NO. 18 OLE MISS USES 20 HITS TO DOWN GEORGIA IN SERIES FINALE
|Ole Miss 8, Georgia 3
|Auburn 5, Vanderbilt 2
|Kentucky 5, Arkansas 4
|Kentucky 2, Arkansas 1
|South Carolina 5, Mississippi State 3
|Tennessee 5, Florida 4
|LSU 7, Alabama 1
ATHENS, Ga. – The offense roared to life on Saturday with the Rebels pounding out 20 hits on the afternoon as No. 18 Ole Miss (24-12 7-8 SEC) defeated Georgia (22-14, 7-8 SEC) by a score of 8-3 in the finale of the weekend series.
Six Rebels notched multiple hits on the afternoon, paced by a 4-for-6 performance from Tanner Mathis and four of the top five hitters in the lineup recorded multiple-hits in the outing to help grab the win.
Chris Ellis (3-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Mike Mayers, working 0.2 innings with one hit. Ellis entered in the fifth inning with two outs and two men on base and the score at 5-3 with Georgia in the middle of a rally that had plated two runs. Ellis got the next batter faced to ground out to end the inning and squash the Bulldog comeback bid.
Blake Dieterich (3-2) took the loss for the Bulldogs in his first start of the season after moving from the closer role. The left-hander allowed five runs on nine hits with a walk in 3.1 innings of work. He was the first of seven Georgia pitchers to take the mound on Saturday.
“We played very well today,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “The real turning point of the ballgame was when Georgia had the bases loaded with no outs after already getting a run home in the second inning, and Mike (Mayers) struck out the next three batters to get us out of the inning. What a gutsy performance. It was not an easy day, but he hung in there.
“The bullpen really hung in there as well,” Bianco said. “Chris (Ellis) got some big outs for us and Dylan Chavez gave us some really good innings before Brett (Huber) came out and closed things out for us in the ninth.”
Ole Miss got on the board in the first, using three straight hits from Alex Yarbrough, Matt Snyder and Will Allen to take the 2-0 lead out of the gates. Yarbrough and Snyder delivered back-to-back singles with two outs before Allen hit a triple to right center to drive in both men. Georgia would get out of the inning a batter later with a groundout to short, but Ole Miss was on the board.
Georgia got on the board in the second inning, putting the first three men on base thanks to a single, a walk and a single. Connor Welton then delivered a bloop single to shallow left to bring the first run home and keep the bases loaded with no outs for the Bulldogs. Mayers then struck out the next three batters to end the rally and keep the Rebels on top 2-1.
Ole Miss moved the lead back out to two runs in the fourth inning when John Gatlin hit a double to the wall in left center that scored Andrew Mistone from second. Mistone opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a ground out to third from Preston Overbey to set up the RBI hit from Gatlin.
A single from Blake Newalu put men at the corners and Georgia had seen enough, going to the bullpen for left-hander Chase Hawkins. Mathis then singled through the right side to bring in Gatlin, before a throwing error to second on a double steal allowed Mathis to move to third and Newalu to score. Ole Miss held a 5-1 lead after the fourth.
The Bulldogs bit back in the fifth, pushing two runs across the board with a two-out rally. Kyle Farmer doubled down the first base line to reach with one out before Mayers would strike out Hunter Cole. With two outs on the board, the Bulldogs got an RBI single from Brett DeLoach to bring Farmer home. A walk and another single in the next two batters pushed home the second run and Ole Miss turned to the bullpen for Chris Ellis.
Ellis then got a groundout to short from Jonathan Hester to end the inning with the Rebels still up 5-3.
Ole Miss loaded the bases in the sixth, but came up empty as Georgia was able to get out of the jam. The Rebels capitalized on a bases loaded situation in the seventh when Austin Anderson drew a one-out walk to score Mistone and send Georgia to the bullpen for its sixth pitcher of the day.
Tanner Mathis then chopped an infield single to short to score a second run in the inning and keep the bases loaded with Rebels. Georgia would get a line out and a fly out to end things, however Ole Miss lead 7-3 at the stretch.
Ole Miss added to the lead in the eighth when Will Jamison followed up a single from Mistone with a triple down the first base line to give the Rebels the 8-3 advantage.
Brett Huber then held the Bulldogs off the board in the ninth to seal the win for the Rebels.
Jacobs Pitches Auburn Past Vanderbilt, 5-2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jon Luke Jacobs allowed just three hits over six innings in his first SEC start of the season as Auburn bounced back from a one-run loss on Friday to down Vanderbilt, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field. The win improved Auburn’s record to 19-15, 7-7 SEC while Vanderbilt fell to 15-20, 5-9 SEC.
“You can’t say enough about Jon Luke Jacobs. He got us into the seventh inning allowing three hits,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “Today was one of our better defensive games (of the season). We had 13 groundball outs. Creede Simpson and Dan Glevenyak had some nice plays up the middle and then (catcher) Blake Austin threw out Tony Kemp.”
Jacobs (5-0), who was pushed into the weekend rotation following a season-ending injury to Will Kendall last weekend, held Vanderbilt it hitless until there were two outs in the third and never allowed two hits in an inning. Issuing four walks, he relied heavily on the defense to do a lot of the work, getting nine ground ball outs, including an inning-ending double play in the first.
“We needed to bounce back after last night and the way the last four conference games have gone for us,” Jacobs said. “The defense played really well today and all around we played really well. We need to keep that rolling into tomorrow.”
Cullen Wacker finished the game 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs for Auburn, driving in two with a first-inning, two-out, two-run double that gave Auburn a lead it would never relinquish.
A Garrett Cooper RBI groundout in the fifth scored Dan Glevenyak to push the lead to 3-0 for Jacobs before he turned things over to Slade Smith and Dillon Ortman out of the bullpen. Ortman would get the final six outs to earn his first save of the season.
The only runs Vanderbilt would push across came on one swing of the bat as Connor Castellano hit a two-run, pinch-hit home run off of Smith in the seventh to make it a 3-2 game, with one run being charged to Jacobs and one to Smith.
Auburn tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the ninth as Jay Gonzalez singled, stole second, went to third on a Blake Austin single and scored on Glevenyak’s successful safety squeeze play to make it 4-2. Bobby Andrews, pinch running for Austin, then stole third and scored on an error by Vanderbilt catcher Spencer Navin trying to get him at third for the final margin.
Vanderbilt starter Tyler Beede (1-4) allowed three runs on nine hits in seven innings, issuing a walk and striking out six while reliever Drew VerHagen allowed two runs on two hits in 1 1/3 innings.
UK WINS FIRST SERIES AT NO. 9 ARKANSAS IN 10 YEARS
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Cameron Flynn launched a two-run homer in the fourth inning and starting pitcher Corey Littrell turned in his fourth consecutive winning effort in a rubber match, leading No. 1 Kentucky to its first series victory at No. 9 Arkansas since 2002, with UK posting a 2-1 win over the Razorbacks on Sunday in front of 9,575 at Baum Stadium.
Kentucky (32-5, 11-4 Southeastern Conference) won its first series at raucous Baum Stadium since the 2002 season and just its second in program annals. The Wildcats posted a 5-4 win in the second game of the series and the first of the Saturday doubleheader, before the thrilling 2-1 win in the finale of the doubleheader. UK’s twinbill sweep at Baum Stadium is the first time Arkansas has lost both games of a doubleheader at its home park since the 1999 NCAA Tournament. Arkansas had not lost both games of a doubleheader to one team since Tennessee swept a twinbill in 1996. The series loss in Fayetteville was the first time in a span of nine three-game weekends that Arkansas had lost a set at Baum Stadium.
The Wildcats extended their lead in the SEC standings with the series win, owning the best start to a season and the best start to a conference slate in school history. The Wildcats have opened up the first half of SEC play with series wins over No. 2 South Carolina, at Tennessee, at No. 18 Georgia and at No. 9 Arkansas. UK start in the first half of conference play is a staggering accomplishment, as the Wildcats won the league in 2006 with an 8-7 start to league action.
UK now boasts a staggering 11-2 record in one-run games in 2012, with both its losses coming in series-openers on the road at top-20 foes. UK also owns a 9-4 record against top-25 teams, with all but one loss on the year coming to a ranked opponent.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Littrell (6-0) worked 6.1 innings, allowing eight hits and one run, walking one and striking out three. The quality start was his sixth of the year and the 10th of his two-year career. Littrell’s clutch outing was his fourth consecutive series finale rubber-match victory, as the lefty has won vs. UT, Georgia, Ole Miss and Arkansas in pressure-laden finales. He was relieved in the seventh inning by Tim Peterson, who got UK out of a one-out jam with a runner in scoring position.
Peterson, who worked two innings for his first career save in game one, worked one inning, allowing one hit and one walk, before senior Alex Phillips got a crucial out in the eighth inning with a strikeout. Trevor Gott replaced Phillips with two runners on base and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, retiring all four hitters he faced for his eighth save of the season. Gott’s eighth save of 2012 is now tied for the most saves in UK single-season history, equaling the eight saves Paul Morse notched in 1993.
Flynn’s blast was all the offense UK needed behind Littrell, as the rightfielder belted his team-leading ninth homer of the year in the fourth inning. Freshman A.J. Reed recorded UK’s lone multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 outing, with Thomas McCarthy, Zac Zellers and Michael Williams each notching hits.
Arkansas (25-10, 8-7 SEC) starter DJ Baxendale (6-2) worked eight strong inning, allowing six hits and two runs, walking two and striking out seven. Colby Suggs worked the finale frame for Arkansas.
The Wildcats got on the board with some two-out hitting in the top of the fourth inning, as McCarthy led off the frame with a double down the opposite-field line, his 13th double of 2012. After a pair of outs, Flynn launched a two-out, two-run homer over the rightfield wall, sailing into the stiff wind blowing straight in from rightfield. The homer was Flynn’s team-high tying ninth of the year.
Arkansas got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Dominic Ficociello led off with a single through the right side, taking second on a wild pitch during Matt Reynolds’ at bat. After Littrell got an infield pop-up of Reynolds and a groundout of Jimmy Bosco, pinch hitter Brian Anderson checked into the game. Anderson ripped a line drive at Riddle, UK’s 6-foot-3 second baseman, with Riddle leaping high into the air and getting the ball in his glove, with the ball bouncing out after his feet landed on the infield dirt, with the ball going as a RBI single.
SHEPHERD, PETERSON LEAD UK TO SERIES-EVENING WIN
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Top-ranked Kentucky got dominating bullpen outings from freshman Chandler Shepherd and junior Tim Peterson, leading the Wildcats to a 5-4 series-evening win at No. 9 Arkansas in the second game of the three-game series and the first game of a doubleheader, on a pleasant Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
Kentucky (31-5, 10-4 Southeastern Conference) evened up the series with a 5-4 win, riding the dominating outings in relief from Shepherd (3-0) and Peterson, with Shepherd working 3.2 shutout innings in his first career SEC outing and Peterson notching his first save of the year with a perfect final two frames.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, taking advantage of three errors charged to veteran shortstop Tim Carver. After the Razorbacks rallied with four runs in the first two frames, UK answered with two runs in the top of the fourth, with the UK bullpen then springing into action in relief of starter Jerad Grundy, with Shepherd and Peterson combining to allow only one baserunner over the finale five frames. Grundy worked 3.1 innings, allowing two hits and four runs – three earned, walking five and striking out four.
The Wildcats pounded out nine hits, a game after collecting 11 knocks, with UK getting two hits and two runs from senior Thomas McCarthy. UK got hits from eight of nine hitter sin the lineup, with Austin Cousino scoring two runs at the top of the order, going 1-for-3. A.J. Reed, Cameron Flynn, Zac Zellers, J.T. Riddle, Michael Williams and Matt Reida each collected hits for the Wildcats, with Luke Maile drawing a walk.
Arkansas (25-9, 8-6 SEC) starter Barrett Astin (2-3) worked over four innings, allowing seven hits and five runs – two earned – walking two and striking out eight. He was replaced with two runners on and no outs in the fifth inning by Brandon Moore, who helped save the Razorbacks bullpen by working five shutout innings, allowing only two hits without a strikeout or a walk.
Kentucky took an early lead in the top of the first inning, taking a 3-0 advantage of two hits, a walk and three errors on Arkansas shortstop Tim Carver. Cousino led off the inning with a four-pitch walk and McCarthy reached on a high chopping infield single to third base. After Reed struck out, Maile lined a ball into the hole on the left side, reaching on a fielder’s choice with McCarthy safe at second on the first error of the frame on Carver. After Flynn struck out with the bases loaded and one out, Zellers reached on an error charged to Carver on a line-drive up the middle, coming on the ninth pitch of the at bat to Zellers, with Cousino scoring. Riddle followed and singled to Carver, but his throw to second went into rightfield for his third error of the inning, allowing Maile and McCarthy to score.
Arkansas answered in the bottom of the first, as Joe Serrano reached on a high-chopping single over McCarthy’s leaping glove at third base. After a nice diving snag in rightfield from Flynn, Matt Reynolds launched a two-run homer into the Hog Pen in leftfield, his fourth homer of the year.
The Razorbacks took the lead in the bottom of the second inning, plating two runs on no hits and three walks, including a UK error and a balk. Bo Bigham led off with a walk and Brian Anderson followed with a walk. Jake Wise tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt but the throw from third base went into the base line, hitting Wise in the back and allowing Bigham to score. Grundy then walked Jacob Morris, before getting a nice out in foul ground and leaving them loaded, with a run scoring on a balk during Serrano’s at bat. Serrano then laid down the bunt, with Grundy getting a nice barehanded out at the plate on the bunt attempt.
UK regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning, as the Wildcats mounted a two-out rally. Cousino was hit by the first pitch of his two-out at bat, scoring after McCarthy ripped his 12th double of the year down the leftfield line. Reed followed and pounded a double of his own – his eighth – into the left-centerfield gap, scoring McCarthy for a 5-4 UK lead.
GAMECOCKS TAKE SERIES WITH 5-3 WIN OVER MISSISSIPPI STATE
Columbia, S.C. – Ninth ranked South Carolina raced out to a 5-0 lead with all five runs coming with two outs and freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery allowed just one run in 6.1 innings of work as the Gamecocks held on to defeat Mississippi State 5-3 on Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 8,242 fans at Carolina Stadium. Junior right-hander Matt Price hurled two scoreless innings of relief for his third save. The Gamecocks win a third consecutive series and are 26-10 and 7-7 in the SEC while the loss drops Mississippi State to 21-14 and 5-9 in league play. Sunday’s series finale is set for 1:30 p.m. Live video broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline.com with the game also on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, “The Game.”
Montgomery is now 3-0 on the year after earning the win. He allowed one run on five hits while walking two batters and striking out four. Mississippi State starter Kendall Graveman suffered the loss and is 2-2 for the season. He allowed five runs on eight hits in 8.2 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. Price allowed just two hits in his stint and struck out two batters for his second save of the series.
Four consecutive batters reached base with two outs in the bottom of the third inning as the Gamecocks built a 2-0 lead against the Bulldogs. Joey Pankake singled to left field followed by a base hit up the middle from Evan Marzilli. After Christian Walker loaded the bases with a four-pitch walk, LB Dantzler came through with a two-out RBI single up the middle scoring both Pankake and Marzilli. That lead increased to 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tanner English reached base to lead off the frame with a single up the middle. He would score on Walker’s two-out RBI base hit into the gap in left-center.
South Carolina added two more runs to make it 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sean Sullivan drew a one-out walk and scored on a triple by Tanner English. With a 1-0 count, English drilled a deep fly that MSU center fielder C.T. Bradford could not come up with. Joey Pankake followed with a RBI infield single as he beat out a throw by Bulldog third baseman Darryl Norris.
Mississippi State didn’t waver though coming up with three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Trey Porter connected with a one-out solo home run that ended the afternoon for Montgomery. Tyler Fullerton singled off of Gamecock reliever Tyler Webb with Sam Frost adding a double. Adam Frazier would knock in Fullerton with a sacrifice fly to left field. Frost then scored Mississippi State’s third run on a pair of wild pitches issued by Gamecock reliever Evan Beal. With a runner on first, junior left-hander Nolan Belcher ended MSU’s threat with a groundout.
Both teams had nine hits for the afternoon. English went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. Pankake and Dantzler added two hits apiece. Frazier, Wes Rea and Porter all tallied two hits to lead Mississippi State.
VOLS SQUEEZE PAST NO. 4 FLORIDA, 5-4, TO EVEN SERIES
WATCH GAME HIGHLIGHTS HERE
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee scored three runs on safety squeezes to take a 5-4 lead over No. 4 Florida through five innings and held on for the win, getting a game-ending 5-3 double play on a diving play by Zach Luther with the bases loaded in the ninth to even the weekend series against the Gators in front of 2,838 on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
“It’s baseball and like I continue to say, I learn,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “I have been around this game a long time and I continue to learn you can never figure this game out. We go out there and I have to make a decision because of a disciplinary action to start Robbie Kidd, a true freshman. We pitched (Dalton) Saberhagen earlier than he’s ever pitched in a game. You would say the Vols’ chances to win this game were not very good and we came out on top.
“You can never figure this game out. You think the pitching is set and the lineup is set, but I keep preaching to the team that it’s the team that plays the best that day.”
With the win, the Volunteers improve to 21-14 overall and 7-7 in Southeastern Conference play, matching their league win total for all of last season. Florida drops to 27-8 on the year and 8-6 in conference action.
“I don’t look back at last year, I only look forward,” Serrano said. “I’m proud of these guys and what we have overcome but we’re not trying to match anything from last year. We are just trying to do what we can do this year with this team.”
UT freshman Richard Carter, who entered the game with just three hits and two RBIs for his career, was 2-for-3 and drove in three runs in Saturday's contest alone. Chris Fritts and Davis Morgan each had a pair of hits for the Orange and White as well.
On the mound, sophomore Dalton Saberhagen improved to 4-0 on the season with 1.2 innings of scoreless work out of the bullpen. He came on in relief of freshman Robbie Kidd who allowed just two earned runs and struck out three in four innings, despite starting the contest on short notice.
Drew Steckenrider added 2.1 shutout frames before Nick Blount came on to finish off the contest with the exciting, but successful, ninth inning, earning his ninth save in nine opportunities this season.
The Vols got to Florida starter Karsten Whitson quickly, hitting him up for four runs, three earned, on six hits, in just three innings. Johnny Magliozzi (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season despite allowing just one run on two hits over the final five frames.
With Tennessee clinging to a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth, Blount found himself in trouble in a hurry after hitting UF All-American Mike Zunino and yielding a single to Brian Johnson with Nolan Fontana, who had reached base in 12 consecutive plate appearances, coming up to bat.
Blount buckled down and fought off two bunt attempts from Fontana before inducing a groundout to first. The Vols then elected to walk Daniel Pigott to load the bases and the strategy worked out perfectly as Vickash Ramjit hit a sharp groundball down the third-base line that Luther made a diving grab on before stepping on third and firing to first for the game-ending double play.
Florida actually got on the scoreboard first in the contest with a solo home run by Johnson in the second, but the Big Orange answered right back, using RBI doubles from Carter and Ethan Bennett, after Fritts opened the home half of the frame with a hit by pitch, to grab an early lead.
It wouldn't last long though as the Gators took advantage of a two-out error by the Vols to plate two runs in the top of the third and snatch the advantage back, 3-2.
The back-and-forth action continued in the bottom of the third, as the Vols turned to some small ball to bring in two more runs.
UT put runners on the corners with one out thanks to a hit batter and a single to right by Morgan.After leaving 10 runners stranded in scoring position on Friday night they weren't going to take any chances, calling for a safety squeeze which Fritts executed perfectly. So perfectly, in fact, that he hustled out an infield single.
A throwing error on the play allowed Morgan to reach third, setting up another safety squeeze which Carter laid down beautifully as well, earning an RBI infield single of his own to put the Big Orange ahead, 4-3.
The scoring continued in the top of the fourth as Florida tied the game at 4-4 on an RBI double by Preston Tucker. The Vols were held in check in their next at-bat before Fritts saved at least two runs in the top of the fifth, making a spectacular diving catch in left-center for the third out with two runners in scoring position.
“That was the play of the day,” Serrano said. “We’ll remember Luther’s play, and it was spectacular, but they had some momentum going and the catch by Fritts in centerfield was spectacular. When we had to make the move to put him in centerfield, I kept saying he is not your prototypical centerfielder. But defensively he hasn’t done anything to disappoint us out there at all and he’s continued to make spectacular plays and anchor the outfield for us.”
The Orange and White parlayed that momentum into another tally in its turn at the plate. Following a one-out double by Morgan and a single by Fritts, Tennessee turned to an old trick for a third time on the day, with Carter driving in his third run of the game, and the eventual game-winnner, with another UT safety squeeze.
The UT bullpen held off the potent Florida offense for the next four frames to finish off the squad's fifth win over a ranked team this season.
THIRD-RANKED LSU CLAIMS 7-1 WIN OVER ALABAMA
BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades limited Alabama to one run on two hits in 7.1 innings Saturday night to lead the third-ranked Tigers to a 7-1 victory over the Crimson Tide in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU, which won for the 12th time in 13 games, improved to 29-7 overall and 10-4 in the SEC. The Tigers are 0.5 game behind first-place Kentucky (11-4) in the overall SEC race.
Alabama fell to 13-22 overall and 4-10 in league play.
The teams conclude the series at Noon Sunday in Alex Box Stadium. Freshman right-hander Aaron Nola will start on the mound for LSU, while Alabama will counter with freshman left-hander Jon Keller.
Sunday’s game may be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live audio and stats will be available at www.LSUsports.net. The game will be televised by ESPN2, and live video may be viewed at www.ESPN3.com.
Eades (5-1) threw 116 pitches in 7.1 innings, allowing just one run on two hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
“Ryan Eades was amazing tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I knew he would give us a great effort, because of the determination and the work ethic that he has. He is such a competitor, and he is very talented pitcher, and I thought that tonight was one of the best outings of his career.”
LSU struck for two runs in the first inning against Alabama starter Justin Kamplain. Third baseman Tyler Hanover drew a one-out walk and rightfielder Mason Katz was hit by a pitch before designated hitter Raph Rhymes produced an RBI double down the left-field line. Katz later scored in the inning on catcher Ty Ross’ groundout.
The Tigers extended the lead to 3-0 in the sixth when first baseman Tyler Moore delivered a two-out RBI single to score Rhymes.
Alabama narrowed the gap to 3-1 in the eighth on catcher Brett Booth’s sacrifice fly, but the Tigers erupted for four runs in the bottom of the inning.
Ross’ two-run triple highlighted the LSU eighth, which also included an RBI single by shortstop Austin Nola and a sacrifice fly by centerfielder Arby Fields.
Kamplain (1-3) was charged with the loss as he allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings with two walks and three strikeouts.