Bulldogs top ETSU 7-4 on Senior Night
|Georgia 7, East Tennessee State 4
|Murray State 7, Kentucky 3
|Jacksonville State 8, Auburn 7
|Central Arkansas 2, Mississippi State 0
|Alabama 10, Troy 5
|LSU 9, Nicholls State 6
|Samford 12, Florida 7
|Middle Tennessee 11, Tennessee 4
|Arkansas State 10, Ole Miss 5
|Arkansas 6, Louisiana Tech 5
|USC-Upstate at South Carolina, cancelled
ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia Bulldogs honored 11 seniors Tuesday night and then defeated East Tennessee State 7-4 in front of a crowd of 1,545 in the final home game of the regular season.
Junior catcher Brett DeLoach went 3-for-4 with two doubles, and junior shortstop Kyle Farmer provided a three-run triple to lead the offense. The Bulldogs (30-22) used a staff approach, getting eight pitchers some action against ETSU. Freshmen Luke Crumley started the game and pitched two innings and allowed one run, earning his third win of the season. Ross Ripple followed him with three strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work. Jarrett Brown also recorded three strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Freshman Pete Nagel pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second save of the year. Georgia’s last seven pitchers combined to register nine strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
East Tennessee State (22-30) got on the board first with a two-out RBI single by Cory Betterson in the bottom of the second. Betterson’s hit drove in Dylan Pratt from second, after Georgia’s Crumley walked both Pratt and Chris Riopedre, who advanced to third on Betterson’s single. Crumley was able to avoid a big inning by forcing Zach Waters to ground out to second in the next at bat to end the inning.
Georgia was able even the score quickly, after DeLoach and Jared Walsh hit back to back doubles to lead off the bottom of the second inning to make it a 1-1 ball game. Senior Peter Verdin put Georgia on top 2-1, hitting a single past ETSU third basemen Alex Reynolds, driving in Walsh who had advanced to third on a passed ball. After allowing three straight hits to start the inning, Kerry Doane of ETSU was able to settle in and retire the next three batters he faced, leaving the Bulldogs up 2-1 after two.
Georgia extended its lead to 4-1 in the third inning. After Curt Powell grounded out to start the inning, Kyle Farmer reached on a one out single, then advanced to third on a Hunter Cole double. DeLoach drove in Farmer with a soft single into center field, moving Cole to third. After a strike out by Walsh, Verdin singled into left to bring home Cole. ETSU narrowed the gap to 4-3 over the course of the next two innings, leading off both the fourth and the fifth with home runs. The fourth inning homer came off the bat of Matthew Scruggs and was his team leading 19th of the season. The fifth inning homer came from Betterson, which was his first of the season.
After pitching allowing four runs on nine hits in five innings of worked, Doane was relieved by Logan Rice to start the sixth inning. Kyle Farmer welcomed Rice with a two out bases clearing triple, scoring Kevin Ruiz, Levi Hyams (who pinch hit for Nelson Ward) and Curt Powell, putting the Bulldogs up 7-3. The triple was Farmer’s third of his career and first of this season. ETSU cut away at Georgia’s lead again in the seventh inning, as Waters doubled down the left field line which brought in Riopedre from first, who reached on an error by Hyams to lead off the inning.
After ETSU scored their fourth run of the game, the Bulldog’s bullpen finished off the final 2.2 innings allowing no runs and three hits. Senior Chase Hawkins pitched the final relieved Brian Benzor in the seventh and forced Andrew Green to line into an unassisted double play. Blake Dieterich pitched a perfect eighth inning with one strikeout setting up Nagel for the save. Nagel allowed two hits but forced a 6-3 double play and then struck out Betterson to end the ball game.
“The guys came out and swung the bats well, and I was pleased with our pitching staff did,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We had to get a lot of guys some work to keep them sharp for the upcoming SEC series and SEC Tournament. Overall, I thought they did well. Kyle got the big hit for us with the bases loaded, and several guys looked better at the plate as we finished with 13 hits.”
Georgia wraps up the regular season this weekend with a three game series against Alabama starting Thursday in Tuscaloosa at 7:35 p.m. ET. It marks the beginning of an extended stay in the state as the Bulldogs will head to the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., as it kicks off on May 22.
Two-Out Rally in Eighth Lifts Murray State Past Kentucky
PADUCAH, Ky. -- Murray State broke open a 3-3 game with a two-out, bases-clearing double in the bottom of the eighth inning and held off No. 2 Kentucky for a 7-3 win, in front of a packed 1,379 on a gorgeous Tuesday night at Brooks Stadium.
Kentucky (41-12) suffered just its third loss of the year in non-conference play, as the Wildcats drop to 23-3 in 2012 in non-league action. Murray State used seven pitchers in the game, using a different hurler in the first six innings, including all three of its weekend starters, for the win in front of an excitable crowd at Paducah’s Brooks Stadium.
The Wildcats rallied with a two-run homer from Luke Maile to tie the game in the fourth inning, taking a one-run lead with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Murray State evened it with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth inning as UK dropped a fly ball in leftfield with two outs. Murray State then posted the game-winning rally in the bottom of the eighth inning.
UK freshman starter Chandler Shepherd worked 4.2 innings, allowing five hits and three runs – two earned – walking three and striking out one. Freshman A.J. Reed (4-2) took over for Shepherd with two outs and the go-ahead runner in scoring position in the fifth inning, getting a swinging strikeout to get out of the jam and working three innings, allowing three hits without a walk, striking out two with the decisive run scoring. Senior Alex Phillips replaced Reed with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and a runner on first base, walking two and allowing a hit, with three runs scoring in the game-winning eighth inning. Tim Peterson got the final out of the eighth.
The Wildcats got eight hits in the game, lead by a career-high three hits from Michael Williams. Maile launched his team-high 12th homer of the year, with UK also getting hits from Austin Cousino, Brian Adams and Matt Reida. Adams doubled and added a single in the ninth inning.
Murray State (23-30) starter Bryan Babin worked the first inning, with Luke Shuemaker tossing a shutout second inning and Tyler Beers hurling a perfect third frame. Joe Major allowed two runs on two hits in the fourth inning, with Tyler Saltsman taking over in the fifth, working one frame with two hits and one run surrendered. Mark Roberts worked two shutout innings in the sixth and seventh, allowing one hit and one walk. Will Handlin (5-3) took over in the eighth inning, tossing the final two innings of the game for the win.
UK returns to action on Thursday, traveling to Mississippi State at 7:30 p.m. ET at Dudy Noble Field. The series will mark the final of the regular season as UK owns a precious half-game lead in the SEC Title race over South Carolina and a one-game lead over Western Division leader LSU. LSU travels to South Carolina to conclude the regular season. All three games will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, available in Central Kentucky on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at Ukathletics.com.
Murray got on the board in the bottom of the second inning, as Mike Kozlowski drew a walk and Brand Eggenschwiler blooped a single on the chalk down the leftfield line. Noah Zipko loaded the bases with a walk and Dylan Wheeler scored Kozlowski with a single into shallow centerfield. After a strikeout for the first out, Colton Speed hit a grounder at first base, with UK getting the lead runner out at the plate on the fielder’s choice. Ty Stetson then forced home the second run on a RBI walk.
A native of Dublin, Ohio, Cousino led off the top of the fourth inning with a grounder at first base, with the ball getting lost in the sun and rolling into rightfield, with Cousino hustling into second base. After a deep fly out in the gap from Adams moved Cousino to third, Maile smashed an opposite-field, two-run homer over the wall in rightfield, his team-best 12th homer of the year.
UK took the lead in the top of the fifth inning, as Reida reached on a single up the middle and Cousino drew a walk on a 3-1 offering to push Reida to scoring position. Adams then drilled a double down the leftfield line to score Reida and give UK a 3-2 advantage.
Murray State tied up the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning on a two-out error in the outfield. Eggenschwiler reached on a two-out single, scoring after a two-out fly ball was dropped in the gap, with Eggenschwiler motoring home from first base.
The Breds won the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Speed singled to leftfield with two outs to end Reed’s outing. UK then turned to Phillips in relief to face the left-handed hitters, with Phillips walking two to load the bases before Ritzheimer punched a bases-clearing double down the rightfield line for the game-winning hit. Koslowski then singled to rightfield to score the seventh run of the game.
Auburn Falls In Final Non-Conference Game, 8-7, To Jacksonville State
AUBURN, Ala. – Jacksonville State scored four times in the fourth to erase a two-run deficit and then held off a late Auburn rally as Auburn fell, 8-7, on Tuesday night in its final non-conference baseball game of the season. The loss dropped Auburn’s record to 29-24 while Jacksonville State improved to 24-27.
“I thought we played sloppy,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “We didn’t play a clean game. We mishandled too many balls and when you do that it makes it tough. (Jacksonville State) played tough and they deserved to win.”
Trailing 8-3 after the seventh-inning stretch, Auburn got to within a run by plating four two-out runs in the seventh. Then after going down in order in the eighth, Auburn loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth but Jacksonville State closer Todd Hornsby got a ground ball to short off the bat of Justin Bryant to end the game and collect his 12th save of the season.
Auburn starter Cory Luckie (2-1) took the loss as he allowed four runs on eight hits in three-plus innings of work.
Ryan Tella went 3-for-4 with a triple for Auburn, driving in three runs while Creede Simpson was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.
Jacksonville State’s Ben Waldrip was 3-for-5 with a double and the first of back-to-back solo home runs off of Luckie in the fourth, finishing the night with two RBI. Erik Underwood was also 3-for-5 while Kyle Bluestein was 1-for-5, contributing the second of the back-to-back home runs in the fourth.
Jacksonville State’s Casey Antley (2-2) earned the win in a designated split start, allowing two runs on three hits, leaving after he threw three complete innings and Jacksonville State ahead, 4-2.
Auburn plays its three final regular-season games of the year this weekend as it plays host to No. 3 Florida beginning Thursday at 6pm.
MSU Baseball Falls to Central Arkansas
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Strong pitching did not offset a lack of offense Tuesday night as the Mississippi State baseball team dropped a 2-0 decision to Central Arkansas in the final non-conference game of the season at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs fall to 31-21 overall and conclude the non-conference portion of their schedule with an 18-7 mark. MSU must regroup quickly for eighth-ranked Kentucky coming in this weekend for the final Southeastern Conference series of the season.
Central Arkansas improved to 23-26 with the victory.
The Bears scored single runs in the second and fifth innings and that was more than enough for Ethan McKenzie to grab the victory in his first start of the season. McKenzie (1-1) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out four in six innings of work. Bryce Biggerstaff threw the final three innings, facing two past the minimum, for his first save.
The duo combined to shut the Bulldogs out in a non-conference game for the first time since a 1-0 loss to Ole Miss in the final Mayor’s Trophy game in Jackson in 2006. The last non-conference shutout at Dudy Noble Field took place in 2004 when Samford posted a 6-0 victory.
MSU managed seven total hits and failed to advance a runner past first base in the contest. Central Arkansas turned two double plays and threw out another Bulldog on a steal attempt.
The second inning run came after a leadoff double from Bryan Willson. After a groundout, a fielder’s choice retired Willson at third base. Not deterred, the Bears got a two-out walk for Griffin Claude and an RBI-single by Blake Roberts.
Central Arkansas reached its lead off runner in four straight at-bats and eventually stretched the lead in the fifth inning.
A one-out walk to Forrestt Allday started things. Blake Marchal followed with a single. A groundball out by Ethan Harris brought Allday home with the game’s final run.
For MSU, starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff (0-2) threw four innings. Woodruff allowed five hits and one run, with four strikeouts and two walks. Luis Pollorena was touched for the other run in the fifth inning, before giving way to Caleb Reed, Nick Routt and Ben Bracewell. Bulldog pitching allowed eight hits and walked five.
Adam Frazier had three hits for MSU. The MSU shortstop now has 23 multi-hit games, with four three-hit games. Hunter Renfroe added multiple hits. Renfroe now has nine hits in his last 17 at-bats.
The Bulldogs and Wildcats play at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday. The Friday contest will be televised regionally by SportSouth.
Alabama Baseball Tops the Trojans, 10-5, in Final Non-Conference Game
TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – The Alabama baseball team had a pair of four run innings to bring in a 10-5 win over non-conference opponent Troy on Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The win puts the Crimson Tide 19-33 overall record while the Trojans drop to 24-28 for the season.
Alabama starting pitcher Taylor Guilbeau improved to 4-2 with the win tonight after tossing three innings. He allowed three hits, three runs (one earned) while walking two and striking out three. Jake Hubbard came in to relieve Guilbeau and threw three innings, allowing only one hit and no earned runs.
“We had good pitching from Guilbeau in the second and third inning. I thought Hubbard was really good in the middle of the game and then Jay Shaw and Trey Pilkington finished out the back end.”
Troy starter Jeremy McGowan took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season. McGowan had two innings of work, giving up six hits and three earned runs.
Alabama reached the 10-run mark for just the fourth time this season and first since scoring 11 against South Carolina on April 27. The Tide also pounded out 11 hits in the game, as seven of the nine starters had at least one hit in the game. Leading the offensive outburst for Alabama was Austen Smith as he was 2-for-3 with his third home run of the season, two RBI, and two runs.
Taylor Dugas was 2-for-4 with a walk, Jared Reaves was 2-for-5 with a double, a run scored and two RBI, and Brett Booth was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a pair of runs. James Tullidge extended his hitting streak to seven games with a two-run single in the sixth.
“I thought after the first inning that we settled in and played the game pretty good. We played pretty solid offensively; we did a good job. We had some two-out hits. Smith had a big homerun and Tullidge had the big two-out hit that extended the lead. Overall, after the first inning, it was a pretty clean game tonight.”
The Trojans got on the board first, scoring three times off Guilbeau, although two of the runs were unearned. A double from Boone Shear drove in two and a single by Jakob Nixon staked the Trojans to an early 3-0 lead.
A strong showing in the second inning propelled Alabama ahead early in the game, as the Tide sent nine batters to the plate in the inning. A double to right center from Booth started the inning, before he scored the first run of the night for the Tide on a single by Dugas. Hunter Gregory then reached base on a fielder’s choice, later scoring on a single from Reaves, which also brought Dugas around to third following an error by the Troy left fielder. Moore singled up the center bringing Dugas and Reaves in to make the score 4-3.
Alabama first baseman Austen Smith hit his third home run of the season, and the eighth of his career, in the bottom of the fourth. The long ball also brought in Moore, who got on base from a walk and stole second, making the score 6-3.
A stout four-run, sixth inning for Alabama helped put the game out of reach, as the Tide opened a 10-3 lead over the Trojans. With one out and the bases loaded, Cameron Carlisle walked, bringing in Reaves. Booth followed with a fielder’s choice, allowing Moore to score to give the Tide an 8-3 advantage. After Booth advanced to second on a wild pitch, Tullidge delivered a two-run single with two outs, plating Booth and Smith.
Troy added single runs in the seventh and ninth innings. The Trojans got one run on UA reliever Jay Shaw in the seventh when Tyler Vaughn’s single drove in Tyler Hannah. The final run of the game came off Trey Pilkington in the ninth thanks to an RBI single by Hannah.
Alabama returns to SEC action on Thursday, May 17, with game one of a three-game series against Georgia at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. First pitch for the series opener is slated for 6:35 p.m. CT. Game two will begin at 6:35 p.m. CT on Friday night. UA will honor eight senior student-athletics prior to the start of Friday’s game. The series wraps up on Saturday, at 1:05 p.m., with the final game of the regular season for Alabama.
Tigers Earn 40th Win with 9-6 Victory over Nicholls State
BATON ROUGE, La. – Senior shortstop Austin Nola collected a career-best four hits and scored two runs Tuesday night, and junior first baseman Mason Katz launched his 10th homer of the year as fourth-ranked LSU posted a 9-6 win over Nicholls State in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU, playing its final regular-season home game, improved to 40-13 while Nicholls State dropped to 25-26. The Tigers posted a 40-win regular season for the ninth time since 1992, the first year the NCAA instituted a 56-game regular-season schedule limit.
“It’s a significant accomplishment to win 40 games in the regular season,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, “and I’m very proud of our team for reaching that mark. I thought we swung the bats pretty well tonight, and we had some good efforts on the mound.”
LSU concludes the regular season at South Carolina beginning at 6 p.m. CT Thursday. The Tigers are one game behind Kentucky and a half-game behind South Carolina in the overall league standings. LSU has already clinched at least a tie for the SEC Western Division title, and the Tigers have locked up the #2 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
“Our players are very excited for the opportunity to go to Columbia and compete for the SEC championship,” Mainieri said. “We have so much respect for (South Carolina coach) Ray Tanner and his program, and it should be a series the entire nation will be watching.”
LSU (2009) and South Carolina (2010, 2011) have combined to win the last three College World Series titles. This week’s series marks the first meeting between the teams since the Tigers defeated the Gamecocks in the second round of the 2009 SEC Tournament.
Nola, making his final regular-season appearance in Alex Box Stadium, was 4-for-4 at the plate Tuesday night with a double and two runs scored. Katz was 2-for-5 with four RBI, including a three-run blast in the sixth inning, and he scored two runs.
LSU starter Kurt McCune (3-4) earned the win, limiting the Colonels to two runs on six hits in five innings with one walk and one strikeout.
Nicholls State starter Mike Wisecarver (1-7) was charged with the loss as he surrendered five runs – three earned – on seven hits in five innings with four walks and no strikeouts.
Trailing 2-0, LSU erupted for five runs in the third inning. A run-scoring double by Katz and RBI singles by designated hitter Jackson Slaid, leftfielder Raph Rhymes and second baseman JaCoby Jones highlighted the rally.
LSU added three runs in the sixth off of reliever Brad Delatte when Nola single, Slaid walked and Katz unloaded his 10th dinger of the year into the left-field seats.
The Tigers extended the lead to 9-2 in the eighth on an RBI single by senior third baseman Tyler Hanover.
The Colonels rallied for four runs in the ninth inning, but LSU closer Nick Goody recorded back-to-back strikeouts with runners at second and third to end the game.
Samford Takes Down No. 3 Florida, 12-7
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Samford sophomore C.K. Irby limited No. 3 Florida (38-15) to one run and one hit over five innings and the nation’s home-run leader, senior Brandon Miller (2-for-4), belted a pair of two-run homers as the Bulldogs (34-19) notched a 12-7 victory on Tuesday night at Joe Lee Griffin Field. For the Gators, senior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) was 2-for-3 to match Mark Ellis’ school-record total of 319 career hits.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a bases-loaded, two-out triple by Irby (2-for-5) off of freshman Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (4-3). Senior Brad Moss singled through the left side with one out and sophomore Phillip Ervin (2-for-4, two runs) singled into center field with two down before Miller drew a free pass to fill the bags. Irby helped his own cause with a triple to deep center field that gave Bulldogs a three-run cushion.
A two-run homer by junior Zeth Stone over the right-field wall in the second inning moved the hosts ahead by a 5-0 count. Sophomore Tyler Filliben (3-for-3) legged out a bunt single up the third-base line with one down and Stone followed with his first round-tripper of the season. Consecutive two-out singles by Saxon Butler (2-for-4) and Ervin ended the night for Magliozzi (1.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R). Freshman Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) caught Miller looking on strikes to end the frame.
Freshman Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) drew a one-out walk from Irby in the third and stole his first career base to move into scoring position. Irby responded by having junior Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) and Tucker each fly out.
Miller belted his 19th of the campaign with Butler aboard in the fourth for a 7-0 margin. Butler was hit by a pitch with one out and Miller delivered a round-tripper to left field.
Senior Jeff Moyer (Winter Springs, Fla.) began the fifth with the Gators’ first hit, a double to left field. A grounder by freshman Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) pushed Moyer to third and Gushue put the visitors on the board with an RBI grounder to second base.
Redshirt junior Christiaan Durdaller was plunked by Harris (2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 K) to start the bottom of the stanza, bringing sophomore Keenan Kish (Worcester, Pa.) into the contest. Filliben collected his third hit of the night with a base-knock into left center to drive in his teammate for an 8-1 count.
After Irby worked five strong innings, Tucker greeted senior Joseph Burns in the sixth with a single into left field, bringing him within one of tying Ellis’ school standard. When junior Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) was hit by a pitch with one down, freshman Andreas Gracia replaced Burns. Senior Daniel Pigott’s (Ormond Beach, Fla.) grounder was misplayed by second baseman Stone to load the bases with one out and freshman Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) brought home Tucker with a sacrifice fly to straightaway center field for an 8-2 deficit. Gracia had Moyer ground out to second base to complete the inning.
Miller connected on his second dinger of the night with two down in the home part of the inning for a 10-2 score. Ervin was hit by a pitch and moved into scoring position with his team-leading 14th theft before Miller ripped his 20th homer over the left-field wall.
Junior Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) brought the Gators within 10-5 in the seventh with a towering three-run blast into the trees overlooking left field. Fontana had drawn a two-out walk from Gracia and Tucker smashed a hard single to equal Ellis’ standard that has stood since 1999. Zunino cranked a 1-0 pitch out of the yard for his team-leading 14th homer, the second-straight contest that he has gone deep. Junior Sean Handlan came in for Gracia (1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R) and issued a four-pitch walk to Johnson. Senior Tyler Vanderheiden was summoned from the bullpen and Pigott (2-for-4) moved Johnson over with a single through the right side of the infield. The reliever had Shafer fly out after a long at bat to strand the runners and keep the Bulldogs up by five runs.
Kish worked two innings, allowing three hits and two runs, and sophomore Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) took the hill prior to Samford’s seventh at bat. Junior Tommy Corbin (2-for-5) led off with a single into right field, went to second on a wild pitch and Filliben walked for two runners aboard. Stone executed a sacrifice bunt to advance his teammates into scoring position and Moss was walked intentionally to load the bases with one down. Butler delivered a two-run single for a 12-5, bringing freshman Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) to the mound for Gibson (0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R). The southpaw worked out of the jam by having Ervin pop out and Miller foul out to Zunino.
Florida plated two runs in the ninth on a run-scoring double by Johnson and an RBI single by Pigott to finalize the 12-7 margin. Tucker walked with one down against junior Arthur Strauss and advanced to second on a grounder by redshirt freshman pinch hitter Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.). Johnson’s 10th two-bagger of the year scored Tucker and he was replaced by sophomore pinch runner Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.), who advanced to third base on a passed ball and came in on an infield hit by Pigott.
The Gators conclude their conference schedule and regular season with a three-game series at Auburn (29-24/12-15 SEC) beginning on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. All three games will be carried on Country 103.7 The Gator with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.
Vols Drop 11-4 Decision at MTSU
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee State scored early and often on Tuesday, plating five runs in the second and three more in the fourth en route to an 11-4 victory over Tennessee at Reese Smith Jr. Field.
“I am the leader of this program and am very proud of that, but I’m not proud of the product we are putting on the field right now,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “We have a lot of work to do, a lot of decisions to make. We’ve lived through this for a year and we’ve had a lot of good times, but the hard times are hitting us and it doesn’t feel really good. This coaching staff is committed to excellence and we will put people around us that are committed to the same thing. I’m not pointing fingers, but we just aren’t good enough right now. That’s the bottom line. We aren’t good enough and right now we aren’t showing a toughness to show up every day.
“Even though we have been mathematically eliminated from a goal that we had, it is still a baseball game, it is still a competition. Even though we aren’t playing for anything right now, we are playing for a great university and a program that has had some great representatives. That is who we are playing for right now, the people who have worn this uniform and have done a lot of great things to make this a great opportunity for our players and a great opportunity for myself.”
Zach Luther led a 12-hit Tennessee offensive effort, recording his second three-hit game of the season. Four other Vols added two hits each as well, including Brentwood native Richard Carter who was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI double after entering the game as a pinch hitter in the fourth inning.
With a single in the fifth frame, senior Zach Osborne tallied his 223rd career hit, tying him with former Vol Julio Borbon (2005-07) for ninth in school history.
The Tennessee bullpen settled down following a rough start to the contest as Dalton Saberhagen, Zack Godley and Eric Martin combined to allow just one unearned run over the final four innings. For Godley, it was his first appearance since April 19 as he returned from an oblique strain.
After MTSU jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to a five-run second inning in which it sent all nine batters to the plate, Tennessee finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the third. Will Maddox got the ball rolling with a one-out single over the shortstop’s head before moving to second on a balk. Osborne then drew a walk before Davis Morgan came through with an RBI base hit to plate UT’s first run of the game.
The Blue Raiders answered with a tally of their own in the home half of the third but Tennessee got it back in the top of the fourth. Carter knocked a pinch-hit single into left to lead off the stanza and came home to score just seconds later on a single by Chris Pierce as the right fielder mishandled the ball on the play.
Once again, MTSU responded enthusiastically though, answering three-fold to take a 10-2 advantage. Tennessee then made it six straight frames with a run as Osborne singled, moved to second on a walk and scored on an RBI double down the left-field line by Carter in the top of the fifth.
The next tally came in the bottom of the eighth as MTSU scored its final run of the game on a passed ball with a runner at third to go ahead 11-3. The Big Orange tacked on a ninth-inning run with Pierce drawing a bases-loaded walk with two outs to finish off the scoring for the night.
Tennessee will close out the 2012 campaign with a three-game series against No. 18 Arkansas in Knoxville this week. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday before the season comes to an end with a 4 p.m. contest on Saturday.
No. 22 Rebels Fall To Arkansas State
JONESBORO, Ark. – Zach Kirksey hit his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot to give the Rebels the early lead, but a big fifth inning from the Red Wolves proved to be too much to overcome as No. 22 Ole Miss (34-19) fell to Arkansas State (29-21) by a score of 10-5.
Casey Mulholland (0-2) took the loss for the Rebels in relief, allowing two runs on three hits in 1.0 inning of work. Mulholland entered the game in the fourth inning to relieve starter Josh Laxer with a man on first base and no outs.
Chandler Hawkins (2-2) picked up the relief win for the Red Wolves, working 1.2 scoreless innings with a hit and a strikeout. He entered the game in the fifth to relieve starter Cody Woodhouse.
“We gave ourselves no shot tonight on the mound,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We gave up a couple of big innings which is the kiss of death. We don’t usually give up a ton of hits, and we added two errors on top of that to boot. It’s tough when you don’t put zeros up on the board when you’re on the mound.”
Ole Miss got on the board first when Zach Kirksey cranked a two-run shot to right field to give the Rebels the 2-0 lead in the second inning.
Arkansas state answered with a single run in the bottom of the inning when Claude Johnson came home on a wild pitch to cut the lead in half. Johnson walked to open the inning before a second walk and a sac bunt would move him to third and set up the score on the wild pitch to make it 2-1.
The Red Wolves took the lead in the fourth with two more runs to make it 3-2. Johnson again led things off, this time with a single, before moving to third on a double from Ryan Emery. He scored on a groundout to second that put Emery at third. Another wild pitch brought Emery home and gave Arkansas State the lead.
The Red Wolves then broke things open in the fifth inning, using five hits and a pair of errors to plate five runs and take the lead out to 8-2 on the Rebels.
Ole Miss cut the lead in half in the seventh inning when Auston Bousfield came up with a two-RBI double to right with two outs to make it 8-4. Austin Anderson and Tanner Mathis scored on the play after reaching on a walk and a single before the Bousfield hit. Alex Yarbrough then hit a double down the right field line to drive in Bousfield and cut the lead to 8-5.
Arkansas State responded in the bottom of the frame, getting a two-out double down the left field line that was just out of reach of a diving Tanner Mathis to take the lead back out to four at 9-5. Dustin Jones scored on the play after reaching on a single through the left side in the previous at bat before Michael Jones doubled to score him from first.
The Rebels would load the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Arkansas State got a groundout to end the inning and held on to the 9-5 lead.
Arkansas State would add a 10th run in the eighth inning to take the lead out to five runs and the final margin of victory of 10-5 as Ole Miss could not answer in the ninth.
The Rebels will close out the regular season this weekend with a three-game series at Vanderbilt. Ole Miss and the Commodores will start the series with game one at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday night in a game televised by ESPNU.
Arkansas downs Louisiana Tech in 10 innings
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Matt Reynolds tied a career-high with four hits, drove in three runs and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as Arkansas defeated Louisiana Tech, 6-5, on Tuesday night in front of 10,512 fans at Dickey-Stephens Park.
The Razorbacks improve to 36-17 with the win, while Louisiana Tech drops to 23-24 with the loss. Arkansas also improved to 3-0 at Dickey-Stephens Park. The Razorbacks defeated Louisiana Tech in 2010 and downed Memphis last season.
With the game tied at five in the bottom of the 10th inning, Arkansas put together the game-winning rally. With one out, Reynolds and Brian Anderson had back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. With Derrick Bleeker at the plate, Reynolds stole third and the Louisiana Tech catcher’s throw to third got past the third baseman and down the left field line, allowing Reynolds to score the game-winning run.
Reynolds continued his hot hitting, extending his reached base streak to 36 straight games and his hitting streak to nine straight games. Reynolds tied a career high with four hits in the win, including his sixth homer of the season, and also added three RBI with three runs scored. Tim Carver had three hits out of the leadoff spot and scored a run, while Anderson and Bo Bigham each added two hits.
Taylor Terrasas and Ryan Gebhardt each had two hits for Louisiana Tech, while Bre’Shon Kimbell drove in a pair of runs.
Arkansas reliever Barrett Astin (3-5) picked up the win in relief. Astin threw two hitless innings and struck out four. Caleb Dudley (4-4) took the loss for the Bulldogs after throwing two innings and giving up an unearned run on three hits with a strikeout.
Brandon Moore and Nolan Sanburn each pitched well in relief for Arkansas. Sanburn threw 3.1 scoreless innings with five strikeouts, while Moore tossed 1.2 hitless innings with a pair of strikeouts.
Louisiana Tech struck first with two runs in the top of the first. Terrasas led off the game with a 10-pitch at bat, which ended with a single into left field. Gebhardt then doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Alex Williams drove in the game’s first run with a line drive single to center field, scoring Terrasas. A 3-6-3 double play off the bat of Kimbell scored Gebhardt to put the Bulldogs up 2-0.
Arkansas answered back with three runs in the bottom of the first. Carver doubled down the left field to begin the inning and then moved to third after Dominic Ficociello reached on an infield single. Reynolds then split the gap in left-center field, scoring both runners to tie the game. After back-to-back strikeouts of Anderson and Bleeker, Bigham reached on an infield single to second and Reynolds was able to score all the way from second on the play to give the Razorbacks the lead.
The Bulldogs regained the lead with two runs in the top of the third. Justin Gordey and Terrasas drew back-to-back walks to begin the inning. After a foul out to the first baseman by Gebhardt, a wild pitch moved runners to second and third. Williams then popped out to short for the second out of the inning. Kimbell was able to drive home both runners with a ground rule double down the left field.
Arkansas evened the game at four in the bottom of the fifth inning on Reynolds’ leadoff homer over the left field wall, his sixth round-tripper of the season.
The Razorbacks took the lead with a run game in the bottom of the sixth. Matt Vinson drew a leadoff walk and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Joe Serrano. Carver then looped a single into right field to put runners on first and third with one out. Ficociello hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Vinson.
Louisiana Tech tied the game with a run in the top of the seventh. Sam Alvis singled to left to begin the inning, but was cut down at second on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by Gordey. Arkansas had Gordey picked off at first, but Ficociello’s throw hit the runner, allowing him to advance to third with one out. Terrasas then doubled to the left-center field alley, scoring Gordey with the tying run.
Arkansas had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with two outs. However, Bigham grounded out to short to end the threat and keep the game tied.
Arkansas closes the regular season this weekend with a three-game series at Tennessee. Game times are set for 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
South Carolina-USC Upstate Cancelled Due to Weather
Columbia, S.C. –The South Carolina/USC Upstate baseball game has been cancelled due to heavy rain and lightning. The game will not be made up. The Gamecocks are back in action this weekend in their final SEC series of the year as they play host to LSU.