GAMECOCKS TAKE SERIES WITH 10-7 WIN OVER ARKANSAS
|South Carolina 10, Arkansas 7
|Georgia 9, Auburn 3
|Vanderbilt 12, Tennessee 6
|Alabama 8, Mississippi State 7
|LSU 12, Ole Miss 3
Fayetteville, Ark. – Scoreless through sixth innings, third ranked South Carolina erupted for a combined 10 runs in the seventh and eighth innings and held on for a 10-7 victory over 13th ranked Arkansas on Sunday afternoon to win the rubber game of the three-game series, the sixth consecutive series victory for the Gamecocks. South Carolina is now 36-12 and 16-8 in the SEC, tied for first place with LSU and currently one game ahead of Kentucky for first place in the Eastern Division. Arkansas falls to 34-15 and 12-12 in the SEC.
Gamecock right-hander Matt Price earned the win in relief and is now 4-3 on the year after working the final 3.2 innings of the game. Arkansas starter DJ Baxendale suffered the loss and is now 6-3 for the season. He allowed four runs on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Baxendale and Carolina starter Forrest Koumas were very effective through the first two-thirds of the game with neither allowing a base runner to cross home plate. Koumas, in his second start of the year, went 5.1 scoreless innings and allowed two walks and five hits with four strikeouts.
Arkansas threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning loading the bases with one out against Koumas. Jacob Mahan singled, as did Dominic Ficociello and Matt Reynolds walked to fill the bases for the Razorbacks. With Price on in relief for the Gamecocks, South Carolina kept it at 0-0 as a flyout by Derrick Bleeker turned into a double play as right fielder Adam Matthews heaved a perfect throw to catcher Grayson Greiner, who tagged out Mahan to keep the game scoreless.
Carolina rode the momentum of the double play into the seventh inning scoring four times against Baxendale to take a 4-0 lead. Christian Walker led off with a base hit. On the play, an errant throw by Baxendale off the mound went past Ficociello at first allowing Walker to advance into scoring position. With one out and Walker still on second base, Arkansas elected to intentionally walk Greiner. With two outs and runners still on first and second base, Matthews followed his heroics on the field with a RBI base hit up the middle scoring Walker for the first run of the game. Chase Vergason followed with a base hit up the middle as well to score Greiner and Tanner English kept the hit parade going as he singled to center field scoring both runners and giving the Gamecocks a four-run cushion.
Arkansas answered in the bottom of the seventh with three runs to cut the Gamecock lead to 4-3. The Razorbacks strung together four consecutive hits to open the frame with singles from Bo Bigham, Brian Anderson, Jacob Morris and Jake Wise. Morris’ single would score a pair of runners with Wise’s base hit giving the Razorbacks runners on first and second with no outs. Tim Carver would sacrifice both of them into scoring position. With one out and runners on second and third, Mahan tallied his second hit of the game with a base hit to right field. Morris would score but Matthews again came up with a stellar throw from the outfield as he threw out Wise trying to score the tying run at home plate. Upset over the play, Wise spiked his helmet and would be thrown out of the game. With two outs and Mahan on second base, Price got out of the inning with a groundout by Ficociello to keep Carolina ahead by a run.
The Gamecocks batted around in the top of the eighth inning and scored six more runs to extend the lead to 10-3. Joey Pankake led off the frame with a base hit off of Arkansas reliever Michael Gunn and Evan Marzilli was hit by a pitch. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, the Razorbacks intentionally walked Walker to load the bases. Arkansas would bring on closer Barrett Astin, who struck out LB Dantzler for the first out of the inning. With one out, Grayson Greiner came up with a big hit as he knocked a RBI single into left field scoring a pair of runners. Michael Roth then roped a RBI double into the gap in left-center that also scored two runs. A two-out double to right field by Vergason and a RBI single up the middle by Tanner English gave the Gamecocks a seven-run lead.
Arkansas looked to mount a rally with two runs in the eighth inning on a two-out pinch-hit RBI single from Jimmy Bosco. Having crept to within five runs, Arkansas scored two more in the ninth as Reynolds tallied a RBI double and Bigham singled with two outs to score a run. Price, however, closed it out as he got Anderson to line out to Pankake at short sealing the Gamecock victory.
The 5-6-7-8-9 hitters for the Gamecocks drove in all 10 runs on the afternoon. Vergason went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. English was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Greiner and Roth both drove in two runs. Arkansas had 15 hits with Ficociello 3-for-5. Mahan, Bigham, Anderson all had two hits apiece as well.
Bulldogs Complete Sweep Of Auburn Sunday
Athens, Ga.----Georgia’s solid offensive performance highlighted by a three run home run from Kyle Farmer gave the Bulldogs their first SEC sweep, capped with a 9-3 win Sunday at Foley Field.
Georgia (28-20, 12-12 SEC) has won four straight to get to .500 in SEC play, posting its first SEC sweep since last year against Mississippi State. Georgia scored five runs in the first two innings and cruised to victory over the Tigers who fell to 25-22 overall, 10-14 in the SEC.
Freshman right hander Luke Crumley (2-2) picked up the win Sunday with a career high five innings and four strikeouts. He gave up one run on six hits. Crumley was followed by two solid innings from redshirt freshman Jay Swinford, who allowed just one hit and no runs. Freshman Peter Nagel provided 1.2 scoreless innings to close out a fine performance by the Bulldog staff. Meanwhile Auburn freshman Trey Cochran-Gill dropped to 2-2.
Third baseman Curt Powell, who went 3-for-5, led off the first with a sharp single to left field, and two batters later freshman right fielder Hunter Cole also singled to left field. Catcher Brett DeLoach grounded out to second advancing the runners to second and third, then freshman designated hitter Justin Bryan picked up his tenth hit and 13th RBI of his career with an infield single that scored Powell.
In the second, Georgia had a four-run outburst. Senior second baseman Levi Hyams led off the inning with an infield single that bounced off of Auburn starter Trey Cochran-Gill’s back. After a wild pitch allowed Hyams to take second, senior first baseman Colby May plated Hyams with a double to right field. Next Powell got his second hit of the day when he slid into first base to beat out a chopper to Auburn first baseman Garret Cooper. With two on and one out , Farmer crushed a home run over the trees in left field to make it 5-0. It was Georgia’s first three-run blast of the season. It was Farmer’s fourth home run of the year as he hit .467 in the series.
In the fourth Auburn strung together three straight two-out singles for its first run.
In the sixth Georgia increased the lead back to five when Powell picked up his third hit of the game, while knocking in Hyams for the sixth Georgia run. In the seventh Georgia added two more runs when Hyams and May had back to back RBI singles to center field.
Auburn was able to push across two runs in the eighth off of Georgia reliever Earl Daniels. Cooper had an RBI double to deep center field and then later that inning catcher Blake Austin knocked him in with two outs.
Vanderbilt rallies to win series
Knoxville, Tenn. – Vanderbilt scored in eight of nine innings on Sunday rallying by Tennessee to claim the series with a 12-6 win at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Commodores (23-24, 11-13) and Volunteers (23-24, 8-16) battled back-and-forth through the first three innings with both teams scoring one run in each inning until the Vols broke through with four in the third to take the lead. The Dores jumped on the comeback trail in the fifth when Connor Harrell knocked in Conrad Gregor with a double. Two more runs came across in the sixth led by Tony Kemp’s RBI-triple and his gutsy base running. With the infield in and Kemp on third, Gomez hit a ground ball at Tennessee third baseman Zach Luther but when Luther threw the ball to first base Kemp took off for home apparently beating the throw but the umpire ruled Kemp had not touched the plate nor been tagged out. So Kemp alertly dove back to home plate to score the run and cut the UT lead to 6-5.
Vanderbilt took the lead for good in the seventh scoring three runs with Kemp driving in a run on a fielder’s choice and Anthony Gomez knocking in another with a two-out single. Harrell led off the eighth with his second solo home run of the weekend and the Dores put the game away in the ninth with two more runs as Harrell singled in a run and Vince Conde’s double scored Harrell.
Vanderbilt put the leadoff man on base in eight of the nine innings scoring in each inning. Gregor and Harrell each had three hits and solo home runs to pace Vandy’s 13-hit attack. Kemp drove in three runs and tied the Ryan Klosterman’s school record with eight triples on the season, picking up two in the win. Gomez and Conde each had two RBI with Gomez collecting two singles. Davis Morgan had two hits for Tennessee with Drew Steckenrider driving in two runs.
For the second straight day the Vanderbilt bullpen rode to the rescue this time with Sam Selman (7-3) turning in 4.2 stellar innings to earn the win. Selman entered in the third inning when the Vols scored four runs to take the lead. The lefty, however, did not allow another run the rest of the way striking out three before handing the ball over to Will Clinard, who worked two scoreless innings for his second save in as many days. The VU bullpen combined to pitch 13 innings on Saturday and Sunday earning the win on both days. Steckenrider (4-5) took the loss giving up six runs, three earned, on four hits over 3.1 innings.
The win clinched Vanderbilt’s first road series victory of the season.
Smith’s Walk-off Double in the Ninth Lifts Alabama to 8-7 Win over Bulldogs
TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – Austen Smith delivered a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning to propel Alabama to an 8-7 Southeastern Conference win over Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide is now 18-30 overall and 7-17 in SEC play. The Bulldogs fall to 29-18 and 12-12 in conference play.
With Alabama leading 6-2 heading into the eighth inning, Mississippi State scored five runs over the last two innings to take a 7-6 lead. MSU took the lead for the first time in the game in the top of the ninth inning when Phillip Casey delivered a two-out, two RBI single to right center off Alabama reliever Jake Hubbard.
In the bottom of the ninth, MSU reliever Nick Routt retired the first two batters, before allowing back-to-back singles to Jared Reaves and Ben Moore. After reliever Taylor Stark entered with two runners aboard, Smith hit a 2-1 fastball off the left center field wall to plate both runners for the dramatic walk-off victory. Smith also delivered a ninth inning, walk-off home run against Vanderbilt on April 21.
“There’s a lot to be said for this group the way things have been this year,” Alabama head coach Gaspard said. “After losing the lead, it was great to see how they responded there in the bottom of the ninth.”
Although he gave up two runs in the ninth inning for his second blown save of the season, Hubbard earned the win to improve to 3-2 on the year. Routt (2-5) took the loss after throwing 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
Alabama starting pitcher Charley Sullivan did not factor into the decision after giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits with a career-high tying five strikeouts in seven innings.
“I thought that Charley Sullivan did a super job today going seven innings, “ said Head Coach Mitch Gaspard. “We had a rough eighth and ninth inning there in the bullpen when they took the lead.”
Taylor Dugas was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt, was hit by a pitch and a career-high four RBI in the game. Dugas delivered a bases loaded triple in the fourth inning, and then had an RBI on a sac bunt with runners on the corners in the sixth. Junior outfielder Andrew Miller also went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored and Reaves finished the day with two hits in four at-bats with a RBI. Smith’s ninth inning double was his only hit of the day in five trips to the plate.
MSU’s Trey Porter was 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, while Casey, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, was 2-for-2 with three RBI.
Alabama kick started the scoring in the second inning when Miller brought home Brett Booth with a two-out RBI single. The Tide held the score at 1-0 until the top of the third inning, when MSU tied the score a 1-1 on a ground out by Adam Frazier to score Brent Brownlee across the plate.
The Tide and the Bulldogs were locked in a 1-1 tie until Dugas hit a three-RBI triple with bases loaded, plating Miller, Kenny Roberts, and James Tullidge in the bottom of the fourth inning. Dugas reached home soon after on a single to center field by Reaves for a 5-1 UA advantage.
The Bulldogs collected another run in the top of the fifth inning as Sam Frost crossed the plate with two outs on the board, but Alabama regained their four-run lead in the bottom of the sixth when Miller scored on a sacrifice bunt by Dugas.
The score held steady at 6-2 until the top of the eighth, when MSU closed the gap to 6-5 thanks to RBI singles by Casey and Daryl Norris and a sacrifice fly by Sam Frost. The Bulldogs took the lead in the ninth thanks to a single by Casey that drove in two.