Strasburg takes first loss
IRVINE, Calif. -- Virginia was expecting to face Stephen Strasburg in its NCAA regional game against San Diego State. So coach Brian O'Connor had his team turn up the speed on the pitching machine.
The strategy worked and the Cavaliers did something no one else could do against the Aztecs' ace this season: win.
Strasburg lost for the first time as Robert Morey pitched six shutout innings and Steven Proscia hit a two-run homer in Virginia's 5-1 victory Friday night.
Hits vs. Strasburg By Pitch Type
San Diego State ace Stephen Strasburg lost for the first time this season, but still struck out 15 in seven innings.
San Diego State coach Tony Gwynn announced earlier in the day that Strasburg would start the game after being coy all week about who would pitch the opener for the Aztecs. Strasburg's electrifying fastball, which has topped 100 mph, helped carry him to the top of the draft board and is expected to be selected by Washington with the first pick.
"We prepared for him all week," said Phil Gosselin, who took the first pitch he saw against Strasburg with one out in the first inning and smacked it over the 380-foot sign in left-center field to give the Cavaliers a quick 1-0 lead over the Aztecs (40-22).
"We just moved up physically closer to the machine to get some reaction time," Gosselin said. "We were probably 30, 40 feet away, pretty close. We did a lot of tracking pitches to see velocity and get used to the speed coming in."
Strasburg said it was difficult to prepare against the Cavaliers.
"I was pretty excited to be out there, but it's pretty tough to pitch against a team that you've never really heard of, you don't really have a good scouting report on them," Strasburg said. "They put a good bat on the ball."
Morey kept the Aztecs' lineup off balance throughout.
"Robert was ready to pitch right out of the gate and he responded," O'Connor said. "I felt like he gave us the best chance to pitch a home run ballgame and he did it."
So did knowing that he would be facing Strasburg give him the jitters?
"It was a great opportunity for the whole team, but I saw it as a great opportunity to see what I had against one of the best pitchers we've faced," Morey said.
And what about possibly watching him in the majors next season?
"It's always cool to see some guys you compete against on the highest stage."
Gwynn thought Morey did a nice job against his team.
"He was changing speeds, going up the ladder, mixing in his breaking ball with a straight change up," Gwynn said. "All our opportunities came on two outs and when he needed to make a pitch, he made a pitch."
Morey, a sophomore who only had six starts this season, got the run support he needed from his teammates early on Gosselin's homer and Jarrett Parker's RBI single in the second.
Cory Vaughn scored on Chris Wilson's sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the eighth, but Virginia's Matt Parker closed out the inning by getting Easton Gust to flyout.
"We had opportunities, but couldn't get anything across," Gwynn said. "They swung the bats when they needed to. Our guys I thought were pressing early and then kind of settled in. Turn the page, tomorrow's another day. Hopefully we can do more on the offensive end, because that's where this game was lost."
Virginia tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach.
Proscia, who finished 3 for 4, hit a 2-run homer off Aztecs reliever Andrew Leary over the left-field wall to make it 4-1. Parker hit an RBI single three batters later.
The third-seeded Aztecs left nine on base through the first six innings and stranded runners in scoring position in both the first and fourth.
"I think our guys were champing at the bit," Gwynn said, "but our inexperience showed there in the early inning because we chased the balls out of the zone, tried to be super aggressive and tried to do too much with the ball."
UC Irvine 4, Fresno State 2
Daniel Bibona struck out a career-high 14 and pitched into the eighth inning to lead top-ranked UC Irvine over defending national champion Fresno State in the Irvine, Calif., regional.
UC Irvine (44-13), the No. 6 national seed, advanced to the winners' bracket game Saturday night against Virginia. Fresno State (32-29) will face San Diego State in an elimination game.
Bibona, a junior left-hander, allowed five hits in 7 2/3 innings. He fanned every hitter in the order at least once and recorded strikeouts in every inning but the second.
The Anteaters scored all of their runs in the fourth inning off Bulldogs starter Derek Benny.
Dusty Robinson homered for Fresno State.
Miami 9, Jacksonville 4
Jason Hagerty homered from both sides of the plate, Chris Herrman added a two-run shot and Miami opened its 37th NCAA tournament with a win in the opener of the Gainesville, Fla., regional.
Hagerty homered from the left side in the first, Herrman went deep in the fifth, and Hagerty added a two-run homer in the seventh for the 'Canes (37-20). Travis Miller got the win.
Carson Andrew took the loss for Jacksonville (36-21).
Florida 8, Bethune-Cookman 7
Teddy Foster's two-run single in the ninth inning helped Florida avoid a stunning upset and edge Bethune-Cookman in the second game of the Gainesville, Fla., regional.
Josh Adams and Matt den Dekker scored on the hit that gave the No. 8 national seed Gators a comeback win that spoiled a strong outing for Hiram Burgos.
The right-hander mostly baffled Florida (40-20) through seven innings, but the Wildcats (32-27) fell to 1-19 in the NCAA tournament and remained winless in 23 tries against the Gators.
Now, Florida will face Miami in the winner's bracket Saturday. The Hurricanes swept the Gators in a three-game series earlier this season.
Bethune-Cookman will face Jacksonville in an elimination game.
Gonzaga 19, Georgia Southern 10
Gonzaga used 18 hits, including three home runs, to win its first NCAA tournament game since 1981, over Georgia Southern in the Fullerton, Calif., regional.
Gonzaga (36-16) scored seven runs -- five unearned -- in the first inning against West Coast Conference pitcher of the year Chris Mederos to take a 7-0 lead.
Griffin Benedict, Kyle Blackburn, Eric Phillips and Ty Wright each homered as Georgia Southern (42-16) scored six times in the third inning to tie it at 8.
Anthony Synegal hit a solo shot in the fourth, Mark Castellitto added a three-run homer in the sixth and Ryan Wiegand had a three-run homer in the seventh to put Gonzaga back ahead.
Reedy Berg (4-4) pitched six innings for Gonzaga, while Colin Snow (4-3) took the loss in relief.
Cal State Fullerton 18, Utah 2
Cal State Fullerton pounded out a season-high 24 hits and Noe Ramirez pitched seven strong innings to lead top-seeded Cal State Fullerton to an 18-2 victory in the Fullerton, Calif., regional.
Jared Clark's two-run, bases-loaded double sparked the Titans' four-run second inning. The first five batters in the lineup for Cal State Fullerton combined for 15 hits, 11 RBIs and scored eight runs. Khris Davis hit a three-run homer for the Titans (43-14), who have won 11 straight home games.
Ramirez (8-1) struck out eight and held the Utes to two runs.
Nick Kuroczko homered and Jordan Whatcott (5-3) gave up 10 hits and eight runs in 2 2/3 innings for Utah (26-30), the only tournament team with a losing record.
South Carolina 11, George Mason 3
Parker Bangs' two-run homer keyed a four-run fourth inning, leading South Carolina to a victory over George Mason in the Greenville, N.C., regional.
Nick Ebert and Jackie Bradley Jr. also homered for the Gamecocks (39-21), who had 17 hits and took advantage of four errors by the Patriots (42-13) in advancing in the double-elimination regional.
Chris Henderson drove in two runs for George Mason, which lost its third in a row. The Patriots' only victory in the NCAA tournament came in 1992.
Sam Dyson struck out five in seven innings for the Gamecocks, who are in the tournament for the 10th straight year.
East Carolina 11, Binghamton 7
Dustin Harrington hit one of East Carolina's three home runs Saturday morning, helping the Pirates win a rain-delayed NCAA tournament opener.
Trent Whitehead and Devin Harris also went deep for top-seeded East Carolina (43-17), which led 11-2 after four innings. The team will next face South Carolina.
Joe Charron homered twice and drove in four runs for the fourth-seeded Bearcats (29-21). They outhit the Pirates 13-10 but slipped into an elimination game later Saturday against George Mason.
Oklahoma State 10, Alabama 6
Shortstop Tom Belza hit three homers, one more than he had all season, to lead Oklahoma State to a victory over Alabama in the Clemson, S.C., regional opener.
The third-seeded Cowboys (33-22) did not qualify for the eight-team Big 12 Conference tournament and their selection for the NCAA tournament was criticized.
Belza and Oklahoma State put that to rest quickly at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, taking an 8-0 lead by the third inning. Belza hit all of his long-balls by the fifth.
Alabama (37-20) got within three runs but couldn't tie the game.
Oklahoma State starter Tyler Lyons (7-5) gave up six runs on 10 hits for the victory. Randy McCurry worked the final 3 1/3 innings for his 10th save.
Austin Hyatt (8-3) took the loss for the Crimson Tide.
Clemson 5, Tennessee Tech 4
Jeff Schaus doubled home two runs in the ninth to give top-seeded Clemson a victory over Tennessee Tech in in the Clemson regional.
The Tigers (41-20) advanced to play Oklahoma State (33-22) in Saturday night's winners' bracket game.
Schaus' one-out grounder slipped just inside the first-base bag and into the right-field corner, allowing Addison Johnson to score the tying run. Chris Epps sped around from first base to score the winner.
Schaus also hit the game's only home run in the fifth inning.
Graham Stoneburner (7-3) pitched 4 2/3 innings of relief to earn the victory. Lee Henry (9-3) took the loss in relief of left-hander Ryan Dennick, who gave up just five hits in seven innings.
Western Kentucky 11, Missouri 5
Wade Gaynor hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Matt Ridings struck out eight as Western Kentucky beat Missouri in the Oxford, Miss., regional.
The Hilltoppers (40-18) scored six runs in the top of the first inning, highlighted by Gaynor's 23rd homer.
Missouri coach Tim Jamieson's gamble to hold ace Kyle Gibson out of the game backfired as starting pitcher Nick Tepesch lasted only one inning. The Tigers (34-26) used seven pitchers.
Ridings struck out eight and gave up four runs in six innings, including a three-run homer by Aaron Senne.
Terrance Dayleg was 4 for 4 and Matt Rice added a solo homer for the Hilltoppers.
Ole Miss 8, Monmouth 1
Drew Pomeranz struck out 10 and held Monmouth scoreless over the first eight innings in the Oxford, Miss., regional.
Jordan Henry had three hits and drove in a run for the Rebels, who play Western Kentucky in a winners' bracket game Saturday. The Hawks (32-24) remained winless in seven regional appearances and will play Missouri in an elimination game.
Ole Miss built a 3-0 lead in the first inning on run-scoring hits by Logan Power, Kyle Henson and Zach Miller. Matt Smith tacked an RBI single in the seventh.
Monmouth pitcher Brett Brach (7-3) struck out eight in seven innings in the loss.
The Hawks finally scored on an RBI single from Josh Boyd after Pomeranz (7-4) was lifted in the ninth.
Georgia 24, Ohio State 8
Matt Cerione and Joey Lewis homered in Georgia's eight-run first inning and the Bulldogs used seven home runs to cruise to victory over Ohio State in the Tallahassee, Fla., regional.
Rich Poythress hit three homers, while Cerione and Lewis each homered twice as Georgia (38-22) withstood a five-hour weather delay before setting season highs for runs and hits.
The Bulldogs battered Big Ten co-pitcher of the year Alex Wimmers for 10 runs in four innings. Wimmers (9-2) walked seven and allowed four homers as the Buckeyes (40-18) suffered their third consecutive defeat.
Florida State 16, Marist 4
Mike McGee and Jason Stidham hit three-run homers as top-seeded Florida State rallied over Marist in the Tallahassee, Fla., regional.
The Seminoles (43-16) scored 15 runs over the final four innings against the Red Foxes' overmatched bullpen. McGee's blast in the fifth erased a 3-1 deficit and Stidham homered in a four-run sixth.
Marist (31-27) used Richard Curylo's sacrifice fly and Jon Schwind's two-run homer in the fifth to stake starter Josh Rickards to a two-run lead. Rickards was lifted in favor Eric Alessio in fifth, who surrendered the go-ahead homer to McGee on his second pitch.
Stephen Cardullo drove in four runs to lead the Seminoles, who'll meet Georgia in a winners' bracket game.
Oral Roberts 13, Cal Poly 3
Juan Martinez, Seth Furmanek and Cody Price each homered in Oral Roberts' four-run third inning that led the Golden Eagles to a victory over Cal Poly in Tempa, Ariz., regional.
Jerry Sullivan (8-3) allowed 11 hits over seven innings for Oral Roberts (32-13). He pitched out of trouble all afternoon other than giving up a two-run triple in the Mustangs' fifth.
Martinez was 3-for-5 and hit his 15th home run of the season leading off the third. Furmanek followed with his team-leading 16th homer and Price's two-run shot gave the Golden Eagles a 6-1 lead.
Mason Radeke (6-2) gave up six runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings for Cal Poly (37-20).
Arizona State 17, Kent State 6
Jason Kipnis homered and Arizona State used 17 hits to cruise past Kent State in a Tempa, Ariz., regional.
Kipnis, Kole Calhoun and Zack McPhee each had three hits as Arizona State (45-12) advanced to the winners' bracket game against second-seed Oral Roberts. Kent State (42-16) will play Cal Poly in an elimination game.
Jordan Swagerty (4-1) earned the win after starter Josh Spence pitched the first three innings and allowed three runs.
Greg Rohan and Jason Patton hit back-to-back home runs for Kent State in the seventh inning. Brad Stillings (6-4) gave up eight runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Oregon State 9, Texas A&M 8
John Tommasini's two-run triple keyed a four-run second inning, and Oregon State held on to win over Texas A&M in the Fort Worth, Texas, regional.
Koa Kahalehoe drove in three runs for the Beavers (36-17), who also got a two-run double by Carter Bell during a three-run third in the Fort Worth regional.
The Beavers took a 9-1 lead into the seventh inning before Texas A&M (36-23) came back.
After the Aggies loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, a two-run single by Kevin Gonzalez made it 9-5. Caleb Shofner hit a three-run homer in the ninth to draw Texas A&M within one, but Kraig Sitton struck out Adam Smith to end the game.
Sam Gaviglio earned the win for the Beavers. Brooks Raley got the loss for Texas A&M.
TCU 6, Wright State 3
Paul Gerrish held Wright State scoreless in six of his seven innings and Chris Ellington had three hits to lead TCU to a win over the Raiders in the Fort Worth, Texas, regional.
After Casey McGrew's home run put Wright State ahead 3-1 in the third inning, the Horned Frogs answered with three runs. Four consecutive TCU hitters reached base with two outs in the third, including Jason Coats with a run-scoring double.
Matt Curry had two RBIs for TCU (37-16), which drew 10 walks from five Wright State pitchers.
Gerrish (6-2) allowed seven hits and struck out six.
Aaron Fields was 3 for 4 with a double for Wright State (33-29). Tyler Newhart (1-1) allowed three earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Kansas State 16, Xavier 8
Justin Bloxom went 5-for-5 with two home runs, and Kansas State made an impressive NCAA tournament debut with a victory over Xavier at the Houston regional.
Bloxom had two doubles and finished with five RBIs, and teammate Jordan Cruz also had three hits and drove in five runs for the Wildcats.
Kansas State (42-16) roughed up Xavier starter Zac Richard (4-1) for eight hits and eight runs in 2 1/3 innings, handing him his first loss of the season. Kansas State led 12-0 after an eight-run third inning.
Wildcats starter Lance Hoge earned the win after scattering eight hits over five innings, allowing three runs. Bobby Freking led the Musketeers (38-20) with a homer and three RBIs.
Rice 5, Sam Houston State 2
Mike Ojala pitched seven strong innings and Brock Holt had two hits and scored the go-ahead run to lead Rice past Sam Houston State in the Houston regional.
Ojala (5-0), who is pitching despite a torn ulnar collateral ligament, allowed seven hits and one run. Mark Haynes pitched the final two innings for his first save.
The Owls (40-15) went ahead for good in the third when Holt singled, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Rick Hague's single. Chad Mozingo, who had three singles, scored in a two-run eighth that put Rice ahead 5-1.
Ryan Mooney led the Bearkats (36-23), going 3-for-4, including a first-inning homer.
Sam Houston State starter Sean Weatherford (8-6) allowed eight hits and three runs in six innings.
Southern Mississippi 17, Elon 15
Kyle Maxie had a pinch-hit two-run homer, Bo Davis added a solo shot to highlight a five-run ninth inning and Southern Mississippi beat Elon in the Atlanta regional opener.
The teams combined for 11 homers, six by Southern Miss (36-23).
Bennett Davis hit three solo shots for Elon, but Thomas Girdwood failed to hold a 13-12 lead in the ninth inning. The Phoenix closer allowed two hits, four runs and two walks while only recording one out.
After Adam Doleac's pinch-hit RBI double forced a 13-all tie, Joey Archer scored from third on a passed ball that put Southern Miss ahead 14-13. Maxie's homer chased Girdwood, and John Brebbia gave up Bo Davis' 12th homer and second of the day.
The Phoenix (41-12) have lost three of four.
Georgia Tech 9, Georgia State 3
Deck McGuire scattered three runs over seven innings, Matt Skole hit a grand slam, and Georgia Tech beat Georgia State in the second game of the Atlanta regional.
After snapping Georgia State's eight-game winning streak, the Yellow Jackets (36-17-1) will play Southern Mississippi in the winners' bracket game Saturday. Georgia State (39-21), which had its first NCAA appearance spoiled, will face Elon in an elimination game.
McGuire (11-1), the Atlantic Coast Conference pitcher of the year, allowed nine hits and three runs with no walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings.
Skole's first career grand slam, his 16th homer this season, came off Georgia State starter Will Palmer (5-6) in the fifth inning to give the Yellow Jackets a 6-3 lead.
Coastal Carolina 11, Kansas 3
David Anderson homered and drove in three runs, and Coastal Carolina routed Kansas in the Chapel Hill, N.C., regional opener.
Daniel Bowman also connected for the second-seeded Chanticleers (47-14). They never trailed, led 6-1 after three innings and cruised into a second-round matchup Saturday in the Chapel Hill regional.
Adam Rice had three hits and drove in three runs for Coastal Carolina. The Big South champion has won four straight and 15 of 16.
David Narodowski homered twice for the Jayhawks (37-23), who have lost four straight and six of seven.
North Carolina 5, Dartmouth 2
Dustin Ackley drove in two runs to help North Carolina, the No. 4 national seed, beat Dartmouth in the second game of the Chapel Hill, N.C., regional.
Mark Fleury added two hits for the top-seeded Tar Heels (43-16), who'll play Coastal Carolina in the second round Saturday in a rematch of a super regional series last year.
Dartmouth (27-17) will play Kansas in an elimination game.
North Carolina led 4-0 through six innings and held on to improve to 10-0 at home in regional games. The Tar Heels are looking for their fourth straight berth in the College World Series.
Brett Gardner hit a solo homer during a two-run seventh for the fourth-seeded Big Green, who are in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1987.
Middle Tennessee 5, Vanderbilt 4
Stuart Meinhart hit a grand slam and Taylor Dennis added a solo shot in the seventh inning, helping Middle Tennessee beat in-state rival Vanderbilt in the Louisville, Ky., regional.
The victory snapped a seven-game NCAA tournament losing streak for second-seeded Middle Tennessee (44-16) and made a winner of Kenneth Roberts.
Meinhart's homer was the 100th this season for the Blue Raiders, who came in tied for 10th nationally. Dennis, the No. 9 hitter, hit his fourth of the season.
Designated hitter Aaron Westlake had three hits and Jason Esposito a pair of RBIs for third-seed Vandy (34-26), which split a pair of regular-season meetings with Middle Tennessee.
The Commodores' Mike Minor allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in the loss.
Louisville 8, Indiana 2
Justin Marks held Indiana to two runs over seven innings to lead Louisville to victory in the second game of the Louisville, Ky., regional.
Marks (11-2), the Big East pitcher of the year, allowed four hits and struck out eight as the top-seeded Cardinals (45-15) held Indiana to its fewest runs since a 5-2 loss to Purdue on May 3. The Hoosiers (32-26) came in averaging 11.8 runs per game in winning the Big Ten Tournament.
Phil Wunderlich went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored for Louisville, the Big East champs who beat Indiana twice during the regular season.
Indiana starter Eric Arnett (12-2), the Big Ten's co-pitcher of the year, gave up five runs -- one earned -- on five hits over seven innings.
LSU 10, Southern 2
Austin Ross tied a career high with 10 strikeouts, and LSU scored seven two-out runs in the seventh inning to beat Southern in the opening game of the Baton Rouge, La., regional.
Ross pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up all of his runs on Victor Franklin's two-run homer in the first. Reliever Paul Bertuccini got the win for the Tigers.
LSU (47-16) belted out 14 hits and took advantage of four errors by Southern (30-16) to score five unearned runs.
Southern starter Chase Richard didn't allow an earned run until the seventh, when Austin Nola's two-out single drove in pinch runner Chris McGhee to tie the score at 2.
Baylor 5, Minnesota 0
Shaver Hansen hit a two-run homer, Baylor starter Willie Kempf pitched six shutout innings and the Bears beat Minnesota in the second game of the Baton Rouge, La., regional.
Hansen also doubled and scored on Kenton Gedwed's pinch-hit, two-run double that gave Baylor (30-24) a 5-0 lead in the top of the eighth.
Kempf (5-5) struck out six and did not allow a runner to reach second base. The Gophers (38-18) didn't get a runner that far until Kyle Knudsen doubled down the right-field line off reliever Craig Fritsch in the seventh. Fritsch pitched two shutout innings before Logan Verrett struck out the side in a scoreless ninth.
Minnesota starter Tom Buske (9-4) took the loss after giving up seven hits and five earned runs in 7 1/3 innings.
Arkansas 10, Washington State 3
Scott Lyons hit a three-run homer and Arkansas rallied for nine runs in the eighth inning to defeat Washington State in the Norman, Okla., regional.
Lyons' shot capped the highest scoring inning of the season for the second-seeded Razorbacks.
Ben Tschepikow led off the rally with a double and had two hits and two RBIs as Washington State's bullpen squandered a strong outing by Matt Way. Seven of the runs scored in the eighth inning were unearned.
Way struck out 10 batters in six innings to break the Washington State season record for strikeouts set by former major leaguer Aaron Sele in 1990.
Mike Bolsinger (5-4) got the win for the Razorbacks (35-22), while Jeremy Johnson took the loss for Washington State (31-24).
Oklahoma 5, Wichita State 4
Aaron Baker's double and Garrett Buechele's two-run single keyed Oklahoma's three-run sixth inning and the Sooners beat Wichita State in the Norman, Okla., regional.
Chase Anderson (3-1) threw 5 1/3 innings of one-hit relief to earn the win for the Sooners (42-18). Ryan Duke pitched the ninth inning for his 16th save.
Boston College 8, Texas State 7
John Spatola hit a three-run homer during a six-run ninth inning, and Boston College rallied to beat Texas State in the opener of the Austin, Texas, regional.
The Eagles (34-24) started the ninth with five straight hits, including Spatola's homer, and sent 11 batters to the plate to turn a 5-2 deficit into an 8-5 lead.
The Bobcats (41-16) made it close on Paul Goldschmidt's two-run homer in the ninth. With the tying run on second base, Boston College reliever Mike Belfiore struck out Lance Loftin on a full count to earn his ninth save.
The rally made a winner of Chris Kowalski, who allowed a hit in a scoreless eighth.
Texas State's Michael Russo allowed five hits and three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning for the loss.
Texas 3, Army 1
Cole Green struck out six in seven innings and went 1-for-1 in his first collegiate appearance as a hitter to help Texas beat Army in the second game of the Austin, Texas, regional.
Green had a sacrifice bunt and a single after he was forced into the lineup when Brandon Belt was hit below the ear by a pitch and replaced at first base by designated hitter Preston Clark.
Green (5-2) allowed just four hits and a run on the mound, and Austin Wood pitched two innings for his 15th save. The Longhorns (42-13-1) will play Boston College in the winners' bracket Saturday night.
Matt Fouch (7-4) gave up seven hits and three runs in seven innings for Army (34-20), which will play Texas State in an elimination game.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press