The series finale will be contested at 1 p.m. tomorrow at FedExPark. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Starting pitcher Tyler Beede set the tone early in No. 2 Vanderbilt's 11-1 win over Monmouth Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field that clinched the series.
Beede (2-0) opened the game by striking out the side in the first and second innings while the Commodores (6-1) built a 4-0 lead. The Hawks (1-2) finally managed to put a ball in play in the third when Owen Stewart led off the inning with a single. Beede, however, was unfazed getting the next three batters to fly out. The right-hander pitched himself into a jam in the fourth when he hit two batters but limited the Hawks to only one run in the inning. He finished his afternoon retiring nine of the final 10 batters he faced allowing only two hits. In his seventh and final frame, he punched out two batters to run his total to a career-high nine.
Vanderbilt jumped on the Hawks early, scoring in each of the first four innings and six of their eight at-bats of the day. Connor Harrell cashed in a one-out Jack Lupo double in the first and drove in Chris Harvey, who knocked in a run with his first career triple, in the second inning. John Norwood led off the second inning with his first home run of the year with a towering shot over the scoreboard in left field to help build a 4-0 lead after two. Tony Kemp took over sole possession of the Vanderbilt school record for career triples in the third inning when he laced a line drive into the left-center field gap to score two runs. Kemp was gunned down at home attempting to turn his record setting triple into an inside the park home run but now has 16 triples in 135 career games.
Freshmen Rhett Wiseman and Kyle Smith each picked up their first career hits, singling in their lone at-bats. Once again, the Dores' offense was balanced with 10 players collecting at least one hit. Lupo led the way with three hits, three runs scored and four stolen bases to finish one steal shy of the school record. The senior now has five hits in the in the first two days of the series. Harvey went 2-for-3 with a career-best three runs scored and Connor Harrell ran his season total to 13 RBI.
Monmouth starter Dan Smith (0-1) was pegged with the loss allowing six runs on eight hits over three innings. The Hawks were limited to just two hits in the game and none after the fourth inning.
The Commodores and Hawks wrap up the series tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for noon at Hawkins Field. Lefty Philip Pfeifer (1-0) gets the ball after earning his first career victory at Belmont on Tuesday. Monmouth will send right-hander Jonathan Shippee (0-0) to the hill in the finale.
Alabama Wins Game Two at FAU
Boca Raton, Fla. – Alabama used a three-run first inning en route to a 4-2 win over Florida Atlantic from the FAU Baseball Stadium on Saturday afternoon to win the first two games of the three-game series. The Crimson Tide is now 6-0 to open the season, while FAU falls to 3-3 after dropping three straight games.
“This was another good win and a good effort with good energy by our team,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “We got off to a good start in the first. We had some really good at-bats from the top half of the lineup and we delivered a couple big hits to get the lead to three and I thought the run in the fourth was big. Keller pitched well, giving us our longest outing of the year at six innings and Castillo came in and did a nice job by attacking the strike zone.
Florida Atlantic made the game interesting in the ninth as the Owls had the tying run on first base with now outs after a single, a walk and another single loaded the bases off reliever Ray Castillo. Gaspard stuck with the freshmen , who got a pair of fly outs, one a sac fly for FAU’s second run of the game with no outs, and a strikeout to end the game to earn his first career save.
“We really wanted to stay with Ray in the ninth and not have to use another guy,” Gaspard said. “But for his development and growth, we trust him. We felt like he was going to shove it in there, and with the way the game was going, if they made contact we could make a play and get out of it. It was the first time for him to be in a hairy spot and he passed the test.”
UA starting pitcher Jon Keller (2-0) got the win after throwing six innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Florida Atlantic starter, Jake Meiers (1-1) took the loss after throwing five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Castillo threw the final three innings, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Offensively, Alabama collected nine total hits, as Georgie Salem paced the Tide with three hits, going 3-for-4 and is now 6-for-9 in the series. Salem also had an RBI, a walk and scored a run. “Georgie is a really talented player and is locked in right now and is making quality swings at the plate,” Gaspard said. “He is taking some pitching and having some real quality at-bats. He’s setting the table for us and it’s really helping the offense.”
Brett Booth was 1-for-4 with two RBI, Kenny Roberts was 1-for-1 with an RBI, Ryan Blanchard was 1-for-4 with a run scored and Austen Smith was 2-for-3.
Alabama jumped on FAU starter Jake Meiers, scoring three times in the opening inning. The Tide got its first run on a ground ball by Roberts to score Salem, then a two-run single by Booth scored Mikey White and Ben Moore, who singled and walked earlier in the inning.
Florida Atlantic got on the scoreboard in the third inning when they scored an unearned run off Keller. Keller limited the damage in the inning thanks to a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with two runners on. The Alabama defense turned double plays behind Keller to end threats in the third and sixth innings. The Tide has turned six double plays in the two games of the series, bring the season total to 11.
“We played well defensively, turning a couple double plays at key times. Overall this was another quality win and a quality effort from our team in general. This team continues to play free-and-easy and attacking baseball and are getting paid back for their efforts,” Gaspard said.
Alabama answered in the top of the fourth when Salem’s two-out RBI single to center field scored Blanchard, making the score 4-1 in favor of the Tide. Blanchard singled with two outs then moved up to second on a wild pitch. “I thought the run in the fourth was a big run,” Gaspard said. “After Blanchard singles and moved to second on the dirt ball, Salem picks him up to stretch the lead back to three at 4-1.”
FAU threatened in the seventh as well. After two were out a pair of singles put runners on first and second, before a ground ball to third ended the innings.
Alabama and Florida Atlantic will complete the series on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m. CT, from the FAU Baseball Stadium. Alabama is scheduled to start sophomore right-hander Spencer Turnbull (0-0, 2.45) and the Owls will counter with junior righty Jeremy Strawn (0-0, 3.00).
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UGA Earns Split with Belmont
ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia won the first game of a doubleheader 2-1 in 10 innings against Belmont before dropping the second game 11-10 on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.
With the split, Georgia moves to 2-4 on the season while Belmont's record stands at 4-2.
The Bulldogs earned the win in the bottom of the 10th inning in the first game off a sacrifice fly from senior Kyle Farmer that scored senior Curt Powell from third base after a leadoff triple. The Bruins were limited to one hit in the opener, a solo home run by Matt Beaty.
"We're getting closer and got some guys going today but still haven't got everybody on track," said Georgia coach David Perno. "Belmont's starter (Chase) Brookshire is solid, a veteran with 49 starts so we had to battle against him. We hung in there and found a way. In the second game, we got an early lead and then created some chaos of our own and they got a six-spot in the third inning. It was still early and we came back but the eighth inning was really disappointing. I liked how they guys rallied in the ninth with three runs but we came up short. Overall, we're still walking too many guys, and we got to have some more easy innings especially after taking a lead. Also, we need to get a few of the veterans going at the plate."
Freshman Sean McLaughlin earned the start in the first game, allowing just one hit and one earned run while striking out seven batters in five innings of work. Sophomore Jared Walsh came on in relief to earn the win, throwing one inning and allowing no runs in the 10th inning.
The Bulldogs totaled five hits in the first game, led by Brett DeLoach with two hits and a walk. Nelson Ward, Curt Powell and Hunter Cole also added a hit apiece.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning, thanks to a lead-off single to right by Cole. DeLoach followed with an infield single back to the pitcher, and Cole advanced to third after an error by the pitcher. Walsh then followed with a fielder's choice RBI that plated Cole and gave Georgia the early 1-0 advantage.
Neither team scored in the third inning, but Belmont knotted the game up at one run apiece in the top of the fourth, as Beaty sent a line-drive solo home run to right field that bounced directly off of the scoreboard.
Georgia would go on to retire the next 11 Belmont batters before Jared Breen finally broke the streak with a lead-off walk in the top of the eighth. However, a pair of ground-outs and a strikeout would end the inning for Belmont without any runs scored.
Neither team put a runner on base in the ninth inning, but the Bulldogs were finally able to scratch a run across in the bottom of the 10th to take the 2-1 victory. Powell led off the inning with a triple to right and Farmer followed with a game-winning RBI sacrifice fly to left field that scored Powell from third.
Patrick Boling earned the start for Georgia in the second game of the doubleheader, lasting 2.1 innings while surrendering six hits and six runs (five earned) to take the loss. Austin Coley earned the win for Belmont after giving up three earned runs through 6.1 innings, while Jessie Snodgrass earned the save.
Georgia totaled 16 hits in the second game, including a career-high three-hit night from Jared Walsh. Ward and DeLoach also recorded three hits apiece, while Nichols picked up two hits on the night. DeLoach finished the night 3-5 with three runs scored and a pair of RBIs, while Walsh also went 3-5 with one run scored and a pair of RBIs. Freshman J.T. Phillips recorded a career-high three RBIs on the evening to go along with a hit.
The Bulldogs retired Belmont in order in the top of the first before taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff hitter Nelson Ward singled up the middle and advanced to second on an error by the center fielder and a sacrifice groundout to the pitcher by Powell advanced Ward to third. Farmer followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Ward for the Bulldogs' first run of the game.
Belmont tied the game up at one run in the top of the second, as Neil Hickman roped a two-out single into left and advanced to second on a passed ball. Jared Breen followed with an RBI single to center that plated Hickman to tie the game.
Georgia would respond with a three-run inning in the bottom of the second, beginning with a lead-off walk for freshman Daniel Nichols. DeLoach then reached on an error, allowing Nichols to safely advance to second, and a Jared Walsh double to center scored Nichols and moved DeLoach around to third.
Phillips grounded out to shortstop on the following play, but DeLoach was able to score from third for Georgia's second run of the inning. Two batters later, Ward singled to shortstop to score Walsh from third and give the Bulldogs an early 4-1 lead.
The Belmont offense exploded for six runs in the top of the third inning to take a 7-4 lead, behind six singles and a walk. After the Bulldogs were retired in order in the bottom half of the inning, neither team scored in both the fourth and fifth innings.
The Bruins added one run in the top of the sixth, but Georgia responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. DeLoach led off with a single to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Walsh then sent an RBI single to left field to score DeLoach and narrow Belmont's lead to 8-5.
Belmont went down in order in the top of the seventh, before Georgia struck for two more runs in the bottom half of the frame. Powell singled to third and advanced to second on a wild pitch, and after Farmer was hit by a pitch, both runners moved up a base on an error by the Belmont second baseman.
Two batters later, Nichols singled to right to score Powell and advance Farmer to third. Farmer would come around to score on a fielder's choice RBI by DeLoach that pulled the Bulldogs back within a run at 8-7.
The Bruins added three more runs in the top of the eighth to extend the lead back to 11-7. The Bulldogs picked up two singles in the bottom half of the inning from pinch hitter Justin Bryan and Ward but were unable to plate either of the base runners.
Dylan Cole entered the game to pitch in the ninth inning for Georgia, giving up one walk and a single while recording three strikeouts to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Bulldogs led off with back-to-back singles from Hunter Cole and Nichols. DeLoach followed with an RBI double to left that scored Cole and advanced Nichols to third.
J.T. Phillips continued the hitting streak two batters later with a single to left that plated both DeLoach and Nichols, pulling the Bulldogs back within a run at 11-10. The Bruins then made a pitching change, bringing in Snodgrass to record the final two outs on a fly ball to left and a strikeout that sealed the 11-10 victory for Belmont.
Georgia will conclude the series with Belmont Sunday at 2 p.m. at Foley Field.
Frazier Leads MSU Past Samford
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Junior shortstop Adam Frazier collected a game-high three hits as No. 5 Mississippi State bested Samford 8-2 in the first of two MSU Saturday games in the inaugural Diamond Classic presented by Polk's Meat Products. The win extended State's season-opening win streak to seven games, MSU's best since 2006.
Frazier, on the initial watch list for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award, tripled and scored a run during MSU's three-run first inning and added his team-leading his total to 13 with a pair of singles.
All nine starters in the Bulldog batting order hit safely. Hunter Renfroe, also on the Golden Spikes Award watch list, drove in two runs in the game and extended his season-opening hitting streak to all seven games with a solo blast in the fourth inning. The roundtripper, Renfroe's second in as many days, gave the Bulldogs a 7-1 advantage.
Pitchers Evan Mitchell and Ross Mitchell combined to limit Samford to two runs on four hits. SU parlayed a hit batsman, two wild pitches and an infield groundout to break up the shutout in the third inning. Austin Allison and Sam Few singled in the ninth to plate the other Samford run.
Evan Mitchell started for State, allowing a run in three innings of no-hit pitching. Sophomore Ross Mitchell (2-0) picked up his second win his third relief stint of the year. He worked a solid six innings in relief, keeping Samford off the scoreboard until the ninth.
SU starter C.K. Irby (1-1) took the loss. He was charged with six runs on seven hits during his two-inning stay in the game.
The Bulldogs were to play defending Big Ten Conference champion Purdue in a 6 p.m. game Saturday evening. State and Samford are set to meet again Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the Diamond Classic finale.
FGCU Downs Florida to Clinch Series
Senior Mike Reeves (2-for-5) snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning and FGCU (4-1) added a three-run homer by sophomore Michael Suchy (2-for-3) in the sixth inning en route to an 8-3 win over No. 13 Florida (3-4) on Saturday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. Junior left-hander Brandon Bixler (1-0) limited the Gators to one run on four hits over five innings before senior R.J. Brown hurled the final four innings to collect his first save of the season. Three different Eagles turned in multiple-hit outings after the visitors had captured Friday’s opener.
“I thought we got a good start from Tucker Simpson,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We have to do a better job offensively. We had seven hits that were scattered. We are trying to do some things offensively; put guys in motion; hit and runs. We haven't been able to string along quality at bats. We have some work to do; it’s as simple as that. Teams go through periods where they don't play so well. At this point, we aren't playing so well. There is nothing we can do about yesterday or today, we just have to come out and be ready to play tomorrow.”
After an eight-pitch top of the first inning by freshman righty Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) (0-1), sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) put the Gators on the scoreboard with a wind-aided RBI double to center field. Freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) had drawn a leadoff walk from Bixler and stolen second for his team-leading third theft. Freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) was hit by a pitch for two Gators aboard and sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) advanced his teammates with a grounder. Shafer’s team-high third double provided the hosts with the opening score for the second day in a row. A fielder’s choice by redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) to Bixler resulted in Martin being thrown out at the plate and then Shafer was erased at the dish on an attempted double steal.
Redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (2-for-4) led off the second for the Eagles with a double into left field and junior Brandon Bednar walked before sophomore Zack Tillery moved his teammates into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Simpson worked out of the jam by striking out Suchy and having freshman Colton Bottomley pop up to second base.
Simpson had retired seven-consecutive FGCU batters until hitting Beisner with one down in the fourth. A wild pitch moved the runner into scoring position and a grounder by Bednar pushed Beisner to third with two out. Simpson had Tillery ground out to Powers to end the frame.
The Eagles scored twice in the fifth to seize a 2-1 lead. Suchy led off with a base-hit into center field, went to second on a grounder by Bottomley and came in on a double into left field by redshirt sophomore Alex Diaz. After fanning freshman Tyler Selesky for the second out, Simpson (4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 K) was replaced by junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.). Reeves greeted the southpaw with a base-hit up the middle to plate Diaz.
“No doubt I felt a lot more comfortable today versus last week,” Simpson said of his second collegiate start. “I know going out there, in the bullpen especially, I felt like I had it under control but then seeing the pre-game video on the board I started to get a little bit nervous. But, I think getting that under my belt and coming out today I was a lot more comfortable than last week.”
UF threatened in the bottom of the inning, as senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) and sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) started with consecutive walks. Bixler retired Tobias on an infield fly, Ramjit was thrown out at third as part of a double steal for the second out and Bixler struck out senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) to preserve the Eagles’ advantage.
Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) took over for Gibson (0.1 IP, 1 H) prior to the sixth and issued a one-out walk to Bednar. Tillery followed with a single into left field and then Suchy boosted FGCU’s lead to 5-1 with a three-run homer to left field for his first career round-tripper.
Bixler limited the Gators to one run on four hits over five innings before Brown took over on the mound. Martin had a one-out infield single and Turgeon was hit by a pitch before Shafer flew out to right field. Powers was plunked to fill the bags with two down and Ramjit walked to narrow Florida’s deficit to 5-2 as Martin came in. Brown worked out of further trouble by inducing a pop-up by Gushue.
FGCU used a pair of triples in the seventh by junior Sean Dwyer and Bednar to expand its lead to 7-2. Freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) came in at the outset of the inning for Harris (1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R) and yielded a leadoff single to Selesky. The left-hander had Reeves pop up a sacrifice bunt attempt and Dwyer ripped a triple to center field to score Selesky. Freshman Mike Vinson (Miami, Fla.) came in for Young (0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R) and Powers robbed Beisner of a potential single with a diving stab for the second out. However, Bednar tripled to center field to put FGCU ahead by five runs.
Beisner had an RBI single in the ninth inning with one down that brought home Reeves, who had singled with one down off Vinson (2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 K). In the Gators’ ninth, freshman Kevin Stypulkowski (Lake Worth, Fla.) came through with his first career extra-base hit with a double into left center and freshman Brady Roberson (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) delivered a pinch-hit RBI single up the middle to score Stypulkowski and finalize the 8-3 margin. The Eagles out-hit UF, 11-7, and neither team committed any errors.
Freshman right-hander Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (0-0, 6.75) will make his collegiate starting debut in tomorrow’s finale at 12:30 p.m. versus FGCU freshman right-hander Michael Murray (1-0, 0.00). The game can be seen live on FOX Sports Florida with Nick Belmonte and Mick Hubert, can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell and will be streamed live on GatorVision.