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Friday’s Staff Coverage

Aaron Fitt on No. 2 Stanford beating No. 1 UCLA
Kendall Rogers on Houston’s changes leading to win over No. 12 ECU
Eric Sorenson on West Virginia’s Manoah tossing a gem

Kendall Rogers’ Five

Manoah works his magic against Oklahoma State

The Cowboys made headlines earlier this week by appearing in our latest Top 25 rankings, but they’d put their impressive streak on the line against West Virginia and righthander Alek Manoah at home Friday night.

Well, the imposing righthander put together one of his strongest starts of the season in a dominant 11-1 win over the newly-ranked Cowboys. Manoah struck out 11, didn’t walk anyone and allowed just three hits in eight shutout innings. Meanwhile, Darius Hill had two doubles and knocked in three runs and Marques Inman had two doubles, four hits and knocked in four runs. Ivan Gonzalez also had a big day at the plate for the Mountaineers, finishing the game with three hits in the win.

For OSU, starting pitcher Jensen Elliott struggled mightily against the Mountaineers, allowing five runs on seven hits in just three innings of work. WVU has won four straight games, including five of its last six.

Clemson knocks off Louisville, red-hot Reid Detmers

Louisville starting pitcher Reid Detmers was named our top pitcher at the midseason mark, but Clemson handed him just the second loss of the season in a 5-1 triumph in a crucial ACC series that could have lasting ramifications.

Logan Davidson hit a three-run home run off Detmers in the third inning before Kyle Wilkie hit a solo shot off the talented hurler in the same frame to make it 4-0, Clemson. The Tigers never looked back on the way to victory.

As for Detmers, he did allow those two home runs, but otherwise was terrific, striking out 10, walking two and allowing five runs on four hits in six innings. Meanwhile, Clemson freshman two-way star Davis Sharpe put together yet another strong outing, striking out seven, walking one and allowing a run and four hits in 6.2 innings.

Clemson has won nine of its last 11 games.

Arizona State drops second straight game in loss to USC

In most instances, losing two straight games wouldn’t be considered a big deal. But Arizona State has been on another level much of the season, meaning this occurrence just means more. ASU dropped a bout to Long Beach State earlier this week and allowed 14 runs in the process. It once again struggled on the mound Friday night in a 10-6 setback to USC.

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It was a rough night all the way around for the Devils. Not only did top midseason player Hunter Bishop struggle, going 0-for-4, starting pitcher Alec Marsh allowed eight runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings, while also walking four and striking out three.

As for the Trojans, Connor Lunn held the nation’s scariest offense to three runs and five hits in 6.1 inning, while offensively, Matthew Acosta had four hits and knocked in five runs and Brandon Perez hit a home run and triple to lead the charge.

It’ll be intriguing to see how the Devils respond to the adversity of the last two games.

Vanderbilt uses power in comeback win over Georgia

Georgia looked to be in pretty good shape in the ninth inning, leading 2-1 with reliable reliever Aaron Schunk on the mound. However, the Commodores pinch hit with Walker Grisanti with one out and the veteran hit an absolute bomb that cleared the scoreboard.

Two innings later, the Commodores used more power to their advantage as Ethan Paul hit a home run to give his team a 3-2 advantage and the win.

Georgia wasted a stellar start from sophomore righthander Emerson Hancock, who struck out eight, walked four and allowed a run and four hits in seven innings. Meanwhile, Vandy righthander Drake Fellows struck out six, walked one and allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. Vandy’s bullpen also stepped up with Zach King tossing two shutout frames and Tyler Brown tossing two shutout frames with three strikeouts.

Vandy continues to step up in big situations.

Two big walk-offs in the Big 12

It was a wild day in the Big 12 with West Virginia dominating Oklahoma State on the road. But that was just the tip of the iceberg for the league. Here are two walk-offs that caught our attention:

• Baylor used a walk-off single by Davion Downey to take down rival Texas, 6-5, in Waco Friday night. Downey finished the night with two hits and three RBIs, while Cole Haring knocked in two runs and Davis Wendzel had two hits and an RBI. Logan Boyd tossed 1.2 shutout frames out of the pen for BU, while for Texas, righthander Bryce Elder struck out five, walked two and allowed five runs and eight hits in 6.1 innings.

• Oklahoma had a 6-5 lead over TCU in the top of the ninth inning with one out before Frogs outfielder Johnny Rizer hit a solo home run to tie it. Well, the Sooners responded in the bottom of the ninth with heroics of their own as Brylie Ware hit a walk-off RBI single to give OU a 7-6 victory. Ware finished the night with two hits and two RBIs, while Brandon Zaragoza led the offensive charge with three hits and two RBIs. As for the staff aces, TCU’s Nick Lodolo allowed six runs, three earned and 10 hits in 5.1 innings, while OU’s Cade Cavalli allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings.

Aaron Fitt’s Five

Auburn, Arkansas split twin bill

No. 14 Arkansas and No. 15 Auburn were rained out Thursday night on the Plains, setting the stage for a doubleheader on Friday — and there was no shortage of late-innings drama. Auburn won the first game 6-3, erasing a 3-0 deficit with three in the sixth inning (capped by Ryan Bliss’s two-run single). The Tigers then surged ahead with three more in the eighth, highlighted by a go-ahead RBI double from Conor Davis, who finished 3-for-4. The marquee starting pitching matchup between Isaiah Campbell (6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER) and Tanner Burns (6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 K) was solid, but the Tigers won the battle of the bullpens.

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It took Arkansas 5 hours, 40 minutes to win the nightcap 9-6 in 15 innings. Christian Franklin’s RBI single tied the game at 4-4 in the eighth to force extras, and Arkansas went ahead 6-4 on Trevor Ezell’s two-run homer in the 12th, but Auburn tied it again with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the frame. Finally Heston Kjerstad’s solo homer and Matt Goodheart’s two-run double in the 15th lifted the Hogs to the series-leveling victory. Dominic Fletcher had four hits in that game for Arkansas, which got 4.2 strong innings of relief from Kole Ramage. Cody Greenhill pitched in both halves of the twin bill for Auburn, earning a save with a scoreless inning in Game One, then coming back with three scoreless frames in Game Two.

LSU comes from behind to beat Texas A&M

Another matchup between ranked SEC teams Friday pitted No. 9 Texas A&M at No. 13 LSU. This series always seems to deliver good theater, and Friday was no exception. John Doxakis (6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) and Zack Hess (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) went toe-to-toe in a great pitcher’s duel, and for a while it looked like Zach DeLoach’s RBI single in the third would be all the offense A&M would need. But LSU’s Brant Broussard came up with a Little League home run to tie the game in the eighth, racing all the way around to score on two errors by right fielder Jonathan Ducoff on the same play. LSU broke the tie an inning later on Josh Smith’s solo home run, lifting the Tigers to a 2-1 victory. The Tigers have now won five straight games since snapping a four-game losing streak.

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Ole Miss pounds Florida

In yet another Top 25 showdown in the SEC, No. 18 Ole Miss went on the road and pummeled No. 21 Florida 12-4. The Rebels erased an early 2-0 deficit with a pair of homers in the third — a two-run shot from Tyler Keenan and a solo shot from Cole Zabowski. Keenan added an RBI single to help jumpstart a four-run fourth, capped by Cooper Johnson’s two-run single. Johnson added a three-run homer as an exclamation point in the eighth to finish with five RBIs. Keenan had three hits to lead a 17-hit barrage that included multi-hit games from seven different Rebels. Tyler Myers worked 5.1 strong innings in relief of Will Ethridge to earn the victory. That’s an emphatic bounceback win for Ole Miss after Tuesday’s 10-6 upset loss to North Alabama.

North Carolina pounds Georgia Tech

No. 16 UNC and Georgia Tech entered this weekend tied atop the ACC’s Coastal Division standings, lending their series in Atlanta some extra intrigue. But the Tar Heels removed much of the suspense in the early innings Friday, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first three innings and cruising to an 11-4 win. The Tar Heels got homers from Jackson Hesterlee, Dylan Harris and Aaron Sabato, and three RBIs apiece from Sabato and Ike Freeman. Tyler Baum (5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) turned in another strong start to earn the win for UNC, which now sits alone atop the Coastal Division at 8-5. The Tar Heels have rather quietly won seven straight games.

Miami clobbers Florida State

Mike Martin’s final weekend in Coral Gables got off to an ugly start for Florida State, as rival Miami shellacked the Seminoles 11-0 in the series opener. The game was actually scoreless until the fifth, when an Alex Toral grand slam put Miami ahead for good. Scuffling FSU ace Drew Parrish failed to make it out of the fifth, and the Hurricanes broke it wide open with six runs in the seventh, highlighted by Freddy Zamora’s two-run single and JP Gates’ two-run double. Meanwhile, Evan McKendry (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K) bounced back from a rough start at Pittsburgh to shut down FSU’s offense.



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