Milestones, Upsets & More…
This past weekend was a good one to be an underdog in college baseball. While CB360 Top-50 teams still won the majority of games, underdogs managed to win 41 of 106 head to head matchups against higher-ranked teams from Thursday through Sunday.
Many series, including No. 11 LSU at No. 1 Florida, began on Thursday last week because of Easter weekend.
Two coaches (see below) reached major milestone victories over the weekend, and, interestingly, they both did it with their team on the road.
Following is a “by-the-numbers” look at some of the weekend’s action.
1,700…Career wins for Florida State head coach Mike Martin. The veteran skipper reached the milestone with Sunday’s 8-4 Sunday win over Georgia Tech. FSU swept the series to improve to 14-1 in ACC play this season.
1,100…Career wins for LSU head coach Paul Mainieri with Saturday’s series-clinching 8-7 win over No. 1 Florida. The Tigers had to overcome an early 7-2 deficit in Gainesville to reach the milestone for Mainieri, who has earned 236 of his victories in his five-plus seasons on the Bayou.
11…One run games played by LSU this season, after Thursday and Saturday’s wins over the Gators. The Tigers are 8-3 in those one-run contests, including a 7-2 mark in SEC games decided by just a single digit this season.
5…Losses in their past seven games by the once seemingly invincible Gators. Florida lost two of three to Ole Miss a week ago, followed by a midweek setback to North Florida and this past weekend’s two losses to LSU to fall to 25-7 overall and 7-5 in SEC play. The Gators were 17-1 at home this season entering the weekend before dropping the two games to the Tigers.
25…Combined strikeouts in his past two starts, both losses, by Duke pitcher Marcus Stroman. The junior fanned 12 in a 1-0 loss to Georgia Tech last week and then struck out 13 in a 4-1 setback to Clemson this past Friday. Stroman has 85 Ks in 58 IP this season – a 13.2 strikeouts per 9.0 innings rate.
10…Home runs by Miami’s Pete O’Brien. The senior belted his team-leading HR in Friday’s win over North Carolina. He is in his first season at Miami after being allowed by the NCAA to transfer and play immediately after three years at Bethune-Cookman.
14…The combined home run total of O’Brien’s Hurricane teammates. The three home runs hit by three different ‘Canes are the next closest after O’Brien.
14…Years since Miami had shut out an opponent twice in the same series, prior to blanking the Tar Heels 8-0 and 4-0 this weekend en route to a series sweep. It also marks UNC’s first series loss and first three-game losing streak this year.
21…Straight home wins for Kentucky – a school record – after Friday’s 3-2 win over Ole Miss. The streak ended with Saturday’s 9-3 loss to the Rebels, but the Wildcats won Sunday’s series finale for their fourth series win in as many SEC series in 2012.
8-2…Oregon’s record against ranked opponents this season after taking the first two games of their series with UCLA. The Ducks and Bruins now are tied for second place in the Pac-12 standings behind 9-3 Arizona.
5…Losses by Stanford over the past three weeks, after losing only three times in the first six weeks of the season. The Cardinal dropped four straight Pac-12 games in one stretch, after falling to USC in their March 26 series finale and being swept at Arizona last weekend. They lost the middle game of their weekend series with Washington, but still managed to take two out of three games in Seattle.
8…Series/event-opening wins by Purdue this season. The Boilermakers are off to a record-setting 24-5 start this season, thanks in part to the pitching of ace Joe Haase. The Boilers are 8-0 in games their Friday starter has started this season. Haase is 5-0 with a 3.59 ERA.
11…Years since the Boilermakers had swept a Big Ten Conference road series before taking three on the road from Northwestern over the weekend.
12…Straight wins to open Big 12 play by Baylor after Saturday’s 12-7 win over Missouri. No team had started better than 7-0 to start Big 12 play prior to this season. The red hot Bears have won 14 consecutive games overall and have series sweeps over Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Missouri. The slate will get tougher, with remaining series against Top-50 teams Texas A&M, Texas and Oklahoma.
8…Wins with no losses by Baylor pitcher Trent Blank. The senior had an 8-4 career record prior to this season, but with a 1.67 ERA and a .185 opponent batting average, the Bears Saturday starter’s 2012 win total currently leads the nation.
58…Tennessee batters hit by pitch through 31 games this season. The Vols, under first-year head coach Dave Serrano, already have matched their HBP total from the 2011 season (54 games).