Here is your National Recap for April 4th.
Nathan Kirby tosses No-Hitter as Virginia defeats Pitt 4-0
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Nathan Kirby (So., Midlothian, Va.) threw a no-hitter in the No. 1-ranked Virginia baseball team’s 4-0 victory at Pittsburgh Friday evening at Charles Cost Field. Kirby struck out 18 batters, one off the school and ACC single-game record, in UVa’s first no-hitter since 2011. Virginia (26-4, 11-2 ACC) extended its winning streak to nine games with the momentous victory.
“It’s kind of cliché but it was a blur,” Kirby said. “It kind of slowed down there at the end of the game. With (Nate) Irving back there and John (La Prise) and the two plays he made and (Daniel) Pinero, who has made that play all year, they all helped me out but tonight there was a lot of added pressure. I can’t sum it up just yet. It hasn’t sunk in.
Aaron Nola shuts down Mississippi State
BATON ROUGE, La.— Junior right-hander Aaron Nola only allowed two hits and struck out 10 batters in a 3-0 win over Mississippi State Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU improved to 22-8-1 overall, 4-5-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi State is 20-11 overall and 6-4 in conference play.
The teams will meet in Game 2 at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be televised by ESPNU, and it can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including Baton Rouge flagship WDGL-FM 98.1 FM.
Kentucky hammers Florida 17-1
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A.J. Reed belted his 10th home run of the year and worked seven shutout innings on the mound, Austin Cousino hit a grand slam and Max Kuhn and Micheal Thomas each smacked three-run homers, leading No. 19 Kentucky to a 17-1 series-opening rout over No. 12 Florida, on Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (21-9, 5-5 Southeastern Conference) equaled its largest margin of victory in SEC play in program history, done last in 16-run wins over Vanderbilt in 1993 and Tennessee in 1990.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed (6-1) worked seven shutout innings, scattering five hits and two walks, striking out three. On the year, Reed – a 6-foot-4, 240-pound southpaw – has hit .358 at the plate with seven doubles, one triple, 10 homers and 34 RBI, while owning a 6-1 record and a 1.93 ERA on the mound. In his career, Reed has hit .304 in 140 games, with 27 homers, owning a 13-12 record with a 3.00 ERA on the mound.
Louisiana continues to Roll
TROY, Ala. – The fourth-ranked Louisiana baseball team surged to its fourth straight win on Friday night defeating Troy 15-4 in the series opener at Riddle-Pace Field.
With the win, the Cajuns move to 28-3 on the season and 9-1 in Sun Belt Conference play. Louisiana is 11-0 on the road this season, which leads the nation.
The Ragin’ Cajuns belted out 19 hits in the contest led by Ryan Leonards, Caleb Adams, and Chase Compton who each had three hits on the night. The Cajuns had 11 players post a hit in the game.
Miami (FL) rallies past Virginia Tech
BLACKSBURG, Va. — No. 27 Miami battled all the way back from a five-run deficit in the eighth to take an 8-7 lead in the ninth, and held on for a dramatic victory over Virginia Tech in the series opener at English Field.
Trailing 7-2 in the eighth, Miami struck for four runs off the Virginia Tech bullpen to cut the deficit to just 7-6 heading to the final inning. RBI singles from Zack Collins and Brad Zunica, as well as a sacrifice fly from Brandon Lopez, keyed the Hurricanes comeback bid and helped set up a dramatic ninth.
With the speedy Dale Carey on first after a one-out walk, senior captain Tyler Palmer laced a double into the leftfield corner off Virginia Tech’s Alex Perez to complete the comeback. An RBI single from Collins over the head of leftfielder Kyle Wernicki gave Miami an 8-7 lead, and freshman closer Bryan Garcia shut the door on his eighth save of the season in the victory.
UCF shutouts in state rival USF in a Pitchers Duel
TAMPA, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Friday night’s matchup between UCF’s Eric Skoglund and USF’s Jimmy Herget lived up to the hype as both aces matched each other pitch-for-pitch over eight plus innings. In the end, the Knights came up with a few more clutch hits as they were able to take game one of the series, 2-0, at the USF Baseball Stadium.
“I tell you both pitchers did a terrific job. That’s Friday night in college baseball right there,” head coach Terry Rooneysaid after the game. “Just two outstanding college pitchers. Skoglund did a terrific job for us. He’s been doing that all year, giving us an opportunity and a chance to win. It was a tremendous ballgame.”
The Knights (19-12, 7-0 The American) have won 10-consecutive games for the first time in Rooney’s tenure and now sit three games ahead of the Bulls (17-13, 4-2) for first place in the American Athletic Conference standings.
Murray tosses four hitter as FGCU rolls to a 5-0 win
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Mike Murray took the mound for the FGCU baseball team (20-11, 6-1 A-Sun) on Friday night against one of the nation’s top hitting teams in Kennesaw State (14-19, 2-8 A-Sun) and continued to show why he is one of the top hurlers in the nation as he worked his second-consecutive complete game, this time in shutout fashion, allowed just four hits, struck out four, walked none and picked up his seventh straight win, 5-0.
“Murray is having a special season for us,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “It’s so huge to have a guy like that who just goes out and puts a team on his shoulders for a night. He has done nothing but impress and sooner or later the nation is going to start to take notice.”
Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) is just the second pitcher in FGCU history to throw back-to-back complete games. Ricky Knapp did so in March of 2012 when he went the distance against North Florida and East Tennessee State in consecutive outings. The sophomore has lowered his A-Sun best ERA to a miniscule 0.43 which isn’t even the lowest that it has been this season. During his streak of 43.1 innings without allowing an earned run that was snapped last week at Stetson, Murray’s ERA dropped as low as 0.18 at one point. His 57 strikeouts also the lead the league and have already surpassed is 2013 total of 54.
TCU rallies by West Virginia
FORT WORTH – The TCU baseball team rallied with three runs in the bottom of the ninth to rally for a 4-3 victory over West Virginia Friday night. Dylan Fitzgerald hit the game-winning sacrifice fly to cap the come-from-behind victory for the Horned Frogs.
“Obviously we had more hits than they did, we just didn’t have enough timely hits,” said head coach Jim Schlossnagle. “(Harrison) Musgrave’s really, really good. They did a great job against (Brandon) Finnegan of driving his pitch count up. Teakell pitched well enough and kept the game close enough to give us a chance in the last inning. We have to honor this game by playing well tomorrow.
Entering the bottom of the ninth, the Horned Frogs were staring a 3-1 deficit in the face. Dylan Delso pinch hit and drew a lead-off walk. Cody Jones worked a walk to put the tying runs on base with nobody out. Trying to sacrifice the runners in scoring position, Derek Odell laid down a perfect bunt and beat the throw to first to load the bases.