No. 4 Florida Completes First Regular-Season Sweep Of No. 1 Florida State Since 1958, 6-3
|Florida 6, Florida State 3
|UAB 9, Alabama 1
|South Carolina 8, The Citadel 0
|Oklahoma 4, Arkansas 0
|Louisville 12, Kentucky 0
|Ole Miss 2, Central Arkansas 1
|Ole Miss 4, Central Arkansas 0
|Auburn 7, Samford 5
|LSU 7, Alcorn State 2
|Mississippi State 2, South Alabama 0
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 4 Florida (26-7) rallied from a 3-0 deficit with six unanswered runs to defeat No. 1 Florida State (27-6) on Tuesday night, 6-3, to complete a three-game sweep of the regular-season series between the Sunshine State rivals at sold-out Dick Howser Stadium. It marked the 15th come-from-behind effort of the year for head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s club. The Gators had previously emerged victorious against the Seminoles in Gainesville on March 13 (9-2) and in Jacksonville on March 27 (4-1).
The Orange and Blue had not taken all of the regular-season meetings from the Seminoles since 1958 (a pair of wins in Gainesville on April 11-12 that season), notched its first victory over the nation’s top-ranked team since a 5-4 triumph over FSU on April 18, 2007, and picked up its first win in Tallahassee since April 14, 2009 (10-2). In addition, Florida swept both Florida State and Miami (Fla.) in the same season for the first time in school history. The crowd of 6,730 fans at Dick Howser Stadium was the fourth-largest in the facility’s history and the second-most for a UF-FSU game.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (1-0) retired all nine batters he faced over a career-high three innings to pick up his first collegiate win, freshman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (3-for-5) snapped a 3-3 tie with a bases-loaded single in the sixth and the Gator bullpen fired six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and one hit. Junior Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) set down all five Seminoles he faced and had two strikeouts over 1.2 innings to register his ninth save. Junior Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) (2-for-5) belted a game-tying homer in the fifth, while juniors Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) (2-for-3, three runs) and Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) (2-for-5) slugged solo shots as part of a 12-hit offensive attack.
Junior Devon Travis (3-for-4) gave the Seminoles a quick lead in the first inning with a one-out solo shot off Johnson to straightaway center field. It was his third big fly of the year. Senior James Ramsey (2-for-4) followed with an infield single and junior Jayce Boyd singled up the middle before a fly ball to center field by redshirt sophomore Stephen McGee left runners on the corners with two down. Johnson caught junior Justin Gonzalez looking on strikes to escape the jam.
The Gators had three hits in the second inning and loaded the bases against junior Scott Sitz but were unable to score. Senior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) led off with a single into right field and Johnson had an infield hit to put the visitors in business. Tucker was thrown out at third base on a sacrifice attempt by freshman Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) for the first out and Fontana laced a single into left field to load the bases. A fielder’s choice by junior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) forced Johnson at home for the second out and junior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) lined out to first base to end the inning.
Although Florida filled the bags with one down in the third inning, it was kept off the board. Senior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (2-for-4) led off with an infield single and went to third on Zunino’s team-leading 13th double of the year to the left-field fence. The Seminoles elected to walk Tucker intentionally and the move paid off when Johnson’s comebacker to Sitz forced Pigott at home and Gushue popped up in foul territory.
The Seminoles increased their lead to 3-0 in the home part of the inning on two hits and an error. Travis and Ramsey had consecutive singles to begin the frame and Johnson fanned Boyd for the first out. The Seminoles then executed a double steal, with Travis taking third and Ramsey swiping second. An errant relay throw down to second base by Zunino allowed Travis to come across and Ramsey to occupy third. McGee lofted a sacrifice fly into left field to drive in Ramsey for a three-run margin.
UF got on the board on a two-out RBI single by Pigott in the fourth. Fontana had a 10-pitch at bat and drew a leadoff walk, Ramjit had an infield fly to the shortstop and Fontana moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Dent. Pigott delivered a base-hit into right field to bring home Fontana with the Gators’ first run.
Harris replaced Johnson (3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER) prior to FSU’s fourth and worked a 1-2-3 inning with a trio of groundouts.
Zunino tied the game in the fifth with a towering two-run homer off the scoreboard overlooking left field. Turgeon started the inning with a single into center field and Zunino connected on his team-leading 10th dinger to even the score at 3-3. It was his first homer since March 24 at South Carolina.
The Gators seized a 4-3 advantage in the sixth on an RBI single by Turgeon but left the bases full. Freshman Kyle Bird (0-1) replaced Sitz (5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R) at the beginning of the stanza and issued a leadoff walk to Fontana. A fielding error by Boyd at first base enabled Ramjit to reach and Fontana to take second. Dent greeted senior reliever Brian Busch with a sacrifice bunt that moved both of his teammates into scoring position and FSU decided to walk Pigott intentionally to load the bases with one down. The move backfired when Turgeon lined a single into left field to score Fontana for a 4-3 lead for the visitors. Freshman Luke Weaver came in from the bullpen and struck out Zunino and had Tucker pop up to the shortstop to strand the runners.
Fontana provided Florida with a 5-3 lead by belting his seventh homer to right field with two down in the seventh. It marked his second-straight outing with a round-tripper after clubbing a three-run jack on Saturday against LSU.
After Harris threw a career-high three innings by setting down all nine hitters he faced, junior Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) notched three-straight strikeouts, freshman Giovanny Alfonzo looking, freshman Josh Delph swinging and Johnson looking, to preserve the Gators’ two-run lead.
UF’s pitching staff had retired 13 Seminoles in a row before Travis started the eighth with a double into right field. Rodriguez answered with a strikeout of Ramsey and Maddox was summoned from the bullpen. The righty retired Boyd on in infield fly and had McGee ground out.
Johnson finalized the scoring at 6-3 in the ninth with the first homer allowed by junior Robert Benincasa all season. The blast to right field was the third of the campaign for Johnson. Maddox closed out the Seminoles with a perfect ninth that featured a pair of punchouts. The Gators held a 12-7 advantage in hits, including four for extra bases.
Florida resumes SEC action this weekend with a series at Eastern Division rival Tennessee (20-12/6-6 SEC). Game one from Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Friday will be at 6 p.m.
Alabama Baseball Falls to UAB 9-1 on Tuesday Night
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama baseball dropped a 9-1 decision to the UAB Blazers on Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the loss the Crimson Tide falls to 13-20 on the season while the Blazers improve to 20-14.
UAB scored a combined seven runs over the course of the sixth and seventh innings to turn what had been a tight-knit 2-1 game, into a sizeable 9-1 advantage. For the game, Alabama mustered one run on seven hits while stranding six runners on base. The Tide was held scoreless over the final eight innings of play.
“Well first of all, a lot of credit goes to UAB,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “They just outplayed us tonight in every area of the game. Offensively we hit some balls hard early in the game and they made some nice defensive plays, and then when we went to the bullpen it really blew up. They had a couple big innings and the game just got out of hand from there, and a little too much to recover from. I thought we were a little flat and just had a poor performance. We didn’t play very well at all tonight.”
Crimson Tide senior shortstop Jared Reaves tallied a 3-for-4 night at the plate, recording his 12th multiple hit game of the season. Freshman right fielder Ben Moore was 1-for-3 at the plate with one RBI, extending his team-leading hitting streak to 12 games. Senior center fielder Taylor Dugas recorded a 1-for-4, one run night at the plate, to extend his on-base streak to 45 games. Dugas’ only hit of the game was a first inning leadoff triple, extending his school record to 15 for his career.
UA freshman Spencer Turnbull (1-3), making his fifth start of the season, pitched 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four. Chase Mallard (2-2) earned the victory for the Blazers, pitching 3.0 innings in relief, allowing just one hit and no runs with one strikeout.
UAB scored two runs on three hits in the top of the first inning, before the Tide answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 2-1 after one frame. Dugas led off the Crimson Tide first inning with a triple, his fourth of the season, before Moore’s one-out sacrifice fly to deep center field allowed Dugas to tag up and plate the Tide’s only run of the game.
After four scoreless innings, UAB tacked on three runs in the top the sixth - two of which came courtesy of a two-run home run by Blazer shortstop Todd Wilkinson - before adding four more in the seventh to pull in front 9-1. All told, the Blazers combined for seven runs on eight hits over the two inning stretch, sending 17 batters to the plate, while forcing Alabama to cycle through three different relief pitchers.
Alabama senior right hander Jason Zylstra pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth innings for the Crimson Tide, allowing no hits while striking out two.
Alabama returns to action on Wednesday, April 11, when it travels to Hammond, La., to take on the Southeastern Louisiana Lions. First pitch for the game is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT, from Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. Alabama is scheduled to throw sophomore right-hander Case Nixon (0-1, 4.35) while the Lions will counter with sophomore righty Sean Kennel (0-0, 7.36).
Gamecocks Earn 8-0 Win Over The Citadel
Freshman catcher Grayson Greiner's grand slam home run highlighted a six-run seventh inning and junior left-hander Nolan Belcher hurled 5.2 scoreless innings in his first start of the year as ninth ranked South Carolina defeated The Citadel 8-0 on Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium in non-conference action. Belcher combined with relievers Tyler Webb and Hunter Privette for a five-hit shutout, Carolina's third shutout of the season and second in the last five games. South Carolina is now 24-9 while The Citadel drops to 13-20 for the season.
Belcher improves to 2-1 on the year with the victory. He limited The Citadel to just three hits and one walk and struck out a season-high seven batters in his longest outing of the season. Bulldog reliever TJ Clarkson took the loss and is now 1-3 for the year. He allowed two runs on four hits in three innings of work.
With a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the seventh, the Gamecocks batted around to score six times and increase the advantage to 8-0 over the Bulldogs. Adam Matthews reached base on a throwing error by Bulldog third baseman Calvin Orth to open the frame After he stole second base, Christian Walker drilled a 3-0 pitch off the wall in center field for a RBI double. Walks to Joey Pankake and pinch hitter Michael Roth would load the bases and set the stage for Greiner. Zach Sherrill’s 2-1 pitch to Greiner was crushed over the wall in left-center for the Gamecocks first grand slam of the season. Evan Marzilli added a RBI sacrifice fly later in the frame to give Carolina an eight-run cushion.
South Carolina finished the evening with an 11-5 advantage in hits. Walker was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. Tanner English also went 3-for-3 with a run scored. English leads the team with 13 multi-hit games this year.
The Gamecocks broke ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning. English and Evan Marzilli each singled to open up the frame. After a balk advanced the runners, English scored on Matthews’ RBI ground out to the shortstop. Despite Marzilli being thrown out at home plate on a fielder’s choice, the Gamecocks added a run as Walker scored on Joey Pankake’s two-out RBI double to right field.
South Carolina is back in action on Wednesday night traveling to Florence, S.C. for a non-conference tilt against Francis Marion. It will be the first game ever played in brand-new Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College. The game is sold out. LHP Adam Westmoreland (2-0, 1.93 ERA) is the probable starter for the Gamecocks.
Arkansas shut out at Oklahoma
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Damien Magnifico tossed 8.2 shutout innings, giving up just three hits and striking out four to lead Oklahoma to a 4-0 win over No. 11 Arkansas on Tuesday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The Razorbacks drop to 24-8 with the loss, while the Sooners improve to 19-14 with the win.
Magnifico (1-0) earned his first win of the season on the mound for Oklahoma, pitching 8.2 shutout innings. Magnifico struck out four and surrendered just three hits in his time on the mound. Steven Okert got the final out of the game to earn his first save of the season.
Arkansas starter Randall Fant (1-2) took the loss, giving up a run on three hits in two innings.
Dominic Ficociello had a pair of hits to lead the Razorbacks at the plate. Jake Wise also had a hit for Arkansas in the loss.
Max White had two hits and two RBI for Oklahoma. Cody Reine also added two hits, while Evan Mistich went 1-for-3 with a RBI.
Oklahoma got the scoring started with a run in the bottom of the first. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Caleb Bushyhead and White hit back-to-back doubles with the second scoring Bushyhead for the game’s first run.
The Sooners tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Hunter Lockwood doubled and a single by Reine put runners at first and third. Mistich then singled into left to score Lockwood and give Oklahoma 2-0 lead.
Arkansas had its best chance of the game in the top of the fifth. Derrick Bleeker led off the inning by drawing a walk and then moved to second on a one-out single by Wise. Oklahoma was able to get out of the inning as Jacob Morris grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Oklahoma added its third run of the game in the home half of the fifth. Jack Mayfield hit a one-out single, but was retired at second on a fielder’s choice ground out by Bushyhead. White then doubled to right field to score Bushyhead from first.
The Sooners stretched the lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh, scoring a run without the benefit of a hit. Erik Ross reached first with one out on a throwing error by Tim Carver at shortstop. Mayfield was then hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Ross moved to third on a stolen base and then scored on a wild pitch.
Arkansas got a pair of base runners in the top of the ninth. Matt Reynolds walked with two outs and Jimmy Bosco reached on a fielding error by the pitcher. Oklahoma was able to preserve the shutout as Bleeker struck out looking to end the contest.
The Razorbacks resume Southeastern Conference play this weekend when they host No. 3 Kentucky. Game times for the series are scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 2:05 p.m. on Saturday and 12:05 p.m. on Sunday.
No. 19 Louisville Snaps No. 1 Kentucky's Non-Conference Streak
WATCH GAME HIGHLIGHTS HERE
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The 19th-ranked Louisville Cardinals plated three runs in the top of the first inning and got a dominating outing from starter Jared Ruxer, posting a 12-0 win over No.1 Kentucky, snapping UK’s 21-game non-conference winning streak to open the year, on Tuesday night in front of a season-high 3,563 at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (30-4) suffered its first non-conference loss of the season, as UK had opened up with a 21-0 mark in non-league action. UK entered the two-game series with the Cardinals having won the last two meetings, before Louisville claimed the opener of the 2012 series.
The Wildcats mustered a season-low four hits in the game, with Lucas Witt, J.T. Riddle and Thomas McCarthy delivering singles, with McCarthy adding a double late in the game. UK also got walks from Luke Maile and Michael Williams.
UK starter A.J. Reed (4-1) took his first career loss, allowing nine hits and five runs in 2.2 innings, striking out four. Freshman southpaw Sam Mahar took over in a difficult position in the third inning, working three innings, allowing three hits and one run, striking out three. Tim Peterson worked a career-long equaling 1.2 innings, allowing two hits and walking one with three strikeouts. Freshmen Jeff Boehm, Chandler Shepherd and Taylor Martin also worked in relief.
Louisville (24-9) starter Jared Ruxer (5-0) tossed six shutout innings, his second splendid outing against a Southeastern Conference foe, as the freshman tossed over five strong innings against Ole Miss earlier in the year. Ruxer allowed only three hits and one walk, striking out six. Cole Sturgeon worked 1.2 shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk with one strikeout. Matt Koch finished off the game in relief.
UK will return to action with a three-game weekend series at No. 9 Arkansas, starting Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET at raucous Baum Stadium. The three games will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the games live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Louisville hit the ground running as Nick Ratajczak hit a one-out double down the leftfield line in the top of the first. Zach Lucas stepped up and hit a single to the left to put runners on first and third with one out. Stewart Ijames recorded Louisville’s third straight hit and put the Cardinals on the scoreboard in the top of the first with a single to rightfield, scoring Ratajczak and gaining a 1-0 lead. Ty Young was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out for Louisville. The Cardinals extended their lead on a sacrifice fly to centerfield from Alex Chittenden, extending the lead to 2-0. With two outs, Zak Wasserman delivered a bloop single to score Ijames and give Louisville a 3-0 lead after half an inning.
With Kentucky scoreless through the first two, Louisville tacked on more in the top of the third as Young’s home run to left center gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead. Wasserman singled down the rightfield line with two outs before Kyle Gibson followed with a Gibson single up the middle. Sturgeon singled to left for Louisville, scoring Wasserman and leading to a pitching change, Mahar in to replace Reed. Mahar forced a fly out from the first batter he faced as Kentucky headed to the bottom of the third trailing 5-0.
Sturgeon led off the Cardinals in the top of the sixth with a double to right center before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Engel hit a second consecutive double for Louisville, scoring Sturgeon and putting the Cardinals up 6-0 with no outs in the top of the sixth. Mahar earned his first out of the inning on a strikeout but allowed Engel to advance to third on a blotched pickoff play. With one out and a runner on third, Peterson took the mound for the Wildcats. After a strikeout and an infield fly out, Peterson left Adam Engel stranded on third and took the Wildcats into the bottom of the sixth down 6-0.
Louisville put more on the scoreboard after Sturgeon led off in the top of the eighth with a single to rightfield. A strikeout gave the Wildcats their first out but Ratajczak reached base on a fielding error, advancing Sturgeon to third and Ratajczak to second. Peterson’s night would end after a walk to Lucas that would load the bases with one out. Facing his first batter, Boehm threw a wild pitch, scoring Sturgeon and advancing Ijames to third and Young to second. Ijames walked to load the bases and a second consecutive base on balls scored the Cardinals’ second run of the eighth. With one out and the bases still loaded, Shepherd replaced Boehm on the mound. White grounded to second and after a force out at second, a throwing error on an attempted double play led to the Cardinals scoring Ijames and Young from second. Kentucky left the top of the eighth trailing 10-0.
UL added a run in the top of the ninth inning, as Lucas doubled home Engel with a ball into the right-centerfield gap. After a called third strike for the final out, UK dropped the third strike and the throw to first went as an error, scoring another run.
No. 18 Rebels Sweep Doubleheader With Central Arkansas
OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebels turned in a solid pitching and defensive performance on Tuesday, sweeping both games of a doubleheader as No. 18 Ole Miss (23-10) defeated Central Arkansas (13-17) by scores of 2-1 and 4-0.
The starters claimed the win in both games with Sam Smith (2-2) taking the win in game one, while Josh Laxer (3-0) picked up the win in game two in a predetermined start. Brett Huber picked up his seventh save of the season, working the final inning in game one.
“I thought we played well today in both games,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We were very clean and had great defense all day long. There were so many great plays and diving catches. We put some at-bats together and were able to throw a lot of our guys.
“I thought we were really clean on the mound and had some good pitches,” Bianco said. “It was good to get Dylan Chavez and (Brett) Huber in the game. The rest of the guys looked great. (Josh) Laxer, Casey Mulholland, Jon Andy Scott and Chris Ellis were all very good.”
GAME 1 - NO. 18 OLE MISS 2, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 1
The Rebels got off to a quick start in the first game, scoring a run in the first inning when Tanner Mathis came home from second on a single to left center from Matt Snyder. Mathis opened the game with a single up the middle and took second on a groundout to first from Alex Yarbrough to set up the score on the Snyder hit.
Central Arkansas tied the game at one in the fourth when Jonathan Davis scored from third on a passed ball. Davis doubled to left field before taking third on a sac bunt from Ethan Harris to set up the score with two outs on the passed ball.
Ole Miss moved in front for good with a single run in the fifth. Auston Bousfield singled through the left side to start things off and moved to second on a sac bunt from Austin Knight. He then advanced to third on a throwing error on a ground ball to third. A second sac bunt in the inning, this one laid perfectly down the first base line by Austin Anderson, brought Bousfield home and put the Rebels on top 2-1.
Chavez worked a scoreless sixth and Huber closed things out with a scoreless seventh inning to give Ole Miss the win in game one of the twin bill.
Smith (2-2) picked up the win, working 5.0 innings and allowing the one unearned run on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
GAME 2 – NO. 18 OLE MISS 4, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 0
Ole Miss again got off to a quick start in the second game of the day, pushing a second run across the plate in the first inning. For the second straight game, Mathis opened things up with a single, this time an infield hit to short, and scored on a single through the right side from Snyder three batters later.
This time, Central Arkansas wouldn’t put together an answering rally while the Rebels continued to build on the lead.
Ole Miss added a pair of runs in the third inning to take the lead out to 3-0. Three straight first-pitch singles loaded the bases for Ole Miss before Mathis scored his second run of the day on a double play ball to second from Snyder. Will Allen then singled to right center with two outs to bring Will Jamison home and the Rebels were up 3-0 before Central Arkansas would get out of the inning.
A fourth run came across the plate in the fifth inning when Snyder scored from third on a wild pitch. The Rebel first baseman doubled with one out before moving to third on a throwing error by the Central Arkansas third baseman off a ground ball from Allen. He then came home on the errant pitch to make it 4-0 Rebels.
The score held as Ole Miss kept the Bears off the board the rest of the way to sweep the doubleheader.
Laxer (3-0) picked up the win in a predetermined start, working 2.0 innings while allowing only one hit with a walk and a strikeout.
The Rebels will return to action with a three-game series starting Thursday at Georgia. The first game of the series will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT and is televised by ESPNU as the SEC Game of the Week. Game two will begin at 6 p.m. CT on Friday and the series finale will be played at noon CT on Saturday.
Auburn Holds Off Samford, 7-5
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn defense turned three big double plays and Cullen Wacker and Zach Alvord both drove in big insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh as the Auburn baseball team claimed a 7-5 win over Samford on Tuesday night at Plainsman Park. The win stopped a three-game slide for Auburn and moved the team’s record to 18-14 on the year.
“That’s a good team,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “We knew they weren’t going away. We opened the door for them a little bit on some routine plays that we have to make. But at the end of the day we found a way to win and it was an important win for us against a good team.”
Auburn’s defense turned double plays in the second, the fourth and again in the seventh, with the seventh-inning turn thwarting what could have been a big inning as Samford would score three times in the inning despite the twin killing.
Auburn’s pitching surrendered five runs on 14 hits but only one of those runs was earned as the defense committed three errors on the night.
Dan Glevenyak was moved up to the leadoff spot and responded by going 2-for-3 with two walks and a RBI and it was his leaping snag in the seventh that started the 6-4 double play on a Saxon Butler line drive.
Auburn benefited from some sloppy play by the Samford defense, scoring four times in the third on three hits, a walk and a Samford error. Alvord drove in the game’s first run with a RBI single and a Jay Gonzalez bunt pushed the score to 2-0. Glevenyak then singled to short to drive in Alvord and the throw to first sailed into the Samford dugout allowing Gonzalez to come home with the fourth run.
Auburn went up 5-0 in the third on a Creede Simpson RBI double before Samford picked up its only earned run of the game in the fourth on a Tommy Corbin single.
Samford then scored three unearned runs in the sixth, with a C.K. Irby two-out triple driving in two, to make it 5-4 before Wacker and Alvord drove in the crucial insurance runs with a Wacker double and an Alvord single.
After scoring a single run in the eighth on a Brad Moss single, Samford would get two runners in scoring position in the ninth before Justin Bryant got a pair of groundouts to end the game and nail down his fourth save of the season.
Trey Cochran-Gill (2-1) earned the win in a designated split start, allowing just three hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Lex Rutledge (0-3) took the loss for Samford, allowing five runs on five hits and a walk in three innings.
Auburn returns to SEC play this weekend at Vanderbilt.
No. 3 LSU Earns 7-2 Win Over Alcorn State
BATON ROUGE, La. – Sophomore right-hander Joe Broussard worked a career-best 6.1 innings Tuesday night and third-ranked LSU broke open a close game with four runs in its final two at-bats to defeat Alcorn State, 7-2, in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers improved to 26-7 and will face Southern Mississippi at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Zephyr Field in Metairie, La. Freshman right-hander Aaron Nola will start the game on the mound for LSU, though he will likely only pitch the first inning.
Alcorn State fell to 7-26 with Tuesday’s loss.
Broussard (4-0) limited Alcorn State to two runs five hits in 6.1 innings with one walk and a career-high eight strikeouts. Four relievers – right-handers Kevin Berry, Nick Rumbelow and Joey Bourgeois, and left-hander Chris Cotton – combined to hold the Braves scoreless over the final 2.2 frames.
“I thought our pitching was excellent throughout the night, and we played great defense with an errorless game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, “however, we had very few quality at-bats and didn’t really produce too much offensively. I guess the best thing you can say about this game is that it’s over, and we were able to get a win.”
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning against Alcorn State starter Cedric Pomerlee when designated hitter Jordy Snikeris launched a solo homer, the first dinger of his LSU career.
The Braves tied the game in the third on an RBI single by leftfielder Joshua Powell.
LSU regained the lead with a pair of runs in the fifth as catcher Ty Ross delivered a bases-loaded sacrifice fly and first baseman Tyler Moore squeezed home a run from third with a sacrifice bunt.
Alcorn State narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the seventh on a solo blast by rightfielder Eduardo Gonzalez, his sixth homer of the season.
LSU, however, pulled away with two runs each in the seventh and eighth innings. Rightfielder Mason Katz unloaded his sixth homer of the season in the seventh to give the Tigers a 4-2 advantage, and LSU added a run in the frame on Moore’s run-scoring single.
The Tigers plated two runs in the eighth on RBI singles by Ross and by third baseman Tyler Hanover.
Pomerlee (0-4) was charged with the loss as he allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in seven innings with six walks and three strikeouts.
Rea's Blast in 12th Lifts Bulldogs Past South Alabama
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Freshman first baseman Wes Rea’s two-run blast in the bottom of the 12th inning ended a scoreless pitching duel Tuesday night as Mississippi State (21-12) nipped South Alabama (12-21) 2-0 at Dudy Noble Field.
Rea’s home run, his third of the year, made a winner of freshman righty Trevor Fitts (3-0) and gave the Bulldogs their second consecutive walk-off win and third of the year. Tyler Huffer (0-1), the last of four South Alabama pitchers in the game, took the loss, allowing the game’s two runs on the one big hit by Rea.
Pitching was the main event for most of the night, with MSU freshman Brandon Woodruff making the most of his first career pitching start. Woodruff faced one batter over the minimum, striking out eight and walking one in six innings of no-hit shutout mound work. MSU pitching finished with 16 strikeouts, second-most by the State staff this spring.
Woodruff and fellow MSU hurlers Ross Mitchell and Luis Pollorena held the Jaguars without a hit and allowed just two base-runners through eight innings.
USA pitching was equally impressive. Jag starter Payton Gardner two-hit the Bulldogs and registered seven strikeouts during his 6.2-inning mound stint. Relief men Jarrett Bailey and Kyle Bartsch kept the shutout intact to send the game into extra innings.
Held hitless through eight frames, South Alabama got its first two hits of the game off MSU relief man Jonathan Holder in the ninth but failed to score after loading the bases. The third Bulldog double play of the night snuffed out another possible Jaguar rally in the 10th and Bulldog center fielder C.T. Bradford threw out Nolan Earley at the plate for the final out of the 11th inning.
State, 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position for the night, had scoring opportunities too. MSU left the bases loaded in the sixth, had a runner thrown out at the plate in the eighth, and left a runner stranded in scoring position in both the ninth and 10th innings. State nearly ended the game in the 11th when Mitch Slauter’s drive to deep left field was reeled in at the fence on a leaping grab by Nick Zaharion.
Fitts, in his eighth relief appearance of the year, retired South Alabama in order in the 12th, setting the stage for Rea’s late-game dramatics. Demarcus Henderson was struck by a pitch to open the inning, and two batters later Rea chased him home after delivering game-winning swat.
Rea had the game’s only two-hit plate performance and with the two-run blast notched his seventh multi-hit, multi-RBI game.
Mississippi State resumes SEC competition on the road this weekend, taking on two-time defending NCAA champion South Carolina in a three-game set at Carolina Stadium. Friday’s series-opener is set for a 6 p.m. (CDT) start.