Notebook: Gators Sweep Vandy
GATOR BAIT: Floridas Matt LaPorta provided plenty of offense as he led the Gators to a three-game sweep of Vanderbilt last weekend and their first Southeastern Conference regular season title since 1998.
LaPorta, a sophomore from Port Charlotte, Fla., belted game-winning home runs in consecutive days including a grand-slam home run in the series opener to earn SEC Player of the Week honors. The first baseman followed that performance with a solo homer in the 13th inning as he tied the Gators single-season home run record with 23.
LaPorta batted .438 with seven RBI and three home runs in four games last week.
Florida (38-18) is the top seed in the SEC Tournament beginning on May 25 and will play eighth-seeded Arkansas in its first game.
ONE MORE TIME: Notre Dame swept West Virginia in three games last weekend to clinch its 10th straight trip to the BIG EAST Championship Tournament. The Fighting Irish will meet Boston College in the first game of the four-team double-elimination tournament.
Junior Craig Cooper hit .565 with 13 RBI, two home runs, eight runs scored and three doubles in six games last week to claim BIG EAST Player of the Week honors. Cooper batted .643 in the four league games to help Notre Dame advance to the postseason tournament.
The Irish have won three consecutive BIG EAST Tournament titles.
TIGER TALES: Clemson is in the midst of an incredible run. The Tigers have won nine straight games, and are fresh off a three-game sweep of then-No. 4 Miami last weekend.
On May 19, Clemson (37-19, 21-9) handed Hurricane starting pitcher Cesar Carrillo his first-ever loss as he gave up 11 runs on 11 hits in 3.2 innings pitched. Carillo brought a 24-0 career record into the game against the Tigers.
After starting the season 15-13, Clemson has posted a 22-6 record in its last 28 games with help from some hot bats. The Tigers batted .328 with 45 home runs and posted 8.6 runs per game in the last 28 games.
The Tigers are the No. 2 seed in this weeks Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, and are the only league team to defeat every other ACC team at least once this season.
GOLDEN BOY: Oral Roberts won its eighth straight Mid-Continent Conference regular season championship capped off by a four-game sweep of Chicago State last weekend.
Junior Taylor McIntyre sparked the Golden Eagles with a no-hitter to defeat the Cougars, 6-0, on May 20. The Edmond, Okla., native struck out 10 batters as he faced just two batters over the minimum. McIntyre hurled the first nine-inning no-hitter in school history and was selected Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for his efforts.
Oral Roberts (37-18, 22-2) is the top seed in the four-team, double-elimination league tournament this week.
NOTABLE: Oregon State clinched the Pac-10 title by winning two of three games against Southern California last week. Arizona will have to sweep California this week for its share of the league championship ¦ Tulane tied its school record for wins in a season with 47 as the Green Wave won their fourth straight Conference USA regular season title ¦ Nebraska won its third Big 12 Conference regular season championship in the last five years, and will be the top seed in the league tournament this week. With a 2.48 ERA this season, the Huskers are on pace to break the school record of 2.64 set in 1965. Nebraska could also set the Big 12 record for lowest ERA in a season held by Texas (2.66 in 2004).