There was some fantastic baseball played on Saturday afternoon/evening between a couple of ranked squads. The highlight series of the weekend has been the Vanderbilt and Stanford matchup in Nashville. The Commodores grabbed the first game of the series on Friday night by a score of 2-1. Here are our top story lines from Saturdays games.
- Vanderbilt clinched a series victory on Saturday by defeating Stanford 8-7 to take the second game of the three game set. Aaron Westlake led the offense by going 3-3 with a homer while Stanford’s offense was highlighted by Kenny Diekroeger as he went 4-5 with three RBI. Mark Lamm picked up the win for the Commodores by pitching two scoreless innings while Stanford’s Scott Snodgress got the loss. Navery Moore grabbed the save for Vanderbilt which was his third of the season. Moore was sitting in the mid-90′s with most of his fastballs but did end up touching 99 on the radar guns with one of the pitches. He is an integral part of the Vanderbilt pitching staff as they need to have a shutdown closer this season in the mold of Casey Weathers.
- The Cal-State Fullerton Titans tied up their series with TCU at one game with a 8-4 victory on Saturday. Richy Pedroza led the Titans offense by scoring two runs as he went 2-3 with an RBI. Both starting pitchers were solid with Fullerton’s Tyler Pill giving up two runs in 6.1 innings while Steven Maxwell went seven innings giving up three runs.
- Coming into the 2011 season, we heard that the Big East was on the verge of becoming a power conference in baseball. This weekend has been an absolute disaster for the predicted top three squads UConn, St. John’s, and Louisville. UConn has continued to struggle as they are now 1-4 after losing to Indiana 3-1. It was the Huskies second straight loss this weekend after being shutout by Oregon State on Friday 2-0. UConn in their four losses have scored a combined five runs for an offense that was supposed to be loaded with both George Springer and Mike Nemeth coming back. The Louisville Cardinals are now 3-2 after losing their second straight game to Toledo. St. John’s offense has totally disappeared this weekend as the Johnnies have been shutout in back to back games by the Georgia Tech pitching staff. All three of these teams need to step up their games to get into position to potentially get an at-large berth the NCAA Tourney. The best team in the early portion of the non-conference schedule has been the Rutgers Scarlet Knights who are now 4-2 on the year with both losses coming to Miami (including one in extra innings) while defeating Miami (FL) once and Michigan three times this weekend.
- The Virginia Cavaliers continue their strong start to the season with a 4-3 victory over East Carolina on Saturday to up their record to 6-0 on the year. The victory also clinched a series victory for the Cavs over the Pirates of East Carolina. Catcher John Hicks led the offense by going 3-4 at the plate. Tyler Wilson has also been outstanding on the hill for the Cavs in his two starts on the year. On Saturday, he went 6.1 innings giving up three runs (two earned) while striking out ten. Braden Kline picked up his third save of the season for working a scoreless ninth inning.
- UCLA suffered one of the biggest upsets of the day as the Bruins fell to the San Jose State Spartans at home 5-3. Junior Roberto Padilla was a Junior College All-American last year at Ohlone JC last season, and moved to 2-0 on the season after limiting the Bruins to three earned runs and five hits, striking out five. LF Craig Hertler hit a 2-run homer in the 5th off of Trevor Bauer, who struck out six over six and two thirds, giving up four earned and walking two.
- Speaking of upsets, Hawaii continues to impress as they picked up a 5-4 victory over #7 Texas in the 15th inning after David Peterson scored on a wild pitch. Hawaii picked up yet another comeback win after scoring three in the bottom half of the 8th by way of a two-out bases clearing double by Zack Swasey. Cole Green struck out nine over six and two thirds, giving up one earned run while scattering only four hits and walking none. Cohl Walla doubled twice in a losing effort for the Longhorns. Hawaii has taken advantage of opportunities late in their three wins as they have only hit .221 as a team on the season.
- Josh Garcia continues his hot start as he belted his 4th homer of the season as #19 Arizona made easy work at Long Beach State. Kyle Simon picked up his second win of the season as he was fantastic against the Dirtbags, striking out seven and giving up an unearned run over eight innings of work. Joey Rickard and Robert Refsnyder both had 3 hits, with Refsnyder hitting a double and a homer and two driven in.
- How about Cal baseball? They picked up their second straight shutout victory in a 4-0 over NC State, as Erik Johnson gave up only three hits over six, and much heralded freshman Kyle Porter threw three hitless innings of relief to dominate the Wolfpack and improve their team ERA to a miniscule 1.02. Andrew Knapp’s three-run second inning homerun, the first homer of his career at Cal, was all the Golden Bears needed. Chadd Krist picked up two doubles in the win, and Cal faces Kansas State tomorrow.
Photos courtesy of UVA Media Relations