Baylor, South Carolina, Liberty, Louisville, and Quinnipiac pick up wins

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES

Baylor 7 Texas State 2

WACO, Texas – Baylor erased a two-run deficit with a four-run fifth, and Randall Linebaugh recorded a season-high seven strikeouts as the Bears defeated Texas State 7-2 in midweek action Tuesday night at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears (29-20) improved to 20-10 at home this season; Baylor has recorded at least 20 home wins in each of Baylor Ballpark’s 10 seasons. Texas State (27-24) has lost nine straight games against the Bears.

Aaron Fuller staked Texas State to an early lead with a two-run homer to right-center in the second. However, that was all the offense the Bobcats would produce on the night as Linebaugh and reliever Craig Fritsch held Texas State to only four base-runners – all singles – the rest of the way.

Raynor Campbell led off the fifth with his second single of the game and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Paul Miles walked and Gregg Glime was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Shaver Hansen tied the game with a one-out, two-run single through the right side. Beamer Weems followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Glime and giving the Bears a 3-2 lead they would never relinquish. Dustin Dickerson capped the inning with a two-out single, scoring Hansen.

Paul Goldschmidt singled to open the top of the sixth, but Linebaugh quickly quelled the rally with a double-play ball off the bat of Lance Loftin. Linebaugh then got Ben Theriot to ground out, ending the inning and his night.

In his first start of the season after 14 relief appearances, Linebaugh (1-0) allowed two runs on six hits and one walk over a season-high 6.0 innings. His seven strikeouts were the most he had recorded since a career-high eight against Dallas Baptist in 2006. Fritsch scattered two hits and notched four strikeouts over 3.0 scoreless innings for his third save of the season.

Baylor added some insurance runs in the eighth. Weems and Dickerson opened the inning with consecutive singles. Two batters and one out later, Aaron Miller blasted a 3-0 Josh Walter offering over the wall in right-center for his team-leading 11th home run of the season.

Texas State starter Brian Borski (0-2) took the loss, allowing four runs on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts over 4.1 innings.

Eight of Baylor’s nine starters reached base safely at least once. Campbell and Dickerson both had two-hit nights.

Baylor returns to action Wednesday, hosting Stephen F. Austin for a 6:30 p.m. CDT first pitch in the Bears’ final home game of the season. Right-hander Tim Matthews (4-1, 3.89 ERA) earns the start for Baylor, while SFA counters with right-hander Jeremy Tamez (2-0, 4.50 ERA).

South Carolina 10 The Citadel 2

Columbia, S.C. – Whit Merrifield went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Reese Havens and Justin Smoak added a pair of home runs as South Carolina defeated The Citadel 10-2 on Tuesday evening in non-conference action at Sarge Frye Field. The Gamecocks improve to 35-18 on the year while the loss drops The Citadel to 25-27 this season. Carolina heads into the final week of SEC play hosting Tennessee in the first of a three-game series beginning Thursday night at 7 pm.

Merrifield’s three hits tied a season-high and led the Gamecocks on the evening. He owns a seven-game hitting streak. Kyle Enders and Phil Disher also had two hits apiece as well. Havens’ home run was his 15th of the year with Justin Smoak hitting his 20th of the season. Smoak’s homer ties him for seventh on the SEC All-Time list with 59 in his three-year career with the Garnet & Black. He also tallied three RBI to move into third on the South Carolina career RBI list with 194 career RBI, moving past Landon Powell (193; 2001-02-03-04).

Carolina freshman right-hander Sam Dyson earned the win and improved to 7-0 on the year. He worked 5.1 innings and allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Bulldogs starter Matt Talley lasted only 0.1 innings and suffered the loss. He is 1-4 on the year. Talley allowed five runs on two hits and four walks and faced just seven batters in the game.

South Carolina went ahead 5-0 in the bottom of the first inning as Talley struggled with his control. Whit Merrifield reached base on a one-out double followed by walks to Justin Smoak and James Darnell that loaded the bases. Phil Disher laced a RBI single to left field for the first Carolina run. With the bases still loaded, Talley couldn’t find the zone as Andrew Crisp and Harley Lail each walked to increase the Gamecock lead to three runs. Kyle Enders then greeted new Citadel pitcher Timmy Martin with a two-run single that gave Carolina the five-run edge.

South Carolina increased the advantage to 6-0 in the bottom of the second with Crisp driving in his second run with a two-out RBI single that scored Merrifield. The Citadel would get two runs back in the top of the third inning as Kyle Jordan connected for a two-run homer. Carolina scored a single run in the bottom half of the third to go ahead 7-2 as Reese Havens hit a solo home run for his 15th of the year. It remained 7-2 until the eighth inning when Smoak launched his 20th home run of the season to left center.

All three South Carolina-Tennessee games will be available on the Gamecock Radio Network and at gamecocksonline.com with Mike Morgan and Tommy Moody on the call. Thursday and Friday games will also feature live video broadcast at gamecocksonline.com.

Liberty 10 VCU 3

Lynchburg, Va. – Liberty catcher Errol Hollinger hit a three-run home run in the second inning, leading the Flames past the VCU Rams, 10-3, Tuesday evening at Worthington Stadium.

With the victory, Liberty remains unbeaten in the month of May with a 7-0-1 mark and moves to 29-23-1 on the year. VCU falls to 15-29 on the season. The non-conference game was the final midweek contest of the regular season for both teams.

Liberty jumped on the scoreboard in the game’s opening inning. Kenneth Negron (Jr., 2B, Kingwood, Texas) opened the frame with a single and moved to second on another single by P.K. Keller (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.). After David Giammaresi (Sr., 1B, Coral Springs, Fla.) walked to load the bases, Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right, plating Negron and giving the Flames a 1-0 advantage.

VCU knotted the contest in the top of the second frame. With one out, right fielder Justin Wright doubled to the left center field gap. After an infield single by third baseman Chris Jackson advanced the runner to third, a ground out by catcher Nate Furry brought home Wright to even the score at 1-1.

In the bottom of the inning, Liberty went back in front. Aaron Phillips (Sr., SS, Claremore, Okla.) kept the frame alive with a two-out single. Negron then reached on a fielding error by third baseman Chris Jackson. Errol Hollinger followed with a home run off the scoreboard in left center field to give the Flames a 4-1 edge. The blast was the catcher’s team-leading eighth round tripper of the season.

VCU took advantage of two Liberty errors to cut the Flames’ advantage to 4-2. Wright doubled with one out and moved to third on a fielding error by Brown on a grounder to third by Jackson. Wright then scored for the second time in the contest when Phillips threw the ball away during a rundown involving Jackson between second and first base.

Liberty stretched its lead in the fifth. Hollinger beat out a bunt down the third base line for a hit to open the contest. Keller followed with a single to move Hollinger to second, and both runners moved into scoring position on a ground out. Brown then plated the Flames catcher with a RBI ground out to make it 5-2 Liberty.

The Rams trimmed the Flames advantage to two runs, 5-3, in the sixth frame. Pinch hitter Sean Holmes led off the inning with single to right field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After recording two outs, Holmes came around to score, as Phillips overthrew second base on a fielder’s choice grounder.

In the eighth, Liberty added to its advantage with a five-run uprising. With one out and the bases loaded, Joseph Feeley (Fr., CF, Chesapeake City, Md.) was issued a walk to force across the first run of the frame. Negron followed with a single through the left side past a drawn in infield score two more runs and an 8-3 advantage. Two batters later, Keller doubled to chase home two more runs for the final seven-run lead, 10-3.

With the victory, Liberty’s starter Clarence Nicely (Jr., RHP, Milton, W.Va.) runs his record to 5-1 on the year. The right-hander gave up three runs, only one earned, over six innings. He struck out seven hitters and walked two. Andrew Wilson (Jr., RHP, Cary, N.C.) followed with two scoreless innings of relief. Steven Evans (Fr., LHP, Amherst, Va.) retired all three batters he faced in the ninth to cap the Liberty victory. The Flames’ hurlers struck out 12 Rams in the contest.

VCU starter Will Hirsch falls to 0-6 on the season. The right-hander allowed nine runs, six earned, over 7 1/3 frames.

Keller paced the Flames with three hits and two RBIs. Negron and Hollinger each added two hits and scored three runs apiece. Wright had two of the Rams five hits in the contest.

Liberty, 12-6 in the Big South and in second place in the conference standings, will host the High Point Panthers in the final three-game series of the regular season starting Friday. First pitch on Friday at Worthington Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Louisville 9 Ball State 3

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Chris Dominguez belted two home runs and drove in a season-high six runs to power the University of Louisville to a 9-3 win over Ball State Tuesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Ball State (26-21) turned a leadoff ground-rule double by Dean Anna into a 1-0 lead in the first on a sac fly by Kory Benbow.

In the Cardinal (35-18) half of the fourth, Josh Richmond drew a leadoff walk, and a single by McClanahan put two runners in scoring position when he took second on the late throw to third.

Up stepped Dominguez to the plate, and after falling behind 1-2, he powdered the next pitch on to the terrace in left for a three-run home run, his BIG EAST-leading 17th of the season, giving the Cards a 3-1 lead.

A one-out solo home run off the bat of BSU number nine hitter T.J. Baumet, his sixth of the season, cut the lead to a single run in the fifth, and an RBI single by Kolbrin Vitek knotted the game at three in the top of the sixth.

Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Richmond crushed a 1-0 pitch over the fence in center for his fifth home run of the season, and a 4-3 Cardinal lead that they would never relinquish.

The next pitch, McClanahan drilled into the alley in left for his 19th double of the season, tying him for ninth on the single season doubles list.

Dominguez then fell behind in the count again, one ball and two strikes, before a hanging breaking ball turned into a towering two-run shot and a 6-3 UofL advantage. The sophomore has four home runs in his last 13 at bats. It is the third time this season he has hit two home runs in a game and the sixth time in his career.

In the seventh, Drew Haynes and pinch hitter Phil Wunderlich put runners at the corners with consecutive singles, the second coming on a perfectly executed hit and run. A balk scored Haynes and after a wild pitch sent Wunderlich to third, he was replaced by pinch runner Jared Wondra, who scored on Dominguez’s fifth sac fly of the season.

Jeff Arnold crushed a solo home run on to the terrace in left opening the eighth, his second of the season and the fourth of the game for the Cards, the second time this season they have sent four out of the yard. Louisville hit four out in a win at Ohio State on April 16.

Starter Matt Lea allowed two runs on five hits, striking out five in five innings.

He was replaced by Gabriel Shaw, who improved his record to 4-3 on the year, giving up a run on four hits, striking out three in two innings of work.

Freshman Neil Holland followed and struck out two, walking one in an inning of relief. Gavin Logsdon finished things up, walking one in a hitless ninth.

Ball State sent seven pitchers to the hill. Reliever Aaron Hammons entered to pitch the fateful sixth, and allowed three runs on five hits without retiring the batter in taking the loss, dropping his record to 2-4.

Haynes now has a career-best nine game hit streak with his 2 for 4 effort.

McClanahan and Dominguez each had two hits as well, while Arnold’s three hits paced the UofL attack.

The Cardinals are 19-5 in their last 24 games and have won 11 of 13.

The Cards host Rutgers (22-27-1, 10-14 BIG EAST), who is currently in ninth place in the BIG EAST, for the final three games of the regular season in a Thursday, Friday, Saturday set with first pitches scheduled for 6:00, 6:00 and 1:00 p.m. ET. Louisville (14-10 BIG EAST) has clinched a birth into the eight-team BIG EAST Championship, which is scheduled to take place May 20-24 in Clearwater, Florida. The Cards are currently in a tie for the fourth spot with Seton Hall, and two games behind third place Cincinnati.

Admission to all three games this weekend is free.

Quinnipiac 5 UMass 2

HAMDEN, Conn. – John Delaney (Hanson, Mass.) hit a three-run home run with two-outs in the bottom of the seventh and Eric Weber (New Milford, Conn.) threw a complete game to give the Quinnipiac baseball team a 5-2 victory against Massachusetts, Tuesday afternoon at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 15-33, while the Minutemen fall to 17-25.

Delaney went 2-for-4, including the game-winning hit, and scored twice. Pete Kummerfeldt (Pompton Lakes, N.J.) collected three hits for the second consecutive day, while Bobak Emamian (Cheshire, Conn.) also picked up three base hits. Bryn Doyle (Manchester, N.H.) and Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) had two hits and a run scored apiece for the Bobcats.

Weber (2-4) went the distance on the mound, scattering seven hits and two walks, while allowing just two earned runs and striking out five. Ryan Walczak (0-2) took the loss, giving up the game-tying run in the seventh before leaving two runners aboard that would come around to score on Delaney’s game-winning home run.

Mike Donato led the Minutemen with three hits, while Jim MacDonald had two hits, including a home run, to go along with two runs scored.

The Bobcats jumped out in front with a two-out rally in the first. Delaney got it started, legging out an infield single before Kummerfeldt delivered Delaney home with his second triple in as many days. This time, he painted the right field line.

The Minutemen got the run back in the second as back-to-back singles by MacDonald and Donato put runners on first and third. Bryan Garrity’s sacrifice fly to right plated MacDonald.

UMass took its first lead of the game when MacDonald connected with Weber’s 0-1 offering with one out in the sixth. MacDonald left little doubt, sending a shot over the left field fence to provide the Minutemen with a 2-1 lead.

Quinnipiac responded in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs, to take a 5-2 lead. Doyle singled and moved to second on Joe Poletsky’s (Riverside, Conn.) sacrifice bunt. Emamian then singled to left center to bring in Doyle with the tying run. Farina followed with a single to put runners on first and third and Delaney brought everybody home with a two-out home run to left.

The Bobcats conclude their regular season with a four-game home set against Northeast Conference foe Mount St. Mary’s. The series begins with a 1 p.m. tilt, Thursday, at Quinnipiac Baseball Field.