Florida State's Mike Compton impressive in first start after surgery
If Mike Compton continues to be as effective as he was in his return from major elbow surgery, Florida State might have the best weekend rotation in the nation.
Compton, who missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, allowed one hit over five innings against overmatched Niagara on Sunday. Afterward, he said there was no pain in his right elbow.
"Nerves were a little bit there in the first inning," he said, "but we had great defense, and it's all about keeping the ball low, hitting spots and letting the defense work like usual."
Compton's return is critical for a Seminoles team that's picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference's Atlantic Division.
Florida State outscored Niagara 30-3 in a three-game sweep, with starters Luke Weaver, Brandon Leibrandt and Compton combining for 17 shutout innings. Niagara batted .098 and struck out 15 times against the three.
Compton led all freshmen with 12 wins in 2012 and beat Stony Brook in the College World Series. He experienced soreness in his right arm before last season and opted for surgery.
His first real test will come this weekend against Georgia. Against Niagara, he retired the first five batters he faced before allowing back-to-back walks. Those were the only walks he issued, and he struck out three.
Here's a look around college baseball:
BRUINS BOUNCE BACK: Defending national champion UCLA rebounded from a 1-0 season-opening loss to Portland to win the three-game series. Converted reliever James Kaprielian allowed five hits and a run and struck out seven in five innings in the opener. The Bruins won 12-1 Saturday, and Shane Zeile hit a walk-off double in a 4-3, 11-inning victory Sunday. Closer David Berg got the win in the finale, pitching four innings of one-hit shutout relief in his first appearance.
VIRGINIA FINISHES STRONG: Virginia, which held on to its No. 1 ranking by Baseball America, outscored VMI and UNC Wilmington 19-2 after losing 8-3 to Kentucky in its opener. The most promising development was the emergence of sophomore Josh Sborz, who pitched six hitless innings in a 7-2 win against Wilmington in the longest outing of his career.
HOOSIER HARD TIMES: Indiana's offense fell flat against a Texas Tech team picked eighth out of nine teams in the Big 12. The Hoosiers made their first CWS appearance last year and returned all their big boppers. But they batted just .209 while losing three of four in Lubbock, Texas. Left-hander Joey DeNato was a bright spot, pitching three-hit ball over six innings in a 1-0 win in the opener.
BY GOLLY, CAL POLY: Cal Poly swept a three-game series to open the season with a sweep for the third consecutive year, this time against Big 12 favorite Kansas State. Lefty Matt Imhof pitched two-hit ball over seven innings in a 3-0 win Friday, freshman Slater Lee struck out seven in 6.1 innings in a 5-2 victory Saturday, and Nick Torres hit a three-run homer in Sunday's 10-1 win.
ASU HONORS MURPHY: Arizona State mended fences with former coach Pat Murphy, honoring him before Saturday's game against Baylor as part of a season-long farewell to Packard Stadium. Murphy, who took the Sun Devils to the College World Series four times in his 15 seasons, was forced out in 2009 during an NCAA investigation. Murphy is the manager of the San Diego Padres' Triple-A affiliate in El Paso, Tex.
MEETING OF ROYALTY: Two programs hoping to regain their national stature will meet when Stanford visits Texas this weekend. The Longhorns are picked fourth in the Big 12 and haven't been in the NCAA tournament since reaching the CWS in 2011. The Cardinal are picked sixth in the Pac-12 and last year missed the NCAAs for the first time in four years. Texas split four games at California this past weekend, with its starters allowing one run in 27 innings. Stanford lost two of three at home against Rice.