SEC Baseball Today: May 8 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Baseball Today: May 8

    Auburn 18, Presbyterian 2
    Vanderbilt 3, Louisville 2
    Mississippi State 6, Mississippi Valley State 3
    Florida 4, North Florida 3

    Auburn Pounds Presbyterian, 18-2

    AUBURN, Ala. – Cory Luckie held Presbyterian to one run over 5 1/3 innings in his first start since the 2011 SEC Tournament as Auburn claimed an 18-2 win on Tuesday night. The win improved Auburn’s record to 26-22 while Presbyterian fell to 20-28.

    “We needed someone to step up on the pitching staff and go a little deeper into the game and I was really pleased with what Cory Luckie did. It was outstanding and we really needed that,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “I thought we pitched well, played solid defensively and offensively we really swung the bats tonight.”

    Luckie (2-0), who had logged 15 1/3 innings of work out of the bullpen over 14 appearances allowed a run on three straight one-out singles in the first before settling in. From the third through fifth innings he retired eight straight and nine of 10 save for a two-out walk in the fifth. He finished the game with five strike outs, a season-high for the lefty.

    The bullpen trio of Slade Smith (2/3 of an inning), Jay Wade (1 inning) and Rocky McCord (2 innings) finished out the night for the Auburn pitching staff.

    Every hitter in the Auburn starting lineup had at least hit while Ryan Tella rapped out a 5-for-6 night with four singles and his third triple of the year. He ended the night driving in and scoring a pair of runs as Auburn as a team collected 17 hits and 16 RBI.

    Auburn used a first-inning home run by Garrett Cooper over the scoreboard in left-center to stake itself to a 2-1 lead and never looked back. Cooper finished the night 1-for-2 with a walk and three RBI.

    Zach Alvord hit his team-leading sixth home run and his second grand slam of the season in Auburn’s eight-run sixth to push Auburn’s lead to 15-1. Alvord finished the night 2-for-4.

    Auburn needed just five hits in its eight-run sixth, its highest scoring inning of the season, as Presbyterian’s pitching staff combined to issue three walks and hit a batter in the inning as Auburn sent 12 men to the plate.

    As a team Auburn combined to steal seven bases from six different people, giving the team 92 on the year. Creede Simpson’s sixth-inning steal gave him 20 on the season, giving Auburn two players with 20-plus steals in the same season for the first time since 2005.

    Presbyterian starter Gabe Grammer (2-4) took the loss, getting charged for eight runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings.

    Auburn returns to the field on Thursday night in a nationally televised game at Arkansas on ESPNU. First pitch from Baum Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark., is set for 6:30pm.

    Commodores slide by Cardinals

    Nashville, Tenn. – Vanderbilt slid by No. 23 Louisville 3-2 Tuesday night to get back to .500 and give Head Coach Tim Corbin his 400th win as the Commodores’ skipper.

    The game was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth when Conrad Gregor drew a leadoff walk. A sacrifice bunt from Drew Fann and a groundout to first base by Connor Castellano advanced Gregor to third base for Jack Lupo. Louisville (33-16) went back to the bullpen for Dace Kime, whose first pitch ricocheted off catcher Kyle Gibson’s glove to the backstop allowing Gregor to slide into home for the go-ahead run. Freshman lefty Jared Miller (2-0) then worked his second scoreless inning to earn the win and level the Dores’ record at 24-24.

    The Cardinals struck first in the opening frame when the first batter of the game, Cole Sturgeon, hit his first home run of the season into the right field bleachers. Vandy tied the game in the third inning when Fann singled to start the inning and scored on Anthony Gomez’s double. Sturgeon’s perfectly executed hit-and-run double in the fifth put Louisville back in front until Mike Yastrzemski tied the game in the eighth. Vince Conde led off the inning with a double and scored on Yastrzemski’s two-out single up the middle. Gomez led VU with two of the team’s five hits while Sturgeon had two of Louisville’s four hits.

    Three Commodores pitchers held the Cardinals to just four hits on the night. Kevin Ziomek started and turned in 3.1 innings allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts. Drew VerHagen allowed one run on one hit with three strikeouts over 3.2 innings before handing the ball over to Miller. Sturgeon (0-1) took the loss for Louisville giving up one run on one hit in 1.1 innings on the mound after starting the game in center field.

    Vanderbilt returns to the road this weekend at No. 4 LSU. The Commodores and Tigers play Friday night at 7 p.m., Saturday night at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday will be broadcast on FOX SportsNet.

    MSU Baseball Defeats Miss Valley State

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – A three-run seventh inning lifted No. 25 Mississippi State past Mississippi Valley State 6-3 on a soggy night for college baseball at Dudy Noble Field.

    The start of the contest was delayed 34 minutes by rain. A good pitcher’s duel ensued with the Bulldogs blowing a 3-0 lead before breaking a 3-3 tie with the decisive scores in the seventh inning. The Bulldogs also played without head coach John Cohen, who was serving a one-game suspension.

    In the MSU seventh inning, Mitch Slauter reached as a hit batsman to open the door. After a sacrifice bunt and strikeout, Taylor Stark followed with a single. Matthew Britton broke the tie with an RBI-single to center field.

    MVSU starter David Lostra (3-9) was then lifted. Lostra worked 6.2 innings, allowing nine hits and six runs (all earned), with four strikeouts and five walks. In relief, Cody Parker finished the contest.

    Parker opened his stint by hitting Hunter Renfroe to load the bases. A walk to Sam Frost forced in one run, while Adam Frazier followed with an RBI-single to close the scoring.

    Frazier finished with four of MSU’s 12 hits, marking the first four-hit game for the MSU sophomore shortstop in his Bulldog career. Stark added two hits and two RBIs, while Britton also added two hits.

    MSU (30-18) built a 3-0 lead with three scores in the first inning. A two-run triple by Stark was the big blow in that inning.

    MVSU (14-36) answered with three scores in the third inning. Bulldog starter Will Cox was lifted after a game-tying RBI-single by Seth Milliorn.

    Ross Mitchell (1-0) followed in relief and threw his longest stint in the Maroon and White. Mitchell (1-0) worked 4.2 innings, allowing one hits and striking out a career-high four batters. Mitchell had a stretch where he retired 13 of 14 batters faced.

    Jacob Lindgren pitched the final two innings for his first MSU save.

    Luke Brumfield and Milliorn each had two hits for the Delta Devils.

    MSU returns to Southeastern Conference play at sixth-ranked Florida this weekend. The Bulldogs and Gators meet at 6 p.m. CT Friday, 6 p.m. CT Saturday and noon CT Sunday.

    Zunino’s Walk-Off Double In 11th Lifts No. 5 Florida Past North Florida, 4-3

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida junior Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) delivered a game-winning double in the 11th inning that scored redshirt freshman Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) all the way from first base as the fifth-ranked Gators (36-13) edged North Florida (28-21), 4-3, on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium.

    Mitchell, who had entered the game as a pinch runner in the seventh inning, began the decisive frame with a single into right field off Osprey senior Andrew Karmeris (0-2). Mitchell’s second hit of the campaign set the stage for Zunino (3-for-5, two RBI) and the All-American responded by sending a 2-2 pitch into the left-field corner that enabled Mitchell to slide home with the winning run. Zunino’s second double of the night marked the first walk-off hit by a Gator since Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) had a base-hit in the ninth to defeat Miami (Fla.), 5-4, in the NCAA Gainesville Regional on June 4, 2011.

    “This time of year, any time you get a win you have to feel good about it,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I thought our pitching was really good. Keenan Kish did an outstanding job - he came in and once again threw four innings with no runs. [Greg] Larson came in and did his thing. Paco [Steven Rodriguez] came in and had a couple of big strikeouts with bases loaded. I thought that Ryan Harris did a good job, too. Overall, I thought our pitching was good. Obviously, we still have some things to correct and improve on, but the most important thing is that we got the win tonight. It was good to see Connor Mitchell get a hit in the bottom half of the 11th inning and lead it off for Mike [Zunino].”

    Freshman Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (2-0) picked up the win by hurling a scoreless 11th and the Gator bullpen surrendered one run over 8.1 innings of work, led by four shutout frames by sophomore Keenan Kish (Worcester, Pa.) and 2.2 hitless and scoreless frames by junior Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.). North Florida had tied the game in the eighth stanza on a one-out double by sophomore Alex Bacon (3-for-4, two RBI). The teams combined for 27 hits, with UF having a 14-13 advantage, and the teams stranded 26 runners.

    Florida threatened in the first inning against UNF southpaw Tommy Organ but came away empty-handed. Fontana (2-for-4) led off with a double into right field after a 10-pitch at bat and went to third on a fly ball to right field by freshman Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) (2-for-4). Senior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) popped up to shortstop and Zunino flew out to left field to end the inning.

    Karmeris began the second inning with a single into left center off freshman Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) but was gunned down trying to steal second by Zunino. Bacon followed with his sixth homer of the season into the left-field bleachers to begin the scoring.

    The Gators answered with a two-out RBI double by freshman Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (2-for-3) in the home part of the frame to even the score. Junior Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) opened the inning with a single through the right side of the infield but was forced at second base on a fielder’s choice by senior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (2-for-5). Pigott moved into scoring position with his fourth stolen base and took third on a grounder by freshman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) before Shafer rifled his fifth double into the left-field corner to bring home Pigott.

    North Florida re-claimed the lead in the third inning on a two-out RBI single by sophomore Tyler Marincov (2-for-5). Senior T.J. Gavlik (2-for-6) singled up the middle to begin the stanza and was sacrificed to second by junior Joe Wielbruda (2-for-5). A fly ball near the warning track in right field by sophomore Ryan Roberson (2-for-5) pushed Gavlik to third and Marincov put the Ospreys on top with a base-hit into left field. Kish replaced Magliozzi (2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R) and had Karmeris fly out to center field.

    Zunino delivered a game-tying double with two down in the bottom of the inning to score Tucker. Tobias had a one-out infield single but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Tucker. Zunino collected his SEC-leading 20th double into the gap in right center.

    Junior Nick Allbritton took over for Organ (3.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R) prior to the Gator fourth and retired the side in order.

    Junior Corey Bass started the fifth with a base-hit into center field and Tobias made a tremendous stop at third base on a ball hit by Gavlik and fired to Turgeon covering second base to get the lead runner. Kish had a grounder by Wielbruda force Gavlik at second base for the second out and Roberson followed with a single into left field. However, Shafer gunned down Wielbruda trying to take third to complete the frame.

    Fontana provided the hosts with their first lead of the night in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff homer off of the scoreboard overlooking right field. It was his ninth round-tripper of the season and first since April 24 against USF.

    Kish recorded the first two outs in the seventh before yielding a single up the middle to Gavlik. Over four innings, which matched his career high set against Arkansas on April 28, Kish scattered four hits and registered three strikeouts. Senior Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) was summoned from the bullpen and Wielbruda legged out an infield single for a pair of Ospreys aboard before the reliever had Roberson hit a comebacker to the mound to end the inning.

    Tucker had a two-out double in the seventh, his 13th two bagger of the season that brought him within three hits of breaking Mark Ellis’ career mark of 319. Zunino was walked intentionally by senior Evan Stermer and the move paid off when the reliever had Johnson go down swinging on strikes to preserve UNF’s 3-2 deficit.

    Marincov greeted sophomore Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) with a single to open the eighth and stole second base. The righty answered with a strikeout of Karmeris and Bacon tied the game with a double down the left-field line. Rodriguez fanned senior Michael Wesner and had freshman Drew Weeks fly out to keep the game tied.

    In the bottom of the inning, Pigott stroked a leadoff single off senior reliever Chandler Jagodzinski and Turgeon drew a four-pitch walk to put the Gators in business. Shafer laid down his first sacrifice bunt of the season to move both runners into scoring position and a fielder’s choice by junior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) resulted in Pigott being thrown out at the plate after a run-down, Turgeon occupying third and Ramjit taking second base. An intentional walk to Fontana loaded the bases and Jagodzinski struck out senior pinch hitter Jeff Moyer (Winter Springs, Fla.) to send the game to the ninth deadlocked at three runs apiece.

    After Zunino had a one-out single into left center field and stole second with two down in the ninth, Pigott hit a sinking liner to right field that Marcinov snared with a great catch to send the contest into extra innings.  

    The Ospreys loaded the bases with one down in the 10th but were foiled by back-to-back strikeouts by Rodriguez. Marincov reached on a fielding error by Moyer with one down and a throwing error to second base by Rodriguez on a fielder’s choice by Andrew Karmeris left UNF with runners on the corners. An intentional free pass to Bacon filled the bags and Rodriguez struck out both junior pinch hitter Paul Karmeris and Weeks.

    Freshman Jamie Cardwell came in for Jagodzinski (2.0 IP, 2 H) and issued a leadoff walk to Turgeon. Shafer moved his teammate into scoring position with his second sacrifice hit of the night and North Florida brought Andrew Karmeris to the mound from first base. The righty fanned Ramjit and walked Fontana intentionally for two Gators aboard. Moyer popped up to the catcher to keep the stalemate.

    After Rodriguez worked 2.2 scoreless and hitless innings, Harris took over to start the 11th. The righty had two fly balls to right field before Wielbruda beat out a single to extend the inning. Harris struck out Cardwell to complete the frame.

    Florida returns to SEC action on Friday night with the opener of a three-game series against No. 25 Mississippi State (30-18/12-12 SEC). First pitch between the Gators and Bulldogs from McKethan Stadium will be at 7:05 p.m.