Friday First Takes - A Classic in the 'Ville

Typical SEC. So far we're one day into the conference play and already we have one game for the ages. South Carolina and Vanderbilt proved they were high-quality teams - and not that we doubted that of course - with a 13-inning knock-down, drag-out. Legends were made and heroes were born on this night in Nashville.

Now, what does the SEC do to top this one? It may take all season to find another classic like this.

VandyFlaherty.jpg
(Ryan Flaherty went 5-for-6, including the game-winning hit in the 13th inning)

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THREE UP---
1- South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
The reputations were there. The rankings were there. The hype was there. And these two lived up to it. No wait, these two went beyond it in front of an electric crowd at Hawkins Field. Great pitching was eventually replaced by clutch hitting. Vanderbilt's Mike Minor only gave up six hits to the mighty Gamecocks and struck out 10 with only one walk. But he got replaced in the 9th after an RBI double by Harley Lail put the Cocks up 3-2 in the top of the 9th. Vandy answered with a Ryan Flaherty home run in the bottom of the 9th to send the game into extras. Eventually, Flaherty also provided the game-winning hit with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 13th inning.

Struggling 'Dore All American right fielder Dominic de la Osa came up huge as well, going 3-for-6 at the dish and throwing a perfect strike from the outfield to nab Justin Smoak trying to score from second base in the top of the 13th inning. Amazing!

Mark Etheridge, I'm officially jealous you were able to make it to this one.

2- The Big 12
Of the six games involving Big 12 teams today, five ended up being 1-or-2 run games.

Kansas - 6
Texas - 8

Oklahoma State - 6
Baylor - 5

Texas Tech - 5
Texas A&M - 6 (12inns)

Nebraska - 2
K- State - 1

Washington State - 5
Oklahoma - 3

The most unlikely finish had to be the Oklahoma State-Baylor game, in which the Cowboys got back-to-back home runs with two outs in the 9th from Matt Hague and Rebel Ridling. Both starting pitchers, Andrew Oliver and Kendall Volz, struck out 10 batters in 7.0 and 7.2 innings respectively. Neither factored in the decision.

Meanwhile, bitter rivals Texas Tech and Texas A&M played a four hour, 32 minute, 12-inning white-knuckler in College Station. The night ended with a Dane Carter solo home run.

3- Miami's murderer's row.
Jemile Weeks went 4-for-5 while hitting for the short cycle and gathering four RBI. Yonder Alonso went just 1-for-3 with two RBI and three, yes three, walks. Jason Hagerty added 3-for-5 with two RBI to the total. The Canes ended up routing North Carolina State 12-5, knocking starter Eric Surkamp out of the game after just 2.1 innings.


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THREE DOWN---

1- Starting pitchers.
- Forrest Moore, Mississippi State
The injury-depleted Bulldogs got just 1.2 innings of work from their starter today. Moore struggled, giving up six hits and eight runs. State ended up getting blown out 15-6 by rival Ole Miss.
- Jason Franzblau, Arizona State.
Lasted four batters into his game with Troy, allowing three hits, one walk and four runs without recording an out.
- Dan Klein, UCLA
The Bruin starter faced six batters, giving up five hits and five earned runs. UCLA came back from a 5-0 deficit after one inning to win 10-6. Charles Brewer relieved Klein and went the remaining nine innings to get the win.
- Eric Surkamp, North Carolina State
The arm stud lasted just 2.1 innings, giving up seven hits and seven runs, while also walking five of the 19 batters he faced in a 12-5 Wolf Pack loss to Miami.
- Jacob Thompson, Virginia.
The Cav stud lasted just 3.0 innings, giving up eight hits, six runs and walking three Dookies in a 9-8 loss in Durham.

UVaPitchChange.jpg
(It didn't take long before UVa coach Brian O'Connor made this pitching change today)


2- Baylor.
Lost vs. Oklahoma State 6-5
The Bears terrible week continued as they dropped their third game in five days. BU stranded 11 runners on the bags and also saw its top four hitters in the lineup go a combined 1-for-14.

3- Austin Peay vs. Snowbelt teams.
Lost to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 12-7
The favorites of the OVC have had a tough time above the Mason-Dixon Line so far this season, and it continued today as well as the Govs gave up a whopping 17 hits and committed four errors. With the loss to the Panthers, APU is now 3-6 against Northern teams and just 7-6 overall.


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OTHER FRIDAY NOTABLES---

Toledo - 0
Missouri - 6
Aaron Crow pulls a Derek Tatsuno and strikes out 15 Rockets in a complete game seven-hitter. He also did not give up a walk.

Portland - 0
Indiana - 7
Hoosiers play their way into the championship game of the Pepsi Johnny Quik Classic as Matt Bashore strikes out 12 in 8.0 innings and gives up just six hits. IU is now 3-2 on the week and will face off with New Mexico State in Saturday's third place game.

Iona - 0
West Virginia - 6
Bettering Bashore, the Mountaineers' Billy Gross went the distance giving up three hits and also striking out 12. He also did not give up a walk. In case you're wondering about All American candidate Tyler Kuhn, the SS went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk.

Georgia State - 9
George Mason - 5
Somehow Panther DH Jean-Michel Rochon-Salvas managed to go 5-for-5 and scored twice as part of a 17-hit GSU attack, but didn't collect a single RBI.

Virginia Tech - 1
North Carolina - 11
Not a surprise of course, but give it up for Dustin Ackley and Tim Federowicz, who both had a pair of doubles. Fedex ended the day with six RBI.

Canisius - 20 4
Mt. St. Mary's - 1 3
This is a team worth keeping an eye on up in the Northeast this season. With the two wins today, the Griffins established the best start to a season in school history at 9-1. These two wins came about despite an 11-day layoff for exams and because of weather issues.

Hawai'i - 0
UC Irvine - 9
Scott Gorgen continues to fling the ball like a bb. In 8.0 innings, he allowed the Rainbows just one hit and struck out nine batters to improve to 3-1. Ollie Linton continued to swing a hot bat, going 3-for-4 and stealing two bases. No. 2 hitter went 4-for-5 with a pair of steals as well.


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AND THE SHORT GAME AWARD GOES TO---
Minnesota - 0
Pacific - 1
Time: 2:10
A Mike McKeever double in the first inning scored leadoff man Adam Ching to supply the only run the Tigers would need. Tyler Waldron went the distance, striking out 11 Gophers and giving up just three hits.


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AND THE MISERABLE WEATHER AWARDS GO TO---
Kent State - 1
Louisville - 8
Played in low 50 temps with a constant drizzle in beautiful Louisville.

Kansas - 6
Texas - 9
Game started with steamy temps in the mid-90s in surface-of-the-sun Austin.


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Okay stitch-heads, this was a freakin' blast of a day in college baseball. We can only hope the rest of the weekend can measure up to this. Tonight will be one of those nights where I hope to sleep fast.

G'night.

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Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is CSTV.com's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert