SEC Baseball Today: April 24 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Baseball Today: April 24

    Auburn 7, Troy 0
    Alabama 5, Samford 4
    Louisville 10, Kentucky 2
    Georgia Tech 4, Georgia 3
    South Florida 5, Florida 3
    Arkansas 6, Oral Roberts 1
    Mississippi State 5, Southern Miss 0
    Memphis 4, Ole Miss 2
    Austin Peay 8, Tennessee 4

    Tigers Shutout Troy, 7-0

    TROY, Ala. – Ryan Tella and Creede Simpson each doubled and homered for Auburn while Trey Cochran-Gill, Derek Varnadore and Justin Bryant combined on a four-hitter as Auburn picked up a 7-0 win over Troy on Tuesday night at Riddle-Pace field to sweep the season series. The win upped Auburn’s record to 22-19 while Troy fell to 17-23.

    “This was a good win for us. We know we are capable of playing this type of baseball,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “Trey was good tonight. He had nine ground balls and got into the bottom half of the zone”

    Cochran-Gill, making his third career start, scattered three hits through five innings to move to 4-1 on the year. Twice the freshman was aided by double plays, the first an inning-ender in the first and the second in the fifth. He ended the evening issuing two walks and striking out two.

    Derek Varnadore followed Cochran-Gill with three innings of shutout ball, allowing a walk and nothing else. The only base runner he allowed, the second hitter in the eighth, was erased on Auburn’s third defensive double play of the night.

    Simpson started the scoring off with a home run down the line in left for a 1-0 lead in the first. The home run was his second of the year and his second in as many games.

    Auburn took a 4-0 lead in the fourth as Jay Gonzalez reached on an error, Blake Austin singled and Zach Alvord doubled in a run for the first run of the inning. A Mitchell Self sac fly scored Austin before Tella doubled in Alvord to complete the scoring in the inning.

    Auburn increased the lead to 6-0 in the seventh as Tella homered to dead center to start the inning and then Simpson doubled and scored on a Bobby Andrews foul sacrifice fly out.

    A Garrett Cooper RBI groundout extended the lead to 7-0 in the eighth.

    The shutout was the third of the season for Auburn and the first suffered by Troy at home since April 2009.

    Auburn returns home for a three-game set this weekend against Tennessee. The series starts at 6pm on Friday at Plainsman Park.

    Alabama Baseball Completes Season Sweep of Samford with 5-4 Win on Tuesday

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama completed the season sweep of Samford with a 5-4 win over the Bulldogs from Joe Lee Griffin Field on Tuesday night. The Crimson Tide scored four runs in the third inning and held on as Trey Pilkington retired all nine batters he faced to record his first career save.

    With the score tied at 1-1, Alabama (17-25) plated four runs in the third inning, which included the second home run of the season by Austen Smith. The Smith homer staked Alabama starting pitcher Case Nixon to a 5-1 lead. Nixon (2-1) got the win after throwing five innings, allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout. After Chazz Otwell allowed a run on a hit and two walks in the sixth, Pilkington entered in the seventh and retired all nine batters he faced to record the save.

    “I thought Case Nixon gave us a really good start, going a good clean five innings and Pilkington was tremendous in the back end of the game,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Pilkington went nine up and nine down and had to go through the heart of their lineup in the eighth. Hubbard has thrown a lot for us over the last two to three weeks, so we really wanted to give him a night off. We also thought Trey was in a good rhythm, so that made it easier to stick with him.”

    The Tide finished the night with eight total hits, as Taylor Dugas and Hunter Gregory led the way with two hits each. Dugas, who was also hit by a pitch for the 17th time this season and 38th time in his career, scored two of the five runs for Alabama. Ben Moore was 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored and Smith finished the night 1-for-4 with two RBI and a run.

    Alabama got on the scoreboard in the first inning on an RBI ground ball off the bat of Moore to score Dugas. Dugas was hit by a pitch to open the game, and after a bunt single by Gregory, both runners moved up 90 feet on a Jared Reaves sac bunt.

    Samford (25-16) answered with a run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double off the bat of Brandon Miller.

    After both teams went down in order in the second, Alabama exploded for four runs in the third to open a 5-1 lead. Dugas singled with one out and moved to third on a single by Gregory. With runners on second and third, Reaves plated Dugas with a sac fly to center. Moore followed with a single to left to drive in Gregory, then Smith added with a 2-run shot to left to cap the scoring.

    “Offensively, the big blow came from Austen Smith and the two RBIs by Moore were big,” Gaspard said. “I thought we played a clean game tonight, committed no errors and threw strikes. Samford hit a lot of balls hard, but right at us, so that helped. That was a good Tuesday night win against a really good club.”

    Samford got a two-out solo home run by Saxon Butler in the third, a sac fly in the fifth and an RBI double in the sixth to cut Alabama’s lead to 5-4 after six. From there, Pilkington needed just 31 pitches to retire all nine batters he faced, while recording a pair of strikeouts, including Christiaan Durdaller to end the game.

    Alabama returns to SEC action when it travels to No. 4 South Carolina for three games this weekend. The series starts on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. CT from Carolina Stadium, with the game being televised on ESPNU with Dave Neal and Kyle Peterson calling that action.

    No. 20 Louisvile Posts Midweek Win Over No. 1 Kentucky

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- No. 20 Louisville took advantage of a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning, opening the game up with a six-run third inning for a 10-2 win over No. 1 Kentucky to sweep the two-game season series, on an overcast Tuesday night in front of a UL season-high 3,862 at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

    Kentucky (35-7) suffered just its second non-conference loss of the year, with both coming at the hands of the Cardinals. The Wildcats sport a sparkling 22-2 record vs. non-SEC foes this year. UL posted a resounding 12-0 win earlier in the year in Lexington. The series sweep avenges UK’s sweep over the Cards last year, when the Wildcats claimed both meetings.

    UK starter Sam Mahar (3-2) worked into the third inning in his second career start, tossing two innings, before loading the bases and walking in a run to end his game. He allowed five hits and six runs – four earned – in his two innings, walking two without a strikeout. Freshman Chandler Shepherd replaced Mahar with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the third inning, struggling to get out of the inning, allowing the first four hitters he faced to reach base before recording an out. Shepherd worked 2.2 innings, allowing four hits and three runs, walking three and striking out one. Freshman A.J. Reed worked 1.1 shutout innings with a strikeout, with junior righty Walter Wijas also tossing a shutout frame. Tim Peterson worked the eighth inning for the Wildcats

    The Wildcats collected five hits in the loss, with UK getting singles from Jeff Boehm, Thomas McCarthy, Zac Zellers and Cameron Flynn. Michael Williams also collected a hit and drew a walk, with Austin Cousino recording an RBI groundout and drew a walk. 

    Louisville (29-12) starter Chad Green (3-0) worked three innings, allowing two hits and one run, walking one and striking out one. Travis Tingle took over to start the fourth inning, tossing two shutout innings, allowing only one UK hit and one walk, striking out two. Cody Ege, Dace Kime, Cole Sturgeon and Derek Self also pitched in relief for UL.

    UK returns to action on Friday, traveling to defending SEC Champion Vanderbilt for a three-game series. The series will begin on Friday at 7 p.m. ET in Nashville, with the games broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, available live in Central Kentucky on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at

    After a scoreless top half of the first for the Wildcats, Louisville was the first on the scoreboard. Nick Ratajczak got the Cardinals started by reaching on an error. With two outs, Ty Young singled to right field, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Mahar walked Stewart Ijames to load the bases before Alex Chittenden hit a single up the middle to score Ratajczak and Young. Cousino threw out Ijames trying to advance to third on the single but not before the Cardinals had two runners cross and take a 2-0 lead.

    The Wildcats got on the scoreboard in the top of the third as Williams led off with a base on balls. Williams advanced to second with one out on a well-executed sacrifice bunt from Reida. Williams advanced to third on a passed ball before scoring on a ground out from Cousino. Kentucky entered the bottom half of the third trailing by just one at 2-1.

    Ratajczak got Louisville started in the bottom of the third with a leadoff double to left center. Lucas followed with a single through the left side to put runners on first and third with no outs. Young was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Mahar walked Ijames to score Ratajczak, the Cardinals third run of the evening with the bases still loaded and no outs. Shepherd entered the game in the top of the third and hits the first batter he faced, bringing home the Cardinals’ second run of the inning. Jeff Gardner followed up with a ground-rule double down the right field line, scoring Ijames and Young and leaving Gardner and Wasserman on second and third. Kyle Gibson walked for Louisville to load the bases once again, still no outs. On a high, chopping groundball, Matt Helms reached safely on an infield single, scoring Wasserman and leaving the bases still loaded. Shepherd recorded Kentucky’s first out of the inning with a fly ball to center, the sacrifice fly extended Louisville’s lead to 8-1 with Gardner crossing the plate. Shepherd got the Wildcats out of the bottom of the third with a pop up in foul territory and a fly out to left but the damage was already done as Louisville took an 8-1 lead.

    Louisville added it on in the bottom of the fifth as Shepherd surrendered a one-out walk to Helms, the fifth walk of the night by the Kentucky pitching staff. Cole Sturgeon reached on an inside single to shortstop and Ratajczak walked to load the bases with one out. Lucas plated the Cardinals’ ninth run of the night with an RBI fly out to center, scoring Helms. Reed took the mound for the Wildcats with two outs and runners on first and second and used just one pitch to get Kentucky out of the inning. Louisville claimed a 9-1 lead.

    Kentucky made some noise in the top of the seventh. Boehm led off the Wildcats with an infield single to second base. Williams followed Boehm with a single through the right side. Reida reached on a fielder’s choice to leave runners on first and third with one out. Kentucky loaded the bases with one out after a Cousino walk. McCarthy knocked in the Wildcats’ second run of the night with a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Boehm. With runners on second and third Maile flew out to deep right center to end the inning for the Wildcats. Kentucky got one run back in the top of the seventh, but still trailed 9-2.

    Louisville added a run in the bottom of the eighth, as Young doubled with one out, scoring after Mike White blooped a single down the leftfield line with two outs.

    Georgia Tech Edges Georgia At Turner Field

    ATLANTA - Kyle Wren’s two-out RBI double in the top of the ninth lifted Georgia Tech to a 4-3 win over Georgia in the 10th annual Kaufmann Tire Spring Baseball Classic for Kids in front of 19,669 fans Tuesday night at Turner Field.

    Georgia Tech’s ninth inning rally started with two outs and nobody on as Mott Hyde singled for his third hit of the game then scored on the double by Wren as the Yellow Jackets (25-17) evened the season series against the Bulldogs (24-18).

    Georgia outhit the Yellow Jackets 8-7, but was just 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

    “It’s frustrating,” said Georgia head coach David Perno. “We got off to a good start and (Blake) Dieterich did a pretty good job, but we’re not picking each other up, and we’re doing a real poor job with runners in scoring position. No one is really stepping up at all. We have to be able to adjust as hitters, and we aren’t doing that right now.”

    Alex Cruz (5-1) pitched the final three innings in relief for to pick up the win, while Georgia’s Brian Benzor (4-3) took the loss, allowing a run in 1.2 innings.

    Curt Powell led the Bulldogs offensively with a pair of doubles to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Nelson Ward and Peter Verdin had two hits apiece.

    Hyde was 3-for-4 with two RBI and Wren had a pair of hits in the leadoff spot for Georgia Tech.

    Georgia took an early lead following a leadoff double by Conor Welton in the bottom of the first. After a sacrifice bunt by Ward, Welton scored on a Kyle Farmer groundout to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.

    Georgia Tech then took advantage of a leadoff double of its own to tie the score at 1-1 in the third. UGA threatened in the bottom of the fourth, putting runners on second and third with one out, but Tech got out of the jam with a lineout and a strikeout.

    The Yellow Jackets had a chance to take the lead the next inning, but Bulldog reliever Pete Nagel struck out Sam Dove with runners on second and third to end the threat.

    Georgia regained the lead in the bottom half of the fifth. Powell led off with a double, then came around to score on an RBI single by Ward to make it 2-1.

    Georgia Tech took its first lead in the top of the seventh on a two-out, two-run home run by Hyde that hit the top of the wall and bounced over. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Bulldogs loaded the basis in the bottom of the seventh, and an RBI groundout by Levi Hyams scored Ward to tie the game at 3-3.

    Dieterich surrendered only one run on three hits in 4.2 innings in his second start of the season.

    The Bulldogs return to SEC action Friday for the first of a three-game series with fourth- ranked LSU (32-9, 12-6 SEC). First pitch at Alex Box Stadium is slated for 8:07 p.m. ET, and all three contests will be televised with Sunday’s game on ESPN2.

    USF Holds Off No. 2 Florida, 5-3

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Senior Andrew Longley belted a pair of solo homers and drove in three runs and junior Jimmy Falla broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with a two-out RBI single to lead USF (28-14) over No. 2 Florida (31-10), 5-3, on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. It was the Bulls’ first victory over the Gators since May 11, 2005, ending a 12-game losing streak in the series. Juniors Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) and Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) had each homered for UF during a three-run sixth to erase a 3-0 deficit.

    With the Gators down to their final three outs, freshman Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) had a leadoff single up the middle and Fontana delivered a one-out single into right center off USF sophomore Nick Gonzalez. The Bulls summoned junior closer Steven Leasure from the bullpen and he had freshman Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) foul out to right field before walking senior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) to load the bases. The righty had Zunino (2-for-5) ground out to nail down the win for senior Andrew Barbosa (5-3) and collect his sixth save. 

    “It was just one of those nights,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We just couldn’t get things going offensively. Matt Reed, their starter, did a nice job. I think we had 13 fly ball outs, and we struck out four times. So, 17 of the 27 outs were either fly balls or strikeouts. When you only really work with 10 quality outs, it’s hard to score runs. We fell behind 3-0, but I was really pleased about our scoring three there in the sixth. I think the turning point of the game, though, would be after we scored the three in the sixth, we went out and walked the leadoff guy in the seventh and I think that changed the momentum of the game. We battled, we put ourselves in position-- the whole goal of the night was to see if we could get [Preston] Tucker and [Mike] Zunino up in the ninth and we did. We just weren’t able to do enough, but credit to South Florida, they played really well tonight.”

    The Bulls jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a pair of unearned runs. Freshman Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) retired the first four Bulls of the game before Falla (2-for-5) roped a one-out double to left field. A fielding error by junior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) enabled freshman Zac Gilcrease to reach and Falla to move over to third base. Longley (2-for-4) brought home Falla with a grounder to third base and freshman Kyle Teaf legged out an infield single, with Gilcrease running on contact and able to score.

    USF put a couple of runners aboard in the third, as redshirt senior Luis Llerena was hit by a pitch and senior Todd Brazeal singled through the left side of the infield. However, Magliozzi made Falla his fourth strikeout victim to complete the frame.

    Junior Chad Taylor opened the fifth with a base-hit to left field before junior Alex Mendez flew out to left field. Llerena advanced his teammate with a grounder, ending the night for Magliozzi (4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 K). Sophomore James Ramsay greeted sophomore reliever Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) (1-1) with an infield single to give the Bulls runners on the corners with two down and then stole second base for two men in scoring position. Brazeal drew a walk to load the bases and Gibson induced a grounder by Falla that kept the score at 2-0.

    Senior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (3-for-4) collected his second hit of the contest with a one-out single in the home part of the inning and freshman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) followed with a single into center field off Reed. The southpaw had Gushue pop out in foul territory and the Gators executed a double steal, with Pigott swiping third and Turgeon taking second. Reed responded by having Dent ground out to preserve the two-run margin for the visitors.

    Longley increased USF’s lead to 3-0 with a one-out solo shot to left center field off Gibson in the sixth. It was the first homer surrendered by the Gator pitching staff since April 10 at Florida State.

    The Gators used homers by Fontana (2-for-5) and Zunino in the bottom of the frame to knot the contest at 3-3. Fontana led off with his eighth round-tripper of the season to right field. Tucker reached on a misplayed fly ball by Mendez with one down and Zunino deposited a 1-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers for his team-leading 12th homer. Pigott cranked a two-out double off the left-field wall, prompting a pitching change. Barbosa replaced Reed (5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER) and had Turgeon ground out.

    Falla delivered a two-out RBI single in the seventh that gave USF a 4-3 advantage. Mendez earned a free pass on a full count to begin the frame, bringing freshman Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) in for Gibson (1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB). Llerena pushed Mendez over with a sacrifice bunt and Ramsay moved Mendez to third with a grounder. Brazeal was plunked for runners on the corners and two down and Falla sliced a go-ahead single into left field that scored Mendez. Freshman Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) took over on the mound and had Gilcrease fly out to center field.

    Junior Austin Adams relieved Barbosa (0.1 IP) prior to UF’s seventh turn at the plate and issued a leadoff walk to Gushue. Dent collected his team-leading ninth sacrifice bunt to advance Gushue into scoring position and Adams responded with back-to-back strikeouts of Fontana and Shafer.

    Longley connected on his second blast of the game to open the eighth to give USF a 5-3 lead and Teaf walked to cause a pitching change. Sophomore Keenan Kish (Worcester, Pa.) took over for Poyner (0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R) and Teaf swiped second base. Kish struck out Taylor and Turgeon made a nice defensive play to rob Mendez off a single, advancing Teaf to third. Kish then fanned Llerena to strand the runner.

    In the bottom of the inning, Tucker started things off with his 11th double of the season into left field and Adams (1.1 IP, 1 H, 3 K) struck out Zunino before Gonzalez entered the contest and walked junior Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.). A fielder’s choice by Pigott erased Tucker at third base for the second out and Gonzalez had Turgeon ground out to escape the jam.

    The Gators will host Bethune-Cookman (24-17) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Florida notched an 8-6 win in the teams’ first meeting on Feb. 21.  

    Arkansas one hits Oral Roberts in 6-1 win

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Seven Arkansas pitchers combined to allow just one run on one hit, while Tim Carver hit a pair of home runs as the 21st-ranked Razorbacks defeated Oral Roberts, 6-1, on Tuesday night at Baum Stadium.

    With the victory, Arkansas improves to 29-12 on the season, while Oral Roberts drops to 21-19 with the loss.

    The Razorback pitching staff was dominant throughout. Arkansas carried a no hitter into the ninth inning, before a double by Jose Trevino broke up the no hit bid. The Trevino double was the only hit Oral Roberts would manage on the night. The Golden Eagles would only have five base runners for the entire game.

    Arkansas starter Trent Daniel (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, throwing three hitless innings and striking out a season-best five batters.

    Nolan Sanburn, Brandon Moore, Tyler Wright, Colby Suggs and Michael Gunn each turned in scoreless outings out of the bullpen.

    Oral Roberts starter Phillip Wilson (1-2) suffered the loss. Wilson gave up two runs on two hits in two innings of work.

    Carver belted his first two homers of the season to lead Arkansas offensively. The senior led off the game with a round tripper and then added his second homer in the fifth. His leadoff homer marked the first for Arkansas since Collin Kuhn led off the game against Grambling State on June 4, 2010, with a homer. Carver recorded his only other multi-homer game at California on March 6, 2010.

    Derrick Bleeker and Jacob Mahan also had two hits in the win for the Razorbacks. Mahan added two RBI, while Bleeker had a RBI. Jacob Morris went 1-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.

    Trevino managed the only hit of the night for the Golden Eagles, while Jared Schlehuber had a RBI.

    The Razorbacks drew first blood with a run in the bottom of the first on Carver’s leadoff homer that went over the left field seats.

    Arkansas added another run in the home half of the second. Sam Bates began the inning with a walk and then moved to third on a one-out hit-and-run single by Bo Bigham into right field. A fielder’s choice groundout to short by Morris scored Bates to put the Razorbacks in front 2-0.

    The Razorbacks would score a single run in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Carver provided the offense with his second solo homer of the game, this one over the wall in left field. Arkansas’ run in the sixth came courtesy of a two-out hit-and-run double to the left-center field gap by Bleeker, scoring Matt Reynolds from first base.

    Arkansas tacked on two more runs in the seventh. With one out, Mahan singled through the right side of the infield to score Morris and Jake Wise.

    Oral Roberts got its only run of the game in the top of the ninth. After a leadoff walk, Trevino recorded the first hit of the game for ORU on a double to left field to put runners at second and third. A ground out to first by Schlehuber scored a run for the Golden Eagles. Barrett Astin struck out the next two batters to preserve the 6-1 win.

    Arkansas returns to Southeastern Conference play this weekend at No. 5 Florida. The weekend series begins at 6 p.m. on Friday. First pitch on Saturday is also set for 6 p.m., while the series finale on Sunday will begin at 2:30 p.m. The final game of the series will be televised by ESPN.

    MSU Baseball Defeats Southern Miss

    PEARL, Miss. – For Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen, the good news is there was not much bullpen activity Tuesday night.
    Other than, the occasional chasing down home run balls hit into the MSU bullpen.
    The Bulldogs threw their third shutout of the season in a 5-0 win over in-state rival Southern Mississippi before a crowd of 4,300 at Trustmark Park. For MSU, it was their fourth straight win over Southern Miss.
    MSU supplemented the good pitching with two massive two-run home runs. Snapping a string of five games without a long ball, Mitch Slauter hit a two-run shot in the fourth inning and Hunter Renfroe followed with his own two-run shot in the fifth inning. Slauter’s shot landed in the bullpen, while Renfroe’s went slightly further and barely cleared the MSU work area beyond the left field wall.
    “The wind was more favorable tonight,” Cohen said. “Especially compared to our ballpark, this yard is very exciting. It is such a relief to see a ball disappear out of the ballpark off of our bat. When you see that, it makes you feel like things are going your way. It is not just our yard or this yard, home runs are down everywhere.
    “However, you feel something good when you see the ball leave the bat and it leaves the yard.”
    For the Bulldogs, it was third multi-home run game of the season. MSU has now hit 17 home runs through 41 games. The Maroon and White finished with five total hits; however, the two round-trippers gave MSU more bang for its buck and drove in four total runs.
    On the mound, Brandon Woodruff threw four innings, Nick Routt followed in relief with three innings and Ross Mitchell finished the contest with two innings. The duo combined to allow six hits, with eight strikeouts and three walks allowed.
    MSU overcame one error, turned one double play and forced Southern Miss to strand nine base runners.
    “I settled down after my first inning (of work), pitched down in the zone and got a lot of ground ball outs,” Routt said. “I got some early ground balls. I dropped down to the side and that is what caused that.”
    MSU built a 1-0 lead by scoring without a base hit in the third inning. The Bulldogs patched together three walks and a ground ball out for the game’s first score.

    In the fourth inning, the lead grew to 3-0 on Slauter’s home run and an inning later to 5-0 on Renfroe’s blast. MSU had more opportunities to blow the contest open but were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position through the first six innings of play.
    “I think playing Thursday-Friday-Saturday last week really helped us,” Cohen said. “The kids had a day off on Sunday. We came back and had a great practice on Monday. You could see the sprig in their step. That is real important for what we are trying to do.”
    Frazier and Slauter each had multiple hits for the Bulldogs. Frazier has hit safely in 34 of MSU’s 41 games this season.
    Kameron Brunty had two of Southern Miss’ six hits. Still, the Golden Eagles were shut out for a second time this season and second straight time by Bulldog pitching.
    MSU returns home for a Southeastern Conference series with in-state rival Ole Miss this weekend.  The Bulldogs and Rebels meet at 7 p.m. Friday (SportSouth), 2 p.m. Saturday (SportSouth) and 1:30 p.m. Sunday (Comcast Sports Southeast).

    Late Rally Trips Up No. 18 Ole Miss In Loss To Memphis

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Junior right-hander Tanner Bailey worked a perfect four innings in a predetermined start on Tuesday night, but a late Tiger rally was trouble as No. 18 Ole Miss (27-14) fell to Memphis (18-23) by a score of 4-2 at AutoZone Park.

    Bailey retired all 12 batters faced, including four strikeouts, and Ole Miss held a 2-0 lead through 6.5 innings. But, Memphis pushed two runs across in the seventh and two in the eighth to claim the win.

    The Rebels had a chance to rally in the ninth, putting men at the corners with one out, but Memphis was able to turn a double play on a ball up the middle that ended the threat of an Ole Miss comeback.

    Dylan Chavez (3-3) suffered the loss for Ole Miss in relief, working 1.1 inning and allowing two runs on four hits with two strikeouts as Jacob Wilson hit a two-run home run to left off Chavez in the eighth to give Memphis the lead for the first time in the game.

    Michael Wills (3-1) picked up the win as he worked 8.1 innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

    “You have to play all nine innings and they played better than we did in the last couple of innings,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We have to figure out a way to finish things off. Tanner Bailey was terrific tonight in the start for us. He did what we needed him to do and that was throw strikes, fill up the zone and he did that.”

    Neither team could manage anything early in the game, with the Rebels notching a pair of hits in the first inning before Memphis would get out of the inning and then hold Ole Miss off the bases through the next three innings.

    Ole Miss scored in the fifth inning when Tanner Mathis came up with an infield single with two outs and the bases loaded to bring home John Gatlin. The ground ball to the left side was saved by the Memphis third baseman, but he threw the ball into the outfield trying to get Auston Bousfield out at second, allowing the Rebels to plate a second run as Blake Newalu went home on the throwing error. The score sat at 2-0 in favor of the Rebels after the top of the fifth.

    Memphis got its first hit of the game in the seventh inning as the Tigers put together the first rally of the night. Back-to-back singles opened the frame before Ole Miss would go to the bullpen for left-hander Dylan Chavez in relief of right-hander Aaron Greenwood. Another Tiger single loaded the bases before Chavez would strike out the next two batters.

    T.J. Rich then came up with a single up the middle on a full count pitch to drive in two runs and tie the game at two in the seventh. Chavez got the next batter to fly out to end the inning, but the lead was gone with the score tied after seven complete.

    The Tigers took the lead in the eighth when Wilson hit his two-run shot to left field. Tucker Tubbs scored on the play after reaching in the previous at bat with a double down the third base line. The Rebels then went to the bullpen for Chris Ellis to replace Chavez.

    Ole Miss will return to action this weekend with a three-game series on the road at Mississippi State. The first game of the series is set for a 6:30 p.m. start on Friday and will be televised by SportSouth. All three games in the series will be televised with Saturday’s game also being carried by SportSouth and Sunday’s finale on CSS.

    Vols Suffer 8-4 Setback to Austin Peay

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay took advantage of unearned runs in both the seventh and eighth innings before breaking the game open with a three-run ninth as it defeated Tennessee, 8-4, on a rainy Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

    “We are not playing with any confidence,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “We aren’t playing fundamental baseball and that is very bothersome to me. We work too hard on a daily basis on the fundamentals for us to continue to go out there and not succeed on them. It really bothers me when you see other teams pound the strike zone and execute. Nothing against those other teams, but I don’t think they work on it and take as much pride as we do as a coaching staff and as a program. We are getting beat in every phase of the game right now. We are not getting in the right position on cutoffs and relays, we aren’t running the bases well and obviously we aren’t executing.

    “I just noticed we had another seven walks. That isn’t typical for winning baseball. We are kind of getting what we deserve right now and there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have a big weekend coming up. We have to go on the road again and we are going to have to turn it around quickly. Maybe this is a great test. Maybe this team needs to hit rock bottom like I feel we are right now and find a way to get back up to the top. We have to find a way to get tougher and I take full responsibility for that.”

    Junior Chris Pierce launched his second home run of the year to pace a Volunteer offensive attack that managed just six hits against eight Austin Peay pitchers on the night, while sophomore Dalton Saberhagen (4-1) suffered the tough-luck loss, the first of his collegiate career, despite allowing just one unearned run in an inning of work.

    Freshman Conner Stevens posted the best relief appearance of his young career, holding the Govs off the board for a career-high 4.1 innings, while striking out two. Junior Drew Steckenrider continued his terrific work out of the bullpen as well, fanning three in two frames of action.

    Pierce’s longball was UT's first since Steckenrider hit a two-run shot off of Michael Roth at South Carolina on April 8. The Big Orange drops to 22-19 on the year with the loss, while the Governors improve to 25-15 overall.

    Austin Peay opened up a 3-0 lead in almost no time at all, striking with a two-run home run by Jon Clinard and an RBI single from Cody Hudson before Stevens came on to get the final out in the top of the first.

    The Vols answered right back with a two-run blast over "The Porch" in left by Pierce in the home half of the frame before a bases-loaded RBI groundout by Will Maddox tied the contest in the bottom of the second.

    From there, the combination of Stevens and Saberhagen held the Govs off the scoreboard for the next five frames before they grabbed a 4-3 lead thanks to an unearned run in the seventh. After getting a leadoff single, Austin Peay took advantage of UT's first error on the night to put runners on the corners with nobody out. A bloop single to right by Reed Harper then put APSU back out in front by a run.

    Steckenrider came out of the bullpen to limit the damage though, getting two big strikeouts, sandwiched around a tapper back to the mound, to hold the Governors to just the one run.

    Austin Peay used another unearned run in the eighth to tack on some insurance. After two quick outs to start the stanza, a walk, a stolen base and UT's second fielding error in as many innings allowed another run to cross the plate and push the APSU lead to two at 5-3.

    The Vols looked to cut into their deficit in the bottom of the eighth, putting the first two runners on, but couldn't execute a sac bunt, striking out on a two-strike attempt. The runner at second was picked off by the catcher on the play before a groundout ended the inning.

    The Governors then exploded for three additional runs in the top of the ninth, using three straight hits to start the frame and five total to jump out by a commanding 8-3 advantage.

    Tennessee tried to post a last-minute comeback in the bottom of the ninth, using a pair of hit batters to put two on with one out before Ethan Bennett stroked an RBI single to left to put the score at 8-4, but APSU closer Tyler Rogers, twin brother of Kentucky pitcher Taylor Rogers, came on to induce a game-ending 6-4-3 double play for his eighth save of the season.

    The Vols will hit the road again this weekend as they make the trek to square off with Auburn, April 27-29 at Plainsman Park. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT on Friday, 3 p.m. CT on Saturday and 1 p.m. CT on Sunday.