Daily Dose - Five Meaningful Results
We look at five results from Saturday and our thought on those teams.
Recap: LSU's Tyler Hanover brought home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning with a bases-loaded walk and closer Matty Ott fired a perfect ninth to preserve the Tigers' 7-6 victory over Cal State Fullerton. The Tigers (14-1) made several spectacular plays defensively, including a pair of diving catches by center fielder Mikie Mahtook, and took advantage of three Titans' errors to secure the win. Freshman starter Kevin Gausman went seven solid innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits and two walks.
What it means: LSU is much farther along on the mound than expected thanks to their freshman starters. Today it was Kevin Gausman who showed he was up to the challenge. Ott also showed he is game-shortener with another save. At 14-1, LSU has proven they will be tough to beat in Baton Rouge. Their first road trip is Wednesday at Nicholls. Their first road series is at Georgia near the end of the month.
Recap: John Hicks singled in the go-ahead run with two out in the ninth inning to lift No. 6 Virginia to an 8-7 win over No. 4 Clemson Saturday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C. After squandering a three-run lead, Virginia then rallied from a three-run deficit with three runs in the eighth inning and one in the ninth to capture the victory while also clinching a series win over Clemson.
What it means: Virginia has now clinched a road series at Clemson. They host Florida State next weekend. If they can survive the Seminoles, Brian O'Connor's club may be poised to take the ACC crown once again. They do have late season trips to Georgia Tech and North Carolina but based on their success against Clemson, Virginia looks like the team to beat.
Recap: Matt Newman's two homers and Joey DeMichele's five hits helped lead Arizona State to a series-clinching 9-5 win over Auburn. Arizona State finished the game with 17 hits, drew four walks and also had a hit batter while Auburn had 10 hits and six walks.
What it means: Give Auburn credit for taking on a top club like Arizona State but the Tigers need to win these series. They had a breakthrough season a year ago and that leads to higher expectation this Spring. One cannot help but notice the comparison with LSU this weekend. Both sets of Tigers are playing traditional West Coast powers at home. LSU is finding ways to win close games. Auburn is still looking for their first victory after a pair of winnable games.
Recap: Georgia ran its winning streak to four in a row with a 5-3 victory over Southern California Saturday at Dedeaux Field. The Bulldogs got another stellar pitching performance from junior Michael Palazzone and junior Tyler Maloof picked up his sixth save. The Bulldogs' four wins this week have all come on the road, beating Mercer in Macon, Alabama in Lawrenceville at Coolray Field and now UCLA and USC in Los Angeles.
What it means: Georgia is now 7-8 with four wins in a row heading into Sunday's game with St. Mary's. The Bulldogs' pitching has been superb during the recent uptick while the offense has come up with the clutch hits that were missing early on. Right now Georgia might have returned to the middle of the SEC pack and could enter conference play as hot as anyone. What a difference a week makes.
Recap: Kyle McKenzie allowed a run in the first inning of his third start of the season and that was all of the two offenses would produce as Wichita State evened the series with a 1-0 victory over the Green Wave on Saturday afternoon. Briggs Barrios posted two of Tulane's three hits on the day, while Alex Facundus threw two shutouts innings out of the bullpen for the Olive and Blue
What it means: Tulane continues to get sparkling starting pitching. The Green Wave's rotation should keep them in every series this season. But about that offense ... Tulane is hitting just .212 with three home runs. They average 3.7 runs per game and have scored over six runs just once.