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CBD’s Around the Horn (February 15th)

OpeningDayPhotoFebruary 15th this year marked the start of the Division 1 College Baseball season. Here are some of the top performances and highlights on the day. We will be providing daily articles as often as possible this season. If you know of an outstanding performance ever that we might miss feel free to send us an email by clicking here

  • The Minnesota Gophers defeated the UCLA Bruins 6-2 in ten innings. Leading the Minnesota offense was Michael Handel who went 3-5 with two runs batted in and two runs scored, while Dan Olinger went 2-5 with a RBI. On the mount, Tom Windle started for the Gophers pitched four scoreless inning before being lifted. Ty McDevitt pitched the next two innings allowing two runs. Billy Soule and Kevin Kray each pitched two scoreless innings to keep the Bruins offense quiet and help lead the Gophers to the victory.
  • Consistent Horizon League contender Illinois-Chicago picked up a 2-0 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies behind 7.2 strong innings, allowing four hits, and striking out five batters. Adam De LaRosa led the offense by going 2-4 with an RBI. “I couldn’t be any more proud of our guys,” said head coach Mike Dee.  “It was a hard fought game and the players were relaxed and remained confident.  Our pitching was absolutely outstanding.  We told all three guys to go out there and just be themselves and that’s exactly what they did.”
  • North Carolina ace Kent Emanuel surrendered just four hits on the afternoon as he became the first Tar Heel in school history to throw a shutout in the season opener. The Woodstock, Ga., native struck out five batters and did not issue a walk in leading the top-ranked Tar Heels to the 1-0 win. He out-dueled Seton Hall ace Joe Prosinki who went seven innings giving up three hits and the lone run.
  • San Diego junior Dylan Covey struggled against rival San Diego State in the inaugural game at USD’s new stadium, Fowler Park. Covey only made it through three innings as the Aztecs knocked him around for eight hits and six runs. SDSU veterans Greg Allen and Tim Zier led the offensive attack at the top of the order, going a combined 7 for 10 with two runs and four RBI. In the middle of the order, Brad Haynal had a heck of a night. He went 3 for 5 with two doubles and a triple that netted him two RBI. San Diego State starter Michael Cederoth pitched five innings to pick up the win. He struck out six, but did walk five.
  • Tulane redshirt sophomore right handed pitcher Tony Rizzotti pitched a complete game, one hit shutout to lead the Green Waves to a 2-0 victory over Sam Houston State during their season opener at the Texas State Tournament in San Marcos, Texas. ”I certainly have not seen a better opening performance in a long, long time. He threw eight more pitches than we planned on him throwing, but he was so smooth. I don’t know if you will see a better performance than what you saw tonight.” said Tulane head coach Rick Jones.
  • Senior Buck Farmer struck out a career-high 14 in eight innings, setting the table for No. 21 Georgia Tech’s 3-0 season-opening victory over Akron in front of 2,314 at Russ Chandler Stadium on Friday. Senior Sam Dove drove in a pair for the Jackets, who won on Opening Day for 15th time in the last 20 years.
  • One of the key pitching matchups on Friday night featured the Stanford Cardinal sending Mark Appel to the mound to face off against Rice RHP Aaron Kubitza. Appel was overshadowed by Kubitza as Appel struggled through five innings giving up seven hits and five runs (two earned). Kubitza though would shut down the Cardinal offense throughout the night going six shutout innings allowing four hits and striking out 12 batters as the Owls won 5-1 over Stanford.
  • Kentucky’s AJ Reed worked five innings on the mound and went a career-best 4-for-5 at the plate with three RBI, leading No. 8 Kentucky to a 9-2 season-opening win over UNC Asheville, on a gorgeous Friday afternoon at Wofford’s Russell C. King Field. Kentucky head coach Gary Henderson spoke about AJ’s performance to us saying “I think he was a little excited today on the mound and expect that he will pitch more efficiently as the season progresses. I was very happy with the quality of his at bats.” If Reed continues performances like this, the Wildcats are going to be a major player in the SEC this season.
  • Appalachian State freshman Jaylin Davis and juniors Noah Holmes and Preston Troutman all homered off of NC State ace LHP Carlos Rodon to give Appalachian State a 5-0 advantage just three-and-a-half innings into the game and pitchers Jamie Nunn, Taylor Thurber, Tyler Moore and Rob Marcello made the lead stand up for the Mountaineers’ fifth win over a nationally ranked team in the past calendar year as they defeated NC State 6-3. The game marked the first career victory for Appalachian State under new head coach Billy Jones.
  • Congratulations to Pepperdine skipper Steve Rodriguez on collecting his 300th victory. The Waves got six RBI from their 8 and 9 hitters, Cody Nulph and Ranny Lowe to beat Western Michigan 11-1. Starter Scott Frazier was steller as well. He pitched seven innings, allowing only three hits and an unearned run.
  • Ole Miss number 1 pitcher Bobby Wahl pitched 6.1 scoreless innings letting up three hits while striking out eight as he picked up his first win of the year in a 1-0 victory over TCU. Brent Huber pitched a scoreless ninth inning to break the school record in saves (27).  ”It looked like a Friday night in the SEC tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We had two aces really battling it out. Bobby (Wahl) was sensational tonight. (Brandon) Finnegan really matched him pitch for pitch. He’s a tough guy to face to start the season. We were able to manufacture a run. Sikes (Orvis) had a great at bat and base running. I’m proud of (Brett) Huber for hanging in there. You come out there to save the game, and you throw the ball in the strike zone like you’re supposed to. He shows why he is the all-time saves leader.”
  • One of the bigger upsets on the day was the Indiana Hoosiers shutting out the Louisville Cardinals 2-0. The Hoosiers got four innings from Joey DeNato and Evan Bell while Ryan Halstead pitched a perfect ninth inning to hold the powerful Cardinals offense off the board. Scott Donley and Michael Basil each had an RBI in the win.
  • The Duke Blue Devils picked up a 4-3 victory over the Florida Gators in both team’s openers on Friday night. The Blue Devils were led by Trent Swart who allowed two runs in six innings. Duke coach Chris Pollard stated “Swart tossed the ball well tonight and gave us a chance to win.”  Andrew Istler got the final four outs in the game for the Blue Devils showing “electric stuff,” according to Pollard. He went on to say “I am very proud with the way we competed tonight and we beat a quality pitcher in (Florida’s)Jonathan Crawford.” The win was the first for the Blue Devils under first year head coach Chris Pollard who brought the Appalachian State Mountaineers to the NCAA tournament last season.
  • Congrats to Chad Holbrook at South Carolina picked up a 4-3 victory over former South Carolina assistant coach Jim Toman’s Liberty squad. The victory was Holbrook’s first in his career at South Carolina.
  • Former Vanderbilt and Arizona State assistant coach Josh Holliday won his coaching debut with Oklahoma State 4-2 over New Mexico. The McCurry brothers led the Cowboys on the mound and at the plate, with Randy driving in three of the Cowboys’ four runs and his younger brother, Brendan, picking up the win on the mound with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.
  • New Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock picked up his first career victory in an 8-0 shutout win over Northern Illinois. Helping Tadlock to his first career victory at the helm of his alma mater were right-handed starting pitcher Dominic Moreno and right-handed reliever Nathan Bauder who combined for 17 strikeouts.
  • Also, congrats to BYU coach Mike Littlewood who picked up a 9-0 victory in his debut over Northern Colorado behind a complete game shutout from Desmond Poulson who struck out ten batters in the game. The celebration was short lived as the Cougars dropped the second game of their doubleheader with Northern Colorado 6-4.
  • Cal State Northridge southpaw Jerry Keel provided a dominant performance for the Matadors in a 5-0 win against St. Mary’s. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound sophomore struck out a career-high seven in seven scoreless innings and didn’t issue a walk.
  • Josh

    How about the Pitt Panthers. Opening with two wins in Kansas against Wichita State. Haven’t trailed yet. This team is going to surprise in the Big East and battle Louisville and maybe St Johns for the title.