College Baseball Roundup: Army’s Robinett Tosses No-Hitter

They may not be first and foremost on the minds of people who evaluate college baseball programs, but the Black Knights of Army know one thing: They have a pitcher who can hang with just about anybody.

And senior righthander Alex Robinett demonstrated it again on Saturday, twirling a complete-game, 1-0 no-hitter against Longwood in Morehead City, North Carolina at Big Rock Stadium in the opening game of a doubleheader.

Robinett, who was born in Saudi Arabia before moving to Bend, Oregon as a teenager, struck out 10 Longwood hitters to offset 4 walks and a couple of hit batsmen in throwing the 5th no-hitter in United States Military Academy history.  In gaining his 17th career victory against just 9 defeats, Robinett and Lancers starter Aaron Myers locked up in a classic pitching duel that took only two hours and 15 minutes to complete.

The lone run of the contest scored in the top of the 6th when Army’s Alex Jensen drove an RBI single to left-center to drive home Ben Smith, who had walked, from 2nd base.  It was the only blemish against Myers, who scattered 6 hits and fanned 6 Black Knights in going the distance for Longwood.

Robinett was the tough-luck loser in his 1st start of the season against Xavier, when he got the loss in a 5-4 defeat even though he pitched 6 innings of 2-hit, 1-run ball.  The righty was a 2nd-team All Patriot League selection the past 2 years for Army, and led the conference in strikeouts in 2014 with 85 in 89 frames of work, going 6-3 with a 2.02 ERA.

Despite Robinett’s 1st-game heroics, Longwood (3-6) bounced back to win the nightcap of the twin bill 3-0 over the Black Knights (3-2) behind the combined pitching of Travis Burnette and Mitchell Kuebbing.  Burnette went 7.1 frames, allowing 6 hits and fanning 5, and Kuebbing finished up for his 2nd save by getting a pair of strikeouts over the final 1.2 innings.  Brandon Delk had 2 hits and an RBI to pace the Lancer offense.

In other Saturday collegiate action around the country…

Vanderbilt (8-2) nipped Illinois State (4-4) 3-2 by building an early lead and hanging on.  Dansby Swanson singled home a run in the 1st, followed by a sacrifice fly from Will ToffeyBryan Reynolds doubled down the right field line in the 5th to drive home the 3rd Commodore run, and it was enough as starter John Kilichowski gave up just 2 hits over 5.1 strong innings and relievers Jordan Sheffield and Philip Pfeifer finished things off… Third baseman Josh Tobias went 5-gor-5 and drove in 3 runs as Florida (9-1) hammered Stony Brook (2-6) 14-3.  Harrison Bader cracked his 5th homer of the young season and Mike Rivera and Buddy Reed added 2 RBIs each for the Gators… Virginia (9-0) remained unbeaten with a 4-1 triumph over Seton Hall (1-4) as Connor Jones worked 5 innings to gain his 3rd win.  Matt Thaiss was 3-for-4 and drilled his 4th homer of the year, and Pavin Smith and John La Prise added 3 hits apiece for the Cavaliers…

Grant Watson (2-0) hurled 7 scoreless innings as UCLA (9-1) won its 4th straight game by blanking Michigan State (3-5) 5-0.  Bruin 1st baseman Chris Keck tripled home a run in the 1st and stroked a bases-loaded double in the 7th to finish with 4 RBIs… South Carolina (7-2) claimed Game #2 of its series with in-state rival Clemson (6-3) 4-1 as Alex Destino ripped a 1st-frame RBI double and Gamecock pitchers Jack Wynkoop (2-1), Clarke Schmidt, and Taylor Widener combined to scatter 7 hits and strike out 13 Tigers.  Widener had 5 of those Ks in his 2 innings, earning his 3rd save… Jake Fraley belted 2 triples, the 2nd with the bases loaded, to lead LSU (10-1) to a 7-2 victory over Princeton (0-3) and launch a doubleheader sweep.  The Tigers won the 2nd contest 15-4 as Alex Bregman and Jared Foster each hit homers and drove in 3 runs, and Mark Laird lined 3 hits and scored 4 times…

Rice (7-5) and Stanford (6-5) split a twin bill Saturday.  The Owls pounded 16 hits in the opener to claim an 11-6 triumph as Tristan Gray slammed a 3-run homer and freshman Josh Pettitte, son of former MLB star Andy Pettitte, earned withe win with 2.1 strong relief frames.  In the nightcap, Stanford rallied for a 3-1 decision as Brett Hanewich and Logan James combined on a 4-hitter and Matt Winaker contributed a pair of RBI singles… Conner Leonard drove in 5 runs with 2 doubles and a single as Appalachian State (4-4) evened its weekend series with Maryland (6-2) with a 9-7 triumph.  Grayson Atwood had 4 hits  and Michael Pierson was 2-for-4 and scored 3 times… Willie Abreu‘s bottom-of-the-9th RBI single gave Miami (8-3) its 2nd consecutive walkoff win against Wright State (4-4) 4-3.  The ‘Canes received 3 innings of scoreless, 5-K relief from the tandem of Michael Mediavilla, Cooper Hammond, and Bryan Garcia

Mississippi State (12-0) won 2 Saturday games in becoming just the 4th Bulldog team to begin a season with 12 straight wins.  The Bullies upended Arizona (9-4) 6-2 with 2-hit, 1-RBI games from Wes Rea and Josh Lovelady and an outstanding pitching effort from Austin Sexton (5.2 IP, 10 Ks) and Ross Mitchell (3.1 IP of scoreless relief).  MSU won its 2nd game of the day 8-2 over Samford (3-6) as catcher Cody Walker drove in 3 runs with a single and double… Devin Hairston‘s 3-run double in the 8th enabled Louisville (6-4) to down Xavier (4-5) 6-3 and earn a doubleheader split.  The Musketeers claimed the opener 2-1 as junior catcher Daniel Rizzie went 3-for-5 and threw out a pair of potential base stealers in the 9th to preserve the win for southpaw Brad Kirschner, who threw 6 scoreless frames…

Louisiana (5-5) squared its record and presented Coach Tony Robichaux with his 1,000th career triumph in surprising Alabama (7-3) 6-5, scoring 3 times in the 7th to overcome a 5-3 deficit.  Catcher Nick Thurman had 4 2-strike hits and drove in 2 runs, including the rally-capper in the 7th for the Ragin’ Cajuns… Alex Call was 4-for-4 and tied the game with an 8th-inning hit before a passed ball allowed the eventual winning run to score as Ball State (5-3) handed Illinois (7-1-1) its first loss of the year, 2-1.  Zach Plesac allowed just 3 hits and a run in a 71.-inning start for Ball State… Oregon (10-1) won its 8th straight, toppling UC Santa Barbara (7-3) 11-3 as 1st baseman Brandon Cuddy drove in 7 runs with a triple and homer…

Justin Montemayor delivered a pinch-hit, walkoff sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 9th as Houston (8-3) salvaged a doubleheader split with Columbia (1-2) with an 8-7 thriller.  Josh Vidales had 3 hits and 3 RBIs for the Cougars, who dropped the 1st game of the twin bill 5-4 as Columbia’s Randell Kanemaru smacked a 13th-inning RBI single… Rhode Island (1-5) earned its 1st victory of the season, surprising North Carolina (6-3) 6-3 as Derek Gardella and Tim Caputo each drove home 2 runs… Texas A&M (11-0) stayed unbeaten by pounding Dartmouth (0-2) 8-1 behind Hunter Melton‘s 3-for-4, 2-RBI day…

Ryan Kellogg threw 8 strong innings to win his 3rd game as Arizona State (7-4) knocked off Gonzaga (5-7) 5-2.  Brian Serven was 3-for-3 and Dalton Dinatale and Colby Woodmansee each smacked 2 hits and drove in a run… Iowa (6-1) bested Cincinnati (1-8) 5-1 as Joel Booker went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Dan Potempa collected 2 hits and scored twice… Creighton (5-2) toppled Tulane (9-2) 7-2 as Ryan Fitzgerald and Luke Horanski each had 2 hits and an RBI and Brett Murray knocked in a couple… Southern Cal (11-0) remained unblemished when Reggie Southall‘s 2-run single in the 5th provided the decisive runs in a 4-3 triumph over Fordham (1-7)

Zak Sterling tossed a 1-hitter over 8 innings and fanned 12 as Richmond (4-3) blanked Lafayette (1-2) 9-0.  Michael Morman drove in 5 for the Spiders… Wade Bailey had 4 hits and scored 3 times and A. J. Murray added 3 hits, including his 3rd homer of the season, as Georgia Tech (7-3) pounded Indiana State (3-5) 15-2… Notre Dame (10-1) beat Akron (5-4) 5-4 on a walkoff wild pitch after a Lane Richards RBI triple.  The Irish earlier defeated Mercer (6-5) 8-2 when Cavan Biggio drove in 3 runs with a pair of homers and Robert Youngdahl also plated 3 runs… Donovan Casey went 5-for-5 with 2 RBIs as Boston College (3-6) walloped North Dakota State (1-7) 12-2…

Evan Dougherty‘s walkoff single in the bottom of the 11th gave Duke (7-1) a 1-0 triumph over Rider (2-3) and ended what had been an amazing pitching duel between the Blue Devils’ Andrew Istler (7 IP) and Rider’s Zach Mawson (8 IP)… Florida State (7-3) scored 3 times in the 8th to upend UNC-Wilmington (6-2) 5-3… Casey Rodrigue drove in 4 runs with 3 hits (2 triples) and Logan Sowers was 3-for-4 as Indiana (4-4) crushed Charleston (5-3) 15-1… Kyle Kubat pitched 7 innings of 3-hit ball and Blake Headley drove in 2 runs with 3 hits as Nebraska (5-4) took down Loyola Marymount (7-3) 8-1… UAB (8-1) took a doubleheader from Ohio State (4-4) by scores of 3-2 and 8-1 as Adam Smith was 5-for-8 with 4 RBIs in the twin bill…

Hunter Tackett homered and J. J. Shaffer went 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs as Auburn (9-2) roared past Oklahoma State (6-4) 9-2… A. J. Puckett fired a complete-game, 3-hit shutout as Pepperdine (6-5) outlasted Hawaii (5-7) 2-0… Tennessee (4-4) outslugged Cal-Irvine (3-7) 12-10 as Andrew Plunkett had a sacrifice fly, an RBI single, and a 2-run homer for the Vols… Greg Fettes singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 8th as Kentucky (6-3) edged Northeastern (2-6) 5-4… Missouri (9-1) is off to its best start since 1993 after taking both ends of a doubleheader with Illinois-Chicago (2-3-1) 3-2 and 2-1… Justin Pacchioli drilled a 2-run walkoff homer in the bottom of the 11th to give Lehigh (2-2) a 2-0 win over Iona (3-8) in a game in which Nick Macaione (9 innings) and Kevin Boswick (2 innings) combined for a no-hitter in the 1st game of a twin set.  Lehigh won the 2nd game as Patrick Donnelly homered and drove in 2 runs…

Taylor Ward‘s 2-run homer in the 1st inning stood up for the entire game as Fresno State (5-5) stopped UNLV (6-4) 2-1… and Waldyvan Estrada drove in 4 runs and Chris Biocic delivered the game-winning single in the 9th as Alabama State (4-5) outlasted The Citadel (5-5) by a 15-14 count.

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