DI Baseball Weekend Review
Top-ranked TCU takes two of three from Kansas
• After a dominating the first two games of the series against Kansas, No. 1 TCU succumbed to the Jayhawks 4-3 in 14 innings in the finale. In Friday’s opening game, a stadium-record 6,099 fans saw sophomore left-hander Matt Purke throw four shutout innings en route to the Frogs’ 8-2 win. The next day, right-hander Kyle Winkler keyed a one-hit 7-1 victory.
• Stetson – predicted to finish in fifth-place in the Atlantic Sun Conference – opened the season with a stunning three-game sweep of the Southeastern Conference’s Georgia. It is the first time the Hatters have started the season 3-0 since winning their first eight games in 2002. For the weekend, the Stetson pitching staff allowed just six earned runs in 27 innings and struck out 17 batters while issuing only six walks.
• Defending NCAA champion South Carolina opened the 2011 season with a sweep of visiting Santa Clara, sparked by a pitching staff that posted a 1.67 ERA and 25 strikeouts on the weekend. Jackie Bradley Jr., the CWS MVP, began the year with a .583 average and three doubles.
• Florida State began 2011 with a bang, not only sweeping VMI, but also posting a pair of shutouts against the Cadets, including a 15-0 victory to close the series on Sunday. It marked the first time the Seminoles notched a pair of shutouts victories in a season-opening series since 1985, against Armstrong State. FSU had not posted two shutouts in any series since scoring three in a 2000 sweep of Maryland. The Seminoles committed just two errors on the weekend.
• LSU centerfielder Mikie Mahtook certainly has no reason to complain about the new BBCOR bats – at least after the weekend he had against Wake Forest. Each of Mahtook’s four hits was a home run against the Demon Deacons. He also contributed six RBI in the series. Freshman Kurt McCune tossed six scoreless, one-hit innings to fuel a 9-1 victory in Sunday’s finale.
• Stanford showed its’ toughness with a big series victory at Rice, capping off the weekend with a 6-2 defeat of the Owls in which freshmen were responsible for driving in all six runs. Austin Wilson went 3-for-4 with three RBI in the series-winning contest.
• UCLA’s pitching staff turned in a stellar weekend against San Francisco, holding the Dons to just one run in three games. Junior right-hander Gerrit Cole opened the season with his second career complete game, striking out 11 batters in a 1-0 win on Friday. Trevor Bauer followed it up with 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings in a 4-1 win, while freshman Adam Plutko tossed six shutout innings to lift the Bruins to a 3-0 victory in the season finale.
• All the hype surrounding Florida International’s Garrett Wittels was tempered a bit on Friday night when his hitting streak ended at 56 games in Panthers’ 10-2 opening day loss to Southeastern Louisiana. Wittels did not record his first hit until Sunday’s contest, and the Panthers ended up losing two of three games on the weekend.
• Looking to build on last year’s record-breaking UConn didn’t exactly meet its high expectations during the weekend as the Huskies lost their first two games against Purdue and Minnesota in the Big East-Big Ten Challenge. The Huskies did rebound with a 16-9 win against Michigan..
Vanderbilt jumped out to 4-0 with three wins at San Diego and one at San Diego State. ... Texas took three of four games against Maryland, including a convincing 16-0 victory to close the series on Sunday. ... After losing its first two games against Hawaii, Oregon needed junior right-hander Madison Boer to step up and he did, pitching eight scoreless innings along with seven strikeouts in a 4-0 win against the Rainbows. ... Coastal Carolina freshman Tripp Martin blasted a walk-off home run in the ninth inning for a 6-5 victory against Virginia Tech on Sunday. It was the Chanticleers’ second walk-off homer of the weekend’s Caravelle Resort Tournament.