Ranked teams battle on busy night
Notes: Baylor coach reaches milestone; UT-Tyler starts 18-0
It may be primetime for college hoops fanatics, but loyal college baseball followers enjoyed some “Midweek Madness” with three match-ups between nationally ranked foes Tuesday night.
The marquee midweek match-up featured two Sunshine State rivals in their second meeting of the season as No. 4 Florida State visited top-ranked Florida in front of a McKethan Stadium record 5,930 fans. The Seminoles got the best of the Gators in the first meeting a couple weeks ago, but Florida would gain a bit of revenge with a 5-4 win in 10 innings. The Gators came back from a 4-0 deficit, capped off by a walk-off RBI-single from Daniel Pigott. The two teams will meet again March 29 in Jacksonville and conclude the season series April 12 in Tallahassee.
After suffering their first loss of the season on Sunday, the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners headed to Tempe for a two-game series with No. 8 Arizona State. Brady Rodgers, who had not thrown for the Sun Devils since Feb. 18 due to arm tightness, tossed three shutout innings and struck out five to earn a 6-2 win on a pre-determined pitch count. The top 10 teams will meet again on March 16 at 6:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on FS Arizona.
No. 13 Cal State Fullerton needed to bounce back after being swept at LSU last weekend, but the Titans fell victim to another ranked team, suffering their fourth straight loss at No. 11 Texas A&M, 2-0. Texas A&M’s Ross Stripling notched the victory by striking out five in seven shutout innings as the Aggies tuned up for their three-game road trip against Oklahoma. The two squads begin Big 12 play on March 18.
Need to Know
• The University of Indianapolis is off to its best start in 12 years at 7-0 following Tuesday's 14-9 win at Arkansas-Monticello. Kaleb Cunningham has been a huge offensive spark for the Greyhounds and leads the Great Lakes Valley Conference with a .607 batting average and 14 RBI. He was named the GLVC Player of the Week after helping UIndy to a 4-0 mark while hitting .750 with seven runs scored.
• Tennessee third baseman Matt Duffy hit for just the second cycle in school history, highlighting the Vols’ two-game sweep of New Orleans last week. Duffy followed up the accomplishment with his first grand slam as a Vol as Tennessee downed Manhattan on Saturday. For the week, Duffy hit .381 while leading UT to a 6-0 record, earning Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors. The Vols have won eight in a row entering Wednesday's contest at Austin Peay before their first SEC series of the season at Kentucky.
• Georgia Tech junior Mark Pope has pitched three compete-game shutouts in his last five starts, including a 1-0 win over Maryland to open Atlantic Coast Conference action on March 11. He gave up just four hits and did not issue a walk in the outing. The right-hander from Marietta, Ga., has not allowed a run in 25.1 consecutive innings and boasts a season ERA of 0.29. Pope garnered ACC Pitcher of the Week and Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week honors for his outstanding performance against the Terrapins last week.
• Chapman moved up seven spots to No. 13 in the latest D3baseball.com/NCBWA Division III Top 25 on the merits of a 13 game winning streak, which includes a victory against then-No. 2 Kean University last weekend. The Panthers extended the streak to 13 games with a 5-2 defeat of Ithaca on March 15. It is the longest winning streak for the program since 2008.
• Texas State second baseman Tyler Sibley extended his torrid hitting streak to 14 games with a leadoff single in the Bobcats loss to No. 5 Texas on Tuesday night. Sibley is coming off a week in which he batted .500 to earn Southland Conference Hitter of the Week honors. The junior from Frisco, Texas, leads the team with a .435 batting average and a .500 on-base percentage.
• Baylor head coach Steve Smith picked up his 600th career victory in the Bears’ 7-6 win over Florida International on Tuesday night. Chris Slater belted a walk-off single in the 11th inning to give Smith and the Bears the victory. All of Smith’s wins have come at Baylor.
• After taking two of three games from then-No. 6 Tampa, Nova Southeastern continued its tear, knocking off No. 10 Franklin Pierce, 11-3, Tuesday night. Reigning Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week Luis Penate went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the upset of the Ravens. The shortstop from Miami hit .500 with eight RBI last week as the Sharks won their first SSC series of the season.
• Southeast Missouri’s Trenton Moses is coming around after an 0-13 start at the plate. The junior from Advance, Mo., is batting .607 (17-for-28) in his last seven games, including a .786 clip in last weekend’s series against North Dakota. Moses claimed Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week for his contributions.
• Emory senior Patrick Riebsame hit a walk-off two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Eagles a 9-8 win over Washington (Mo.) and sole possession of the 2011 UAA Championship. The Eagles are the first team to go 5-1 or better at the UAA Championship since 2006.
• The UT-Tyler Patriots are riding the longest winning streak in Division III baseball at 18 games, ascending to No. 5 in the latest national rankings. Senior right-hander Matt Schimpf needed just 93 pitches for a complete-game 3-1 victory against East Texas Baptist last weekend. Schimpf, who gave up five hits and no walks in the outing, was named American Southwest Conference East Division Pitcher of the Week.