SEC remains cluttered at top
Notes: Stony Brook continues to roll at top of America East
It was an exciting weekend of baseball as teams kept battling for those precious spots in league tournaments as several conference races are coming down to the final days.
Not much was settled in Southeastern Conference play over the weekend, as three Eastern Division teams and four Western Division teams are tied for first place in their respective divisions. Vanderbilt entered the weekend leading South Carolina and Florida by one game, but the Gators took two of three games from the Commodores. After the Gamecocks won two of three in the Arkansas series, all three teams are tied at 20-7 in league play. Arkansas, Mississippi State, Alabama and Auburn are in a traffic jam at the top of the Western Division standings with identical 13-14 marks.
Positions in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings remained exactly the same as Florida State took two of three games against NC State to keep a three-game lead in the Atlantic Division, while Virginia and Georgia Tech won series against Miami and North Carolina, respectively, as the four squads stayed put in the Coastal Division standings.
No. 14 Texas A&M’s sweep of Nebraska in Big 12 Conference play this weekend kept the Aggies ahead of No. 4 Texas by one game in the league standings with an 18-6 mark. The Aggies and Longhorns will now meet in a three-game series beginning May 19 with the first game to be played in College Station, and the final two games of the regular season to be played in Austin. Junior Ross Striping improved to 11-2 on the season as he led the Aggies to a 5-2 win on May 14, striking out six batters and allowing just two hits in 8.1 innings pitched.
Southern California claimed a 6-2 win against Arizona State on Sunday as the Trojans earned their first series victory against the Sun Devils since 2004. Logan Odom threw a complete-game three-hitter, which included a string of 13 consecutive retired batters. ASU sits behind Pac-10-leading Oregon State by two games with six regular season contests remaining on the schedule.
James Madison clinched a spot in the four-team Colonial Athletic Association Championship by sweeping Towson following an 11-1 win in the series finale on May 15. JMU is currently tied for first place in the CAA standings with UNC Wilmington as both squads have 18-9 league marks. The Dukes have won seven games in a row.
Missouri State notched its first Missouri Valley Conference sweep of the season, defeating Bradley in three games to close in on league-leading Creighton in the conference standings. The Bears are just a half-game behind the Bluejays, and will visit Creighton for a three-game series beginning May 19 to conclude the regular season.
No. 10 TCU edged Utah 2-1 on May 15 thanks to a two-out wild pitch that allowed Jason Coats to score in the bottom of the ninth inning. The win sealed the Horned Frogs’ sixth consecutive regular season Mountain West Conference title after they took two of three games from second-place Utah.
A day after going 19 consecutive innings without scoring a run, top-seeded Navy jumped out to an early lead for an eventual 6-0 win against Bucknell to advance to the Patriot League Championship Series beginning May 23. It is the first time a No. 1 seed has reached the league championship series since 2007. The Midshipmen will host No. 2 Army, which swept Lafayette in two games to move on to the PLCS.
San Francisco swept Pepperdine for the first time in 40 years, and only the second time in school history, as the Dons remained on top of the West Coast Conference standings – one game ahead of Gonzaga. After the Zags play at Pepperdine this weekend, USF will travel to Gonzaga for the final WCC showdown of the season in a series that could possibility decide the league champion.
Stony Brook set the program’s single-season wins record (37) following a sweep of America East Conference foe Binghamton. The Seawolves also set a program mark for America East wins with 18, while senior Chad Marshall become the school’s all-time hits leader with 248. Stony Brook has won 18 of its last 19 games and is three games ahead of second-place Maine in the league standings.