SEC Baseball Today: April 17 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Baseball Today: April 17

    Auburn 7, Troy 4
    Kentucky 7, Cincinnati 0
    Furman 5, Georgia 4
    Ole Miss 6, Mississippi State 3
    Florida 8, Georgia Southern 2
    College of Charleston 4, South Carolina 3
    Arkansas 8, Stephen F. Austin 3
    Arkansas 4, Stephen F. Austin 3
    Tennessee 5, East Tennessee State 4
    Vanderbilt 5, Middle Tennessee 1
    Mississippi Valley State at Alabama, ppd.

    Auburn Trumps Troy, 7-4

    AUBURN, Ala. – Dillon Ortman threw a career-high four innings out of the bullpen and Bobby Andrews went 2-for-5 with a triple, a RBI and a run scored in his first start since March 10 as the Auburn baseball team defeated Troy, 7-4, on Tuesday night at Plainsman Park. The win upped Auburn’s record to 20-16 on the season, including an 8-1 mark in midweek contests. Troy fell to 16-20.

    “It was good to see Bobby Andrews in the lineup. We had been missing an element in our lineup and that was his speed. He hit a triple and put down a routine sac bunt that he turns into a hit,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said.

    Ortman entered to start the third and after giving up a two-out walk and single, retired nine straight as Auburn rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take a 7-2 lead after six. Ortman, who moved to 1-1 on the year and earned his first win since May 14, 2011, left after allowing a single and a walk in the seventh. In his four innings of work he scattered three hits and was charged for two runs (one earned) as both of his runners in the seventh came around to score.

    “We got behind and we went with Dillon to try and settle things down,” Pawlowski said. “I felt like the importance of what he could do, we told him to go out there and battle and give us as much as you can.”

    “It felt good to go out there and keep the momentum in our dugout. This is a big win for us,” Ortman said. 

    Andrews, who had mainly been used as a pinch runner over the past month-plus, was given the starting designated hitter spot on Tuesday and was slotted into the two-hole in the lineup. He responded by tripling in a run to tie the game at 2-2 and then scored to give Auburn a 3-2 lead, both in the third. He also singled in the seventh to load the bases.

    “I have been struggling a lot lately so to get that base hit felt good. It gave me a little confidence and sparked a fire in me,” Andrews said.

    Slade Smith relieved Ortman in the seventh and allowed just one hit to pick up his fourth three-plus-inning save of the season. After allowing both of his inherited runners to score on a sac fly and an error, he retired the final seven Troy hitters to close out the game.

    Garrett Cooper was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored for Auburn, collecting singles in each of his first three trips to the plate. The first baseman, who has been on base in all but two of the games he has played in, scored on a Creede Simpson RBI groundout in the second to make it 2-1 Troy and again in the fifth on a balk that made it 5-2 in Auburn’s favor.

    Troy starter Jeremy McGowen (0-1) was charged with the loss, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings.

    Auburn starter Rocky McCord allowed two runs on four hits in two innings before being lifted for Ortman to start the third.

    Auburn returns to the field on Wednesday when it plays host to Alabama A&M at 6pm at Plainsman Park. Admission is free and all seats are general admission.

    Mahar Dazzles in First Career Start as Kentucky Beats Cincinnati, 7-0

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In his first collegiate start, freshman southpaw Sam Mahar carried a perfect game into the fifth inning, tossing six shutout innings, with No. 2 Kentucky getting homers from Austin Cousino, Luke Maile and J.T. Riddle in a 7-0 win over Cincinnati, on a pleasant Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

    Kentucky (33-5) rode the strong starting debut from Mahar (3-1) to the shutout win, its fourth shutout of the year. Mahar worked six-shutout, two-hit innings, starting the top of the fifth with his perfect game intact. The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead in the win, plating three runs over the first three innings, before a three-run fourth inning put UK in the lead for good.

    Mahar struck out a career-best five in his six innings, before UK used freshmen Chandler Shepherd, Spencer Drake and Taylor Martin, and junior Walter Wijas to finish of the game. Shepherd worked a shutout inning, while Drake and Martin combined to toss a shutout frame in the eighth. Wijas worked a shutout ninth.

    UK belted three homers in the game, using the team-leading 10th of the year from Maile, the sixth from Cousino – who was celebrating his birthday on Tuesday – and the fourth of the season from Riddle. UK tallied nine total hits in the game, with Cousino, Maile and Thomas McCarthy collecting two-hit contests, with McCarthy adding two RBI. Cousino led off the game with his sixth homer of 2012 and his second leadoff homer to open a game on the season. UK also got hits from Matt Reida and Michael Williams, with Zac Zellers drawing a walk and A.J. Reed notching a walk and an RBI.

    Cincinnati (12-24) starter Brad Mergen (0-3) suffered the loss, allowing eight hits and six runs in 3.2 innings, walking three and striking out two. Corey Atkinson worked 3.1 innings, allowing one hit and one run, walking two and striking out five. Corey Hough got the final three outs for the Bearcats.

    UK will return to action on Friday, hosting No. 1 LSU in a matchup of the top teams in the nation and the teams leading the SEC. The series will open on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The series will resume on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET and conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

    The Wildcats got on the board quickly, as Cousino launched a leadoff offering over the rightfield fence, his sixth homer of the year and his second to open up a game in 2012. Maile then cranked the Wildcats’ second home run of the inning, his team-high 10th homer of the year over the leftfield fence, giving UK a 2-0 lead.

    UK added to its lead in the third inning, plating one run on three hits. Reida led off the inning with a double off the wall in rightfield, his sixth double of the year. After McCarthy reached on a bloop single down the rightfield line to move Reida to third base, Reed scored Reida with a RBI fielder’s choice.

    The Wildcats added three runs in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 6-0 lead. Riddle drew a one-out walk and Williams followed with a single into the gap in right centerfield, pushing Riddle to third. Reida then hung his first career sacrifice fly to deep centerfield to score Riddle. Cousino followed Reida’s sacrifice fly with a single to rightfield that would move Williams into scoring position. After a wild pitch that placed runners on second and third, McCarthy pounded a two RBI single into centerfield.

    UK stretched its lead to 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth, as Riddle cranked his fourth homer of the year over the rightfield fence.

    Furman Tops Georgia, 5-4

    Athens, Ga. - A five-run outburst led to Furman posting a 5-4 win over Georgia Tuesday at Foley Field.

    Down 2-0 in the fourth, the Paladins (18-20) erupted for the big inning off senior right-hander Michael Palazzone who was coming off a complete game win over No. 18 Ole Miss last Thursday. In a planned staff night, Georgia got five pitchers some work.  The other four, David Sosebee, Jarrett Brown, Luke Crumley and Pete Nagel, all freshmen, combined to throw eight shutout innings and allowed three hits. Palazzone was touched for five runs on four hits in an inning to fall to 1-5.  Georgia was playing its fifth game in the past six days and went 3-2 in this stretch.

    “Some of our seniors struggled tonight, but our freshmen pitchers were outstanding,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “Michael (Palazzone) wanted to get some work, and I didn’t find out until after the fact that he was a little under the weather. He was coming off a great outing so it was tough to see him struggle tonight. This was a tough way to end this part of our schedule this week. We need to really play well this weekend at Florida and hope that’s enough because Florida is good.”

    The Bulldogs (23-15) struck early, with two outs in the first inning senior first baseman Jonathan Hester knocked in centerfielder Peter Verdin with a triple to deep centerfield.  Two batters later the Bulldogs’ freshman right fielder, Justin Bryan—making just his fourth start of the season—scored Hester with a single to right field. Bryan now has eight RBIs on four hits this season.

    The Georgia pitching dominated the first three innings.  Sosebee started and in two went two innings.  The third was pitched by Brown who also did not give up a hit or run.  Palazzone pitched the fourth.  The first batter he faced, right fielder Jake Jones, got Furman’s first hit of the game, with a single up the middle.  Next, first baseman Taylor Johnson hit a hard chopper to Hester and his throw to Palazzone, who was covering first base, went astray allowing Jones to score Furman’s first run on the base hit and error.  Two batters later second baseman Will Muzika sharply hit a double to right-center field, which tied up the game.  After a strikeout, third baseman Alex Abrams gave Furman the lead with a run scoring groundout to second.  With two outs, Georgia native Chris Ohmstede extended Furman’s lead to 5-2 with a two-run home run.

    Georgia responded in the bottom of the inning, with two outs Verdin was hit by a pitch.  He then stole second to put himself in scoring position for freshman Nelson Ward.  Ward scored Verdin with a single up the middle, making the score 5-3.

    In the fifth the Bulldogs continued to chop away at Furman’s lead. Hester led off the fifth with a walk, then had his first career stolen base on a pitch that Furman pitcher Jaques de Gray threw wild allowing Hester to also take third.  Next second baseman Levi Hyams hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield cutting Furman’s lead to one, but that was as close as the Bulldogs got.

    Furman’s Matt Solter and Alex Abrams pitched a solidly in the last three innings to hold the lead for the Paladins.  Abrams held off Georgia in the ninth, when he struck out senior Colby May to end the game with shortstop Kyle Farmer on second for his second save.

    Furman starter Elliot Warford picked up the win putting his record at (3-0). Georgia will be back in action Friday for the start of a three-game SEC series against top-ranked Florida (28-8, 9-6 SEC) in Gainesville.

    Buchanan, No. 22 Rebels Claim Governor's Cup Over Mississippi State


    PEARL, Miss. - Freshman right-hander Hawtin Buchanan led the Rebel bullpen in holding the Bulldogs scoreless over the final 5.1 innings of play as No. 22 Ole Miss (25-12) defeated Mississippi State (21-16) by a score of 6-3 in the annual Governor's Cup game played at Trustmark Park.

    Matt Snyder went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored to pace the Ole Miss offense, while Buchanan was the first man out of the bullpen to hold the Bulldogs down after a two-run rally in the fourth had cut into the lead.

    Buchanan (1-0) picked up the relief win, and was named the MVP of the game, after taking the mound with two outs in the fourth and a man on base. He struck out the first batter faced on his way to 2.2 hitless innings of baseball with five strikeouts and retired all eight batters faced. Dylan Chavez picked up his first save of the season, working the final 1.2 innings with a walk and four strikeouts.

    Ole Miss struck out a season-high 16 batters on the night on the way to the win as four pitchers combined in the outing.

    Brandon Woodruff (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work.

    "We played well today and it was big to be able to get off to a good start," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "We really pitched well tonight. Hawtin (Buchanan) was electric. He threw the ball in the zone and we got some big strikeouts when we needed them. It was great to see that kind of performance tonight."

    Ole Miss got on the board in the first inning when Matt Snyder came up with an RBI single to right field to score Tanner Mathis from third. Mathis singled to left to open the game before taking second on a sac bunt and third on a groundout to second to set up the score on the Snyder hit. Ole Miss led 1-0 after the first inning of play following a ground ball to short in the next at bat.

    Mississippi State answered with a rally of its own in the third inning, loading the bases with two outs before a wild pitch brought a run home to tie the game. With two men on and two outs, a walk loaded the bases before the errant pitch brought the lead runner home to tie the game at one before Ole Miss would get out of the inning.

    The Rebels broke things open in the fourth inning, pushing four runs home to take a 5-1 lead after three and a half innings of play.

    It started with back-to-back singles with one out from Matt Snyder and Will Allen before a wild pitch moved both men into scoring position. Following a strikeout for the second out, the Rebels put together a rally that was sparked by an infield single down the third base line from Bousfield that scored Snyder to put Ole Miss back on top 2-1.

    Allen scored on the next at bat when Zach Kirksey singled through the right side and Bousfield moved from first to third. The speedy centerfielder scored on a throwing error from the Mississippi State catcher on a pickoff attempt that sailed into left field as Kirksey stole second. A single to center from Mistone brought Kirksey home and gave the Rebels the 5-1 lead before the Bulldogs would end the inning.

    Mississippi State answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs of its own. A walk, a single and a wild pitch put two men in scoring position with one out before a sac fly to right field would bring the first run home and put a man on third. A ground ball to short looked to have ended the inning, but the batter was ruled safe at first on a bang-bang play and a second run scored to make it 5-3 in favor of the Rebels. Ole Miss then turned to the bullpen for freshman Hawtin Buchanan with one man on and two outs in the inning.

    Buchanan struck out the next batter to end the inning with the Rebels holding to a two-run lead.

    The Rebels added to the lead in the eighth with a single run to take the advantage back out to three runs. Yarbrough opened the inning with a double to left before scoring on a single to right field from Snyder that put the score at 6-3 in favor of Ole Miss.

     The Rebels shut things down the rest of the way with Buchanan and Chavez holding Mississippi State off the board in the eighth and ninth to preserve the 6-3 win.

    Ole Miss returns to action this weekend, hosting No. 15 Arkansas in a three-game series at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field as a part of the Grove Bowl Weekend. Friday's series opener is set for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.

    Johnson Powers No. 1 Florida Over Georgia Southern, 8-2

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Junior Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) matched his career high of five RBI as No. 1 Florida (29-8) kicked off a nine-game stretch at McKethan Stadium with an 8-2 victory over Georgia Southern (22-17) on Tuesday night. Johnson belted a three-run homer in the first inning and added a two-run double in the seventh, while senior right-hander Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) (4-0) earned the win and also moved to third place on the Gators’ all-time list with his 105th appearance. All eight of UF’s runs were scored with two outs. 

    “I thought this was one of the better games that we've played,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Our pitching was outstanding. Brian Johnson is really swinging the bat well right now and we got a lot of contributions from different guys tonight offensively. I'm really pleased with our effort tonight. I thought we were focused and it was certainly a good game looking forward. It's a team effort, and, like I said, I was pleased with our effort tonight. I thought the focus was really good, coming off a good game we played on Sunday at Tennessee. Hopefully, we're hitting our stride a little bit.”

    Johnson (2-for-4) cranked a three-run homer off the scoreboard overlooking right field to give the Gators a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Junior Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) opened with a single up the middle but redshirt freshman Lucas Hart (1-1) had freshman Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) hit into a 4-6-3 double play. Senior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) singled into right field and junior Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) (2-for-3) drew a walk before Johnson cranked a 2-1 offering out of the yard for his fifth dinger of the season and his third in the past five games.

    “I feel a lot more comfortable,” Johnson said. “I'm trying to have four or five good at-bats a game and I am just trying to stay focused for every pitch. In the earlier part of the season, I was just fouling those balls off and digging myself a hole. Now, I'm making contact with the pitch.”

    Hart plunked freshman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) to start the second and was replaced by sophomore Taylor Burke. Junior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) executed a hit-and-run with a single into center field for runners on the corners, matching his career-best hitting streak of three games. Burke pitched out of the jam by having a fielder’s choice by Fontana cut down Turgeon at home plate before having Shafer ground out to end the inning.

    Georgia Southern narrowed the gap to 3-1 on a two-out single by junior Michael Burruss (4-for-4) in the third. Freshman Tyler Avera (2-for-4) led off with a base-hit into center field and was sacrificed to second by sophomore Brent Pugh. Larson had junior Scooter Williams ground out and Burruss sliced a base-knock up the middle to put the Eagles on the board. 

    Freshman Chase Griffin started the fourth with a single, bringing sophomore Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) in for Larson (3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 K on a pitch count). The southpaw had sophomore Stryker Brown fly out to left field, junior T.D. Davis ground out and then struck out freshman Hunter Thomas to complete the frame.

    Avera started the fifth with an infield single and Pugh laid down his second sacrifice of the game to advance his teammate into scoring position. Gibson caught Williams looking on strikes and Burruss legged out an infield single near first base for runners on the corners with two down. Freshman Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) was summoned from the bullpen for Gibson (1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 K) and had senior Eric Phillips ground out to preserve the Gators’ 3-1 advantage.

    A two-out passed ball by Georgia Southern freshman catcher Chase Griffin in the fifth inning enabled Fontana to score UF’s fourth run. Fontana had drawn a leadoff walk from junior Josh Stevenson and moved around the bases on grounders by Shafer and Tucker. After Fontana came in, Zunino ripped his team-leading 15th double to the base of the left field wall and Johnson flew out to straightaway center field.

    Magliozzi plunked Griffin to open the sixth and was replaced by junior Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.), who struck out Brown and Davis and had a grounder by Thomas force Griffin at second base. 

    In the sixth, Turgeon had a one-out single into right center and went to second on a grounder by junior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.). A wild pitch by freshman Jared Cheek allowed Turgeon to reach third base and another wild pitch resulted in a 5-1 lead for the hosts.

    Georgia Southern threatened with two outs in the seventh, as Williams and Burruss had consecutive singles. However, Rodriguez induced an inning-ending fly-out by senior Eric Phillips.

    Shafer singled through the left side with one down in the home part of the frame and went to third on a two-out single by Zunino before Johnson cleared the bases with his seventh double into the gap in right center for a 7-1 margin. Shafer delivered a two-out RBI single in the eighth that brought home freshman Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.), who had drawn a pinch-hit leadoff walk from senior Josh Adams.

    Rodriguez worked two scoreless innings, with three strikeouts and two hits, sophomore Karsten Whitson (Chipley, Fla.) worked a perfect eighth and junior Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) surrendered a hit and a run in the ninth on an RBI grounder by sophomore pinch hitter Garren Palmer.

    The Gators return to conference play on Friday night by hosting Georgia (23-15/7-8 SEC) at 7 p.m. in the opener of a three-game series. The game will be carried on CSS, which will air on Channel 199 on the Cox Communications cable system in Gainesville. 

    Gamecocks Fall 4-3 to College of Charleston


    Columbia, S.C. – College of Charleston tallied three home runs in the first three innings and held off a late rally from eighth ranked South Carolina as the Cougars defeated the Gamecocks 4-3 on Tuesday evening in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium.  South Carolina is now 27-11 on the year with College of Charleston improving to 26-12 for the season.

    A two-run homer by Daniel Aldrich in the first inning and solo home runs by Brandon Glazer and Bradley Goodson in the second and third innings gave the Cougars a four-run cushion.  It was enough for College of Charleston starting pitcher Ryan West, who allowed one run on three hits in seven innings of work to improve to 4-3 for the season.  South Carolina starter Nolan Belcher suffered the loss and is now 2-2 on the year.  He allowed four runs on four hits in 2.2 innings with no walks and five strikeouts.

    The Cougars took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.  After a leadoff double from Marty Gantt, Aldrich drilled a two-out home run to right field. The Gamecocks also started the game with a leadoff double coming from Joey Pankake but left him stranded at third.

    The Cougars increased their lead to 4-0 with both Brandon Glazer and Bradley Goodson contributing with homers to left field.

    South Carolina loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning on a single by LB Dantzler and a pair of hit by pitches.  With two outs, West got out of the jam coaxing Tanner English into a ground out to the third baseman.  Carolina would get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning as a two-out RBI double from Dantzler would score Marzilli.

    In the bottom of the seventh, South Carolina looked to get closer as Joey Pankake was hit by a pitch to open the frame by College of Charleston reliever Kyle Owings and Christian Walker singled to right field with one out.   With runners on the corners, Cougar reliever Josh Renfro struck out Dantzler and pinch hitter Brison Celek flied out to center field ending the Gamecocks’ threat.

    South Carolina attempted to rally again in the bottom of the eighth inning as a leadoff single from Connor Bright, a walk to Grayson Greiner and a single from pinch hitter Michael Roth loaded the bases with no outs.  Tanner English then delivered, knocking a base hit into left field scoring two cutting the Cougars’ lead to 4-3.   College of Charleston reliever David Peterson held on though and retired Pankake with a strikeout, Marzilli lined out to left field and Walker grounded out to second keeping the Gamecocks behind by a run.  The last chance for Carolina came in the ninth inning as Bright singled with two outs.  However, Peterson earned his ninth save of the year with a fly out by Grayson Greiner that ended the game.

    Both teams had eight hits for the evening.  Aldrich was 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead College of Charleston.  Dantzler and Bright had two hits apiece for the Gamecocks.

    South Carolina is back in action this weekend with a three-game series at Auburn.  First pitch for the opener is 7 p.m. ET on Friday evening.

    Arkansas sweeps doubleheader from SFA

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 17th-ranked Arkansas baseball team swept a doubleheader from Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday, winning the first game, 8-3, and winning game two, 4-3.

    With its two wins, Arkansas improves to 27-10 on the season, while Stephen F. Austin drops to 14-23 after the two losses.

    Game 1: Early offense leads Arkansas to 8-3 win

    The Arkansas offense scored six runs in the first three innings as the 17th-ranked Razorbacks defeated Stephen F. Austin 8-3 on Tuesday afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader.

    The Razorbacks pounded out a season-high tying 17 hits with seven of the nine starters recording a hit and six starters having multiple-hit performances.

    Sam Bates set a new career high with four hits with four RBI and a run scored. Dominic Ficociello and John Clay Reeves each had three hits with Ficociello driving in a run and scoring twice. Brian Anderson, Michael Gunn and Jacob Morris each added a pair of hits. Gunn drove in two runs, while Anderson had a RBI.

    Bobby Loveless had two hits, including his fifth homer of the season, and drove in all three runs for the Lumberjacks. Jarid Scarafiotti also had two hits and scored a run.

    Randall Fant (2-2) earned the win on the mound, throwing three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four. Trent Daniel recorded his first save after pitching four scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

    SFA starter Reid Landers (0-2) took the loss after giving up six runs on 10 hits in two-plus innings of work.

    Arkansas jumped on Stephen F. Austin early, scoring four times in the bottom of the first inning. Morris started the rally with a one-out single and then moved to second after a walk to Matt Reynolds. Ficociello then lined a single to center field to score Morris and advance Reynolds to third. An opposite field single to left field by Bates scored Reynolds for the second run. A ground out to third by Conor Costello advanced runners to second and third with two out. Gunn then came through with a two-RBI single to center field to put the Razorbacks in front 4-0.

    The Razorbacks tacked on another run in the bottom of the second. Morris singled with one out and then stole second base. With two out, Ficociello reached on an infield single to put runners at first and third. Bates then chopped a single over the first baseman to score Morris.

    Arkansas stretched the lead to 6-0 with a run in the home half of the third. Gunn started the inning by grounding a double down the right field line. A base hit to left by Reeves put runners on first and third with nobody out. David Masters then drew a walk to load the bases. Anderson hit a single into left field to score Gunn.

    Stephen F. Austin cut the lead in half with three runs in the top of the fourth. Hunter Dozier doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning and then advanced to third on a single to left by Scarafiotti. After Rory Myers struck out looking for the first out of the inning, Loveless hit a three-run homer into the right-field bullpen to cut the lead to 6-3.

    The Razorbacks got a run back in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ficociello led off the inning with a single and scored from first base on a double off the right field wall by Bates.

    Arkansas extended the lead to 8-3 with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Reynolds led off the inning with a double down the left field line. A ground out to the pitcher by Ficociello advanced Reynolds to third and a single to right by Bates scored Reynolds.

    Daniel shut down the Lumberjacks over the final three innings as Arkansas picked up an 8-3 win in the opener of the doubleheader.

    Game Two: Serrano’s walkoff single gives Razorbacks doubleheader sweep

    Joe Serrano hit a walkoff single with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning as No. 17 Arkansas defeated Stephen F. Austin 4-3 in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday evening.

    With the game tied at three in the bottom of the ninth, the Razorbacks put together a game-winning rally. Jimmy Bosco led off the inning with a pinch hit single. Bo Bigham pinch ran for Bosco and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Morris. After a strikeout of Tim Carver for the second out of the inning, Dominic Ficociello was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch advanced Bigham to third and Ficociello to second. With first base open, SFA opted to intentionally walk Matt Reynolds to load the bases for Serrano. Serrano sent a 1-1 pitch back up the middle and in to center field to score Bigham and give Arkansas a 4-3 win.

    Serrano was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with a RBI and a run scored after entering as a pinch runner in the sixth inning. Serrano started the game-tying rally in the eighth and provided the game-winning hit in the ninth. Carver had a game-high three hits out of the leadoff spot for Arkansas. Sam Bates, Ficociello and Morris each added a RBI in the victory.

    Hunter Dozier went 2-for-3 with two runs scored for Stephen F. Austin. Bobby Loveless and Rene Moreda each had a RBI.

    Arkansas reliever Colby Suggs (3-0) earned his third win, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings with a strikeout.

    SFA reliever Hunter Dozier (0-1) suffered the loss, giving up a run on two hits with a strikeout in 0.2 of an inning.

    Each starting pitcher performed well, but didn’t factor into the decision. Arkansas starter Nolan Sanburn struck out four in three hitless innings, while SFA starter Justin Choate pitched five innings, giving up two runs, just one earned, with four strikeouts.

    Arkansas struck first in game two, scoring a run in the bottom of the third. With one out, Morris reached on a fielding error by the third baseman and then advanced to third on a single to center field by Carver. A ground out to second by Ficociello brought home Morris to put the Razorbacks in front.

    Stephen F. Austin tied the game with a run in the top of the fifth. Loveless led off the inning with a single and then moved to second on a one-out single to center field by Chris Hernandez. With two out, Michael Ruiz drew a walk to load the bases and Moreda followed with a walk on his own to score Loveless and tie the game.

    The Razorbacks regained the lead with a run in the home half of the fifth. Brian Anderson reached on an infield single to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Wise. A single to left field by Morris scored Anderson to put Arkansas in front 2-1.

    The Lumberjacks tied the game at two in the bottom of the sixth. Dozier singled to begin the inning. Dozier advanced to third and Jarid Scarafiotti reached second on a fielding error by Anderson at third. A wild pitch scored Dozier to even the game.

    Stephen F. Austin took its first lead of the game with a run in the top of the eighth. Dozier began the inning with a double to right field and he then advanced to third on a passed ball. With one out, Loveless grounded out to short to score Dozier to put the Lumberjacks in front 3-2.

    Arkansas tied the game with a run in the bottom of the eighth. Serrano began the inning with a 10-pitch at bat that culminated with a single into right field. A pair of wild pitches advanced Serrano to third with one run. Bates then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home Serrano with the tying run.

    The Razorbacks resume Southeastern Conference play this weekend at No. 22 Ole Miss. Game times are set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The series finale against the Rebels will be televised by CST.

    Carter's Four Hits Help Vols Hold Off ETSU, 5-4

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Richard Carter was 4-for-4 with two RBIs and junior closer Nick Blount came on to hold off a late rally by East Tennessee State for his 10th save of the season as the Volunteers (22-15) snapped a five-game skid against the Buccaneers (16-19) with a 5-4 victory on Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

    “I said this to the team the other day, but for what we want, we can’t win enough,” Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano said. “I have high expectations and we can’t win enough, so I get frustrated sometimes, but when I look at all the one-run games and the close games we have been in, Nick Blount has saved the last 10 wins we have had. That means every game has been a close game, which means we are doing something right when the game is on the line and I am proud of our guys for that.”

    The four-hit effort by Carter was the first by a Vol this season and gives him six hits and five RBIs over his last seven at-bats. The Brentwood, Tenn., native had three singles, a double and scored a run in Tuesday’s win.

    Junior Nick Blount recorded his 10th save in 10 opportunities this season, coming on for the final four outs against ETSU. He is now just one of three pitchers in Tennessee history to have double-digit saves in a single season, joining Sean Watson (2006) and Todd Helton (1994, 1995). With 11 career saves, he moves into a tie with Jeff Lockwood (2007-09) for third all-time at Rocky Top.

    Blount’s save wasn’t an easy one as he entered the game with a runner on third and the Big Orange leading just 4-2. Although he was able to jam ETSU’s Dylan Pratt with a first-pitch fastball, it dropped just out of the reach of an outstretched Zach Osborne for an RBI single to cut the UT lead to just one.

    After walking the next batter on five pitches, Chris Riopedre hit a groundball up the middle that appeared destined to tie the game. A diving stop by Will Maddox kept the ball in the infield, however, limiting Riopedre to a single that loaded the bases. Blount was then able to buckle down and get Knoxville native Jordan Sanford to hit a weak groundball back to the mound to keep the Tennessee lead intact.

    Blount closed out the contest with a perfect ninth inning, striking out the last two batters of the game.

    In addition to Carter’s effort at the plate, Maddox also had a pair of hits and an RBI while Osborne drove in two runs of his own.

    “When you look at Richard Carter with four hits, Will Maddox with two hits and Parker Wormsley with a hit off the bench, that is seven of our 11 hits from freshmen,” Serrano said. “That doesn’t get overshadowed by me. True freshman that come in and I am very proud of those guys. Those guys aren’t freshman anymore. They are playing like sophomores and juniors. We need more guys to continue to step up like that, not just the young guys, but the older guys to continue to step up and climb to where we want to go.”

    Junior Drew Steckenrider earned the win, improving to 4-2 on the year after striking out four of the five batters he faced in 1.2 innings of relief. Sophomore Nick Williams gave the Vols a solid start, fanning five and yielding just one run on one hit in three frames of work.

    “Steck was great, he was really good tonight,” Serrano said. “I went to him a little earlier than I wanted to. I was kind of playing the rain card, because I didn’t know if we were going to get nine innings in so I went to him an inning earlier than I wanted to, but it ended up working out well.”

    ETSU actually got on the board first in the contest when Clinton Freeman finished off a 12-pitch at-bat against Williams with an RBI single in the top of the first inning.

    The Orange and White got the run back in the second though when Osborne laced a two-out double to left-center to bring in a run after Carter and Chris Pierce opened the frame with back-to-back singles.

    Tennessee extended its lead with three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. Davis Morgan got the sixth inning started with a double that hugged the left-field line before coming home on a single up the middle by Carter two batters later. A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases for Osborne who drove in his second run of the game with a sac fly to right. Maddox tacked on another tally with a RBI single just seconds later.

    In the seventh, Parker Wormsley’s hustle paid off as he legged out a one-out double on a bloop to left before scoring on Carter’s fourth hit of the contest, a single to left.

    ETSU made it a ball game in the eighth, scoring three runs, all with two outs, to cut the Tennessee lead to just one at 5-4 before Blount came on for the save. NCAA home run leader Matthew Scruggs brought the first two runs home with a triple high off the wall in right-center, prompting Serrano to bring in Blount for his first four-out save of the season.

    Tennessee will hit the road this weekend as it travels to Starkville, Miss., for a three-game set against Mississippi State. The series will run Thursday through Saturday with the opener tabbed as the ESPNU Thursday Night SEC Game of the Week. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. ET for the first two games and 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

    Selman leads Dores by Raiders

    Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt junior lefty Sam Selman rode a four-run early cushion to cruise to his fourth straight win, pitching the Commodores to a 5-1 victory over Middle Tennessee.

    The Commodores, now 17-20 overall, scored four of their runs in the first inning, chasing Blue Raider starter Cody Tollison without getting an out.

    It marked Vanderbilt's fourth straight win in non-Southeastern Conference play, and was the Commodores' fourth victory in its last five games overall.

    Middle Tennessee State falls to 21-16 with the loss.

    Selman has been remarkable for the Commodores since becoming a weekday starter nearly a month ago. In the role, the left-hander is 4-0 and sports an impressive 0.42 ERA over 21.2 innings.

    Selman also set a new career high with nine strikeouts, matching the Commodores' team high set early in the year by sophomore Kevin Ziomek. Selman scattered seven hits over 5.2 innings allowing one run.

    Freshman Brian Miller performed well in relief of Selman. Miller posted four strikeouts and allowed just one hit in 3.1 innings to earn his fourth save.

    The Commodores jumped on Middle Tennessee State early. With Tollison struggling with control, the first six Commodore batters reached base. Junior Mike Yastrzemski gave Vanderbilt its first runs, scoring Tony Kemp and Anthony Gomez with a bases-loaded single to right field. The Commodores added a another run when Chris Harvey's bloop single to right plated Conrad Gregor. Vanderbilt scored a fourth run in the first inning when Yastrzemski scored on a double play.

    The Commodores posted an insurance run in the eighth inning when Gregor's sacrifice fly scored sophomore shortstop Joel McKeithan.

    The Commodores, 6-9 in Southeastern Conference play, return to SEC action this Friday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., with a three-game series against Alabama.

    After playing one of the nation's toughest early-season schedules, Vanderbilt has moved to within three games of .500 with the win over MTSU. It is the closest to .500 the Commodores have been since the fifth game of the year. 

    Tuesday’s Game Between Alabama and Mississippi Valley State Postponed

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Due to impending weather in the Tuscaloosa area, Tuesday’s baseball game between Alabama and Mississippi Valley State has been postponed. The game will be made-up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday.

    Alabama and MVSU were already scheduled to play a single game on Wednesday, and will now play a pair of seven-inning contests beginning at 2:05 p.m. CT, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Game two will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

    Tickets for both the Tuesday, April 17 and Wednesday, April 18 game will be accepted for admittance into Wednesday’s doubleheader.