SEC Baseball Today: April 20 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Baseball Today: April 20

    BASEBALL RESULTS
    LSU 5, Kentucky 4
    Mississippi State 7, Tennessee 1
    Alabama 6, Vanderbilt 4
    South Carolina 12, Auburn 5
    Florida 3, Georgia 2
    Arkansas at Ole Miss, suspended

    LSU Takes Opener at Kentucky

    LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman fired 11 strikeouts in seven innings Friday night, and shortstop Austin Nola drove in three runs to lead top-ranked LSU to a 5-4 win over No. 2 Kentucky in Cliff Hagan Stadium.

    The Tigers improved to 32-7 overall and took over sole possession of first place in the SEC standings with a 12-4 conference mark. Kentucky is 33-6 overall and 11-5 in league play.

    The series resumes at 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT) Saturday as sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades will start on the mound for LSU. Kentucky will counter with junior left-hander Jerad Grundy.

    Saturday's game is scheduled to be televised live by Fox College Sports Atlantic (Cox Cable Ch. 255). The game can also be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live audio and stats are available at www.LSUsports.net/live.

    With Friday's win, LSU is now 8-2 this season in SEC games decided by one run.

    "What a great game, and I'm extremely proud of our players for earning the win tonight," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Kevin Gausman gave us another courageous effort, and our bullpen was tremendous as it has been all season. Austin Nola has been a clutch hitter for us throughout  his career, and he demonstrated that tonight with two big two-out hits.

    "Kentucky has an outstanding club, but I thought our players showed a lot of determination and heart in getting this victory."

    Gausman (7-1) threw 101 pitches in seven innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts. Junior left-hander Chris Cotton pitched a perfect eighth inning and junior right-hander Nick Goody struck out the side in the ninth to secure his sixth save.

    Kentucky starter Taylor Rogers (4-2) was charged with the loss as he surrendered five runs (three earned) on eight hits in six innings with two walks and four strikeouts.

    LSU grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Rogers. Centerfielder Arby Fields walked and was caught in a rundown when attempting to steal second, but he advanced safely when first baseman A.J. Reed made an errant throw.

    LSU leftfielder Raph Rhymes grounded to second, where UK second baseman J.T. Riddle committed a throwing error, allowing Fields to score and Rhymes to move to second. Nola singled to score Rhymes with the second run of the inning.

    The Wildcats narrowed the gap to 2-1 in the second when leftfielder Zac Zellers delivered a one-out single and later scored on designated hitter Michael Williams' grounder to first base.

    LSU increased its lead to 3-1 in the fourth on a solo homer by first baseman Tyler Moore, his second dinger of the season.

    Kentucky tied the game in the fourth on an RBI double by rightfielder Cameron Flynn and a run-scoring single by Zellers.

    The Tigers regained the lead in the fifth on a two-out, two-run double by Nola, giving LSU a 5-3 advantage, but Kentucky reduced the margin to 5-4 in the sixth on Williams' RBI single.

    Gausman pitched a scoreless seventh before yielding the mound to Cotton to start the eighth inning. Cotton retired Flynn on a fly ball and Zellers on a groundout before fanning Riddle to end the frame.

    Goody preserved the win in the ninth by striking out Williams, pinch hitter Jeff Boehm and centerfielder Austin Cousino to end the game.



    MSU Baseball Clinches Super Bulldog Weekend Series with Tennessee

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State pitcher Kendall Graveman made short work of the Tennessee baseball team Friday night.
                   
    Graveman threw his second complete game of the season as the Bulldogs glided past the Volunteers 7-1 to clinch the Super Bulldog Weekend Southeastern Conference series at Dudy Noble Field.
                   
    The Bulldogs won their second conference series of the season and third straight series against the Volunteers. MSU has now won seven straight games against UT for the first time in school history.
                   
    “To come out and beat them the way we did and Kendall throwing the way he did, really set the tone,” MSU shortstop Adam Frazier said. “It feels good to finally win the second game in a series (first time this year). Hopefully, all of this momentum will carry over into tomorrow, because that is a big game.”
                   
    Graveman threw 101 pitches and got 15 ground ball outs to complete a 2-hour, 12-minute masterpiece – MSU’s shortest game of the season. The Bulldogs have received back-to-back nine-inning starts in the series, as Friday night’s gem came after Chris Stratton worked nine innings but earned a no decision in a 2-1, 11-inning victory.
                   
    “My body felt really great and I knew I could go nine innings,” said Gravemen, who earlier threw a complete game in a 7-1 win at LSU. “Our strength coach has prepared me for games like this. You knew they were eventually going to start hitting the ball because they were competing well in the batters’ box. With a lead, my job was to throw strikes and fill the zone.”
                   
    Graveman allowed three hits – the lowest hit total allowed by MSU pitching this season. Three hits also matched the lowest offensive output for Tennessee this season. Graveman matched a season high with eight strikeouts and walked two, while facing 33 batters – six past the minimum.
                   
    “I am really proud of Kendall, I thought he was phenomenal tonight,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “He commanded the strike zone. He threw 21 fastballs 90 miles per hour or faster. He showed up here throwing 82 to 84. He has always had movement. When a kid works so hard like that, you are going to cheer for him.
                   
    “And now next week, he gets to take engineering finals. You can’t say enough good things about what he means to our ballclub.”
                   
    The Bulldogs broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the fourth inning. C.T. Bradford opened the inning with a double. After a sacrifice bunt by Hunter Renfroe, Wes Rea slapped an RBI-double down the left field line. Matthew Britton would then draw a walk. After a groundout, Frazier ran the lead to 4-1 on a two-run triple.
                   
    Rea delivered again in the fifth inning with a critical two-run double, pushing the Maroon and White advantage to 6-1.
                   
    “Adam played spectacular defense for us,” Cohen said. “We played a second straight game without making any mistakes defensively. Adam really stepped up for us and that is what we need. Then, Wes has two critical at-bats and delivers two critical hits. For us to make a run in the second half, we have to have that kind of production.
                   
    “I thought we did a better job of commanding the strike zone. These kids are working so hard. The makeup of this group is incredible. I would like to take credit for that. But you find these kinds of kids on the recruiting trail. They have tremendous makeup and they come from great families. I think we can go on a run in the second half because of the character of this group of kids and how bad they want this.”
                   
    The Bulldogs finished with seven hits. Frazier, Rea and Bradford each had multiple hits. Frazier and Rea matched career highs with three RBIs apiece.
                   
    UT starter Robbie Kidd (2-1) was lifted with two outs in the fifth inning and took the loss.
                   
    The Bulldogs will be going for their first three-game weekend sweep of the season when the teams meet in Saturday’s 1 p.m. series finale.
       
    “We have a lot of confidence in this locker room,” Graveman said. “We are excited about playing baseball every day. The second half of the season, we turned it around last year and we feel like we can do that again this year. We have some players who have been through this before. We are going to keep battling.”



    Alabama Baseball Opens Series with 6-4 Win Over Vanderbilt

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman right hander Spencer Turnbull pitched 5.1 innings, striking out a career-high six batters, while Jared Reaves and Brett Booth both registered a pair of solo home runs to power the Alabama baseball team to a 6-4 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Friday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

    With the win the Crimson Tide improves its record to 15-24 and 5-11 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Commodores fall to 17-21 and 6-10 in the SEC.

    “I thought that we got a good start in today’s game,” Gaspard said. “It was Spencer Turnbull’s first SEC start and I thought he did really well. He kind of maximized his pitches there, he made pitches when he needed to and kept the game settled down. Offensively we played a few long balls, with some leaving the yard, and I thought that we executed well.  We bunted the ball well, and I think we forced them into a couple mistakes.”

    Turnbull (2-3), making his sixth start of the season and first on Friday night, delivered a sterling performance allowing just one unearned run on six hits over the course of a career-high 108 pitches. He gave way to fellow freshman Justin Kamplain, who pitched 2.2 innings of middle relief, before freshman Jake Hubbard came on to pitch the ninth inning and earn his third save of the season.

    On the hitting side, Reaves registered a 2-for-4, two-run, one RBI night at the plate, including the solo home run. Booth finished 1-for-4 after his fourth inning solo shot to left field. The Tide took advantage of three Vanderbilt errors and two wild pitches, scoring three unearned runs in the game off Commodore mistakes.

    “The defense goes hand-in-hand with your pitching,” Gaspard said. “When you pitch the ball well you’ve got a real good chance to defend the field. I thought that tonight was one of the better games that we’ve played through the course of the year.”

    UA leadoff hitter Taylor Dugas kick-started the scoring in the first, starting the game off with a single, advancing to second on a sacrifice and advanced to third on a fly to right, before coming home on Ben Moore’s two-out RBI single to make it 1-0, Alabama after one frame.

    Vanderbilt got on the board with an unearned run in the top of the third inning to tie it up at 1-1, before the Tide retook the lead on the Reaves homer in the third. UA added to its lead an inning later when Booth homered on the first pitch of the inning from losing pitcher TJ Pecoraro (0-1), to increase the advantage to 3-1. Reaves and Booth are tied for the team lead with four home runs each.

    An RBI fielder’s choice by Austen Smith increased the Alabama advantage to 4-1 after five innings of play. Reaves led off the inning with a single before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Moore, and then to third on a subsequent Vanderbilt error. From there Smith grounded out to third, allowing Reaves to scoot home to give the Tide a three-run advantage.

    The Commodores threatened in the top the top half of the next inning, putting runners on the corners with one out to chase Turnbull. From there, Kamplain induced an inning ending 1-6-3 double play to get out of the jam and prevent any runs from scoring.

    Alabama then respond with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to pad the score even further and take a 6-1 lead into the final three innings. A one-out, RBI fielder’s choice by Hunter Gregory pushed the first run of the inning across the plate for the Tide, before a wild pitch by Vandy reliever Will Clinard – the third Commodore relief pitcher of the inning -  allowed James Tullidge to scamper home from third to increase the UA advantage to five runs.

    A two-run home run with no outs in the top of the eighth by Commodore second baseman Anthony Gomez cut the Tide lead to 6-3, as Alabama avoided further damage in the inning with some superior glove work at third base by Tullidge and timely pitching by Kamplain.

    Hubbard allowed one run on two hits in the ninth before retiring Gomez to end the game, but recorded his third save of the season.

    The Crimson Tide and the Commodores will continue the three-game SEC series on Saturday. First pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m. CST from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama will start freshman left-handed Taylor Guilbeau (3-2, 5.23) and Vanderbilt will throw right-handed pitcher Tyler Beede (1-4, 4.64).



    Gamecocks Defeat Auburn 12-5 in Series Opener

    Auburn, Ala. – Eighth ranked South Carolina erupted for 11 runs in the first five innings and backed a quality start from senior left-hander Michael Roth on the way to a 12-5 victory over Auburn on Friday evening in the series opener at Plainsman Park.  The Gamecocks improve to 28-11 and 9-7 in the SEC while the loss drops Auburn to 21-17 and 7-9 in league play.  Game two of the series is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET and will be televised live on SportSouth with Dave Neal and Larry Conley on the call.  It can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, “The Game.”  Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody are behind the microphone on the radio.

    Carolina had a 13-hit night vs. the Tigers with eight of the hits coming from four freshman position players.  Connor Bright went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, Grayson Greiner was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, Tanner English had one hit with two runs scored and a RBI and Joey Pankake tallied a hit and two RBI as well.  Evan Marzilli added two hits and two runs scored as well.  Eight of the nine Gamecock position starters had at least one hit.  The 13 hits mark the highest total for the Gamecocks vs. a SEC opponent this year.

    Roth allowed four runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings with two walks and eight strikeouts for his fourth win of the season.  He is 4-0 on the year.  The eight strikeouts marked the most for Roth this season against a SEC team and the second highest strikeout total for him on the year.  Auburn senior right-hander Derek Varnadore allowed seven runs on six hits in three-plus innings with three walks and three strikeouts in a loss for the Tigers.  He is now 1-6 for the season.

    South Carolina struck with four runs in the top of the first inning off of Varnadore.  Carolina would load the bases with one out as Marzilli drew a walk, Walker singled to left field and LB Dantzler knocked a base hit up the middle.  Greiner would drive in the first run with a line drive single to center field scoring Marzilli.  With the bases still full, Adam Matthews tallied the second RBI of the frame with a groundout to the second baseman.  With two outs and runners on second and third base, Bright delivered as he knocked a RBI base hit off the wall in left field scoring both Dantzler and Greiner giving the Gamecocks a 4-0 lead.  Bright’s two-run single was his first runs driven in since March 9 vs. Princeton.  The four runs in the first tied a season-high for the Gamecocks as Carolina also scored four in the 8-1 win over UNC Asheville on March 7.

    Auburn would look to answer in the bottom half of the first loading the bases with one out against Roth.  The senior left-hander worked out of it though as Justin Bryant lined out to Pankake at short and he stepped on second base for a double play to end the Tigers’ threat.

    “It was great to get some runs early,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner.  “We were very fortunate, we caught Varnadore on a night that he wasn’t as good as he normally is.  He has been very competitive (for Auburn) and pitched a lot of good games.  We got out of the blocks early; Roth was able to make some pitches here and there.  They have an outstanding team offensively, and (Roth) had a few strikeouts to get out of some trouble.  It was a good game for us (tonight).”

    The Gamecocks struck for three more runs in the top of the fourth inning to extend the advantage to 7-0 and knocking Varnadore out of the game in the process.  Bright’s second single of the game, a base hit into right-center started off the frame.  Tanner English was hit by a pitch and Chase Vergason walked to load the bases with no outs.  Joey Pankake then launched a blast that went off the top of the 30-foot wall in left-center scoring both Bright and English.  After Varnadore was lifted for right-hander Jay Wade, the Gamecocks added a run on a 6-4-3 double off the bat of Walker to go ahead by seven runs.

    A four-run fifth inning would increase the Carolina advantage to 11 runs.  Greiner led off with a base hit to right-center.  With one out and Greiner on second base, Bright tallied his third hit of the evening with a RBI single up the middle scoring Greiner and Bright would take second on the throw home.   English kept the hit parade going with a RBI base hit to right field that plated home Bright.  With runners on second and third and one out, English would score on a fielder’s choice as a throw home by the Auburn second baseman Creede Simpson sailed high in the attempt to nab English.  Evan Marzilli added a RBI sacrifice fly to left field scoring Vergason.

    Auburn would get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth with two runs on a two-out triple by Cullen Wacker.  They added two more in the seventh as Garrett Cooper connected with a two-out two-run homer to right-center, his third home run of the season.

    The Gamecocks scored the 12th run in the top of the eighth inning.  Marzilli singled and Walker drew a walk to open the eighth.  After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over, Greiner lined a sacrifice fly into left field scoring Marzilli.  Auburn’s final run came in the ninth inning on a pinch-hit single off the bat of Patrick Savage.  Gamecock junior right-hander Patrick Sullivan worked 2.1 innings of relief and allowed one run on three this with one out and two strikeouts to preserve the Carolina victory.



    No. 1 Florida Outlasts Georgia, 3-2, In 16 Innings To Claim Series Opener

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A two-out throwing error on a third strike in the 16th inning allowed the winning run to score as No. 1 Florida (30-8/10-6 SEC) edged Georgia (23-16/7-9 SEC), 3-2, in front of 4,840 fans on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. It was the Gators’ longest outing since defeating LSU, 7-6, in 16 innings on March 22, 1996, and was the longest game by time in Bulldog history. Neither team committed any errors until the final play of the contest.

    With the action approaching five hours and the clubs locked in a 2-2 stalemate, UF junior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) drew a one-out walk from redshirt freshman Jay Swinford (0-1). Junior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) greeted junior Blake Dieterich with sacrifice bunt to move Ramjit into scoring position and the southpaw uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Ramjit to take third. Although Deiterich struck out junior Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) and could have ended the inning, an errant throw by sophomore catcher Brandon Stephens permitted Ramjit to come across with the decisive run.

    “It was an unbelievable game by both teams,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I thought Georgia’s defense was outstanding. Their infielders made some great plays and the right fielder made a great throw to home to throw out Josh Tobias. They did everything they needed to do. It was just unfortunate that somebody had to lose this game.”

    “We got into a situation where we threw [Steven] Rodriguez for 51 pitches and [Austin] Maddox for 61. You’re using your two most reliable guys at the end of the game and if you lose a game like that, the chances of using them tomorrow aren’t great. We did whatever we needed to do. Once again, I think we need to commend Georgia. They played outstanding. It just came down to that one play there at the end. You’ve got to compliment Georgia’s pitchers. They threw strikes and their defense played great defense behind them. They used six different pitchers and they all threw well.”

    “I’ve never been so excited to strike out,” Fontana said. “Once I struck out, I saw the ball in the dirt and I just ran hard like our coaches always preach. It’s baseball. You get to come out tomorrow again and play and that’s what we get to look forward to.”

    Senior Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) (5-0) threw three scoreless innings without permitting any hits to earn the victory, while the four Gator pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts and zero walks in 16 innings. Sophomore starter Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) went the first 4.1 innings and gave up one run and was followed to the mound by junior Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.), who scattered four hits over 3.0 innings, with four strikeouts and one run. Junior Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) worked a career-high 5.2 innings and totaled five K and four hits before turning the game over to Larson in the 14th.  

    After Crawford retired the side in order to start the game, the Gators put two runners aboard against redshirt sophomore Alex Wood but came away empty-handed. Fontana (2-for-7) led off with an infield single and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by senior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (3-for-5). Senior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) drew a walk and a grounder by junior Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) advanced his teammates into scoring position before junior Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) went down on strikes.

    Freshman Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) began the second with a flare into right field and Wood had freshman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) ground into a 1-4-6-3 double play and Ramjit pop out in foul territory.

    Senior Peter Verdin (2-for-7) opened the scoring for the visitors with a two-out RBI single in the third inning. Crawford set down the first six Bulldogs before senior Levi Hyams (2-for-7) started the frame with a base-hit through the right side of the infield. After senior Colby May flew out to center field, Zunino gunned down Hyams attempting to steal second and junior Curt Powell (3-for-7) extended the inning with a double down the right-field line. Soon after, Verdin sliced a 2-1 pitch into left field to drive in his teammate.

    Although Fontana drew a one-out walk and Pigott followed with a single through the left side of the infield in the home part of the inning, Wood induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play by Tucker.

    Junior Kyle Farmer (2-for-7) began the fourth with a single into left field and went to second on a ground out by junior Brett DeLoach (2-for-5), who was robbed of a hit on a diving stop by Turgeon. Crawford fanned sophomore Conor Welton and had freshman Justin Bryan ground out to strand the runner.

    Florida tied the game at a run apiece in the bottom of the inning. Zunino started the frame with his team-leading 16th double to the left-field wall and Johnson (2-for-4) punched a game-tying single up the middle to raise his hitting streak to seven games. Turgeon (2-for-7) stroked a one-out single into left field that moved Johnson to second and Wood countered with strikeouts of Ramjit and Dent.

    The Bulldogs filled the bags with one down in the fifth but were held at bay by Rodriguez. Hyams opened the inning with a single into center field and went to second on a grounder by May. Powell legged out an infield single to shortstop and Verdin was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one down and prompt a pitching change. Rodriguez replaced Crawford (4.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 K) and struck out freshman Nelson Ward before having a fielder’s choice by Farmer force Verdin at second to keep the contest tied.

    UF seized a 2-1 lead in the home part of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Zunino. Fontana collected his second hit of the night with a leadoff single to right and Pigott deposited a Texas Leaguer into shallow left field to put the Gators in business. A fly-out in foul territory by Tucker advanced Fontana to third base and Zunino brought him home with his team-leading seventh sac fly to straightaway center field. 

    DeLoach opened the sixth with a base-hit into right field and Welton (2-for-7) beat out a bunt up the first-base line for two Bulldogs aboard. Rodriguez struck out junior pinch hitter Kevin Ruiz, Dent made a tremendous catch in foul territory to retire Hyams and Ramjit snagged an infield fly by May to escape the jam. Rodriguez then put the Bulldogs down 1-2-3 in the seventh, with strikeouts of Verdin and Ward.

    In the eighth, DeLoach ripped a one-out triple into the gap in left center and scored on a single into left center by Welton. Maddox was summoned from the bullpen for Rodriguez (3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 K) and plunked Ruiz for two men on base. A grounder by Hyams advanced the runners to second and third and Maddox struck out May to preserve the stalemate.

    Pigott walked on four pitches to begin UF’s eighth and Wood answered by catching Tucker looking on strikes and having Zunino fly out to left field. A wild pitch by Wood enabled Pigott to take second base and the southpaw walked Johnson intentionally with two down. The move paid off when Wood had a grounder by Shafer force Johnson to complete the inning.  

    Maddox registered the first two outs of the ninth before surrendering a single into left center by Ward. The righty had a fly ball from Farmer to Tucker close the frame. Junior Bryan Benzor replaced Wood (8.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 7 K, 4 BB) prior to the Gators’ at bat and yielded a one-out single into right field by Ramjit. Dent laid down his team-leading seventh sacrifice bunt of the year to push Ramjit to second and Benzor sent the game into extra innings by having Fontana fly out to center field.

    Tucker singled up the middle with one down in the 10th and Zunino slammed a ball off Benzor’s leg that ricocheted right to first baseman May for the second out. Johnson was walked intentionally for the second-straight time and Benzor uncorked a wild pitch that advanced Johnson to second and Tucker to third base. Benzor struck out Shafer to strand the runners and provide the fans with more free baseball.

    Maddox picked up the first two outs of the 11th before Powell and Verdin had consecutive singles. The right-hander caught Ward looking on strikes for his third punch-out. Benzor retired the Gators in order in the home part of the inning.

    Farmer opened the 12th with a single into left field and was sacrificed to second by Stephens. Maddox struck out Welton and had Ruiz ground out. Benzor departed after three scoreless innings in which he gave two hits and freshman Pete Nagel took over on the hill. The righty had Fontana foul out, Pigott ground out and Tucker pop out.

    After Maddox pitched a clean 13th, Nagel permitted a one-out single by Johnson to right field. Freshman Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) was inserted as a pinch runner and Shafer drew a walk for two Gators aboard. Turgeon roped a single into right field but Tobias was thrown out at the plate on a perfect throw by Ruiz. With runners on the corners and two down, Nagel had Ramjit send a grounder to third base, where Powell made a great stop and throw over to first base to keep the game going.

    Larson replaced Maddox to begin the 14th after the right-hander went a career-high 5.2 innings, allowing four hits with five strikeouts. Larson set down the Bulldogs in order and senior Chase Hawkins came in for Nagel (2.0 IP, 2 H) and notched the first two outs in the bottom of the inning before Pigott singled into left field. The left-hander fanned Tucker to end the stanza.

    Larson recorded three-consecutive outs in the 15th and Swinford took over for Hawkins. The righty had Zunino, freshman pinch hitter Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Shafer ground out to head to the 16th inning. 

    The Gator pitching staff had retired 13-straight Bulldogs before Hester was hit by Larson with one down in the 16th. Dent made a solid defensive play to throw out Powell for the second out, moving Hester into scoring position. Larson struck out Verdin to strand the runner.

    Johnson (5-1, 3.88) will oppose Bulldog senior righty Michael Palazzone (1-5, 5.81) in Saturday’s game two at 7 p.m., live on CSS (Cox Channel 199 in the Gainesville/Ocala area).



    Rebels, Razorbacks Suspended In Fourth; Resume At 2 PM Saturday

    OXFORD, Miss. - With the Rebels leading 6-1 in the fourth inning, inclement weather settled in and forced the suspension of Friday night's series opener between No. 22 Ole Miss (25-12, 7-8 SEC) and No. 15 Arkansas (27-10, 8-7 SEC).

    Friday night's game will be continued at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field with the regularly scheduled game set to begin shortly following the conclusion of the continued game.

    Fans can gain admission to both games on Saturday by using the Saturday ticket.

    Ole Miss got off to a quick start in Friday night's game, using a two-run home run from Matt Snyder in the first inning to get on the board. Alex Yarbrough scored on the play after reaching on a fielding error at third base before scoring on the Snyder hit.

    Arkansas cut into the lead with a lead-off home run from Sam Bates in the second inning, but Rebel starter Bobby Wahl struck out the next three batters to end the inning.

    Ole Miss added three more runs in the bottom half of the second. A walk of Auston Bousfield and a single from Andrew Mistone put men at the corners before Tanner Mathis singled up the middle to bring the first run home. Yarbrough then came up with a two-out double to drive in both Mistone and Mathis and the Rebels held a 5-1 lead after two innings.

    An RBI single from Zach Kirksey in the third inning put Ole Miss on top 6-1 before the rain would come in the fourth inning and force the suspension of the game.

    Ole Miss had six runs on six hits, while Arkansas had one run on four hits with an error with two outs in the fourth.