|Kentucky 6, EKU 2
|Texas A&M 2, Northwestern State 1
|Ole Miss 7, Arkansas Pine Bluff 2
|Vanderbilt 13, Evansville 0
|Mississippi State 17, Rhode Island 5
Kentucky Takes Care of Eastern Kentucky, 6-2
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Eighth-ranked Kentucky got a multiple-hit game from junior J.T. Riddle to extend his hitting streak to 11 games and junior Trevor Gott struck out all four hitters he faced for his 12th career save, leading the Wildcats to a 6-2 win over Eastern Kentucky, on Wednesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
A native of Frankfort, Ky., Riddle led UK with a two-hit performance to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, adding a walk and two runs scored. The result extended UK’s home-winning streak to seven games, as UK fought through a rain delay for the second consecutive game, with its delay totaling an hour on Wednesday and three hours on Tuesday.
Gott dominated to end the game for his first save of 2013 and his 12th career save, striking out all four hitters he faced. The Lexington native now has moved into a tie for third place for career saves with former UK star southpaw Andrew Albers (2005-08) and is just three saves shy of the UK all-time mark. On the year, Gott has a 2-0 record in three relief outings, tossing five innings, allowing only two hits and one walk, striking out seven. The 2010 Gatorade Kentucky High School Player of the Year out of Tates Creek came on in a bases-loaded jam and two outs in the eighth to face the game-tying run, getting a strikeout to get out of the threat and then fanning the side in the ninth to secure the win.
Kentucky (7-1) also got hits from A.J. Reed, Max Kuhn, Zac Zellers, Matt Reida, Kyle Barrett and Micheal Thomas, with Reida smacking a double and two RBI. Barrett’s hit came as his first career knock, later stealing his first base. Kuhn added a pair of walks and Zellers drew a walk, scored a run and had an RBI. All-America centerfielder Austin Cousino had his team-leading streak of 14 consecutive games reaching base safely snapped with a 0-for-3 game with a sacrifice fly. Cousino has now reached base safely in 66 of 70 career collegiate games.
The 2010 Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball, Riddle upped his robust average to .529 (18-for-34) with his 2-for-3 game, leading the team with 12 runs, adding three doubles, one triple, one homer, eight RBI, a 3-1 walk-strikeout ratio and two steals.
The victory for Kentucky comes a day after the home-opening win over Murray State, an 11-5 result on Tuesday. UK used an efficacious pitching performance from Chandler Shepherd in the win over the ‘Breds, with the sophomore working 5.2 innings in relief without an earned run.
Kentucky freshman starter Ryne Combs worked a career-long 3.1 innings in his first collegiate start, allowing six hits and no runs, walking one and striking out two. Senior Walter Wijas (1-0) replaced him in a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth inning, getting a pair of quick outs to end the inning and working 1.2 innings and allowing a pair of unearned runs. In his four-year career, Wijas has inherited 50 total runners in relief, allowing only 17 to score (34-percent). Freshman Dylan Dwyer took over to start the sixth, working a career-long 2.2 innings, allowing three hits and striking out two. Freshman righty Zach Strecker then came on in a save situation in the eighth and after walking the bases loaded, UK turned to Gott with a 2-2 count and two outs. Gott threw one pitch to get out of the jam and struck out the side in the ninth for his first save of the year.
Eastern Kentucky (3-4) starter Chris Cervantes worked an inning in a predetermined start. Ben Gullo, Trey Salisbury, Blake Bottoms (0-1), Austin Rexroat, Jake Hall, Matt Lynch, Eric Nerl, Cody Creamer and Myles Scott each worked in relief for the Colonels.
UK will return to action for its first home weekend series of the year, hosting Akron in a four-game set, starting on Friday at 4 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky struck first in the game, scoring one run on an RBI single by Kuhn. Riddle started off the inning with a swinging bunt single down the first baseline. After a wild pitch, Riddle advanced to second base and then scored from second after Kuhn hit a single between the shortstop and third baseman.
The Wildcats added four insurance runs in the fourth inning to push the lead to 5-0. Reed started off with a line-drive single to rightfield followed by Riddle getting hit by a pitch. Kuhn loaded the bases when he drew his team-leading eighth walk of the season. The first run of the inning occurred when Reed touched home after Zellers drew a five-pitch walk. Reida drove in two more runs when he smoked a double off the first base bag into rightfield. After Barrett grounded back to the pitcher, Thomas roped a single to the leftfielder that scored Zellers.
In the top of the fifth, EKU got a pair of runs back, as Demetrius Moore led off with a fielding error. Luke Wurzelbacher then singled up the middle and Shaun Ball scored one with a single through the right side and Bryan Soloman forced home a run with a groundout.
Another run came across for Kentucky in the sixth when Barrett tagged up from third on a Cousino fly ball to deep right-centerfield. Barrett slapped his first career hit and followed it up with a stolen base with no one out. Thomas advanced the runner to third and Cousino picked up his sixth RBI of the season.
Aggies Hold Off Demons for Midweek Sweep
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 30 Texas A&M Aggies used seven pitchers to register a 2-1 win over the Northwestern State Demons in non-conference baseball action Wednesday afternoon on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Freshman Grayson Long went 4.2 innings in his second career start, allowing one run on five hits and one walk while walking two.
The bullpen combined for 4.1 scoreless innings with Jason Freeman (1-0) earning the win behind 1.1 innings of one-hit work, including two strikeouts. Jason Jester earned his third save of the season, allowing one hit in 1.1 innings.
Texas A&M (7-3) drew first blood in the bottom of the fourth inning. With Northwestern State's outfield playing shallow due to a stiff breeze blowing in from left centerfield, Troy Stein was able to drive a ball past the leftfielder for a leadoff triple. Blake Allemand hit a sharp grounder to shortstop, scoring Stein, and Allemand reached first when the throw went wide of the bag. Allemand stole second and moved to third on a fly out, but A&M was unable to add to the lead.
Northwestern State (5-4) responded with an equalizer in the top of the fifth. With one out Toby Cornejo reached on a bunt single and moved to second on a groundout by Garrett Kilgore. Long hit Will Watson with a pitch to put a pair on and Matt Kent came in to relieve Long on the mound. Nick Purdy bounced a ball just past the glove of a diving Charlie Curl at second base for the RBI single, tying the score at 1-1. With two men still on base, Freeman closed out the inning by getting Matt Baca to ground out to second base.
The Aggies reclaimed the lead in the home half of the fifth. With AJ Funk on in relief of NSU starter Cody Butler, Mikey Reynolds led off with a single to the gap in right centerfield. A passed ball and a sacrifice bunt by Krey Bratsen moved Reynolds to third with one out and Daniel Mengden pushed him across for the go-ahead run with a squeeze bunt down the first base line.
Both teams left plenty of ducks on the pond with A&M stranding 12 base runners and NSU leaving 11 men on base.
Butler allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out four over 4.0 innings in the start. Funk (0-1) was strapped with the loss, allowing one run on three hits and one walk while fanning one over 1.0 innings. Andrew Adams worked 2.0 shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out two.
Reynolds and Stein each logged two hits and scored one run apiece. Reynolds, Bratsen and Mengden each extended lengthy hit streaks. Reynolds and Bratsen's strings reached nine games and Mengden's stands at eight.
Cornejo, Watson and Todd Wallace had two hits each for the Demons.
Texas A&M returns to action on Friday as the Aggies travel to Minute Maid Park in Houston for the 2013 Astros Foundation College Classic. The Maroon and White play the Houston Cougars at 7 pm on Friday night, the No. 12 Rice Owls at 7 pm on Saturday night and the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels at 2 pm on Sunday afternoon.
Bramlett Strikes Out Seven in Ole Miss Win
OXFORD, Miss. - Freshman right-hander Brady Bramlett turned in a solid outing in his first start for the Rebels, striking out seven and walking none as No. 8 Ole Miss (8-1) defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-7) by a score of 7-2 on Wednesday.
Bramlett (1-0) worked 5.0 innings in the start, allowing only two hits in his time on the mound. He picked up where he left off in his season debut after striking out all three batters faced last week against UT-Martin.
Stanten Jones (0-1) took the loss for the Lions, allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. One of those hits was a two-run home run from Ole Miss' Stuart Turner, the second of the season for the junior catcher.
"I'm proud of the way we bounced back after a miserable night last night (on Tuesday)," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "The guys really responded. Brady (Bramlett) was terrific. It was his first college start and that's how you draw it up. You go out and pitch five innings, get a couple of walks and strike out seven. I thought he really located his fast ball and slider. A lot of right handed hitters really kept him at bay. I'm proud that after that disaster in the field last night that we were able to come up and put a zero in the E column"
After a pair of scoreless innings to open the game, the Rebels got on the board in the bottom of the third.
With one out on the board, Tanner Mathis got things started with a single up the middle before coming home on a triple to right field from Austin Anderson. Anderson scored a batter later on a single up the middle from Auston Bousfield before Turner's home run would put the Rebels on top 4-0.
Ole Miss added to the lead with a run in the sixth when Andrew Mistone scored on a ground ball to short from Jake Overbey that gave the Rebels a 5-0 lead.
Turner tallied his second run of the game in the seventh, scoring from first on a double to right field from pinch-hitter Austin Knight. Turner walked to open the frame before Knight brought him home. A throwing error on a ground ball to third from Mistone allowed Knight to move to third and put Mistone on base. Knight would then score the Rebels second run in the inning on a wild pitch in the next at bat before Pine Bluff would get out of the inning.
Down 7-0 in the ninth, the Lions opened their last at-bat with three consecutive doubles to push a run home and send Ole Miss to the bullpen for right-hander Aaron Greenwood.
With two men in scoring position and one out, Greenwood notched a strikeout before the Lions' Cody DeMara got his team its fourth hit in the inning to cut the lead to 7-2. The Rebels would turn a double play in the next at bat to end the rally and claim the win over Pine Bluff.
Ole Miss will now hit the road for its first games away from Swayze Field, traveling to face the Florida International Golden Panthers in a three-game series this weekend. Game one of the weekend series will begin at 5 p.m. CT on Friday afternoon.
Vandy Cruises to Big Home Win
NASHVILLE -- No. 2 Vanderbilt slammed Evansville 13-0 Wednesday night at Hawkins Field to improve to 9-1 on the year.
The Commodores wasted no time scoring single runs in the first three innings and took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth when the Dores exploded for nine runs. Connor Harrell started the rally with a triple off the base of the left field wall and scored on Spencer Navin's single. Tony Kemp kept the rally moving with a two-run single before Harrell came up with the bases loaded for his second at-bat of the inning. The senior capped the rally he started with his third career grand slam with a shot off the scoreboard in left field. The Dores did all the damage in the sixth on just four hits with 12 men coming to the plate and all nine men that reached scoring.
Conde continued swinging a hot bat going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. The sophomore added his second home run in as many days with a solo shot in the second inning. Conrad Gregor put the Commodores on the board in the first driving in Kemp with a double. Kemp finished the night 3-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBI. Harrell now has 21 RBI in the team's first 10 games after driving in 26 all of last year. The grand slam was the third of his career and the home run was his fourth of the season.
While the Dores' offense was racking up runs, four Vandy pitchers were pitching the team's first shutout of the season. Freshman Tyler Ferguson (1-0) was sharp over five innings to earn his first career win. The right-hander scattered three hits and fanned two in the longest outing of his career. Steven Rice followed with two scoreless innings before Keenan Kolinsky and Kyle Smith each tossed one scoreless frame apiece to notch the Commodores' first shutout since last May against Ole Miss. Evansville managed only five hits on the day and had only one base runner reach third base in the ninth inning with two outs.
For the Aces, Jake Mahon had two hits to lead the way. Starter Ryan Billo (0-1) was saddled with the loss giving up four runs on five hits over 4.1 innings.
Vanderbilt's ninth win did not come last year until March 25 against Georgia. The Dores are averaging 9.9 runs per game and have outscored opponents 99-30 through the first 10 games of the season. As a team Vanderbilt is hitting .331 with an on-base percentage of .449 with 10 players hitting .300 or better.
Illinois-Chicago visits Hawkins Field this weekend for a three-game series starting Friday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Friday with game time on Saturday at 2 p.m. Sunday's game has been moved to a noon start.
Mississippi State Pounds Rhode Island, 17-5
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State touched home a season-best 17 times Wednesday afternoon as the fifth-ranked Bulldogs completed a two-game series sweep of Rhode Island with a 17-5 win at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU registered its seventh double-digit total for hits this year in extending its season-opening win streak to 11-0. The Rams, playing their eighth game against a top 10-ranked opponent on the road, fell to 0-8.
"There are things we need to improve on before we get to conference play, but I thought we progressed tonight," said head coach John Cohen. "It was good that we were able to get a lot of people involved in the game." State used 22 players in the game.
Junior shortstop Adam Frazier registered his third three-hit game of the season and junior first baseman Alex Detz notched his second. Sam Frost drove in a team season-best four runs while Derrick Armstrong and Jacob Robson had their first career three-RBI games. Frazier extended his hitting streak to six games and has spread his SEC-leading 20 hits over 10 of State's first 11 games. C.T. Bradford had a pair of hits to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
Rhode Island used a pair of walks and a single by Pat Fortunato to take a brief lead at 1-0 in the second inning. But State turned the first of two double plays on the afternoon to douse that Ram rally.
The Bulldogs overcame their third deficit of the year with a four-run third inning surge, and after building the lead out to 10-3, erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning when 11 Bulldogs came to the plate. State was officially 1-for-5 on the day with the bases loaded, but four times Bulldog hitters drew walks and two other times were struck by pitches. For the game, URI pitching issued seven walks and hit five batters.
Three Bulldogs enjoyed multi-RBI swings. Armstrong singled in a pair of runs in the third, Frost tripled in two more in the sixth and Robson chipped in a two-run double to highlight State's offensive show.
MSU starter Brandon Woodruff fanned the first three batters he faced but issued three walks in the second inning and left the game after giving up a single and a walk to open the fifth. Ross Mitchell (3-0), the third of six batters in the game for State, took the win, retiring the four batters he faced in middle inning relief. URI starter Ty Sterner (0-2) took the loss.
The Bulldogs resume play at Dudy Noble Field Friday at 4 p.m., opening a four-game weekend series against the Saint Joseph Hawks (2-4).