Georgia Defeats LSU
|Georgia 5, LSU 3
|Vanderbilt 6, Kentucky 1
|Auburn 11, Tennessee 4
|Mississippi State 4, Ole Miss 2
|Arkansas 3, Florida 1 (10 Innings)
BATON ROUGE, LA.----Georgia got a pair of home runs from Justin Bryan and five scoreless innings from its bullpen to defeat fourth-ranked LSU Sunday in front of 6,673 at Alex Box Stadium.
Redshirt freshman Jay Swinford pitched three scoreless innings for his first career win and junior Earl Daniels notched his first career save as he struck out the nation’s leading hitter in Raphy Rymes with the bases loaded to end the contest. The Bulldogs improved to 25-20 overall, 9-12 in the SEC.
LSU (35-10, 14-7 SEC) scored a run in the first on a couple of Bulldog miscues. With two outs, Mason Katz drew a walk. Raph Rhymes, the NCAA’s leading hitter who came in to the game batting .503, popped up to second and senior Levi Hyams lost it in the sun and it fell to the ground. It was ruled a single and Katz made it to third. A wild pitch by freshman right-hander Luke Crumley allowed Katz to score for a 1-0 lead. A throwing error by Bulldog catcher Brett DeLoach led to an unearned run in the third as the Tigers went up 2-0.
The Bulldogs exploded for four runs on six hits in the fourth off freshman Aaron Nola. With one out, five consecutive Bulldogs notched hits and there was a successful double steal including by DeLoach of home. Junior Curt Powell extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Senior Peter Verdin added an RBI-single and freshman designated hitter Justin Bryan smashed a two-run home run to put Georgia in front 4-2. Bryan now has eight hits including three home runs and 10 RBI in 30 career at bats. Also, Bryan’s blast snapped a streak of nine consecutive solo shots this season by the Bulldogs as their last multi-run home run came from Hyams against Tennessee on March 17.
LSU answered with a solo home run from catcher Ty Ross in the bottom of the frame to make it a 4-3 contest. In the fifth, Georgia freshman Hunter Cole notched his third hit of the afternoon and then Verdin’s two-out double ended Nolan’s outing. LSU turned to Brent Bonvillain to face Bryan and he got him to ground out to keep it a one-run affair. Georgia went to its bullpen to start the Tiger fifth, bringing in redshirt freshman Jay Swinford. Crumley went a career-long four innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits. Nola surrendered four runs on 10 hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
Swinford provided a career-high three scoreless innings. In the seventh with one on and one out, he got Rhymes to bounce in to an inning-ending double play. In the eighth, Bryan connected again for a home run, this time off Kurt McCune, for a 5-3 lead. Bryan now has nine career hits including four home runs. Bryan is the first Bulldog to hit two home runs in a game since Hyams against Kentucky last May in Lexington. In the bottom of the eighth, Georgia looked to senior left-hander Chase Hawkins.
After two straight games of watching LSU rally to take the lead in that frame, Hawkins and the Bulldogs retired the Tigers in order to send it to the ninth. Hawkins got the first out and gave up a single to Tyler Hanover. Georgia turned to Daniels. He struck out Jacoby Jones for the second out before back-to-back walks to Arby Fields and Mason Katz. Rhymes, who was 4-for-4 with the bases loaded this season, worked the count to 3-1 before Daniels battled back to strike him out.
“We survived and got one today,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We played well, got a big inning and everybody pitched well. I’m proud of the team for hanging in there because LSU is a great team and this is a tough place to play.”
Commodores slam Cats, claim series
Nashville, Tenn. – Vanderbilt rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday afternoon to top third-ranked Kentucky 6-1 and clinch the series at Hawkins Field.
The Wildcats (36-9, 9-12) rallied for a run in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game just like yesterday when the Cats scored three in the eighth to draw even. But just like yesterday, the Commodores (21-23) answered in the bottom of the frame with the winning run. The inning started with a leadoff single from Mike Yastrzemski and was followed by walks to Anthony Gomez and Conrad Gregor. With the bases loaded and no outs, Spencer Navin was hit by a Trevor Gott pitch to force in a run and put the Commodores up 2-1. Connor Harrell then blasted a grand slam over the left field wall to cap the rally and push the Dores’ lead to 6-1. The home run was the first hit allowed in SEC play by the Wildcat’s closer Gott. Sam Selman struck out the side in the Kentucky ninth to finish the game and earn the win.
Vanderbilt scratched out a run in the third inning with two outs when Mike Yastrzemski doubled to knock in Vince Conde, who led off the inning with a single. That lone run stood until the eighth when the Wildcats put a run on the board. With runners on first and third, J.T. Riddle grounded into what looked to be an inning-ending double play but beat the throw to first to score Luke Maile from third.
Yastrzemski led the way for the Commodores going 3-for-4 with Gregor adding two hits. Harrell’s grand slam was the first by a Commodore since Aaron Westlake’s last May against Florida. Over his last six games Harrell is 9-for-25 (.360) with five extra-base hits and 10 RBI. Maile led UK with two of the team’s five hits. The series loss is the first of the season for the Wildcats.
Selman (6-3) picked up the win in his first relief outing since March 17 at Florida. The lefty fanned four and gave up one run on one hit over 2.1 innings for his team-best sixth win. Kentucky reliever Alex Phillips (5-2) took the loss allowing two runs and recording only one out. Vanderbilt starter Kevin Ziomek was strong over 5.2 scoreless innings scattering three hits and striking out eight. Cats’ starter Corey Littrell allowed one run on six hits over 5.1 innings.
Tigers Complete Sweep Of Vols With 11-4 Win On Sunday
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn baseball team completed its first Southeastern Conference series sweep of the season with an 11-4 win over Tennessee on Sunday afternoon at Plainsman Park. The win upped Auburn’s record to 25-19, 10-11 SEC while Tennessee dropped to 22-22, 7-14 SEC.
“Our confidence just continues to build,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “Offensively I thought we did so many good things and it was up-and-down the lineup, it wasn’t one guy. Blake (Austin) stepped up, Jay Gonzalez had a big base hit the other way and Zach hit a home run. A lot of guys contributed.”
Trailing 4-1 after the third, Auburn scored 10 unanswered runs off of the Tennessee pitching staff to earn a sweep over Tennessee for the first time since the 2001 season. Auburn benefited from seven of its 13 hits going for extra-bases as the team collected three doubles, two triples and two home runs.
Blake Austin had two of the extra-base hits, finishing the game 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and a career-high five RBI as he finished the weekend 7-for-11 with two doubles, a home run and 10 RBI.
“I am seeing the ball well and I think hitting is contagious,” Austin said. “It is more of a team thing than me as individual. This was a great weekend for us hitting-wise and pitching-wise.”
“Blake (Austin) is playing with a lot of confidence. He is catching the ball and doing a great job behind the plate,” Pawlowski said.
Auburn reliever Slade Smith (3-4) earned the win out of the bullpen, allowing just on base runner in three innings of work, striking out two. The junior entered in the fifth with Auburn behind 4-3 and allowed just a single to start the seventh before giving the ball over to Derek Varnadore with Auburn ahead, 7-4. Varnadore then retired all six hitters he faced to earn his first career save.
Down 3-0 after the top of the second as Tennessee scored on a Trey Cochran-Gill wild pitch and RBI hits from Chris Pierce and Will Maddox, Cullen Wacker tripled and scored for Auburn’s first run of the game in the bottom half of the frame.
Tennessee answered with a run on a Jake Rowland RBI groundout to take a 4-1 lead in the top of the third, an advantage it would hold until the bottom of the fourth.
Auburn narrowed the margin to a run, 4-3, as Austin hit his second home of the season, a two-run shot, in the bottom of the fourth.
A three-run fifth followed off of Tennessee reliever Carter Watson (3-3) as Austin hit a bases-loaded infield single to score a run and Jay Gonzalez drove in two with his single, bringing the score to 6-4 Auburn.
After scoring a single run in the seventh on an Austin sac fly, Auburn tacked on four more in the eighth, highlighted by Zach Alvord’s fifth home run of the season to start the frame and Wacker’s two-run double to cap the scoring.
Auburn out-scored Tennessee 35-11 on the weekend and collected 41 hits, 19 of which went for extra-bases (13 doubles, three triples, three home runs).
The team also got a stolen base from Creede Simpson in the sixth, the club’s 80th on the season.
MSU BASEBALL TAKES WEEKEND SERIES FROM OLE MISS
STARKVILLE, Miss. – A four-run first inning took the suspense out of Mississippi State’s 4-2 Southeastern Conference baseball win over No. 22 Ole Miss at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs will not worry about sweating the last pitch and will be very happy to take the series win instead. The home team won the conference series between in-state rivals for the first time since 2007. Fourth-year MSU head coach John Cohen has won three of four series matchups with the Rebels.
MSU improved to 27-17 overall and 10-11 in league play, while Ole Miss fell to 28-16 and 10-11. The Bulldogs enter the final three weeks of the season in a three-way tie for third in the Western Division.
“It’s hard to win a baseball game with two hits,” Cohen said. “You can do that when you have this type of pitching. Pollo (Luis Pollorena gave us a tremendous start today. He really set the tone and got our defense back into the dugout quickly on numerous occasions.”
In his first conference start of the season, Pollorena (3-0) matched a season-high with 5.1 innings pitched and set a new career high with seven strikeouts. Against Ole Miss this season, Pollorena threw 10.2 innings, allowing seven hits and one earned run, with two walks and 12 strikeouts.
“I was shagging fly balls in the outfield when I found out I was going to get the start,” Pollorena said. “I just wanted to come in and help the team any way I could. This was a big win for us.”
The Bulldogs hit .143 in the series and managed only 12 base hits. MSU made up for it on the mound where Bulldog hurlers allowed 23 hits and five earned runs in 27 innings of work. The Bulldogs won 4-0 Friday, before losing 6-2 Saturday, setting up the all-important rubber game on Sunday.
MSU closed the deal to win its third straight home series and first against Ole Miss in this ballpark since 2002.
The Bulldogs chased Ole Miss starting pitcher Tanner Bailey (1-1) after just four batters in the first inning. Bailey walked two, hit one and allowed a base hit. A bases-loaded walk to Daryl Norris forced in the game’s first run.
In relief, Dylan Chavez got a strikeout before hitting back-to-back batters forcing in two more runs. A sacrifice-fly by Wes Rea capped the one-hit, four-run first inning for the Bulldogs.
For the contest, Ole Miss pitching walked six and hit five.
With the healthy lead, Pollorena was on cruise control. Pollorena set the side down in order in the second inning and worked around one base runner in each of the next three at-bats.
The defense chipped in as well. Center fielder Hunter Renfroe robbed Matt Snyder of an apparent home run on a well-hit ball to the outfield in the fourth inning.
“After the ball left his bat, I closed my eyes because he crushed it,” Pollorena said. “When I heard the crowd roar, I knew something good had happened.”
Two walks forced Pollorena from the contest with one out in the sixth inning. Caleb Reed closed out the sixth inning and finished the contest for his eighth save. The MSU closer now has 20 saves, which is third all-time at MSU.
Ole Miss struck for an RBI-double by Snyder in the eighth inning and a leadoff home run by Zach Kirksey in the ninth inning.
After the first inning, MSU had one more hit – a single by Mitch Slauter in the fifth inning.
Chavez, Hawtin Buchanan and Brett Huber combined for eight innings of shutout relief for the Rebels.
Arkansas outlasts Florida in extra innings to clinch series
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Arkansas broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of runs in the top of the 10th, highlighted by a go-ahead pinch hit single by Michael Gunn, as the No. 21 Razorbacks defeated fifth-ranked Florida 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium.
The victory clinched the series for the Razorbacks and improved the team’s record to 31-13 and 11-10 in Southeastern Conference play. The series win for Arkansas was just the third for the Razorbacks in Gainesville and the first since the 2008 season. Florida drops to 33-12 on the season and 12-9 in league play with the loss.
With the game tied at one in the 10th, Arkansas put together a two-run rally to take the lead. Jake Wise was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Morris. Tim Carver then grounded a single into left field to advance Wise to third. Gunn then came to the plate as a pinch hitter and lined a single into center field, scoring Wise and moving Carver to third. Dominic Ficociello then hit a grounder back to the mound. Florida retired Gunn at second, but was unable to turn the double play as Ficociello was safe at first and Carver scored.
In the bottom of the 10th, Barrett Astin came into the game and retired Florida in order as Arkansas held on for the 3-1 series-clinching win.
Colby Suggs (4-0) picked up the win on the mound for Arkansas. Suggs threw 1.2 hitless innings, allowing just one walk. Astin slammed the door in the bottom of the 10th to pick up his seventh save of the season. Astin retired all three batters he faced, with one strikeout.
Arkansas starter DJ Baxendale was fantastic. Baxendale allowed just one run on five hits and struck out six in 7.1 innings.
Florida reliever Johnny Magliozzi (4-2) took the loss. Magliozzi allowed two runs on one hit in a third of an inning.
Florida starter Jonathon Crawford received a no decision after giving up a run on three hits and striking out six in 4.2 innings.
Carver led Arkansas at the plate with two hits and also scored a run. Ficociello went 1-for-3 at the plate with a run scored and a RBI. Bo Bigham also had a RBI in the win for the Razorbacks.
Mike Zunino had a pair of hits to pace the Gators offensively. Preston Tucker had the only RBI of the contest for Florida.
The Razorbacks struck first with a run in the top of the first. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Ficociello doubled down the left field line. Matt Reynolds was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Bigham came through with a RBI single into right-center field to score Ficociello and put Arkansas in front 1-0.
Florida tied the game with a run in the bottom of the eighth. Justin Shafer singled with one out and then advanced to third after a single to right-center by Josh Tobias and a fielding error by Brian Anderson in right field. Nolan Fontana was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Tucker then hit a soft groundout to second, scoring Shafer with the tying run. Suggs was able to keep the game tied as he got Zunino to ground out to second to end the inning.
Neither team scored in the ninth to set the stage for Gunn’s heroics in the 10th inning.