By Eric Olson
AP Sports Writer
Talk about a pitch Auburn’s Jay Wade would like to have back.
Catcher Blake Austin continued standing after Mississippi’s Austin Anderson stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the 13th inning on Friday, making it obvious the Tigers were set up to intentionally walk him a third straight time and load the bases.
Wade lobbed the ball, and the catcher reflexively moved to his left because he expected it far outside. Problem was, it was right over the plate, if a bit low.
The left-handed Anderson, batting a team-leading .352, scooped the ball over the right-field fence for his fourth homer of the season and an 8-5 victory that started a three-game sweep by the Rebels (25-8, 7-5 SEC). The play has been viewed about 200,000 times on YouTube.
When Wade intentionally walked Anderson in the ninth, he threw a similar pitch that Anderson let go by.
“They didn’t call it a strike because the umpire said they were trying to put me on base,” Anderson told reporters. “The second time (in the 11th), I was ready for it, but they didn’t try it. And then the third time, the first pitch, they tried to get one by me. With runners at second and third and no outs, I was just trying to get a sacrifice fly, and that’s where it ended up.”
That’s Kirby with a ‘K’
Virginia left-hander Nathan Kirby struck out 18, one off the Atlantic Coast Conference and school record, while pitching a no-hitter at Pittsburgh on Friday. The 4-0 win marked the Cavaliers’ first no-hitter since 2011. “It was one of those nights where the umpire and I were on the same page,” Kirby said with a laugh. The sophomore walked one, and Pitt had another batter reach on an error. The Cavs’ Brandon Waddell allowed two hits in a career-long eight innings Sunday to beat the Panthers’ 3-0 and clinch an eighth straight series win for Virginia (27-5, 12-3).
Where’s the offense?
UCLA won the 2013 national championship in spite of an offense that put up numbers akin to teams from the wooden-bat era. The Bruins (18-12) continue to struggle at the plate and rely heavily on one of the nation’s best pitching staffs. They batted .171, were shut out in 27 of 29 innings and scored six runs in losing two of three at Long Beach State. The Bruins rank in the bottom half of Division I with their .253 season average and 3.9 runs a game.
Wolfpack skid ends
North Carolina State (18-12, 4-10) snapped a 10-game ACC losing streak — its longest since 2002 — with Sunday’s 9-4 win at Clemson. NC State, which last year celebrated its first trip to the College World Series since 1968, hadn’t won an ACC game since completing a three-game sweep of Notre Dame on March 9.
Huskers go distance
Nebraska’s bullpen got the weekend off for the first time in 12 years. Christian DeLeon, Chance Sinclair and Aaron Bummer pitched complete games as the Cornhuskers (19-13, 4-2) won three one-run games against Ohio State. The three combined to allow 20 hits and two earned runs and had 12 strikeouts against three walks.
Finally, a shutout
Kyle Serrano, Andy Cox and Andrew Lee combined on a two-hitter in a 7-0 win Sunday that marked Tennessee’s first nine-inning shutout against Vanderbilt since 1985. The Vols (21-9, 5-7) also blanked the Commodores in 1993 in a seven-inning game.
Butler breaks through
Butler opened Big East play by dealing Seton Hall’s Josh Prevost his first loss. The 6-foot-8 senior had been dominating while reeling off seven straight wins. Butler scored six runs, four earned, in seven innings against Prevost while winning 6-1 Friday. Prevost still has a 1.89 ERA and 57 strikeouts against nine walks.