Monday, April 11, 2005
Trackin' the Top 25
By Will Kimmey
Special to ESPN.com
Take a quick look back at last week's games and a first glance at the upcoming games for the Top 25.
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 29-6, 6-5 in Big 12. (10-5 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Texas earned its first series win at Nebraska since 1997. Jr. RHP J. Brent Cox threw six scoreless innings Friday, then came back Sunday for two more scoreless to earn the save. Fr. RHP Adrian Alaniz worked a career-best six innings Saturday and struck out a Texas season-high nine batters. Sr. SS Seth Johnston went 4-for-4 in that one, with one of the Longhorns' season-high three homers.
April 5: Texas State: W 3-2
April 8-10: @ No. 17 Nebraska: L 4-3 (16 inn.), W 11-4, W 6-5 (8 inn.)
April 15-17: Oklahoma
2. Cal State Fullerton
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 23-8, 5-1 in Big West. (6-3 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Fullerton rights its midweek slip-up by holding Northridge without an earned run in a sweep. Five Titans hit home runs and six drove in three or more Saturday as Fullerton dealt CSUN its worst margin of defeat in history. Jr. RF Sergio Pedroza walked five times in five plate appearances Friday before collecting three hits in each of the final two games of the series. Jr. LHP Ricky Romero snapped his three-game losing streak Friday, striking out seven batters in as many innings.
April 5: Loyola Marymount: L 13-6
April 8-10: @ Cal State Northridge: W 11-1, W 24-0, W 8-1
April 12: @ No. 25 USC
April 15-17: Pacific
Last week: 4-0. Overall: 29-5, 10-2 in C-USA. (8-2 vs. Top 25).
Notes: A perfect week nets Tulane its best start in school history, topping the 28-6 beginning to the College World Series run of 2001. That's now five three-game sweeps on the year, and the first road broom job since 2001. The Green Wave pitching staff posted a 1.75 ERA on the week, including a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts by Jr. LHP J.R. Crowell at New Orleans and a combined blanking Friday in which Jr. RHP Micah Owings struck out a career-best 12 batters in eight innings. Owings also collected seven hits in eight at-bats against Charlotte, including a home run and four RBI. Fr. 3B Brad Emaus hit two three-run homers Friday.
April 5: @ New Orleans: W 6-0
April 8-10: @ Charlotte: W 13-0, W 6-5, W 8-3
April 12: Nicholls State
April 15-17: Houston
4. Georgia Tech
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 26-7, 13-2 in ACC. (3-1 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Georgia Tech still hasn't lost a weekend series this year, and is still averaging 11 runs per game. Soph. RHP Blake Wood allowed two hits and struck out 10 batters over seven scoreless innings Sunday to clinch the series while Jr. OF Stephen Blackwood went 5-for-5. Soph. 3B Wes Hodges went 4-for-5 to raise his team-best average to .440. Soph. LHP Lee Hyde threw seven shutout innings Friday, extending his scoreless innings streak to 13, as Tech dropped Winthrop starter Kevin Slowey (6 IP, 7 H, 6 R) to his first loss on the year.
April 5: @ No. 22 Auburn: W 3-2
April 8-10: Winthrop: W 6-1, L 12-9, W 20-3
April 13: @ Georgia
April 15-17: No. 20 Florida State
Last week: 2-1. Overall: 25-8, 8-4 in SEC. (6-4 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Fr. RHP Stephen Locke struck out seven batters over 5.2 scoreless innings Sunday to clinch Florida's third straight series win. The Gators are tied for first place overall in the SEC. Fr. 3B Brandon McArthur hit in his 11th straight game Sunday, going 8-for-12 in the series. Soph. 1B Matt LaPorta hit his 12th homer Sunday. Jr. RHP Alan Horne earned his first SEC win since 2002 on Saturday by holding Georgia to a run over seven innings.
April 8-10: @ Georgia: L 5-2, W 12-1, W 10-1
April 15-17: No. 18 Alabama
Last week: 3-0. Overall: 24-10, 8-1 in Pac-10. (3-4 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Arizona earned its best Pac-10 start in history with a second straight series sweep. It needed four runs in the sixth and seventh innings Sunday to overcome a five-run deficit and five errors. Jr. OF Trevor Crowe totaled nine hits in 14 at-bats for the series, drawing three intentional walks. Jr. RHP John Meloan threw eight scoreless innings Friday. Sr. RHP Kevin Guyette threw his second straight complete game (third of the year) Saturday and struck out eight batters, the eighth time he's recorded at least that many K's in 10 starts. Soph. SS Jason Donald and Jr. C Nick Hundley each homered twice in the series.
April 8-10: @ Washington State: W 13-0, W 7-4, W 13-10
April 15-17: No. 11 Oregon State
7. North Carolina
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 27-6, 11-2 in ACC. (1-0 vs. Top 25).
Notes: The 22-game home win streak ended Wednesday, but North Carolina took to the road for its third straight ACC sweep — the first time that has happened since the league began three-game series in 1990. The nine straight league wins are the best since UNC did so to finish the 2001 season. Fr. 3B Chad Flack broke a 2-2 tie with a home run in the sixth inning Sunday, his seventh hit of the series. He has hit in eight straight games. Sr. C Justin Webb hit a two-run homer Saturday, and has totaled five home runs and 13 RBI through 13 ACC games. Fr. SS Josh Horton drove in four runs Friday night. Wow, 113 words and nothing about the team's great pitching or the fact that Soph. LHP Andrew Miller struck out 10 batters over seven innings Friday in the team's fifth shutout of the year.
April 6: Elon: L 10-3
April 8-10: @ Maryland: W 10-0, W 5-3, W 3-2
April 12: Davidson
April 13: @ East Carolina
April 15-17: No. 9 Miami
8. South Carolina
Last week: 4-0. Overall: 28-5, 5-4 in SEC. (2-4 vs. Top 25).
Notes: South Carolina has won nine games in a row and stands tied for first place overall in the SEC after earning its first ever sweep at LSU and first SEC road sweep since 2003. Sr. RHPs Jason Fletcher (8.2 IP, 5 H, ER) and Zac McCamie (9 IP, 3 H, ER) handcuffed the Tigers in the first two games. Sr. 1B Steve Pearce collected eight hits in 16 at-bats with a homer and three doubles, while Jr. LF Michael Campbell became the first Gamecocks batter to enjoy a two-home run game on Sunday.
April 6: The Citadel: W 9-4
April 8-10: @ No. 8 LSU: W 3-1, W 5-1, W 7-5
April 13: @ Clemson
April 15-17: Vanderbilt
Last week: 3-0. Overall: 27-9, 11-4 in ACC. (2-4 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Miami scored four unearned runs in the top of the ninth Sunday to finish off the sweep. Soph. 1B Danny Valencia went 5-for-6 with eight RBI Saturday, and Jr. DH Brendan Katin added six RBI on three hits, including two home runs. Jr. RHP Cesar Carrillo threw six scoreless innings (20.1 scoreless overall) to improve to 8-0, 0.86 and 20-0 for his career. He struck out six and threw just 56 pitches. Soph. RHP Chris Perez, who had been suspended for since late February for violating a team rule, returned Sunday to earn the win with two innings of relief. Jr. 3B Ryan Braun, who sat out the final two games of last weekend's series, also returned to action for all three games of the series, stealing three bases Sunday.
April 8-10: @ Virginia Tech: W 7-3, W 20-5, W 9-5
April 15-17: @ No. 7 North Carolina
Last week: 5-0. Overall: 27-6, 7-5 in SEC. (4-5 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Devin Collis, Daryl Maday and Charley Boyce combined Sunday on Arkansas' first SEC shutout since 2002 to complete the sweep. Boyce didn't allow a run in 9.1 IP out of the bullpen, allowing five total hits while notching a save Sunday and win Friday. Fr. Ben Tschepikow drove in the game-winner Saturday with a 10th-inning single. Soph. 1B Danny Hamblin went 8-for-16 on the week, with two home runs and seven RBI.
April 5-6: Northern Colorado: W 9-3, W 7-4
April 8-10: Vanderbilt: W 6-5, W 5-4 (10 inn.), W 3-0
April 12: @ Oral Roberts
April 13: Southwest Missouri State
April 15-17: @ No. 23 Tennessee
11. Oregon State
Last week: 2-1. Overall: 26-5, 5-1 in Pac-10. (3-1 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Oregon State won its first series at Stanford since 1970, though the Beavers have only played four series at Sunken Diamond in the last 34 years. OSU came back from respective deficits of 7-5 and 9-2 in a doubleheader sweep Saturday that ran its win streak to nine games before the Sunday loss. Jr. CF Jacoby Ellsbury proved his All-America pedigree, collecting at least two hits in each game and seven for the series to push his hit streak to 13 games. A two-run single in the first game of the doubleheader gave the Beavers the lead in his four-RBI game, then he homered in the nightcap. Soph. LHP Kevin Gunderson threw 4.1 scoreless innings between the two wins Saturday, earning the win in game two. Fr. SS Darwin Barney went 4-for-4 in Sunday's loss.
April 8-10: @ No. 10 Stanford: W 9-7 (DH G1), W 11-10 (DH G2), L 4-3
April 12: Portland
April 15-17: @ No. 6 Arizona
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 22-12, 9-3 in Big 12. (10-1 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Baylor recorded its fifth straight sweep of Kansas State and sits two games back of Missouri in the conference. Four Baylor batters were hit by pitches in the third inning Friday night, tying a Big 12 record. 1B Kyle Reynolds has smacked three homers in his last five games, batting .350 during that stretch. Sr. C/DH Josh Ford extended his hit streak to 10 games and has reached base safely in 29 straight. Jr. RHP Mark McCormick (6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, ER) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Saturday. Jr. RHP Ryan LaMotta hasn't allowed a run in 10 appearances covering 21 innings.
April 5: Houston: L 9-3
April 8-10: Kansas State: W 8-3, W 11-3, W 8-4
April 12: @ UT Arlington
April 13: McNeese State
April 15-17: @ Kansas
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 26-6, 8-1 in Big 12. (4-1 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Missouri earned its best conference start since 1981. Soph. SS Gary Arndt delivered a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday, helping Soph. RHP Max Scherzer (CG, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 9 K) win his seventh straight start. Fr. OF Jacob "T.G.I." Priday hit two home runs Sunday and drove in four runs, and Jr. Doug Mathis posted season bests with eight strikeouts and eight innings pitched while allowing two runs and no walks.
April 6: @ Southeast Missouri State: L 8-5
April 8-10: No. 18 Texas A&M: W 2-1, W 7-3, W 8-3
April 13: Southeast Missouri State
April 15-17: @ Oklahoma State
Last week: 2-2. Overall: 19-11, 4-2 in Pac-10. (4-8 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Stanford held respective 7-5 and 9-2 leads in the doubleheader loss Saturday before rallying from a 3-1 deficit Sunday to avoid its first home sweep since 1997. Still, the series loss was Stanford's first at home in 14 tries. Jr. 2B Jed Lowrie delivered the game-winner Sunday with an RBI single in the seventh inning while Blake Holler and Matt Manship combined for five scoreless innings in relief. LF Chris Lewis hit a grand slam in the second game Saturday.
April 5: Santa Clara: W 7-6
April 9-10: No. 16 Oregon State: L 9-7 (DH G1), L 11-10 (DH G2), W 4-3
April 12: San Francisco
April 15-17: @ Arizona State
Last week: 2-2. Overall: 23-12, 6-6 in WAC. (6-4 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Rice turned a three-game losing streak into two straight wins before leaving Louisiana Tech. Jr. RHP Eddie Degerman recorded 16 strikeouts Saturday, the second highest single-game total in school history (Philip Humber, 17 last year). Fr. LHP/1B Joe Savery batted .385-1-6 on the week and earned win No. 3 on the mound Sunday. Sr. Adam Rodgers homered, doubled and drove in four runs in support of Savery. Jr. RHP Josh Geer allowed two home runs in a loss Friday after permitting only one in 62.2 IP prior to the game.
April 6: vs. No. 8 LSU in Metairie, La.: L 8-2
April 8-10: @ Louisiana Tech: L 3-2, W 9-6, W 11-4
April 12: Texas A&M
April 15-17: @ Hawaii
16. Long Beach State
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 24-11, 5-1 in Big West. (6-3 vs. Top 25).
Notes: It was Jered (Weaver), now it's Jared (Hughes) dominating for the Dirtbags. The Soph. RHP thew a two-hit shutout Sunday with 10 strikeouts to clinch the series, while Sean Boatright homered and drove in three runs. Boatright and Fr. 1B Brandon Godfrey each totaled five hits in the series. Jr. LHP Cesar Ramos struck out eight over eight innings Friday to improve to 7-3. Irvine nabbed game two with single runs in the sixth, eighth, 10th and 11th.
April 5: UCLA: W 2-1
April 8-10: @ UC Irvine: W 3-2, L 4-3 (11 inn.), W 10-0
April 12: @ Pepperdine
April 15-17: Cal State Northridge
Last week: 2-3. Overall: 27-6, 6-3 in Big 12. (3-2 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Nebraska lost a home series to Texas for the first time since 1997 before a record 22,595 fans at Hawks Field for a three-game series. Fr. OF Andy Gerch scored on a wild pitch to end Friday's marathon, one in which Nebraska didn't allow a Texas runner to reach scoring position after the sixth inning and retired 21 straight at one point. Soph. RHP Joba Chamberlain struck out 10 in nine innings Friday, allowing one earned run. Nebraska took a 5-2 lead Sunday but couldn't hold on in a game shortened to eight innings because of curfew. Texas turned Jr. 3B Alex Gordon into Barry Bonds, walking him eight times in the series, four on Friday night.
April 5: @ Creighton: L 4-3
April 6: Iowa: W 6-1
April 8-10: No. 1 Texas: W 4-3 (16 inn.), L 11-4, L 6-5 (8 inn.)
April 12-13: North Dakota State
April 15-17: @ Texas A&M
Last week: 2-1. Overall: 24-10, 8-4 in SEC. (5-4 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Alabama has posted a 23-6 record since its 1-4 start and has won three of its four SEC series after winning only one last season. Sr. OF Gabe Scott tallied seven hits on the week, including three home runs, and drove in seven runs. He tied the Friday and Saturday games with homers. DH Allen Rice totaled three hits, including a grand slam, and five RBI in Sunday's win.
April 8-10: @ No. 9 Mississippi: W 5-4, L 12-10, W 12-6
April 12: Memphis
April 15-17: @ No. 5 Florida
19. College of Charleston
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 26-5, 12-0 in SoCon. (0-1 vs. Top 25).
Notes: A Saturday loss snapped Charleston's 12-game win streak, but 13 of 14 and 16 of 18 ain't bad. Soph. Chris Campbell hit two homers against Coastal and added four hits Friday in a week in which he batted .500. Jr. OF Phillip Coker actually did him one better, batting .563 over the four games. Jr. RHP Brett Harker compiled two saves and 10 strikeouts in 4.1 IP over two appearances.
April 5: @ Coastal Carolina: W 8-6
April 8-10: @ Georgia State: W 8-5, L 5-1, W 7-6
April 12: Charleston Southern
April 15-17: @ The Citadel
20. Florida State
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 32-8, 9-3 in ACC. (0-1 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Florida State opened the series with two comeback wins but couldn't turn the trick a third time Sunday. FSU trailed 5-0 Friday, but Fr. SS Ryne Jernigan's grand slam made a winner out of reliever Brian Chambers, who allowed one hit over 4.2 scoreless innings. Another Ryne, this one Soph. 1B Malone, drew a bases-loaded walk to put FSU ahead after trailing 3-2 Saturday. The Seminoles forced Sunday's game into extras with a run in the bottom of the ninth, but Wake scored seven in the 12th, and FSU's four in the bottom of the frame wasn't enough, as the Demon Deacons won their first game in Tallahassee in 10 years.
April 6: Jacksonville: W 11-4
April 8-10: Wake Forest: W 7-5, W 4-3, L 13-10 (12 inn.)
April 12: @ Jacksonville
April 15-17: @ No. 4 Georgia Tech
Last week: 1-3. Overall: 22-10, 6-6 in SEC. (3-2 vs. Top 25).
Notes: DH Allen Rice's grand slam proved the largest of Alabama's three homers in Sunday's series-clinching win. Jr. LHP/1B Stephen Head totaled three hits and threw two scoreless innings for a save Saturday after taking a loss Friday as Alabama scored four runs over the final three innings to come back against Head and starter Mark Holliman. Fr. DH Jon-Jon Hancock drove in four runs Sunday for the Rebels and six in the series.
April 5: @ Southern Mississippi: L 10-9
April 8-10: Alabama: L 5-4, W 12-10, L 12-6
April 13: Southeastern Louisiana
April 15-17: @ No. 22 LSU
Last week: 2-3. Overall: 23-11, 5-7 in SEC. (4-4 vs. Top 25).
Notes: South Carolina won its first-ever series at LSU, sending the Tigers to last place in the SEC West. Read that again, and realize the LSU also has lost four straight SEC games and three straight SEC series (the first time since 1995). LSU collected nine hits and two runs in the first two games combined, an output that normally resembles a good inning for the Tigers. "We didn't even hit balls hard," coach Smoke Laval said after Saturday's loss. " They (the players) are putting the pressure on themselves. We just have to fight our way through it." Sr. LHP Lane Mestepey allowed three runs (two earned) over eight innings Friday, while Soph. LHP Clay Dirks allowed five runs (three earned) Saturday to take his first loss of the year.
April 5: @ Nicholls State: W 3-2
April 6: No. 11 Rice at Metairie, La.: W 8-2
April 8-10: No. 12 South Carolina: L 3-1, L 5-1, L 7-5
April 12: Northwestern State
April 15-17: No. 21 Mississippi
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 23-9, 7-4 in SEC. (5-3 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Jr. OF Eli Iorg went 4-for-6 with two RBI, and Jr. DH Kelly Edmundson drove in the winning run with a 10th-inning single Sunday to clinch the series. Fr. C J.P. Arencibia went 3-for-5 with a home run Saturday; his seven HRs are four shy of Todd Helton's freshman record. Jr. 3B Chase Headley went 5-for-6 Friday with three RBI to support Jr. RHP Luke Hochevar, who struck out 10 batters over eight shutout innings to improve to 8-1.
April 5: Eastern Kentucky: W 14-6
April 8-10: @ Kentucky: W 18-2, L 5-4, W 10-9 (10 inn.)
April 12: East Tennessee State
April 13: @ UNC Asheville
April 15-17: No. 10 Arkansas
24. Mississippi State
Last week: 3-1. Overall: 20-8, 6-5 in SEC. (7-6 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Mississippi State has won three of its first four conference series. Sr. RHP Alan Johnson (8 IP, 6 H, R) and Soph. RHP Jon Crosby (CG, 7 H, 0 R) dazzled in winning bookend starts in the series. Crosby threw MSU's first complete-game shutout since Johnson turned the trick against LSU in 2003. The Bulldogs didn't homer in the series, counting 21 singles and six doubles as their 27 hits. Fr. C/3B Ed Easley collected two hits in each of the first two games. A season-high 10,958 watched the Saturday game, and 25,171 fans checked in for the three-game set.
April 5: Samford @ Jackson, Miss.: W 14-5
April 8-10: No. 21 Auburn: W 4-1, L 8-7, W 4-0
April 12: Louisiana Monroe
April 13: Samford
April 15-17: @ Gerogia
Last week: 4-0. Overall: 21-9, 6-3 in Big 12. (4-4 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Southern California has won 12 of its last 15 games, and tossed back-to-back shutouts for the second time this season. It hasn't produced two pairs of shutouts since 1971. Soph. RHP Ian Kennedy struck out a career-best 15 batters Saturday in his first complete game. He fanned 13 last week at Washington. Zack Kalter, Anthony Encinas and Michael Friedman combined on Sunday's shutout, and Jr. LHP Jack Spradlin allowed the only run of the weekend on a solo home run Friday. Jr. C Jeff Clement is batting .442 during a 15-game hitting streak in which he also has 15 walks.
April 5: Pepperdine: W 4-3
April 8-10: UCLA: W 11-1, W 9-0, W 6-0
April 12: No. 2 Cal State Fullerton
April 13: @ UC Santa Barbara
18. Texas A&M
Last week: 0-3-1. Overall: 22-13-1, 4-8 in Big 12. (2-5 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Soph. LHP Jason Meyer allowed one run over 6.1 IP Friday, but Andrew Baldwin's homer accounted for A&M's only run and Missouri scored in the bottom of the ninth to scrap out a win. Soph. 3B Austin Boggs collected two hits Saturday and Sunday and has 12 hits in 25 at-bats over his last eight games.
April 5: Sam Houston State: T 6-6 (8 inn.; rain)
April 8-10: @ No. 23 Missouri: L 2-1, L 7-3, L 8-3
April 12: @ No. 15 Rice
April 15-17: No. 17 Nebraska
Last week: 1-3. Overall: 22-13, 6-6 in SEC. (5-3 vs. Top 25).
Notes: Auburn hit three home runs in the first inning Saturday to earn its only win of the week: Jr. OF Clete Thomas and Jr. C Josh Bell hit two-run bombs and OF Jeff Boutwell hit a solo shot. Bell's hit streak reached 14 games, and he has five home runs and 18 RBI during the stretch. MSU's Alan Johnson (8 IP, 6 H, R) and Jon Crosby (CG, 7 H, 0 R) silenced the Auburn bats in the bookend games of the series.
April 5: No. 4 Georgia Tech: L 3-2
April 8-10: @ Mississippi State: L 4-1, W 8-7, L 4-0
April 12: @ Samford
April 15-17: @ Kentucky
24. Arizona State
Last week: 1-2. Overall: 22-15, 3-3 in Pac-10. (6-11 vs. Top 25).
Notes: California scored twice in the bottom of the ninth against Sr. RHP Jason Urquidez on Sunday to steal the series. Arizona State had not lost a series at Evans Diamond since 1995. Soph. 2B Seth Dhaenens and Fr. OF Rocky Laguna both collected five hits in the series, at least one in each game.
April 8-10: @ California: W 11-7, L 7-3, L 4-3
April 15-17: No. 14 Stanford
Editor's note: Baseball America will provide weekly updates, analysis and Friday notebooks on college baseball this season.