May 16, 2010

Rankings are from CBI Composite Poll

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Around the Bases
Merrifield homers twice as
Gamecocks sweep Hogs

Fullerton secures NCAA tourney bid, Wittels extends hit streak to 45


In Fayetteville, Ark., Whit Merrifield (right) belted two home runs as No. 10 South Carolina edged No. 12 Arkansas 5-3 Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium to complete a three-game SEC sweep. A solo shot by Merrifield (3 for 4, 33 R, 3 RBI) in the top of the third tied the game at 2 before Collin Kuhn answered in the bottom of the frame with a homer as the Razorbacks (16-11, 38-14) took a 3-2 lead. Scott Wingo drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and Merrifield went deep again to give the Gamecocks (20-7, 41-11) a 4-3 advantage. Adrian Morales went deep in the ninth for an insurance run for South Carolina. John Taylor (3-2) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief with one hit and one strikeout. Matt Price pitched the final 1.1 innings for his seventh save. Brett Eibner had a two-run homer in the first for Arkansas.


No. 14 Cal State Fullerton 6, Long Beach State 4

In Long Beach, Calif., Corey Jones had two hits and two RBI as Cal State Fullerton completed a three-game Big West sweep at Long Beach State. The Titans (18-3, 34-14) clinched a share of the conference title and earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Fullerton will make its 19th straight NCAA tourney appearance and 32nd in 36 years in Division I. Dylan Floro (5-0) allowed eight hits and two earned runs in 6.2 innings with six strikeouts to earn the win. The Titans scored single runs in each of the first four innings before the Dirtbags (7-11, 22-26) tallied two in the fifth. Jones had a two-run double in the seventh to give Fullerton a 6-2 lead. LBSU got its final two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Jordan Casas had three hits and two RBI for the Dirtbags.


FIU 5, South Alabama 0

In Miami, Junior Arrojo had a two-run homer in the eighth to help FIU complete a three-game Sun Belt sweep of South Alabama. Garrett Wittels singled in the fourth to extend his hit streak to 45, matching Roger Schmuck of Arizona State (1971) for the third-longest in Division I history. Phil Stephenson hit in 47 straight for Wichita State in 1981 and Robin Ventura hit in 58 straight for Oklahoma State in 1987. Rudy Flores went 3 for 4 with two RBI for the Panthers (16-11, 30-20). Zach Grichor had two hits for the Jaguars (16-11, 30-23).


No. 1 Texas 10-13, Louisiana Tech 9-2

In Austin, Texas, Kevin Keyes went 3 for 4 with a homer and six RBI in the nightcap as Texas swept a doubleheader from Louisiana Tech at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Keyes had a RBI single in the first and a three-run homer in the third as the Longhorns (43-8) took a 4-0 lead. He added a sacrifice fly in a two-run fifth and a RBI single in a three-run eighth. Taylor Terrasas had a run-scoring double in a two-run ninth for the Bulldogs (25-25). Taylor Jungmann (5-2) allowed three hits and three walks in seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts to earn the win. In the opener, Keyes had a two-run homer to cap a five-run sixth as Texas erased a 7-4 deficit. Cohl Walla went 2 for 3 with two runs, two walks and two RBI, while Russell Moldenhauer added two hits and two RBI for the Longhorns. Mark Threlkeld had two hits and two RBI for Tech.


No. 2 Virginia 5, North Carolina 3

In Charlottesville, Va., John Hicks smacked a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth as Virginia downed North Carolina at Davenport Field to complete a three-game ACC sweep. The Cavaliers (21-6, 43-9) extended their win streak to 14 and recorded their first-ever three-game sweep of the Tar Heels (11-16, 32-20). Levi Michael (3 for 4) and Brian Goodwin had consecutive home runs in the third, and Michael added a RBI single in the fourth as UNC built a 3-0 lead. Dan Grovatt and Jarrett Parker (2 for 3, 2 R) both went deep in the bottom of the seventh as UVa pulled to within one. In the ninth, Steven Proscia led off with a single and moved to third on a base hit by Parker. Hicks then homered down the left field line to give Virginia the victory. Tyler Cannon and Keith Werman both had two hits for the Cavaliers.


Arizona 12, No. 3 Arizona State 4

In Tucson, Ariz., Steve Selsky went 4 for 4 with three runs and two RBI as Arizona evened its Pac-10 series with No. 2 Arizona State in front of a crowd of 2,325 at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium. It gave Andy Lopez his 1,000th career coaching victory. Joey Rickard belted a three-run homer to cap a five-run fourth as the Wildcats (10-10, 31-17) snapped a 2-2 tie. Selsky added a two-run double in the sixth to push the lead to 10-4. Kole Calhoun had two hits, one run and one RBI for the Sun Devils (15-5, 42-6). Kyle Simon (8-4) allowed nine hits and three earned runs in seven innings with three walks and six strikeouts to earn the win. Bryce Bandilla pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts to secure the victory.


No. 4 Coastal Carolina 5, Liberty 0

In Lynchburg, Va., Josh Conway allowed two hits in five scoreless innings as Coastal Carolina completed a three-game Big South sweep of Liberty at Worthington Stadium, extending its Big South win streak to 33. Conway (2-0) fanned four in earning his second win. Four relievers combined for one hit over the final four innings with four strikeouts. Chance Gilmore had a RBI double in the second and Scott Woodward added a run-scoring single in the third as the Chanticleers (23-0, 45-6) led 2-0. Gilmore doubled and scored in the fourth before Taylor Motter added a two-run double in the ninth. Gilmore, Woodward and Tommy La Stella each had two hits for Coastal. Tyler Bream had two of the three hits for the Flames (18-6, 37-15).


No. 5 Florida 9, Georgia 3
In Gainesville, Fla., Florida completed its SEC series sweep of Georgia with a 9-3 win. The Gators (20-7, 37-12) opened the scoring with a two-run third inning and capped the game off with a seven-run sixth frame. At the plate Florida’s Bryson Smith was 2 for 3 with a pair of runs batted in and a walk. Starter Brian Johnson (5-2) pitched 5.2 innings for the win, allowing just one run on six hits. Michael Palazzone (4-6) suffered the loss for the Bulldogs (3-22, 14-36). UGA rightfielder Peter Verdin went 3 for 5.

No. 6 TCU 5, Air Force 3

In Fort Worth, Texas, TCU rallied for three runs in its final two at-bats to edge Air Force at Lupton Stadium, clinching the Mountain West series. The Horned Frogs (19-5, 40-11) trailed 3-2 after six and scored two in the seventh without a hit as Bryan Holaday drew a bases-loaded walk and Jason Coats added a sacrifice fly. Jerome Pena homered in the eighth for an insurance run for TCU. Garrett Custons homered in the fifth for the Falcons (2-18, 12-40). Tyler Lockwood (6-2) earned the win in relief, allowing two hits and one run in three innings. Kaleb Merck pitched a perfect ninth with one strikeout to register his third save.


No. 7 Florida State 12, NC State 9

In Tallahassee, Fla., Mike McGee went 2 for 3 with three RBI and two runs to help Florida State (18-9, 39-13) clinch an ACC series win against NC State (12-15, 32-20) in a game that was called in the seventh due to rain. The Wolfpack built a big lead in the first inning with Andrew Ciencin’s grand slam, Kyle Wilson’s two-RBI single and Dallas Poulk’s RBI single. Drew Poulk led off the second with a solo home run to make it an 8-0 game, but the Seminoles tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Devon Travis, McGee and Gilmartin drove in runs with doubles and James Ramsey hit a two-run home run to lead the eight-run inning. Ramsey drove in the game-winning runs with a two-RBI double in the third, making the score 11-9. John Gast (6-2) was the winning pitcher and struck out seven while allowing six hits and three runs in 3.2 innings. Geoff Parker earned the save (3) by striking out three, walking two and allowing two hits in 2.2 scoreless innings.


No. 8 Georgia Tech 6, No. 11 Miami (Fla.) 3

In Atlanta, Matt Skole went 3 for 5 with a solo home run as Georgia Tech (19-8, 41-10) earned an ACC series win against Miami (19-8, 37-13). Harold Martinez gave the Hurricanes a lead with a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Skole led off the sixth inning with his home run to begin the Yellow Jackets’ comeback. They took the lead later that inning when Derek Dietrich singled and an error allowed both Jay Dantzler and Chase Burnette to score. Jed Bradley (9-2) pitched six innings – striking out five, walking two, and allowing five hits and three runs – to earn the win. Andrew Robinson allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the save (6).


No. 9 Louisville 8, St. John's 4
In Louisville, Ky., the Cardinals (18-6, 42-10) were led by Stewart Ijames as they clinched their weekend Big East series with St. John’s (15-9, 34-16). Ijames knocked a pair of home runs and plated six runs in his 3-for-4 performance. On the hill, James Amlung (4-1) pitched 5.2 innings for the win and Neil Holland tallied his 13th save. The Red Storms’ Matt Carasiti (6-3) took the loss, giving up four runs in just 2.2 innings. Matt Wessinger went 2 for 4 with three RBI for St. John’s.

No. 13 UCLA 2, USC 1

In Los Angeles, Cody Keefer smacked a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to left UCLA over USC in front of 1,531 fans at Jackie Robinson Stadium to complete the three-game Pac-10 sweep. The Bruins (13-8, 37-11) were down to their final out when Brett Krill singled to right and Keefer sent 2-1 pitch over the right field fence for the win. Dan Klein (4-0) pitched the top of the ninth to earn the win. Rob Rasmussen started for UCLA and allowed six hits and one run in seven innings with no walks and eight strikeouts. Kevin Couture tossed five scoreless innings for the Trojans (5-16, 23-28) with two hits, one walk and four strikeouts. Cade Kreuter homered in the fifth for the lone run for USC.


No. 15 Oklahoma 9, Memphis 2
In Norman, Okla., the Sooners (37-14) defeated Memphis in the rubber match to take the non-conference series. Oklahoma highlighted the win with a six-run fourth inning. Tyler Ogle was 2 for 3 with a fourth-frame solo shot. Bobby Shore (7-4) notched his seventh win, surrendering just two runs in six innings. Ryan Holland allowed four runs in three innings for the loss. Jacob Wilson went 2 for 4 for the Tigers (26-26).

Alabama 6, No. 16 Ole Miss 3
In Tuscaloosa, Ala., Alabama topped Ole Miss to clinch the weekend SEC series. The Crimson Tide (12-15, 31-21) received a complete-game effort from winning pitcher Nathan Kilcrease (5-2). The right-hander allowed just three runs on six hits while fanning seven. Josh Rutledge, Ross Wilson and Clay Jones all went 2 for 4 at the dish with a RBI. The Rebels’ David Goforth (1-4) suffered the loss, giving up four runs in 6.1 innings. Zach Miller was 1 for 3 with three runs batted in for Ole Miss (16-11, 36-17).


Duke 11, No. 17 Virginia Tech 7

In Blacksburg, Va., Dennis O’Grady allowed three hits and one run in seven innings as Duke salvaged the finale of its ACC series with Virginia Tech at English Field. O’Grady (2-4) fanned six and did not allow a hit until the sixth. O’Grady also scored and knocked in two. Jake Lemmerman went 3 for 3 with two RBI for the Blue Devils (8-19, 29-24). Steve Domecus had three hits and drove in three for the Hokies (16-11, 36-16), while Brent Zimmerman had a triple, three walks and three runs. A six-run sixth gave Duke a 10-0 lead. The Blue Devils led 11-1 in the eighth before Tech scored three in each of the final two innings to make it close.


No. 18 Auburn 9, Tennessee 2

In Auburn, Ala., Trent Mummey homered twice for the second straight game and knocked in five as Auburn won its SEC series with Tennessee at Plainsman Park. Mummey (3 for 5) had two-run homers in both the first and fourth as the Tigers (17-10, 35-17) built a 7-1 lead. Hunter Morris also went deep for Auburn, his 19th. Grant Dayton (7-2) allowed two runs in 6.2 innings to earn the win. Justin Fradejas went 1 for 3 with two sacrifice flies for Tigers. P.J. Polk and Matt Duffy both had two hits and one RBI for the Volunteers (12-15, 29-23).


No. 19 Vanderbilt 14, Mississippi State 4

In Starkville, Miss., Bryan Johns and Andrew Giobbi had three-run homers in a seven-run fourth as Vanderbilt completed the three-game SEC sweep of Mississippi State at Dudy Noble Field. Curt Casali and Giobbi (2 for 6, 4 RBI) had consecutive doubles in the second before the fourth-inning explosion gave the Commodores (15-10, 39-13) an 8-0 lead. Connor Harrell had two hits and three runs for Vanderbilt. Ryan Duffy had three hits and a run for the Bulldogs (5-22, 21-31). Jack Armstrong (7-1) allowed nine hits and two runs in seven innings with two walks and four strikeouts to earn the victory.


No. 20 Connecticut 10, USF 3

In Tampa, Fla., George Springer went 2 for 3 with three RBI, two runs and a walk to lead Connecticut (18-5, 41-11) as it secured a Big East series win against USF (14-10, 23-29) in a game called in the eighth inning due to rain. Connecticut jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning off of two-run home runs from Springer and Kevin Vance. Pierre LePage and Mike Nemeth each hit RBI singles in the fourth, another four-run inning that put the Huskies up 8-0. Sam Mende’s RBI double in the bottom of the inning gave the Bulls their first run. RBI singles from Todd Brazeal in the fifth and Luis Llerena in the sixth made it an 8-3 game, but Connecticut extended its lead with two runs in the seventh. Robert Van Woert (6-1) struck out four, walked two, and allowed six hits and two runs in five innings to get the win for the Huskies.


Bucknell 11, Army 7

In West Point, N.Y., fourth-seeded Bucknell scored two in the first and never trailed in defeating top-seeded Army to win the Patriot League semifinal series. The Bison (23-32) will travel to third-seeded Holy Cross in the best-of-three championship series. Doug Shribman (3 for 4, 2 R, 5 RBI) had a grand slam in the seventh for Bucknell, his fourth home run of the series. Ben Koenigsfeld had two hits and two RBI for the Black Knights (28-17).


Holy Cross 3, Lehigh 0

In Bethlehem, Pa., Chris Blanchard pitched eight scoreless innings as third-seeded Holy Cross blanked second-seeded Lehigh to win the rubber game of the Patriot League semifinal series. Blanchard (4-2) allowed four hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Eric Oxford had a run-scoring groundout in the fourth to snap the scoreless tie. Stephen Wadsworth had a RBI double and Oxford added a run-scoring single in the sixth as the Crusaders (25-24) pushed the lead to 3-0. Nate Koneski recorded the final three outs to earn his first save. Billy Goldman had a hit and a walk for the Mountain Hawks (23-27).


Ohio State 11, Iowa 6

In Iowa City, Iowa, Ryan Dew had two hits, two runs and four RBI to lead Ohio State past Iowa in Big Ten action. Head coach Bob Todd earned his 900th win for the Buckeyes (10-11, 27-21). Dew’s first-inning grand slam gave OSU the lead for good. Cory Rupert had three hits and one RBI for the Buckeyes. Kurt Lee had two hits and two RBI for the Hawkeyes (10-11, 23-26).


Kentucky 6, LSU 4

In Lexington, Ky., Marcus Nidiffer ripped a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the eighth in the final at-bat of his home career as Kentucky completed a three-game SEC sweep of LSU at Cliff Hagan Stadium. It was the second sweep of the Tigers (12-15, 34-18) in program history and first since 1991 in Lexington. Logan Darnell (5-3), making his first appearance since April 30, pitched a perfect ninth to conclude his 1.2-inning outing to earn the win. Braden Kapteyn had three hits and one run for the Wildcats (12-15, 29-23). Matt Gaudet had a two-run homer in the third for LSU.


Utah Valley 23, NJIT 2

In Orem, Utah, Jace Brinkerhoff (3 for 4, 4 R, 4 RBI) and Kevin Arendse (2 for 5, 2 R, 2 RBI) both had two-run homers in their final home game at Utah Valley battered NJIT to clinch the regular-season title in the Great West Conference. The Wolverines (22-2, 33-17) outscored the Highlanders (7-16, 11-39) 67-13 in the four-game sweep. Billy Burgess had three runs and two RBI for Utah Valley. Kirk Doxey had a pinch-hit three-run homer in the eighth for the Wolverines. Kyle Beecher (3-2) pitched seven scoreless innings with five hits, no walks and two strikeouts to earn the win. Jeffrey Pizzi and John Bouck both had three hits and a run for NJIT.


Ball State 2, Northern Illinois 0

In Muncie, Ind., Kolbrin Vitek pitched his first career complete-game shutout as Ball State edged Northern Illinois to complete the MAC sweep at Ball Diamond. Vitek (3-4) allowed five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Mitch Widau had a RBI single in the fifth, and he doubled and scored an insurance run in the eighth for the Cardinals (18-6, 27-24). Brian Smith had a hit and a walk for the Huskies (9-15, 20-31).


(photos by Jimmy Jones)