GRUNDY, PHILLIPS LEAD NO. 2 UK TO SERIES-EVENING WIN
|Kentucky 6, Tennessee 2
|Kentucky 6, Tennessee 0
|LSU 4, Auburn 3
|Vanderbilt 5, Georgia 3
|Arkansas 8, Mississippi State 5
|Ole Miss 8, Alabama 4
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Behind dominating pitching outings from junior Jerad Grundy and senior Alex Phillips, No. 2 Kentucky picked up a 6-2 win over Tennessee to even the series, on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Kentucky (23-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) owned a 5-0 lead when the game was halted due to weather on Saturday with two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the fifth inning. When the game resumed on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET, UK turned to Phillips to replace Grundy, who had turned in a strong start. Phillips allowed the runners to score before getting out of the fifth but shut down the Vols with a career-high 4.1 shutout innings.
Grundy was in the midst of a career outing in the fifth inning when the delay pushed the finish of game two to Sunday. He worked 4.2 innings, allowing only four hits – two infield knocks – with one walk and two strikeouts.
The Wildcats were led by a three-hit outing from sophomore J.T. Riddle, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI, a triple and a homer. UK also got two hits from Thomas McCarthy and Matt Reida, with Reida also drawing a walk. UK also got hits from Luke Maile, A.J. Reed and Michael Williams. Williams hit his second homer of the year in the second inning of the game, but it was ruled a ball in play, going as an RBI single.
Tennessee (13-9, 2-3 SEC) starter Brandon Zajac made his collegiate debut in the game, tossing 2.2 innings, allowing three hits and three runs, walking one. He was relieved by Conner Stevens, who worked 2.1 innings, allowing four hits and two runs, walking two without a strikeout. T.J. Thornton took over after the delay, tossing four innings, allowing three hits and one run, striking out one.
Kentucky got on the board in the second inning, as Reed extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single to leadoff. After a fielder’s choice erased Reed and put Cameron Flynn on first, McCarthy singled into the gap to push Flynn to third base. Riddle then smacked a grounder off the glove of Zajac up the middle, allowing Flynn to score from third base. Williams then belted his second homer of the year over the leftfield fence, bouncing off the top of the fence and ricocheting off the railing behind the fence. While in his home run trot, the ball was launched back into play after hitting the railing, with Williams tagged out before reaching second base, and McCarthy scoring before the tag. Williams was tagged out on the throw from leftfield, as no signal was made by the three-man umpire crew on the homer until the tag at second base. Williams finished his home run trot without any doubt on his homer, but after a furious reaction from the UK dugout the three-man crew elected to stay with the call on the field, ending the inning.
UK added a run in the third inning taking advantage of a pair of UT errors. Reida drew a walk to leadoff, with Austin Cousino replacing him at first on a fielder’s choice. Zac Zellers then popped up for the second out, with Cousino stealing second and taking third after a botched pickoff attempt at second base during Zellers’ at bat. Maile then hit a slow roller at third base, going as an error and allowing Cousino to score from third.
In the fourth inning, UK continued to add to its lead, as McCarthy led off with a single up the middle. Riddle then homered over the rightfield fence – his first of the year – giving UK a 5-0 lead.
The Vols came out of the delay to start the game with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, with runners on second and third base. UK turned to Phillips to face Will Maddox, who lined a single to centerfield to score the duo and make it 5-2 UK.
Kentucky answered with a run on two hits in the top of the sixth inning, extending its lead to 6-2. Reida led off with a two-strike single off the lefty Thornton. After a Cousion sacrifice bunt, Zellers was plunked by a pitch. Maile followed and smoked a single up the middle to score Reida.
NO. 2 UK WINS SERIES WITH 6-0 RESULT IN RUBBER MATCH
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- J.T. Riddle broke open the scoreless game with a run-scoring double in the sixth inning and starter Corey Littrell hurled six shutout innings to lead No. 2 Kentucky to a series-clinching 6-0 win over Tennessee in a seven-inning contest, on Sunday afternoon at in front of 2,154 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Kentucky (24-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) founds itself in a hole entering Sunday, as UK suffered its first loss of the year on Friday night, ending a school-record 22-game winning streak to open the campaign. The Wildcats responded through the first five innings on Saturday, taking a 5-0 lead before a weather system forced a postponement of the game until Sunday, with the finale set as a seven-inning game due to SEC travel policies.
UK came out in the first game of the modified twinbill and posted a 6-2 win, using a dominating relief outing from senior southpaw Alex Phillips, who worked a career-high 4.1 shutout innings.
The Wildcats improved to a 5-1 to open conference play through the first two series, the second-best start to an SEC season in program history. UK opened up 6-0 in 1992 with sweeps of Auburn and Alabama, stretching it to 7-0 with a series-opening win vs. Arkansas.
With the rubber match locked in a scoreless tie entering the bottom of the sixth inning, UK mounted its rally to vault into position for the series win. After a Thomas McCarthy steal with one out put him in scoring position, Riddle pounded a double off the opposite-field wall to score McCarthy and put the Wildcats on the board. UK added insurance runs in the top of the seventh, plating five runs for the final margin, with UK reliever Trevor Gott needing 10 pitches to sit down the Vols in order in the bottom half of the inning for the series win.
Kentucky got the big double from Riddle and a two-hit game from senior catcher Michael Williams, a native of Knoxville. Freshman Austin Cousino launched a no-doubt homer to leadoff the top of the final inning, his second of the year, providing UK the cushion in needed in the bottom half of the frame. UK also got hits from Thomas Bernal and A.J. Reed, with Reed extending his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest hitting streak for a UK player since consensus first-team All-America outfielder Sawyer Carroll ended his career on a 16-game run in 2008.
A native of Louisville, Ky., and a product of Trinity High School, Littrell (3-0) worked six shutout innings, allowing only four hits and one walk, striking out five.
Tennessee (13-10, 2-4 SEC) starter Nick Williams worked 4.1 innings in his second career start. Williams allowed only one hit – a laser single up the middle to his older brother Michael – walking three and striking out three. He was relieved in the fifth by Drew Steckenrider, who got out of the jam with an out in the fifth, working 1.2 innings, allowing one hit and one run, walking two and striking out three. Nick Blount took over in the seventh, allowing three hits and three runs with two outs recorded. UT also used Dalton Saberhagen and Carter Watson in the seventh.
UK will return to action on Tuesday, hosting Western Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action.
The Wildcats got on the board in the top of the sixth inning, taking a 1-0 lead. After a leadoff walk from Reed, McCarthy replaced him at first on a fielder’s choice and then stole second base for his third steal of the year. Riddle then drilled a double off the base of the wall in left-centerfield, scoring McCarthy from second and giving UK a narrow advantage.
To lead off the seventh inning, Cousino worked the count full before pounding a no-doubt bomb over the rightfield fence, sailing into traffic on the access road behind the wall. After a pop up for the first out, Maile fouled a ball off his leg on a 1-0 pitch, with Bernal taking off in the at bat as a pinch hitter. Bernal delivered a single down the third base line, bringing up Reed. Reed pounded a laser off the wall in rightfield, a 320-foot single, as Bernal motored to third base. Bernal then scored during McCarthy’s at bat on a wild pitch from Blount. After McCarthy grounded out to push Reed to third, Riddle hit a chopper to at second that went as an error, allowing Reed to score. Lucas Witt then grounded to third base but it was misplayed, allowing Riddle to move to third and Witt to third on the error. After another pitching change, Williams singled up the middle to score Riddle and Witt for a 6-0 UK lead.
LSU EARNS 4-3 WIN OVER AUBURN IN GAME 3 OF SEC SERIES
AUBURN, Ala. – Second baseman JaCoby Jones lined an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning Sunday to lift No. 8 LSU to a 4-3 win over Auburn at Plainsman Park.
LSU improved to 18-6 overall and 3-3 in the SEC, while Auburn fell to 15-9 overall and 4-2 in conference play. LSU returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday as the Tigers play host to Louisiana-Lafayette in Alex Box Stadium.
With the score tied at 3-3 entering the top of the ninth inning, designated hitter Jared Foster was walked by Auburn reliever Trey Cochran-Gill, and he advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Tyler Hanover.
Jones ripped a Cochran-Gill pitch to center field to score Foster and give LSU the lead.
Sophomore right-hander Kurt McCune pitched a scoreless ninth for LSU to earn his first career save. McCune struck out first baseman Garrett Cooper and retired designated hitter Justin Bryant on a grounder to second for the first two outs of the inning.
Shortstop Dan Glevenyak drew a walk, but pinch hitter Kody Ortman flied out to center to end the game.
“I’m extremely proud of our team for giving another tremendous effort and getting a well-deserved victory,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We faced a lot of adversity and some bad luck during this series, but we came out today and played with a lot of intensity. The entire team contributed to an important win for the Tigers today.”
Junior left-hander Chris Cotton (2-0) was credited with the win as he retired the final two Auburn batters in the eighth inning in relief of starter Aaron Nola. Nola turned in a strong 7.1-inning outing, limiting Auburn to three runs on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
Cochran-Gill (1-1) was charged with the loss as he allowed one run on two hits in 1.1 innings with two walks and two strikeouts. Auburn starter Daniel Koger worked seven innings, surrendering three unearned runs on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
LSU struck for three runs against Koger in the top of the fourth to break a scoreless tie. Leftfielder Raph Rhymes lined an RBI single and catcher Ty Ross delivered a two-run single to highlight the inning.
Auburn centerfielder Ryan Tella launched a two-run homer in the sixth to narrow LSU’s lead to 3-2.
Vandy rallies by Georgia to clinch series
Nashville, Tenn. – Vanderbilt used a four-run eighth inning to rally by No. 17 Georgia 5-3 Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field and clinch the three-game series.
Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, the Commodores (9-15, 2-4) put together a two-out rally started by Conrad Gregor’s RBI-single that scored Tony Kemp, who had led off with a single, and tied the game. A walk to Spencer Navin and two wild pitches put runners on the corners for Vince Conde. The freshman delivered in a big way with a two-run triple over the center fielder’s head to put the Dores up 4-2. Georgia’s third wild pitch of the inning scored Conde from third base and gave Vandy a three-run cushion heading into the ninth. Georgia (17-8, 3-3) made it interesting in the final frame, getting the first two men on base before a double play killed the momentum and eventually scoring a run with two outs.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the fourth inning when Kyle Farmer blasted a leadoff home run to start the frame and reclaimed the lead in the seventh on Farmer’s RBI-groundout. The Commodores immediately tied the game after falling behind in the fourth after Farmer’s home run, scoring a run on three hits with Conde’s single driving in a run. Conde finished the day with two hits and a career-high three RBI to lead the Dores and break out of a 1-for-19 slump. Farmer paced Georgia’s 10-hit attack with three hits and three RBI.
Drew VerHagen (3-2) picked up the win in relief working the final 2.2 innings for his third win of the year. The big right-hander allowed one run on four hits and three walks in closing out the Commodores’ first Southeastern Conference series victory. Bryan Benzor (3-1) took the loss giving up four runs on three hits and three wild pitches while recording two outs. Vanderbilt junior Will Clinard made only his second career start and first since 2010, pitching four solid innings and allowing one run on four hits with three strikeouts. Three freshman pitchers (Philip Pfeifer, Brian Miller, Jared Miller) and a sophomore (Steven Rice) combined for 2.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Dores. Georgia starter Pete Nagel allowed one run on three hits over four frames.
Arkansas clinches series with extra inning win
WATCH GAME HIGHLIGHTS HERE
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Arkansas scored five runs in the top of the 11th to break a 3-3 tie as the No. 3 Razorbacks defeated Mississippi State, 8-5, on Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
The victory clinched the series for Arkansas, which improved to 22-3 on the season and 5-1 in league play. The road series win marked Arkansas’ first since May 20-22, 2010, when the Razorbacks took two of three games at Vanderbilt. Mississippi State dropped to 16-9 and 2-4 in league play with the loss.
With the scored tied at three in the top of the 11th, the Razorbacks regained the lead with five runs. Bo Bigham started the rally with a leadoff double to left field and Ficociello followed with a walk. A sacrifice bunt by Matt Reynolds moved runners to second and third with one out. Pinch hitter Joe Serrano then hit a grounder to third. The third baseman’s throw home was high, allowing Bigham to score the go-ahead run. A walk to Derrick Bleeker loaded the bases with one out. Jimmy Bosco then doubled to the gap in left-center field to score Serrano and Ficociello. A base hit to right by Jake Wise brought home two more runs. The second run scored after a fielding error by the Mississippi State right fielder.
Mississippi State made things interesting, scoring twice in the bottom of the 11th. Matthew Britton led off the inning with a single. With one out, Sam Frost singled to right field to put runners at first and second. A walk to Trey Porter loaded the bases with one out. Hunter Renfroe then walked to force in a run. Nick Ammirati brought in the second run of the inning with a base hit to left field. The Bulldogs could not get any closer as Cade Lynch got Wes Rea to pop out to short and Demarcus Henderson to fly out to center to end the ball game.
The Arkansas defense recorded just the third triple play in program history in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Bulldogs had runners at first and second with nobody out. On the 3-2 pitch, the runners were going. Adam Frazier hit a liner right at Ficociello, who caught the liner, stepped on first for the second out and then threw to Carver at short to complete the triple play. Before Sunday’s game, Arkansas’ last triple play was against Auburn in the 1998 SEC Tournament. Arkansas also turned a triple play in the 1983 Southwest Conference Tournament against Texas.
Arkansas recorded 15 hits in the win with six different Razorback batters turning in multiple-hit performances. Tim Carver had a team-high three hits with a run scored. Bleeker, Bosco, Ficociello, Jacob Morris and Wise each added two hits in the victory. Bosco drove in a team-high three runs, while Bleeker, Ficociello and Wise each had one RBI.
Frost was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate to lead the Bulldogs. Renfroe and Ammirati each added a hit and a RBI in the loss.
Arkansas reliever Colby Suggs earned the win to improve to 2-0. Suggs tossed a scoreless bottom half of the 10th inning with two strikeouts. Cade Lynch earned his second save of the season, throwing the final two thirds of an inning.
Mississippi State reliever Caleb Reed took the loss to drop to 0-4 on the year. Reed allowed three runs on five hits in 4.2 innings.
Each starter received a no decision in the game. Randall Fant went one-plus inning, giving up two runs on two hits. Mississippi State starter Kendall Graveman surrendered two runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings.
Nolan Sanburn, Brandon Moore and Barrett Astin each pitched well in relief for Arkansas. Sanburn pitched two scoreless innings, while Moore worked three shutout innings. Astin also pitched three innings, allowing a run and striking out three.
Mississippi State struck first, scoring twice in the bottom of the second. Mitch Slauter and Rea started the inning with back-to-back singles. Henderson then laid down a bunt, which Fant attempted to field and throw to third, but Slauter beat the throw to third. Brayden Jones was hit by a pitch to bring in the first run. Britton then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to score Rea and put the Bulldogs in front 2-0.
Arkansas had its first scoring chance of the game in the top of the fourth. Ficociello led off the inning with a single and Reynolds reached on a fielding error by the second baseman. With one out, Bleeker lined a single to right to load the bases. MSU got out of the inning without allowing a run as Bosco grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Bulldogs appeared on the verge of a big inning in the bottom of the fourth, but a triple play by the Arkansas defense got the Razorbacks out of the jam. With runners at first and second and nobody out, the Bulldog base runners ran on the 3-2 pitch. Frazier hit a liner right at Ficociello, who caught the liner, stepped on first for the second out and then threw to Carver at second to complete the triple play.
Arkansas tied the game with two runs in the top of the sixth. Reynolds got the rally started with a one-out single and moved to second after a walk to Bates. Bleeker then singled to center to score Reynolds for the Razorbacks’ first run. Bosco followed with a base hit to right to bring home Bates and tie the game.
The Razorbacks took their first lead of the game with a run in the top of the seventh. Carver led off the inning with a double and then moved to third after a ground out by Mahan. Ficociello then hit a fly ball to center field that was misjudged by the center fielder and fell in front of him for a double. Carver scored on the play to put Arkansas in front.
Mississippi State had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, but came up empty. Frost led off the inning with a single and then moved to second after a one-out walk by Renfroe. A fly out to center by Slauter advanced Frost to third. A walk to Rea loaded the bases with two out. Astin got Henderson to ground into a fielder’s choice to short to end the inning and keep Arkansas in front.
The Bulldogs tied the game with a run in the bottom of the ninth. With two out, Frazier and Frost hit back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners. Porter then hit a grounder to short, which looked like it would end the game, but Frost beat the throw to 2nd, allowing Frazier to score the tying run and sending the game into extra innings.
NO. 17 REBELS TAKE SERIES FROM ALABAMA WITH 8-4 SUNDAY WIN
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Down one run with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning, Zach Kirksey came up with a sac fly to the wall in center field that drove in two runs as part of a four-run rally to help No. 17 Ole Miss (17-7, 3-3 SEC) defeat Alabama (9-15, 1-5 SEC) on Sunday by a score of 8-4.
The win gave the Rebels the series, marking the first series win for Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa since the 2004 season when the Rebels also picked up a victory on Sunday to claim the series over the Crimson Tide.
Kirksey’s two RBI fly out to the wall in straight away center put Ole Miss on top 5-4 and the Rebels would not relinquish the lead. It was the second rally of the day for the Rebels who had already fought back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game before falling behind by two runs again in the fifth inning.
Dylan Chavez (3-0) picked up the win in relief, working the final 2.1 innings and holding the Crimson Tide hitless while striking out two batters. He retired all seven batters faced down the stretch.
Spencer Turnbull (0-2) took the loss for Alabama, allowing four runs on four hits with a strikeout in 0.2 innings of work. Turnbull entered the game to relieve starter Jon Keller with two outs in the seventh inning. He got the Crimson Tide out of the inning, but left the game in the eighth with one out on the board and the bases loaded after having already surrendered one run to cut the lead to 4-3.
“It was a really good game and series with a lot of emotion from both teams,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I’m proud of our guys and the way we hung in there today. Mike Mayers pitched well and Dylan (Chavez) did a great on the mound at the end.
“We’ve lacked the timely hit, but we got that today,” Bianco said. “I’m proud of the way we swung the bat there at the end of the game.”
Alabama got on the board in the third inning, capitalizing on a throwing error to third on a bunt to the third base side of the mound. The ball sailed over the head of Andrew Mistone, allowing Austen Smith to score on the play while A.J. Cole reached base safely and move to second on the play. Cole took third on a sac bunt from Hunter Gregory before scoring on a groundout to second from Taylor Dugas to give Alabama the early 2-0 lead.
The Rebels answered in the fifth inning with a two-run home run off the scoreboard in left field from Preston Overbey. Auston Bousfield scored on the play after reaching on a single to left field in the previous at bat.
The Crimson Tide weren’t done, using a wild bottom of the fifth that included a ground-rule double to set up a two-RBI single from Jared Reaves that scored both Dugas and Ben Moore. Ole Miss got out of the inning without any more damage, but Alabama held the 4-2 lead.
Ole Miss went to work in the eighth inning, putting together its second rally with one out after a strikeout started things off for the Rebels. Matt Snyder doubled down the right field line and moved to third on a single to right from Will Allen. Ole Miss then sent Will Jamison in to run for Allen with men at the corners.
Bousfield then delivered on a hit-and-run play with a single deep in the hole at second base, beating the throw to first as Jamison reached second and Snyder scored with no outs on the play. Another single to shallow right from Overbey loaded the bases before Kirksey delivered his two-RBI fly out to center field to put Ole Miss on top 5-4.
Jamison scored from third easily on the play while Bousfield never slowed down after tagging at second, rounded third and slid in safely ahead of the tag at the plate on the play. Overbey continued the theme of aggressive base running, moving from first to third on the fly out. He scored on the next at bat when Blake Newalu delivered a single to center to give Ole Miss the 6-4 lead.
The Rebels put things out of reach for good in the ninth when Snyder delivered his third home run of the season, this time coming up with at two-run shot down the right field line that scored Yarbrough and gave Ole Miss the 8-4 lead that would hold as Chavez retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth.