Feb. 27, 2012


Weekend 2 Wrap-up

Powers struggled, but Stanford continued to roll


It was another very interesting weekend in college baseball, with multiple upsets and another dominating sweep by Stanford.


Appalachian State pulled the biggest surprise, taking two of three at No. 8 LSU. The Mountaineers lost 4-0 on Friday before posting a 1-0 shutout on Saturday and a dominating 11-1 victory on Sunday. It was the program’s first three-game series win over an opponent from a BCS conference. The only other series win was a two-game sweep of Connecticut in 1985. The Tigers had not been held to five or less runs in a home series since scoring three in three contests against Ole Miss in 1982.


Other series involving ranked teams that looked to be potential sweeps on paper did not turn out that way. Maine won its season opener at No. 16 Clemson on Friday and had sizable leads in the other two games before the Tigers rallied. Holy Cross got a win at No. 4 Texas A&M on Saturday after falling in extra innings on Friday. Valparaiso dropped a one-run decision at Arkansas on Saturday before winning in extra innings on Sunday.


One sweep that did occur was at Stanford, as the third-ranked Cardinal dominated No. 9 Texas. Stanford put an exclamation point on the weekend with a 15-1 beatdown on Sunday. The Cardinal swept nationally-ranked Vanderbilt to open the season and Stanford looks to be as strong as advertised.


The No. 19 Commodores continue to struggle, getting swept at home by Oregon. The Ducks have strung together seven straight victories after falling at Hawaii in the season opener.


No. 20 Cal State Fullerton had an impressive series win at home over No. 14 TCU. The Horned Frogs won 3-2 on Friday before the Titans bounced back with a 4-2 decision on Saturday and an 11-10 slugfest victory on Sunday.


No. 2 South Carolina swept a solid Elon squad. No. 6 Rice took three from Dallas Baptist, a super regional participant in 2011. Seventh-ranked North Carolina swept Wright State and quieted the bats of a strong hitting team.


Maryland continued to impress. After taking two of three at UCLA to open the season, the Terrapins defeated Western Carolina, Purdue and host East Carolina in the Keith LeClair Classic. Maryland is off to its best start since 1987.


Rhode Island had a strong showing at the Cougar Invitational, beating host College of Charleston, Xavier and Connecticut. The Rams rebounded nicely after dropping two of three close games at William and Mary to start the season.


Stony Brook won twice against both Nicholls and Alabama State to start its season 4-0. UCLA took two of three from visiting Baylor. Southern Miss won its three-game home set against Troy. Texas State won two of three at Houston. Bethune-Cookman won two of three at USF.


What a difference a year makes for Bucknell. In 2011, the Bison were battered in the opening weekend at James Madison. Bucknell was outscored 91-36 in a four-game sweep in Harrisonburg, including 37-7 in the opener. The Dukes hit 23 of their season total of 80 home runs that weekend. This past weekend, the Bison took three of four from CAA-favorite JMU, outscoring the Dukes 43-18 over the final three games. Bucknell is 4-2, its best start since 2003, as head coach Gene Depew coaches his final season.


Two former powers stayed undefeated in this young season. USC swept Akron to improve to 7-0 as did Tennessee, which won three against Seton Hall.