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    SEC Baseball Today: May 12

    BASEBALL RESULTS
    Georgia 6, South Carolina 5
    Kentucky 7, Alabama 6
    Auburn 12, Arkansas 5
    Ole Miss 7, Tennessee 4
    Kentucky 8, Alabama 1
    Mississippi State 2, Florida 0
    Vanderbilt 6, LSU 3


    Georgia Rallies Past No. 4 Gamecocks 6-5 In 10 Innings

     
    ATHENS, Ga. - Senior catcher Joey Delmonico capped a career day with a 10th inning RBI-single as Georgia posted a 6-5 walk off win over fourth-ranked South Carolina Saturday.
     
    A Foley Field crowd of 2,686 watched the Gamecocks (38-13, 17-9 SEC) score four runs in the ninth sandwiched around a 24-minute rain delay to force extra innings. Then, the Bulldogs (29-22, 13-13 SEC) answered with their fifth walk-off  of the year and second Saturday in a row. Last week, Georgia beat Auburn 6-5 in 11 innings and never led until Kyle Farmer’s RBI-single. This Saturday, the Bulldogs did it off junior ace reliever Matt Price who fell to 4-4.
     
    Georgia freshman Pete Nagel, who came on after the rain delay and allowed a two-run game-tying double to LB Dantzler in the ninth, came back strong in the 10th with a perfect frame for his first career win. He is now 1-1.
     
    Georgia was led by Delmonico and senior Peter Verdin, who went a career high 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. The game marked the fourth four-hit game in Verdin's career. The Bulldogs went up 2-0 in the third inning after Farmer delivered a two-run double, his 18th of the year, bringing in Delmonico and Curt Powell. Georgia added to its lead in the fourth inning when Delmonico drove in Hyams, and Conor Welton brought in Verdin.
                                                   
    The Gamecocks scored in the fifth inning and brought the score to 4-1 when Joey Pankake doubled to left field and drove in Tanner English who posted a big day going 4-for-5.
     
    The Bulldogs increased their advantage to 5-1 in the fifth inning, as Verdin singled to left field and brought in Brett DeLoach. In the eighth, Georgia escaped a jam recording three consecutive outs, after allowing runners to second and third.
                          
    In the bottom of the 10th, Verdin led off with his fourth hit of the day. He recorded his team-leading 13th stolen base and then made his way to third base on a May groundout.  Delmonico smashed a Price offering in to the gap in left center that English dove for but couldn’t come up with and the walk-off single brought in Verdin. Delmonico entered the game with one RBI on the year in 39 at bats, and ended the day 3-for-5 with two RBI.
     
    Bulldog senior Michael Palazzone was in line for a win before the Gamecocks comeback. He went seven solid innings and allowed just one unearned run on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Junior Blake Dieterich came on in the eighth and allowed two runs on two hits in 1.1 innings before giving way to Nagel after the rain delay.
     
    “We came through today with some tremendous performances and none of it would’ve been possible without the job Michael Palazzone did there in the beginning,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We looked to be in pretty good shape, but South Carolina is very good and managed to tie it up there in the ninth. I’m not sure if Pete was ready to go after the rain delay, he got out of sync, but he was much better in the 10th. We got a big day from a couple of seniors in Joey (Delmonico) and Pete (Verdin), and everybody played good defense again. It would’ve been tough to bounce back Sunday if we had let this one get away, and I credit the guys for hanging in there and battling back.”
     
    The rubber game of the series will be Sunday at 2 p.m.


     

    No. 7 Kentucky Rallies from Behind to Claim Series

     

    WATCH GAME HIGHLIGHTS HERE
     
    LEXINGTON, Ky. - Senior Michael Williams drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning to drive in the go-ahead run to complete No. 7 Kentucky’s comeback rally, with UK posting its seventh series weekend with a 7-6 win over Alabama, on an overcast Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
     
    Kentucky (39-11, 17-9 Southeastern Conference) won its seventh SEC series of the year, posting a 4-2 win on Friday night in the series opener and riding furious seventh and eighth-inning rallies in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday to clinch the series with a 7-6 win. UK will seek to sweep its second series of the year in the finale of the series and the home regular-season schedule vs. Alabama on Saturday, with first pitch slated for 6:11 p.m. ET.
     
    The Wildcats opened up with a run in the first inning and nursed its one-run lead entering the sixth inning. Alabama took advantage of a pair of errors and a botched inning-ending double play in the sixth and seventh innings to plate four unearned runs and five total runs tallied over the sixth and seventh innings. UK rallied with five runs in the seventh inning to erase an Alabama 5-1 lead and take a 6-5 lead into the seventh inning. After Alabama score a run in the top of the eighth inning to even the game at 6-6, Williams forced in the go-ahead run with a full-count walk in the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases loaded. UK then used Trevor Gott to secure the win with the final three outs of the game.
     
    The win gives UK its fifth all-time 40-win season, as the Wildcats boast a 40-11 overall record and a 17-9 mark in conference play. With the win, UK has moved into a tie with South Carolina for the SEC Eastern Division lead, as Georgia posted an extra-inning win over the Gamecocks on Saturday. UK has won the third-most games in single-season history and its 17 wins in conference play marks the second-most wins in UK’s history in conference play, behind the record 20 wins UK won in 2006 in claiming the league title.
     
    UK starter Jerad Grundy turned in a strong outing, taking the shutout into the sixth inning before getting hit by a line-drive to start the sixth that ended his game and eventually allowed the game-tying run to score. Grundy worked five innings, allowing eight hits and one run, walking one and striking out two. He was relieved by Alex Phillips who worked two innings, allowing five hits, five runs – one earned – walking one and striking out two. Sam Mahar replaced him with one runner on and no outs in the eighth getting two outs before Tim Peterson came on to face a right-handed hitter, allowing one single to bring Gott. Gott got the final four outs to pick up the win, striking out three and walking one.
     
    Alabama (18-32, 7-19 SEC) starter Jon Keller worked six innings, allowing eight hits and four runs - one unearned – walking two and striking out three. Keller was relieved in a bases-loaded jam in the seventh by closer Jake Hubbard, who worked one inning, allowing three hits and two runs – one earned – striking out two. Josh Rosecrans (0-2) worked one inning, allowing one run on three walks and one strikeout.
     
    The series will conclude in the second game of the doubleheader, underway at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Fans can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM in Central Kentucky, on WKJK 1080-AM in Louisville and on UKathletics.com. UK will send sophomore southpaw Corey Littrell (7-0, 2.30 ERA) to the mound to face Alabama junior righty Charley Sullivan (2-2, 5.03 ERA).
     
    The Wildcats got on the board in the bottom of the first inning as Zellers drew a one-out walk on a 3-1 offering, taking third on Flynn’s hard-hit single through the right side with two outs. Williams then grounded up the middle with the ball going as an error that allowed Zellers to score from third.
     
    Alabama took the lead in the top of the sixth inning plating two runs on three hits and one UK error. Austen Smith led off the inning with a hard-hit ball up the middle, bouncing off Grundy’s left wrist and ending his game. After a steal from Smith and a couple of outs, Kelton singled through the left side, with Zellers readying a throw to home for what would be a close play, with the ball skidding under his glove for an error, allowing Kelton to take second. James Tullidge then doubled down the line to score Kelton with the go-ahead unearned run.
     
    The Tide appeared to break the game open in the seventh, plating three unearned runs for a 5-1 lead. Dugas drew a walk to lead off and Reaves singled on a bunt down the foul chalk on the first base line. Moore then laid down a sacrifice bunt but the throw to first base bounced out of UK’s second baseman’s glove for an error to load the bases. Smith then reached first on a fielder’s choice, with Dugas forced out at the plate. Booth then followed and ripped another single off the UK pitcher, bouncing into rightfield for a two-out, two-RBI error.
     
    UK rallied in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with no outs and getting a one-out sacrifice fly from Flynn for a 5-2 hole, scoring Reida. Williams then singled to leftfield to score Cousino, who singled to follow Reida in the order. Riddle then poked a two-strike, two-out double down the leftfield line to score Zellers and Williams and even the game at 5-5. McCarthy then singled to short to bring up Adams, who grounded to second base but the ball was misplayed with Adams’ speed running down the line for an error, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
     
    Alabama evened up the game in the top of the eighth inning as Tullidge led off the inning with a single, ending Phillips’ outing. After a pair of outs and a wild pitch moved him into scoring position, Reaves singled up the middle with two strikes to score the game-tying run.
     
    UK plated the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Cousino led off the inning with a two-strike hit by pitch. Maile then drew an intentional walk and Flynn loaded the bases with a walk to bring up Williams. Williams forced a full count walk to drive in Cousino with the game-winning run.


     

    Auburn Claims Series Over No. 13 Arkansas With 12-5 Win
                                        
    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Auburn baseball team scored in every inning but the ninth in claiming a 12-5 win over No. 13 Arkansas on Saturday. The win, which gave Auburn a third straight series win at Baum Stadium, improved Auburn’s record to 28-23, 12-15 SEC while Arkansas fell to 35-17, 13-14.
     
    “I can’t be more proud of our guys,” Assistant Coach Scott Foxhall said. “Coach Pawlowski gave us a spark there in the early innings (when he was ejected in the fourth) and stuck up for our guys and our guys responded. They battled and didn’t back down and took it to another level so we could finish this thing off this weekend.”
     
    Auburn finished the game with 18 hits, its most in a conference game since collecting 20 in a 15-8 win over Kentucky on April 9, 2011. Leading the attack was Jay Gonzalez, Ryan Tella and Bobby Andrews, who each had three hits, while Creede Simpson Justin Bryant, Patrick Savage and Mitchell Self each drove in two runs as Auburn won its fourth series over a SEC West team this season.
     
    “We went long-ball, we used the short game and we stole bases,” Foxhall said. “One through nine contributed and it was a true team victory today.”
     
    Reliever Slade Smith (4-5) picked up the win out of the bullpen, entering in the bottom of the fourth with two outs and runners on first and second with the game tied at 5-5. Slade got a fly out from three-hole hitter Dominic Ficociello to end the threat and then recorded the next six outs of the game without allowing a run.
     
    Smith would turn things over to Bryant in the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs with Auburn ahead, 8-5. Bryant needed just one pitch to induce a pop-out from Ficociello before retiring nine of the next 10 hitters he faced to record his fifth save of the season.
     
    Gonzalez led off the game with a double, just as he did on Friday, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Bryant’s RBI groundout as Auburn gave Auburn starter Dillon Ortman the quick 1-0 lead. Ortman, who was making his first career start, would work two-plus innings before leaving with a man on first and none out in the third and Auburn ahead 4-2. By the time it was over he was charged for three runs on four hits and a walk.
     
    “It felt good to be back in the leadoff role. I was just trying to get on base any way possible,” Gonzalez said. “Last night was a rough game. We knew we had a simple job. We wanted to keep rolling to have a chance at post-season and that’s what we did. We stayed aggressive and jumped on them as soon as possible.”
     
    Ficociello evened the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the first with his second home run of the series, a shot over the Auburn bullpen in right. The home run followed a double play, keeping the damage to just a run.
     
    Self’s bases-loaded single back up the middle made it 2-1 Auburn in the second and ended the day for Arkansas starter Nolan Sanburn. Reliever Ty Wright came in and issued a walk to Gonzalez before getting Simpson to strike out looking and inducing a double play out of Ryan Tella to end the frame with Auburn up, 3-1.
     
    “I have been working hard all year and I finally got my opportunity and I wanted to do everything I could to put our team in position to win,” Self said. “In the field I just tried to knock it down and at the plate I just did what I could to get the next run in.”
     
    Arkansas’s Sam Bates doubled to lead off the bottom of the second and scored on a Jake Wise sac fly, cutting the Auburn to 3-2 after two.
     
    Savage’s second home run of the weekend gave Auburn a 4-2 lead in the third only to have Arkansas get a run back in the bottom half of the inning on a Matt Reynolds sac fly, making it 4-3.
     
    “They had been throwing me a lot of first-pitch fastballs so I was just trying to jump on those,” Savage said. “We knew today was big, especially in climbing up the SEC standings. It is crunch-time and we knew we had to come out here and compete and take a series win back to Auburn.”
     
    Simpson’s two-out double gave Auburn a 5-3 lead in the fourth as he drove in Gonzalez, who singled and stole second. The steal was the 25th of the year for Gonzalez, tied for 10th all-time for a single-season at Auburn with Dominic Rich from 2000.
     
    Arkansas tied it at 5-5 off of Jay Wade in the bottom of the fourth as Bo Bigham singled and Wade hit Wise. A wild pitch advanced the runners into scoring position for a successful safety squeeze by Jacob Morris and a Jacob Mahan RBI single, signaling the end for Wade and the start of Smith’s turn on the mound.
     
    Andrews singled home Glevenyak from second in the top of the fifth after he drew his third walk of the afternoon to give Auburn the lead back at 6-5, a lead it would not relinquish.
     
    Auburn increased the lead to three, 8-5, in the sixth with a pair of two-out RBI. Bryant singled in Gonzalez from second after he walked and Savage drove in Tella with a single of his own.
     
    Auburn scored three times in the seventh to take an 11-5 lead. Caleb Bowen doubled to start the inning and went to third on an Andrews infield single. A successful safety squeeze by Self scored Bowen and allowed Self to reach first. Gonzalez then legged out an infield single on a bunt to load the bases for Simpson, who also legged out an infield single to score Andrews. Tella’s RBI fielder’s choice scored Self to cap the scoring in the inning.
     
    Auburn’s eighth-inning run came as Glevenyak singled, went to second on a groundout and scored on two separate wild pitches by Michael Gunn, making it a 12-5 advantage.
     
    Auburn now needs just one more league win of its own or a loss by Tennessee in any of its last five SEC games to clinch its third straight SEC Tournament berth, which begins on Tuesday, May 22 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.
     
    Auburn returns to Plainsman Park for its last five games of the season, which begins Monday at 6pm against Florida A&M. The game was added to the schedule to replace a rain-out and admission is free.

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    SNYDER WALK-OFF GIVES REBELS SERIES WIN OVER TENNESSEE

    OXFORD, Miss. – Senior first baseman Matt Snyder saved the best for last, belting out a three-run home run in the bottom of the 11th on senior day to give No. 24 Ole Miss (32-18, 13-13 SEC) a 7-4 win over Tennessee (24-26, 8-18 SEC) and clinched the weekend series.

    It was the first walk-off home run for Snyder in his career and marked his 12th of the season – the 10th in Southeastern Conference play this year for the left-handed hitter.

    It took a big hit from a freshman to set up the game-winning hit for the senior, as Sikes Orvis came up with a two-run home run as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and set up the extra-inning win for the Rebels.

    With the win, the Rebels have clinched a berth in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

    Brett Huber (2-2) picked up the win in relief, working the final two innings of play and allowing one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Huber entered the game in relief of Tanner Bailey who worked 5.0 innings in relief himself and allowed one run on one hit with a walk and eight strikeouts.

    Drew Steckenrider (4-6) suffered the loss in relief, allowing five runs on three hits with five walks and three strikeouts over the final 4.1 innings.

    “We played a great game,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I’m proud of our guys. We didn’t play very well starting off. Obviously it was a tough day for Mike Mayers. He didn’t have his best stuff today. He had some trouble locating all of his pitches. But, he hung in there. Then Tanner (Bailey) came in and was tremendous. He put up a lot of zeros. Finally, we got things going offensively with a huge homerun from Sikes Orvis and the big three-run home run from Matt (Snyder) in the 11th to win it.”

    Tennessee struck first, turning a Zach Osborne walk into a run with a single that moved Osborne from first to third and a sac fly from Steckenrider to go up 1-0 in the first inning.

    The Vols added single runs in the third and fourth inning to move out to a 3-0 lead on the Rebels as Tennessee starter Nick Williams held Ole Miss off the board through six innings.

    The Rebels responded in the seventh, pushing a pair of runs home to cut the lead to one. Auston Bousfield drew a lead-off walk and moved to third on a single through the right side from Austin Anderson and moved to second on the throw to put two men in scoring position. Will Jamison then came up with an infield single  to score Bousfield and move Anderson to third,  and the Rebels were on the board.

    Tanner Mathis then ground out to second to score Anderson and Ole Miss trailed 3-2 before Tennessee got out of the inning.

    The Volunteers added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Ethan Bennett homered down the left field line with a shot that hit off the foul pole to give Tennessee the 4-2 lead.

    The Rebels weren’t done, however, as Anderson opened the bottom of the ninth with a single through the right side and Orvis hit his two-run shot into the bullpen in right field to tie the game. The Rebels would go on to load the bases, but Tennessee got out of the inning with no more damage and the game moved into extra frames.

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    NO. 7 UK SWEEPS, MOVES BACK INTO SEC EAST LEAD

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Behind a strong start from Corey Littrell and home runs from Brian Adams, Austin Cousino and Michael Williams, No. 7 Kentucky completed a three-game series sweep with an 8-1 win over Alabama to conclude the regular-season home schedule and vault back into first place in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division, on Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

    Kentucky (41-11, 18-9 SEC) swept the Crimson Tide to move back into a tie atop the division standings with South Carolina, with the Gamecocks suffering a walk-off loss to Georgia on Saturday. With LSU and Vanderbilt underway in Baton Rouge, La., the Wildcats could move back into a first-place tie if the Commodores post a win on Saturday night. Having already clinched a spot in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., on May 22-27, UK will conclude the regular season at Mississippi State (12-13) with a three-game series. 

    The Wildcats completed an unprecedented season at home, posting a school-record 29-5 record at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UK became the first team in the NCAA to win 40 games, with UK’s 41 total wins returning to the nation’s lead. The Wildcats have now won the second-most games in the 107-year history of the program, with its 18 SEC wins ranking second-best in UK’s history in the league.

    UK entered the weekend a game back in the standings, needing a series sweep to vault back into title contention. The Wildcats posted a 4-2 win in the opener on Friday night and, with rain forecast for Sunday in Central Kentucky, the series was rescheduled for a doubleheader on Saturday. In the first game of the twinbill, UK used go-ahead runs in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings to secure a 7-6 win to clinch the series. The Wildcats then rode the arm of Littrell and the three homers to the second series sweep of the year, as UK also swept two-time defending NCAA Champion South Carolina.

    Littrell (8-0) worked 6.2 innings, allowing six hits and one run, walking two and striking out seven. Freshman Sam Mahar replaced him with one on in the seventh inning, getting the final out of the inning and working the final 2.1 innings for his second save of the year.

    UK totaled 14 hits in the game, plating eight runs for its third-highest scoring output in conference play in 2012. UK got three-hit games from Adams and J.T. Riddle, with Riddle equaling a career-high with his three knocks. Williams, Paul McConkey and Thomas McCarthy each added two hits, with Williams launching his third homer of the year and McConkey tying his career-best with two hits. Freshman Austin Cousino set new UK records for hits and runs scored by a freshman in program history, launching his ninth homer of the year – the second-most by a freshman in UK history. UK also got a hit from Cameron Flynn and Luke Maile drew a walk.

    Alabama (18-33, 7-20 SEC) starter Charley Sullivan (2-3) suffered the loss, tossing six innings, allowing 11 hits and four runs – three earned – walking one. Chazz Otwell worked 0.2 innings, allowing two hits and three runs. Taylor Guilbeau worked 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and one run, walking two and striking out two.

    The game concludes the home regular season for the Wildcats in 2012, with UK returning to action in the final week of the regular season. UK will travel to face Murray State in Paducah, Ky., on Tuesday, before embarking on a trip to Starkville, Miss., to face Mississippi State at Dudy Noble Field, starting on Thursday night.

    UK got on the board in the bottom of the first inning, as Cousino was hit by a two-strike pitch and McCarthy singled through the right side, with Cousino taking third on an error on the single by the rightfielder. Flynn then chopped into a ground-ball double play, with Cousino scoring from third base.

    Alabama rallied to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the second, as Brett Booth singled through the right side and Kelton followed with a single to push Booth to scoring position. James Tullidge then singled up the middle on a 1-0 count to score Booth.

    UK regained the lead with some two-out hitting, as McConkey singled to rightfield with two down and Riddle followed with a knock of his own to bring up Adams. Adams smashed a full-count offering into centerfield to give UK a 2-1 lead.

    In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Wildcats stretched its lead on the strength of Williams’ solo homer to lead off the frame. Riddle then laid down a bunt single and Adams doubled down the leftfield line, with Riddle out at the plate on an attempted sacrifice bunt. McCarthy then singled to shortstop, with Adams scoring on the play.

    UK got three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 7-1 lead. Maile led off the frame by getting hit by a two-strike pitch, taking third on Williams’ double into the right-centerfield gap. McConkey then hung his first sacrifice fly of the year to score Maile. After Riddle made out, Adams launched a no-doubt blast that hit the top of the videoboard in left-centerfield, giving UK a 7-1 lead.

    Cousino launched his ninth homer of the year in the eighth inning for the final margin, a blast over the right-centerfield fence.

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    MSU BASEBALL BLANKS FIFTH-RANKED FLORIDA
                   
    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Kendall Graveman and Jonathan Holder combined on a three-hit shutout as No. 25 Mississippi State blanked No. 5 Florida 2-0 in a Southeastern Conference baseball game played Saturday night at McKethan Stadium.
                   
    The Bulldogs threw their fifth shutout of the season. It is only the sixth time in Kevin O’Sullivan’s 309 games as head coach that the Gators have been shut out. MSU will face the rubber game of a weekend conference series for the fifth time this season Sunday afternoon.
                   
    With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 31-19 overall and 13-13 in league play. MSU also nailed down a berth in this season’s SEC Tournament, which begins May 22 in Hoover, Ala. The Maroon and White are tied with Ole Miss for second place in the Western Division standings. Florida fell to 37-14 and 15-11.
                   
    “We had so many opportunities but we did take advantage of a few,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “Kendall is such a warrior. He carried the whole team on his shoulders tonight. We defended it well. We pitched it well. If you do those things, you are going to win a lot of games in this league.”
                   
    Graveman (4-3) worked 7.2 innings, allowing three hits, with one walk, one hit batsman and three strikeouts. Graveman faced six batters past the minimum. Jonathan Holder retired all four batters he faced, with two by strikeout, for his fourth save.
                   
    MSU scored the run it needed in its first at-bat. Adam Frazier led off with a single. Taylor Stark reached as a hit batsman. A groundout moved Frazier to third base. Frazier then scored on a Hunter Renfroe RBI-single.
                   
    A leadoff walk to Frazier opened the door for another Bulldog run in the fifth inning. After a sacrifice bunt by Stark, a two-out RBI-single by Phillip Casey brought the run home.
                   
    The Bulldogs left the bases loaded in the third, fifth and sixth innings but had done enough damage to win.
                   
    Renfroe paced MSU’s seven-hit attack with three singles, while Frazier had multiple hits. Renfroe is now six-for-eight in the series and has collected six of his team’s 13 hits, with back-to-back career-high three-hit games.
                   
    Starting pitcher Jonathon Crawford (4-2) took the loss for the Gators. Crawford lasted four-plus innings, allowing four hits and two runs (both earned). Justin Shafer had two of the Gators’ three hits.
                   
    “You can’t win a series until you win the first game,” Cohen said. “I am so proud of the effort that we showed tonight. If you keep battling and you keep playing hard, good things are going to happen to you.”

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    Vanderbilt Evens Series With 6-3 Win Over Third-Ranked LSU

    BATON ROUGE, La.— Vanderbilt shortstop Anthony Gomez smacked four base hits and drove in two runs Saturday night to pace the Commodores to a 6-3 victory over third-ranked LSU during in Alex Box Stadium.

    LSU dropped to 39-12 overall and 17-9 in the SEC. Vanderbilt improved to 25-25 and 12-14 in the conference. The Tigers are in a second-place tie with South Carolina in the overall league race, trailing Kentucky (18-9) by one-half game.

    Game 3 of the LSU-Vanderbilt series begins at 1 p.m. Sunday. The game will be televised on SportSouth/Fox Sports Houston and it may be viewed  at ESPN3.com (online blackout may apply in some areas).

    Sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades (5-2) will take the mound for LSU Sunday, while Vanderbilt will counter with freshman right-hander Tyler Beede (1-4).

    “It was just one of those games where nothing seemed to work for us, and Vanderbilt played just a little bit better than we did,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We kept ourselves within striking distance all the way to the end but Vanderbilt threw some quality arms at us and we fell short. I would be surprised, though, if we don’t play our best game of the weekend tomorrow.”

    Mainieri said that LSU starting catcher Ty Ross missed the game after undergoing an appendectomy Saturday afternoon in a Baton Rouge hospital. Mainieri said Ross is expected to return to action in approximately two weeks.

    Left-hander Sam Selman (8-3) picked up the win for the Commodores Saturday after allowing one run on four hits in five innings with four walks and five strikeouts. LSU freshman right-hander Aaron Nola (6-3) was charged with loss after giving up three runs (two earned) on nine hits with six strikeouts.

    Vanderbilt stole five bases and racked up 12 hits in the contest. Second baseman Tony Kemp and Gomez each scored twice and designated hitter Connor Castellano added a pair of base hits.

    LSU’s offense strung together three runs on 10 hits. Right fielder Mason Katz, catcher Jordy Snikeris and third baseman Tyler Hanover each had a pair of base hits. First baseman Tyler Moore provided two RBIs on a single in the eighth.

    The Commodores took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Kemp connected on a one-out single, stole second and scored on Gomez’s RBI single up the middle.

    Vanderbilt added two more in the top of the sixth. Spencer Navin was hit by a pitch and stole second. Castellano singled, and Navin scored on a throwing error by shortstop Austin Nola. Jack Lupo plated Castellano on an infield single.

    LSU responded in the bottom half of the sixth. Snikeris drove home Austin Nola from third on an infield single.

    Vanderbilt added another in the seventh when Gomez scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch.

    The Commodores added two more in the top of the eighth. Kemp walked and stole second before Gomez delivered an RBI double and Conrad Gregor notched an RBI single.

    LSU showed fight in the bottom half of the eighth. Austin Nola walked and moved to second on Katz’s single. Snikeris smacked a single to load the bases. Moore plated Nola and Katz on a two-RBI single through the right side.

    Vanderbilt reliever Will Clinard earned his third save of the season, allowing no runs on two hits over the final 1.2 innings with one strikeout.