That should be fun.


    12. Louisville (25-7)

    Trending: Last ranked: NR

    Of note: Wow. How about that sweep at Virginia? Three straight and none of them were close as UL outscored the Cavs 23-5. As this series showed, the Cardinals have one of the best bullpens in the country, led by Drew Harrington (3-1, 0.33 ERA, 4 saves) and triple-digit flinger Zach Burdi (1-0, 0.00, 3)


    13. UCF (23-10)

    Trending: Last ranked: 4

    Of note: Do we give these guys a break or not? Maybe we can chalk it up to a case of spring fever or something, but somehow the Knights lost twice at last-place Cincinnati this past weekend. Coming into the series, the Bearcats had won just six games all season and were winless in American Athletic play.


    14. Florida (24-9)

    Trending: Last ranked: 6

    Of note: The offense has gone south for the Gators of late, hitting just .198 in four games last week, including a loss to Florida State and losing 2-of-3 at Missouri. Things don't get much easier, either, as they'll face South Carolina, FSU and Mississippi State in their next 10 games.


    15. Houston (21-11)

    Trending: Last ranked: 9

    Of note: Since the last Power Ranking two weeks ago, the Cougars have gone just 3-4, with all four losses coming to American opponents. It also didn't help that in those four losses the defense committed 12 errors along the way. Yikes.


    16. Rice (22-12)

    Trending: Last ranked: 18

    Of note: The Owls picked up a huge weekend series win over Middle Tennessee State, taking two of three games. The biggest emerging news was seeing Jordan Stephens, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery last spring, throwing a solid six innings and giving up just two hits with eight strikeouts in Sunday's 10-0 win.


    17. Missouri State (20-8)

    Trending: Last ranked: NR

    Of note: Perhaps no team has been more overlooked this season, either by the attention bestowed on fellow conference mate Dallas Baptist or in-state big brother Missouri. But this past week, the Bears shut out Arkansas on the road and then took down DBU twice and moved into the top 10 of the RPI.


    18. Dallas Baptist (24-5)

    Trending: Last ranked: 13

    Of note: That was a really tough series loss at Mo. State, as the Patriots lost twice by one run each before winning Game 3 in extra innings. But you can't argue the quality of play as they lead the Missouri Valley in hitting (.297), pitching (2.77 ERA, 241 K's) and defense (.975 fielding percentage).


    19. Florida State (25-8)

    Trending: Last ranked: NR

    Of note: Nice week for the Seminoles, downing Florida and taking two of three games on the road at NC State. The key to the Seminoles has been patience. They lead the nation -- by a wide margin -- with 227 walks, which leads to their ridiculous .419 on-base percentage.


    20. Florida Atlantic (26-6)

    Trending: Last ranked: NR

    Of note: The Owls outscored Marshall 25-8 in three straight wins this past weekend. Brendon Sanger hit .522 along with six walks for a .667 on-base percentage. Sanger also leads Conference USA with 27 walks on the season. This will be a big week ahead for the Owls, facing local rivals Miami and FIU.

    Dropped out: Texas, California, South Carolina, Georgia Tech

    Five on deck: Maryland (22-7), California (21-9), Coastal Carolina (23-8), College of Charleston (21-7), Nebraska (23-10)

    ESPN: Baseball Power Rankings (Week 8)
     

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