May 23, 2008

Rankings are from CBI Composite Poll

MAC - No. 6 Ohio 5, No. 7 Western Michigan 4

MAC - No. 5 Ball State 7, No. 8 Central Michigan 5

MAC - No. 2 Eastern Michigan 11, No. 3 Bowling Green 4

No. 1 Kent State 10, No. 4 Northern Illinois 6

Around the Tournaments
East Carolina eliminates top-seeded Rice in C-USA

South Carolina tops Florida; Binghamton edges Vermont in America East


(Special thanks to Pat Janssen and Scott Day for their assistance in compiling these recaps)


Conference USA

No. 5 East Carolina 4, No. 1 Rice 3

In New Orleans, La., top-seeded Rice was dealt an early exit, falling 4-3 to East Carolina. Rice became the first team in No. 1 seed in C-USA history to lose its first two tournament games. The Owls opened the scoring with a two-run home run by Adam Zornes. Rice added a run in the third on Jared Gayheart’s RBI single. The Pirates began to climb back in the fifth when Kyle Roller launched a solo home run to centerfield. It was Roller’s second homer in as many days. Corey Kemp kept the pressure on Rice with a solo blast to open up the sixth. Stephen Batts followed with a single. Following a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Wood, Dustin Harrington tied the game with a single up the middle. Roller produced another base hit, this time off of All C-USA reliever Cole St. Clair, putting runners at the corners. After St. Clair struck out Drew Schieber, Harrison Eldridge gave East Carolina its first lead with an RBI single. Pirate reliever T.J. Hose (6-4) struck out five in 4.1 scoreless innings and Josh Ruhlman retired the final two batters of the game for his second save. Ryan Berry (7-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four in 5.1 frames. East Carolina will play the loser of today’s Houston-UAB game Friday at 3 p.m. CT.



No. 7 South Carolina 11, No. 3 Florida 3

In Hoover, Ala., an offensive explosion by South Carolina sent third-seeded Florida packing. The Gamecocks produced five-run explosions in the second and eighth innings, in addition to a single run in the fifth, to oust the Gators in Thursday’s first elimination game. South Carolina (38-20) pounded out seven hits during the second inning, but Florida (34-22) aided the Gamecocks’ five-run frame with two bases-loaded walks. Justin Smoak paced the South Carolina onslaught with four RBI and a three-run home run in the eighth inning. Smoak became the seventh player in SEC history with at least 60 home runs. He has 21 this season. He also established a school record with 200 career RBI. Nick Godwin (7-3) got the win, limiting Florida to three runs in seven innings of work. Mike Cisco slammed the door on the Gators, giving up just one hit and no runs in two innings to pick up his first save. Florida starter Billy Bullock (4-4) faced just 10 batters. He took the loss after allowing five runs in just 1.1 innings of work. Thursday’s loss marked the first time Florida was eliminated from the SEC Tournament after two games since 1995. It is the second straight year that South Carolina has knocked the Gators out of the tournament. The Gamecocks will meet the loser of tonight’s LSU-Vanderbilt game Friday at 4 p.m. ET.


America East

No. 1 Binghamton 4, No. 4 Vermont 1

In Farmingdale, N.Y., Binghamton senior Zach Groh out-dueled Vermont junior lefthander Joe Serafin. For the fourth consecutive game, Serafin (6-5) went the distance, holding the Bearcats hitless until the sixth inning, but Groh (6-3) struck out a season-high 10 batters in 7.1 innings to pick up the victory. Groh, a first-team all-conference selection, surrendered just one run on four hits. A walk, an error and a groundout allowed the Bearcats to strike first with an unearned run in the bottom of the first. Matt Duffy got the Catamounts on the board with an RBI single in the top of the seventh to tie the game. Binghamton freshman Brian Ivan quickly broke the tie with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh. The Bearcats added a two-run home run by Ryan Holley in the eighth. Binghamton closer Greg Lane tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief to pick up his 11th save. Vermont (26-23) will play in tomorrow’s elimination game against loser of tonight’s Stony Brook-UMBC game. Binghamton (28-25) advances to the winners’ bracket to play tonight’s victor.


Atlantic 10

No. 5 Rhode Island 11, No. 1 Xavier 4

In Camden, N.J., fifth-seeded Rhode Island cranked out 17 hits and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth to knock off the top-seeded Musketeers and remain undefeated in the double-elimination bracket. Seeking its first A-10 crown since 2005, URI (31-25-1) will take on the Charlotte/Duquesne winner at 12 pm on Thursday. Xavier (25-30), in pursuit of its first A-10 title, drops into the losers’ bracket. Xavier trailed 7-4 in the bottom of the eighth before it loaded the bases. After closer Tim Boyce fanned Sean Farrell swinging, he was able to get John McCambridge to ground into a double play to retire the side. The Rams added four more runs in the top of the ninth and Boyce pitched a perfect ninth to secure his fifth save and the Rams’ 16th win in 19 contests this season when scoring at least seven runs.


Atlantic Sun

No. 6 Campbell 11, No. 2 Mercer 3

In DeLand, Fla., Campbell claimed its first conference tournament victory since 2000 with an 11-3 triumph over Mercer, knocking the Bears out of the tournament. It is the first time since 1997 that Mercer (24-33) has gone winless at the A-Sun Tournament. Campbell (21-36) will play in another elimination game Friday against either Belmont, Gardner-Webb or Stetson. Campbell’s eight-run win followed a 14-0 loss to Lipscomb in Wednesday’s opening round. The 22-run reversal marked the largest turn-around in A-Sun Tournament history. Campbell senior Brandon Scott torched the Bears, going 4 for 5 with two home runs, three RBI and three runs. Scott was one of five Camels to register multiple hits. Campbell also stole four bases, including two by Ryan Hamme. Senior Justin Lilly (6-4) became the first Campbell pitcher to win six games in a season since Mike Ange did so in 2005. Lilly tossed 7.2 innings, giving up just two earned runs while striking out four. Mercer starter David Harden (5-3) was tagged with the loss, allowing five earned runs in 2.1 innings. He walked three and struck out just one.


Big South

No. 2 Liberty 10, No. 8 UNC Asheville 1

In Danville, Va., Liberty left-handed senior Ryan Page pitched seven shutout innings, helping the Flames stay alive with a 10-1 win over UNC Asheville. Page (5-5) scattered four hits while striking out nine and walking four. The Flames broke a scoreless tie in the fourth, scoring three on a pair of doubles and a single against starter Graham Baughn. Liberty added three runs in the sixth inning, two in the seventh and two in the eighth. The Flamed pounded out 13 hits, including four doubles and two triples. Baughn (2-3) took the loss, surrendering six earned runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings of work.