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UK, TCU, South Florida, Charlotte, and Temple pick up wins


TCU 13 BYU 4

PROVO, Utah – The TCU Horned Frogs erased an early 3-0 deficit with a six-run second inning and cruised to the 13-4 victory over BYU at Larry H. Miller Field Friday night. The victory ensures the Frogs the series win as they continue their hot play in the month of April. It was another offensive explosion for TCU as they scored 13 times on 15 hits. Clint Arnold drove in a game-high four runs on three hits. Matt Vern also homered for the Frogs.

BYU jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning as four straight batters reached base with only one out. Dan Vargas singled in the first run and Kasey Ko doubled home two to make it 3-0. TCU starter Sean Hoelscher settled down and retired the final two batters of the inning.

Ten men went to the plate for the Frogs in the top of the second inning as they pushed across six runs to take a lead they would never relinquish. Bryan Holaday walked to lead off the inning and Matt Carpenter was hit by the pitch to put two on with nobody out. Hunt Woodruff singled to load the bases and Bryan Kervin reached on a fielder’s choice to drive in the first run.

Matt Vern made it a one-run game with an RBI single to left. A Ben Carruthers base hit reloaded the bases for TCU and Steve Ellington gave the Frogs the lead with a two-run single through the right side. Arnold drove in his first run of the game with a sacrifice fly and Chris Ellington doubled home the sixth run of the inning.

BYU scratched across another run in the bottom of the second to pull within two, 6-4. After the first two batters reached base, Kent Walton sacrificed them both into scoring position. Sean McNaughton hit into a fielder’s choice that drove in the run. The Cougars loaded the bases with two outs, but Hoelscher struck out Ko to end the inning.

After a scoreless third inning, the Frogs extended their lead in the fourth inning on a Cougar error. With two outs, Arnold singled to start the rally. Chris Ellington followed with a base hit and the duo executed a double steal. J.T. Musso’s throw to second sailed into center field, allowing Arnold to score to make it a 7-4 game.

Hoelscher (4-2) did an excellent job settling into the ballgame. After a one-out walk and hit-by-pitch in the fourth, he retired eight of the last nine batters he face, with the lone batter reaching on a Frog error. He went six innings, allowing four runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out four in the victory.

TCU, meanwhile, continued to pour on the offense. Matt Vern launched a two-run shot in the fourth inning to end Jake Wortham’s evening. Another run crossed the plate in the sixth on a double play ball as the Frogs took a 10-4 lead.

The Frogs wrapped up their scoring in the seventh with another three-spot. Hunt Woodruff walked to open the inning. After two quick outs, Carruthers singled to keep the inning alive. Steve Ellington walked to load the bases and Arnold cleared them with a double off the wall in left center.

Trent Appleby pitched two scoreless innings for TCU, allowing just one base hit. Taylor Cragin closed out the game with a scoreless ninth. He surrendered a lead-off single the retired the final three, striking out Ko to end the game.

TCU improves to 25-13 overall and 10-4 in conference play. They will go for the series sweep Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Greg Holle will take the mound for TCU.

Kentucky 11 Florida 7

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Sawyer Carroll tallied a career-high five RBI and Collin Cowgill reached base 5-of-5 times, as the No. 17 Kentucky baseball team erased a 7-6 Florida lead with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, holding on to secure a 11-7 series-opening victory over the 24th-ranked Gators, on a gorgeous Friday evening in front of 3,036 fans at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Down 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning and needing a rally, Kentucky got what it needed from its two National Player of the Year candidates, Carroll and Cowgill. After Keenan Wiley singled with one out, Cowgill tallied his second hit of the night, a well struck line-drive into left field. Carroll came to the plate, looking to advance the runners and avoid the double play. The senior delivered, belting a 1-1 offering from Stephen Locke – the pitcher slated to start Saturday’s game for UF – deep into the left-centerfield gap, bouncing off the double off the base of the wall, allowing Wiley to score the game-tying run. With Carroll and Cowgill in scoring position, Florida issued an intentional walk to Brian Spear. Ryan Wilkes came to the plate, looking for his fourth hit of the game, instead ripping a hard grounder at Florida third baseman Jon Townsend, who bobbled the ball as he attempted to make the throw, allowing Cowgill to score the go-ahead run. Tyler Howe notched an RBI groundout, scoring Carroll and Chris Wade plated Wilkes and Spear with a single up the middle, for the final margin.

Carroll finished the game 3-for-5 with his 12th home run of the season, coming as a three-run job in the first inning. Carroll’s five RBI marks a career best, as the 6-foot-4, 215-pound slugger finishes the game with a staggering .467 average on the year, adding 14 doubles and 55 RBI in just 37 games this season.

Cowgill finished 2-for-2 with three runs scored, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. On the year, Cowgill has hit for a .394 average, with 10 doubles, 14 home runs and 44 RBI, swiping 16-of-19 bases.

Senior southpaw Andrew Albers (6-1) notched the win, tossing four excellent innings in relief of starter Chris Rusin. Albers worked four innings, allowing two hits, two runs – one earned – striking out three. Rusin worked 4 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and five runs. Brock Baber was the only other UK reliever to see action, getting two pressure-packed outs in the fifth inning.

Locke took the loss, dropping to 2-2 on the year after allowing four hits and five runs in one inning. UF starter Billy Bullock gave up six runs on five hits in four innings, walking five UK hitters.

Kentucky (29-8, 8-8 Southeastern Conference) will send sophomore southpaw James Paxton to the hill on Saturday for his first career SEC start. With Locke pitching in relief Friday night, the Florida rotation will be mixed up, with the slated Sunday starter, Patrick Keating, getting the starting nod on Saturday.
First pitch on Saturday is set for 7 p.m. ET and fans can catch the action live on the Big Blue Sports Network (television) with Dick Gabriel, Doug Flynn and Ryan Lemond calling the game. Fans can see the game on C-WKYT (Insight-Lexington channel 5) or on FSN South.

The game can also be heard live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price calling the action. In Lexington the game can be heard on WLAP 630-AM and in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM.

Wilkes and Wiley played a vital role in Kentucky’s 12-hit, six-walk offensive performance, as Wiley totaled two hits and Wilkes notched his third three-hit performance of the year. Wiley extended his hit streak to nine games with his 2-for-4 day, while Carroll continued his team-best 11 game streak.

Kentucky got on the board at its first opportunity, as Wiley led off with a single to right field, moving to second on a wild pitch. Cowgill followed with a five-pitch walk and Carroll emptied the bases with his 12th home run of the season, a longball over the right-centerfield fence, landing in between the party deck and the 30-foot monster in right field.

The Wildcats added a run to its lead, extending a 4-0 advantage after two innings. Marcus Nidiffer led off with a walk and Chris Bisson, attempting to lay down a sacrifice bunt, reached after Townsend misfired on his throw. After Cowgill walked to load the bases, Carroll hung up a sacrifice fly into left field, scoring Nidiffer.

In the third, UK extended its lead to 5-0, as Wilkes notched his second single through the left side in as many at bats. Howe ripped a hard double down the right-field line, moving Wilkes to third. Nidiffer lofted a one-out sacrifice fly ball into centerfield, scoring Wilkes.

Kentucky got out of two bases loaded jams, escaping in the second inning and again in the fourth inning, getting an unconventional 5-2-3 double play in the fourth to get out of the frame unscathed. In the second, Rusin allowed three back-to-back singles with one out, getting a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.

UK added another run in the fourth inning, getting a one-out hit-by-pitch from Cowgill, who swiped second for his 16th stolen bag of the year. Carroll made a productive out, grounding out to second, allowing Cowgill to motor to third. With Wilkes at the plate, Bullock let loose a wild pitch, allowing Cowgill to slide into home.

Florida narrowed the UK lead to 6-5 with five runs on four hits and a UK error in the fifth inning. Avery Barnes singled to third base, moving to second after Rusin misfired on a pickoff attempt. Townsend, a native of London, Ky., doubled down the line to score Barnes. Cole Figureroa laid down a perfectly placed bunt single and Josh Adams loaded the bases with a walk. Matt den Dekker scored one after Rusin beaned him with a pitch and Brandon McArthur scored two more with a single into right-center. Pinch hitter Clayton Pasani hung a sacrifice fly to score den Dekker.

Florida took the lead with two runs in the seventh, taking a 7-6 lead. After Albers got Adams swinging, Dustin Bamberg ripped a high-hopper to freshman Chris Bisson, playing third. Bisson allowed the ball to skip off his glove for the error. The next batter, den Dekker followed, ripping a no-doubt shot over the deck in right-centerfield for his sixth homer of the season.

USF 7 Rutgers 5

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – After posting an early five-run lead, the University of South Florida (19-18, 7-9 BIG EAST) baseball team beat Rutgers 7-5 Friday night in Piscataway, N.J.

Junior right hander Daniel Thomas earned his first win of the season, dealing six strikeouts in six innings, allowing one run from three hits and walking four batters.

“The coaching staff and I wanted to narrow my pitch count, so to do that, we attacked by throwing the fastball and trying to get ahead in the count,” said Thomas, who touched 95 mph three consecutive times late in his appearance. “Every inning, if your control keeps getting better and better, that’s when you really start putting it on the pitches. The coaching staff was right and it worked out for us.”

Sophomore closer Shawn Sanford started the ninth by allowing a pair of hits, but a sac bunt and a pair of strikeouts secured his ninth save of the season.

Freshman Ryan Lockwood extended his hitting streak to 20 games, collecting a pair of base hits late in the game. In the seventh, he reached on a bunt single, then in the ninth, he sent a long shot to right center field. He then stole second and third base, and scored on a shot to second by junior Brian Hobbs.

Freshman Stephen Hunt, who drew a walk, was hit by a pitch and collected an RBI as the designated hitter in the game, came in for relief in the eighth, striking out all three of his batters faced.

For the third consecutive game, the Bulls allowed an early lead to diminish late in the game. On Tuesday, Stetson scored five in the bottom of the ninth, and on Wednesday, Bethune-Cookman tallied three in the last frame.

Against Rutgers, USF led 6-1, but the Scarlet Knights scored four in the bottom of the seventh to draw the game within one. USF tallied one in the top of the ninth and held RU scoreless over the final two innings to pick up its 19th win of the year.

Leadoff hitter Addison Maruszak scored USF’s first run of the game after reaching on an infield single, then scoring on a base hit from Hobbs. In the third, Maruszak and Hobbs each doubled and scored, earning their seventh and eighth two baggers of the season, respectively. The Bulls added one more in the fifth, taking the 4-0 lead as Maruszak and senior Joey Angelberger each had one-out base hits, and Lockwood and Hunt drew walks. In his 16th game of the year, Hunt tallied his 16th RBI.

After holding the Scarlet Knights scoreless through five, Rutgers scored one run from two hits to break up Thomas’ shutout.

USF plated two more runs in the seventh after Maruszak reached on an error to lead off the inning. Angelberger and Lockwood followed with hit back-to-back singles and Hobbs grounded out to shortstop to score Maruszak. Hunt was hit by a pitch then junior Chris Rey reached on a fielder’s choice that scored USF’s sixth run of the game.

Rutgers threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four and bringing the game within one. The four runs came from a pair of hits, two walks and an error.

USF added one more in the ninth, as Lockwood singled, stole two bases then scored on a fielder’s choice from Hobbs.

“Like our coaching staff says, it’s not about what you do in the beginning, even though it helps out when you win early,” added Thomas. “It’s all about how you finish the season.”

Following the three-game BIG EAST series in New Jersey, USF travels to Boca Raton, Fla., on April 22 to wrap up its six-game stretch on the road. The Bulls and Owls battle at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, then USF returns to Tampa to host Stetson at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23.

Charlotte 18 UMass 3

Amherst, Mass. – The Charlotte 49ers broke out with 22 hits, including a pair of home runs by senior catcher Chris Taylor and freshman Joe Yermal tossed his second complete game of the season in an 18-3 win over Massachusetts on the road in Atlantic 10 baseball at Earl Lorden Field Friday afternoon. The Niners are 28-8 overall and 10-3 in league play. UMass dropped to 11-16 on the season, 4-9 in the A-10.

A loss by Duquesne to Temple on Friday put Charlotte back into a tie for first place in the A-10.

The two homers by Taylor was the third time this season he has hit a pair out of the ballpark. He drove in six runs to tie his season and career-high mark. Taylor drove in six with a pair of homers at No. 3 South Carolina in March of this season.

The Niners posted five runs for Yermal in the first before he took the field. The first three batters reached base on a double by Aaron Bray, a single for Shayne Moody and a walk to Brad McElroy. Taylor brought them all home with a double. He was brought home on a Corey Shaylor sacrifice and O’Brien Taylor hit a line-drive home run to left center for the fifth run of the opening frame.

The first of Chris Taylor’s homers came in the second. After McElroy reached second on two errors, Taylor blasted a 1-0 pitch from Minutemen starter Mitchell Clegg to right, giving Charlotte a 7-0 lead.
McElroy got his first hit of two for the day in the fourth, giving him a hit in 28 consecutive games, clearing Keith English from 1995 for the second-longest in school history.

Charlotte scored six more runs in the sixth, with two homers in that frame. Chris Taylor hit a leadoff homer, his team-leading and career-high 12th of the season, to right center on another 1-0 pitch from Clegg. After a flyout, Clegg gave up two singles through the middle before he was lifted for freshman Garrett Butt. The youngster gave up an RBI double to outfielder Cory Tilton and a home run down the left field line to first baseman Alex Burt, his second of the season. Bray then singled and Moody doubled to put up a six on the scoreboard.

In the bottom half, Massachusetts scored their first run against Yermal on two hits and a hit batter.

The Niners got that one back in the sixth, when Burt had an RBI single to left to score O’Brien Taylor from second. Burt later added his fifth RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

UMass was able to score two more on a two-run homer by second baseman Adam Tempesta in the sixth, but the Niners added three more in the eighth and a run in the ninth on an RBI by Tilton to get to 18 runs.

All nine starters for Charlotte had at least two hits and one run scored. Moody, Tilton and both Taylors had three hits, and O’Brien Taylor has the game high of four runs.

Yermal allowed just six hits and one walk, with five strikeouts to improve to 7-0. He has a complete game in two of his last three starts, all in conference play, tossing 23.1 innings in that span. His season ERA is 2.59 with 32 strikeouts.

Clegg took the loss, dropping to 1-4. He was tagged for eight earned runs on 10 hits and two walks, with one strikeout. All four pitchers gave up at least one run in the contest.

Charlotte revisits UMass for a 1 p.m. Saturday game.

Temple 5 Duquesne 4

AMBLER, PA (4/18/08) – Freshman Steve Nikorak (Stroudsburg, PA / Stroudsburg) doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and Temple (18-17, 9-4 A-10) survived an interesting ninth inning to beat first place Duquesne, 5-4, on Friday at Skip Wilson Field. The Owls received 5.1 scoreless innings from their bullpen and have now reached nine conference wins faster than any team since the 2001 squad began 9-1 in the Atlantic 10. Junior Sean Barksdale (Glenolden, PA / Cardinal O’Hara) was a triple away from the cycle and knocked in two runs.

“It was a great win for us,” head coach Rob Valli said. “I don’t know if we played great, but we played well enough to win. Our bullpen was outstanding and we had some timely hitting, especially from Steve Nikorak.”

With the score all tied up at four in the sixth, junior Mark Ortega (Palm Beach Gardens, FL / Palm Beach Gardens / Boston College) doubled down the left field line to lead-off up the inning. After a sacrifice bunt by junior Kyle Obal (Derwood, MD / Sherwood) moved Ortega to third, Nikorak stepped to the plate looking to give Temple its first lead of the game.

The freshman, who picked up his first collegiate win on the mound on Wednesday, lined the first pitch he saw into the gap in left-center to give TU a 5-4 lead. Freshman Byron McKoy (Charlotte, NC / Independence), who had two hits in the game, singled to put runners on first and third with one out. Temple could not push another run across, however, as a failed safety squeeze and strikeout ended the inning.

Sophomore Matt Blackburn (West Chester, PA / Gloucester Catholic-NJ), who improved to 3-0 with two scoreless innings of relief, handed the ball over to classmate Ryan Thomas (Aliquippa, PA / Center) with two outs and a runner on third in the seventh. Thomas snared a hard-hit comebacker and flipped to first to protect the lead.

Thomas then gave way to senior Arshwin Asjes (Willemstad, Curacao / Cheverus-ME), who pitched a perfect eighth inning. In the ninth, the closer threw away a lead-off bunt by Derek Mechling to put the tying run on first. Mechling was sacrificed to second and moved to third when a strikeout of Aaron Janusey got by Obal behind the plate.

With the tying run just ninety feet away, Duquesne clean-up hitter Mike Carroll lofted a fly-ball that hugged the leftfield line, which would have been deep enough to score Mechling. But Abercrombie let the foul ball drop and Asjes came back to strike Carroll out for the second out. Abercrombie then caught a line drive for the game’s final out.

It was Asjes sixth save of the season and third in conference play. He is now tied for second all-time on the single season saves list with Jay Hallman, who also saved six games in 1976. Peter Moore set the record with eight in 1999.

The playoff-type intensity surrounding the game did not serve the Cherry and White well early on, as the Dukes (15-18, 10-3) opened a 4-1 lead after three innings. Barksdale’s team-leading fourth homerun of the season, which caromed off the scoreboard in right, provided Temple’s only run early.

The Owls tied the game with three in the fourth. Obal led off with a double down the right field line and scored on McKoy’s team-leading eighth double. A walk to Abercrombie and hit by pitch to Barksdale loaded the bases for sophomore Matt Heltz (Garyville, LA / St. Charles Catholic), who lofted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 4-3, Duquesne. Barksdale followed with an RBI single to tie the game.

Barkdale (3-for-3) and McKoy were Temple’s only multi-hit performers. Barksdale, who is riding a nine-game hitting streak, has raised his average nearly 40 points during the span.

Ryan Juran (4-5), the older brother of TU signee Taylor Juran, suffered the loss after allowing five earned runs in seven innings. Mechling singled and homered while Pat Kimutis had two hits and two RBI for Duquesne.

The Cherry and White has now matched its Atlantic 10 win total from last year with nine. The 9-4 start is the best in conference play since the 2001 team, which won the league title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, began 11-1.

The Owls remain in a tie for third place with Xavier, one game behind league leading Charlotte and Duquesne.

Junior Matt Mongiardini (Toms River, NJ / Toms River East) will take the hill for Temple on Cherry and White Day on Saturday. First pitch is set for 1 PM. The spring football game, which begins at 1:15 PM, highlights the annual alumni festivities on the Ambler campus.

“Cherry and White is typically a great day and Duquesne is still the number one team in our conference,” Valli said. “We’re excited for it.”

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