LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Alabama baseball team suffered heartbreaking 4-3 loss in 14 innings to No. 5 Louisville on Friday evening from Jim Patterson Stadium. The Cardinals scored the game-winning run on a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 14th, to drop the Crimson Tide’s overall record to 8-5, while improving to 10-2 on the season.
“I’m disappointed with the loss, but I feel like we got better today,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “This is why you play a good schedule and good teams like Louisville. It was a well-played game on both ends and it’s unfortunate that things ended the way it did with a walk. I like the way we played, we got better as a team and we have to continue to do that.”
With the score tied at 3-3, Alabama relief pitcher Jay Shaw entered the game in the 14th inning and hit Louisville leadoff man Adam Engel. After Engel stole second, he advanced to third on a groundout to first base then Shaw hit Coco Johnson to put runners on the corners. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Shaw walked Cole Sturgeon to push across the game-winning run.
Shaw (0-1) took the loss after throwing a third of an inning, allowing two walks with two hit batters. Kyle McGrath finished the game for Louisville, allowing one hit in his only inning of work to get the win.
For Alabama it was the longest game since losing to LSU (5-4) on April 18, 2010, while the 14-inning affair was the longest game played in Jim Patterson Stadium history.
“Some of our guys really stepped up today,” Gaspard said. “Charley Sullivan gave us a tremendous start and the bullpen did a heck of a job to keep the game even and gave us opportunities to win. It’s a real positive for us that all the freshmen, particularly the bullpen guys, have continued to perform in critical situations. We play these games to get them in these spots prior to SEC play, knowing that this is going to happen over the next 12 weeks. Those guys are showing that you can trust them in those key moments.”
Alabama starting pitcher Charley Sullivan had a quality start against the Cardinals, going seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with a walk. Justin Kamplain threw 1.1 scoreless innings, before Ray Castillo and Mitch Greer each delivered 2.1 innings of scoreless work in relief.
Louisville starting pitcher Chad Green was also effective, throwing seven innings as well, allowing three runs, on five hits with six strikeouts. After Green, Anthony Kidston provided the Cardinals three scoreless inning, allowing two hits with five strikeouts and Nick Burdi also went three scoreless with seven strikeouts.
Kenny Roberts had three of Alabama’s nine hits in the game, as he was 3-for-6 with a run scored. Ryan Blanchard snapped out of an 0-for-20 streak with a 2-for-5 day that included an RBI single in the Tide’s three-run second. Austen Smith was 1-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to six games, and Ben Moore, Kyle Overstreet and Andrew Miller had one hit each. Miller also had an RBI and a run scored.
Louisville got out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to two, two-out RBI singles by Ty Young and Jeff Gardner.
Alabama answered in the top of the second with three runs, the first coming when Overstreet drove one down the first base line that scored Roberts from second. Roberts singled and stole second earlier in the inning. Miller then singled up the middle to score Overstreet and Blanchard singled through the left side to score Miller from second, giving the Tide a 3-2 lead.
With two outs in the Louisville fifth, the Cardinals get a double by Engel before Nick Ratajczak plated him with a single to shallow center field, making the score 3-3.
Alabama had runners on third base in both the sixth and eighth innings, but could not deliver the big two-out hit to push a run across. The UA pitchers got out of jams in the ninth, 10th, 12th and 13th innings before Louisville scored the game-winning run in the 14th.
Game two of the series between Alabama and No. 5 Louisville will begin at noon CST, from Jim Patterson Stadium on Saturday. The Tide will start sophomore LHP Jon Keller (2-1, 2.60) and the Cardinals will open with junior RHP Jeff Thompson (3-0, 1.02).
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Kentucky Downs Michigan State Thanks to Game-Saving Catch
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Austin Cousino belted a first-inning homer and made an immaculate run-saving catch in centerfield, and Max Kuhn smashed a game-winning solo bomb in the eighth inning to lead No. 7 Kentucky to a 2-1 win over Michigan State in the series opener, on Friday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Wildcats battled Michigan State in a close contest in the series opener, with Cousino’s run-saving catch in the seventh and his first-inning solo homer providing the difference entering the eighth inning. After the Spartans plated the game-tying run with a two-out bloop single into shallow centerfield in the top of the eighth inning, Kuhn led off the bottom of the frame.
Kuhn, a sophomore third baseman, ripped a 1-0 fastball over the fence in leftfield – his first career home run – to lift the Wildcats to a 2-1 lead.
“At first, I was surprised to see that they put the lefty back in as they had a righty in the bullpen,” Kuhn said. “The lefty threw a fastball down the middle and threw another one. I figured he might as well challenge me again. I was ready for the fastball and put a good swing on it. I got a good piece of it. Once, I saw it go in the air I knew it had enough to go over. It means a lot. It couldn’t have come at a better time as it gave us the lead. I had a lot of emotions running through my body but also it was a good team win.”
“Max (Kuhn) keeps getting better and he got a big hit at a big moment,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “He has done a good job with runners on base and done a good job at third base (defensively). He has done a really good job of swinging at strikes and looking at balls. He has come through several times when we needed him just like he did in the eighth.”
UK then turned to right-hander Trevor Gott, working a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout for his third save of 2013 and the 14th of his three-year career. In his career, Gott has worked 15.1 innings in his 14 saves, allowing only three hits and no runs, walking three and striking out 24.
Cousino’s catch came with one out and the tying run at first base in the seventh inning, ranging far to his left on a hard-hit ball from Jimmy Pickens. Cousino leapt fully extended into the gap, making a staggering catch while sliding into the base of the right-centerfield wall. The All-America centerfielder and preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, went 2-for-4 with his third homer of the year.
Kentucky (12-1) – which entered the week leading the NCAA in runs scored per game – have now extend its winning streak to nine games and stretch the home win streak to 14.
The Wildcats got a dominating start from sophomore southpaw A.J. Reed, who turned in the best outing of his career. The two-way standout, who earned National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, SEC and Louisville Slugger Player of the Week honors earlier this week, worked seven shutout innings, allowing only five singles and two walks, striking out five.
“I was just out there trying to throw strikes and keep the ball low,” Reed said. “In my last couple outings, I hadn’t done a very good job of that, so I was just trying to throw some low strikes. Defense was great. We had a couple double plays and (Austin) Cousino had a great catch. I was just trying to throw the ball down and work on my off-speed. My change-up and cutter were good today.”
“I liked the fact the he (A.J. Reed) keeps getting better,” Henderson said. “When the game got tight and they had runners in scoring position he made his best pitches. He got some defensive help in the sixth and the seventh.”
Kentucky got two-hit games from Cousino, Kuhn, J.T. Riddle and Lucas Witt. Kuhn went 2-for-3 with his SEC-leading 15th walk of the year. A 24th round draft pick out of high school, Kuhn has hit .370 (17-for-46) in 2013 with four doubles, one triple, one homer and 15 RBI, stealing five bases and owning a 15-6 walk-strikeout ratio.
Riddle, a native of Frankfort, Ky., went 2-for-4 for his sixth multiple-hit game of the year, and now has at least a hit in 12 of 13 games in 2013. Witt finished 2-for-4, with Matt Reida and Thomas Bernal each adding hits.
UK turned to Walter Wijas to start the eighth inning on the mound and UK nursing a 2-1 lead. MSU got a leadoff single off the senior righty, with Wijas getting a pair of outs before UK turned to freshman Dylan Dwyer (1-0) to face a left-handed hitter with the game-tying run at second base. Michigan State plopped a single into shallow centerfield to score the tying run, before Dwyer got out of the eighth-inning jam. Gott then sealed the win with his dominating three outs to pick up the save.
Michigan State (5-6) starter Andrew Waszak turned in his fourth consecutive strong start to open the year, working 6.1 innings, allowing eight hits and one run, walking one and striking out three. Anthony Misiewicz (1-1) took the loss, allowing two hits and one run, with closer Justin Alleman tossing a shutout inning to finish the eighth.
The series will resume on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Dick Gabriel voicing the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WWTF 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com. UK will send senior Jerad Grundy (3-0, 0.43 ERA) to the mound to face MSU junior righty David Garner (2-0, 4.50 ERA).
Cousino gave UK an early lead with a first-pitch homer over the rightfield fence, his third of the year. Cousino’s leadoff homer was his first since a homer to open the game with Cincinnati on April 17, 2012, his 19th birthday.
Wijas started the eighth for the Wildcats, with Joel Fisher leading off with a single through the left side. After Justin Hovis’ laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Fisher to second base, Wijas got a strikeout of John Martinez. UK then turned to Dwyer to face speedy left-handed hitting leadoff man Cam Gibson. Michigan State countered with left-handed hitting Ryan Krill to face Dwyer with the tying run at second and two out. Krill sent a Texas leaguer into shallow centerfield to score Fisher and even the game at 1-1.
Kuhn watched a first-pitch ball from the lefty Misiewicz to start the eighth inning, before smashing a no-doubt blast over the leftfield fence to give UK the 2-1 lead. The homer was Kuhn’s first of his career.
Serrano's Walk-Off Homer Lifts Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE – Sophomore outfielder Joe Serrano hit a walk-off solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lift the 19th-ranked Razorbacks to a 4-3 victory over San Diego State on Friday night at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks improve to 9-5 with the win, while the Aztecs drop to 7-7 with the loss.
With the game tied at three and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Arkansas broke a 3-3 tie with the homer by Serrano, the first of his Razorback career. Serrano sent a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left-center field to send Baum Stadium into a frenzy and lift Arkansas to the walk-off victory.
Serrano and Tyler Spoon were the offensive stars of the game with each player finishing the contest with two hits and a RBI. Spoon had the game-tying single in the bottom of the seventh, while Serrano drove in the game-winning run with his walk-off round-tripper. Spoon extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his two hits in the contest. Jacob Mahan, Brett McAfee, Willie Schwanke and Jake Wise each added a hit in the game.
Matt Munoz homered and drove in two runs to lead the Aztecs at the plate. Brad Haynal had a hit and also added a RBI.
Arkansas reliever Jalen Beeks (2-0) earned the win on the mound. Beeks entered with in the seventh with Arkansas trailing 3-2 and the bases loaded for San Diego State. He proceeded to get back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam and keep Arkansas only a run behind. Beeks finished the game by striking out three and giving up just one hit in 2.2 scoreless innings.
Trent Daniel also pitched well out of the Razorback bullpen. Daniel struck out four and gave up just one hit in two innings.
Justin Hepner (0-1) took the loss for the Aztecs, allowing a run on two hits and striking out two in 2.1 innings.
Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision. Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek gave up three runs on five hits and struck out five in 4.1 innings. San Diego State starter Philip Walby allowed three runs on six hits and struck out three in 6.1 innings.
The Aztecs struck first with two runs in the top of the second. With one out, Jake Romanski walked and with two outs, Munoz hit the first pitch he saw from Stanek over the right field wall to put San Diego State in front 2-0.
Arkansas answered back with two runs in the bottom of the third. Mahan drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a single to right by Serrano. With one out, Mahan and Serrano each advanced a base on a wild pitch. After a foul out to first by Brian Anderson, Willie Schwanke drew a walk. Ball four to Schwanke was in the dirt and got past the catcher, allowing Mahan to score and advancing Serrano to third. Schwanke rounded first and headed to second after the walk. The Aztec catcher threw down to second. On the throw down to second, Serrano broke for home and was able to slide in ahead of the tag at the plate to score the game-tying run.
San Diego State regained the lead with a run in the top of the fifth. Tim Zier led off the inning with a single to center. With one out, Haynal lined a double down the left field line to score Zier from first base and put the Aztecs back in front 3-2.
The Aztecs had a chance to extend the lead in the seventh, but came up empty. SDSU loaded the bases with one out, but Beeks came in and struck out pinch hitters Danny Sheehan and Steven Pallares to end the inning and keep the Razorback deficit at one.
Arkansas tied the game with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Mahan led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Serrano. A passed ball advanced Mahan to third and Spoon grounded a single past the drawn in San Diego State infield and into centerfield to tie the game at three. The score would remain tie until Serrano’s heroics in the bottom of the ninth.
The series concludes on Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled. Game one of the twin bill will start at 11:35 a.m, with game two beginning approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Arkansas will start freshman righty Trey Killian (1-1, 1.29) in game one, while San Diego State will start senior righty Ryan Doran (2-1, 3.32). Senior left hander Randall Fant (0-0, 2.25) will start in game two for the Razorbacks, while the Aztecs have not announced a starter.
Saturday’s ticket is good for both games of the doubleheader. Tickets for Saturday’s game are available by visiting the online ticket center at ArkansasRazorbacks.com, calling 1-800-982-HOGS (4647) or on gameday at Baum Stadium, while supplies last.
Tennessee Explodes in Win Over Alcorn State
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee offense exploded for a season-high 17 hits and three pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout as the Volunteers cruised past Alcorn State, 16-0, on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
"I don't think one game creates an identity, but I think one game can create some confidence, and that's definitely what a lot of guys in that locker room are probably feeling right now," UT head coach Dave Serrano said. "They're pretty confident and feeling pretty good about their night and that's a good thing because we've put them through a tough test so far and it was kind of nice to have a little bit of a breather tonight and see the pitching do so well and see a lot of guys contribute offensively, and see a lot of guys play.
"As a coach, you make class distinctions with players and with a starting lineup and there are a lot of guys that are working hard every single day also that aren't getting a lot of playing time, so when you have these kinds of games, you reward a lot of guys for hard work. I think everybody played except for the guys that are a little dinged up right now but I don't think one game is an identity. I think the identity is created over a course of time. I saw a lot of good things tonight. There are still some things we need to work on but in a 16-0 game with all the hits, the thing that goes unnoticed are the spectacular plays by Will Maddox and A.J. Simcox. That's how shutouts are formed is when you have defensive plays like that behind you."
Leading the offensive outburst were the first three hitters in the UT lineup - Taylor Smart, Will Maddox and Scott Price - as they combined to go 6-for-9 with nine RBIs, four walks and four runs scored. All three Vols posted 2-for-3 efforts with Price driving in two, Smart plating three runners and Maddox tying his career high with four RBIs.
In all, 12 different UT players recorded at least one hit in the contest, including all nine starters. Vance Vizcaino was the best of the rest, going 2-for-4 with four runs scored, two RBIs and a pair of walks.
Lost in the offensive onslaught was another fantastic effort from senior Zack Godley who fired seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out eight to pick up his first win of the year. Freshmen Michael Flax and Matt Esparza closed out the game with one scoreless inning each to complete Tennessee's first shutout of the season.
The Vols scored in all but one of the innings in which they went to bat, including batting around in both the fifth and sixth innings.
UT grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first thanks to an RBI double by Price and a perfectly executed safety squeeze by Pierce Bily. After a scoreless second inning, the Vols tacked on another tally in the third with Price doing the damage once again, punching an RBI single to left.
Maddox added two more runs to the scoreboard with a base hit in the fourth before the floodgates opened for the Big Orange as they scored four runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to take a commanding 13-0 lead. Two more runs in the seventh and an RBI single by Vizcaino in the eighth accounted for the final score.
The Vols and Braves will return to the diamond for the second game of the weekend series at noon on Saturday afternoon. Freshman southpaw Drake Owenby will get the nod on the mound as Tennessee goes for its first series win of the season.
Florida Drops Series Opener to Indiana
Indiana junior left-hander Joey DeNato (2-1) allowed one run over 7.1 innings, redshirt sophomore Scott Donley (2-for-5) drove in two runs and sophomore Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-4 to lead the Hoosiers (7-2) to a series-opening 4-1 win over Florida (7-8) on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. IU claimed the first meeting between the programs on the diamond since 1956 to increase their winning streak to five games and also ended the Gators’ streak of four victories.
“The starting pitcher for Indiana [Joey DeNato] did a really nice job; he kept us off-balance,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We had a nice opportunity there in the [third inning] with the bases loaded and with one out, and at that time it was a 1-1 ballgame, and we struck out; we need to put the ball in play. That’s been a thing that’s been hurting us all year long; we have to do a better job.”
“He [DeNato] made some big pitches, he pitched with a fastball; after that at-bat to [Justin] Shafer, he went to his fastball and located it and did a nice job and it probably saved them an inning or two. He did a really nice job; we knew going in that Indiana had a really good team; we knew their two and three-hole hitters were really good; obviously tonight you saw that, they got over half of their hits. They earned it tonight; they played really well.”
Indiana grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning against junior Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) (0-2) on an RBI single by Donley. Schwarber and sophomore Sam Travis (3-for-5) had consecutive one-out singles and Donley followed with a base-hit into left field to open the scoring.
After Crawford retired the Hoosiers in order in the second and had a pair of strikeouts, senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-4) tied the game with a leadoff homer to left field just inside of the foul pole. It was his second round-tripper of the year, first since Feb. 19 at UCF, and extended his hitting streak to six games.
"He (Indiana’s Joey DeNato) pitched well,” Ramjit said. “He threw everything for strikes. We swung at some pitches that we probably shouldn't have. We attacked, but didn't execute like we needed to.”
The Gators loaded the bases in the third on back-to-back singles by senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (2-for-4) and a walk on a 12-pitch at bat to sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.). DeNato kept the contest deadlocked by striking out Ramjit and having sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) fly out to right field.
IU used four-straight singles in the fifth to build a 3-1 advantage. Redshirt sophomore Will Nolden (2-for-4) had a one-out single into left center, senior Justin Cureton (1-for-3, two runs) singled into left field and Schwarber moved the Hoosiers back in front with a base-knock up the middle that scored Nolden and advanced Cureton to third base on a bobble by freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.). Soon after, a bouncing single to third by Travis drove in Cureton. Crawford worked out of further trouble by having Donley and senior Michael Basil ground out.
Cureton drew a one-out walk in the seventh, ending the night for Crawford. Over a season-high 6.1 innings, the righty yielded nine hits and four runs, with a season-best six strikeouts. Schwarber greeted sophomore reliever Corey Stump (Lakeland, Fla.) with his fourth hit of the game, a single through the right side, and redshirt freshman Aaron Rhodes (Venice, Fla.) was summoned from the bullpen. Travis stroked a single into right field to load the bases and Donley provided the Hoosiers with a 4-1 lead with an RBI single that brought across Cureton. Rhodes had Basil hit into an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
After a one-out single by Ramjit in the eighth, freshman Scott Effross replaced DeNato, who scattered eight hits over 7.1 innings and totaled five strikeouts. The righty had a fielder’s choice by Gushue erase Ramjit at second base and struck out freshman pinch hitter Christian Dicks (Jacksonville, Fla.). Effross pitched a perfect ninth to collect his first collegiate save. The Hoosiers had a 13-8 advantage in hits and each squad committed one error.
Game two of the series at 4 p.m. tomorrow will be available on GatorVision and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Larry Vettel. In a matchup of right-handers, freshman Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) (0-1, 4.15) will oppose Hoosier redshirt sophomore Aaron Slegers (1-0, 0.00).
Four-Run Six Boosts Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn baseball team scored six times in the bottom of the seventh to erase a one-run deficit en route to a 9-4 series-opening win over Brown on Friday night. The win improved Auburn's record to 10-3 while Brown dropped to 1-4.
"Their (starting) pitcher did a really good job, he kept us off balance, off stride and we weren't able to piece anything together. He made us work," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Jordan Ebert came up with a big hit and I thought another big play was Dan Glevenyak's. If he is not running hard, we don't get that run. Those are a couple of things that make the difference sometimes."
Trailing 4-3 after Brown scored a run in the top half of the seventh, Auburn sent nine men to the plate in the six-run inning to complete its eighth come-from-behind win of the season. Ebert tied the game with a leadoff home run, the first of his career at Auburn, which also extended his hitting streak to a team-best 11 games. Two batters later, Glevenyak raced all the way around the bases when Brown centerfielder John Sheridan misplayed his fly ball on the edge of the warning track, giving Auburn a 5-4 lead.
"The two at-bats before I was frustrated," Ebert said. "The third at-bat I was just trying to get on base. We needed base runners at that point. I got behind in the count and I just tried to go the other way. I didn't want to get beat with a fastball away and he hung a change-up. It feels great, my first collegiate home run and it was a big situation."
Auburn then took advantage of three straight walks to load the bases for Patrick Savage, who ripped his second double of the game, this one to left-center, to clear the bases and give Auburn an 8-4 lead. Savage would come around to score on Blake Austin's single to left for the final margin.
"I was just looking for a ball up in the zone to drive and luckily he gave me a fastball up," Savage said.
Chase Williamson (2-0) earned the win out of the Auburn bullpen despite allowing a run on three hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Brown reliever Austin Frenk (0-1) took the loss as he was on the mound for Glevenyak's seventh-inning at bat.
Auburn built a 1-0 lead in the first when Jackson Burgreen tripled and scored on a Ryan Tella double. It then built a three-run lead in the second as Savage doubled and scored on an Ebert fielder's choice and Ebert scored on a Burgreen single.
Brown got a run back in the third on Daniel Massey's lead-off home run and then scored twice in the sixth. Auburn starting pitcher Daniel Koger allowed a leadoff walk and then gave way to Trey Cochran-Gill, who allowed a run-scoring double to Wes Van Boom and a RBI single to Nick Fornaca to tie the game at 3-3.
Brown went up 4-3 off of Williamson in the top of the seventh as J.J. Franco singled and scored on Van Boom's second double of the game.
Koger would not factor into the decision for the fourth time this season despite allowing just two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four in five-plus innings. The sophomore now carries a 2.42 ERA but has yet to record a decision this season.
Brown starter Anthony Galan also did not factor into the decision. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk in six innings, striking out one.
Garrett Cooper went hitless to snap his hitting streak at seven games while Austin had two hits, extending his hitting streak to six games.
Auburn will attempt to clinch the series at 3pm on Saturday afternoon. Left-hander Michael O'Neal (3-0) gets the ball for Auburn while Dave St. Lawrence (0-0) takes the mound for Brown. The two teams will close out the series at noon on Sunday.
Georgia Blanks Liberty
ATHENS, Ga. - Freshman Sean McLaughlin recorded career highs with six innings pitched and seven strikeouts to lead Georgia to a 12-0 victory over Liberty on Friday evening at Foley Field.
McLaughlin improves to 3-0 on the season, while Georgia pulls within one game of .500 at 6-7. Liberty drops to 9-4 on the year, as Carson Herndon took the loss after allowing three runs on eight hits through 3.2 innings of work. A trio of Bulldogs combined on a four-hit shutout, the first for Georgia since blanking Vanderbilt 1-0 last year in Nashville.
Senior Kyle Farmer went 3-5 on the night with a double, four RBIs and one run scored. The double marked the eight of this season and 59th of his career, tying him for fourth all-time in career doubles on the Georgia charts along with Gordon Beckham. The four-RBI night also marked the sixth time in Farmer's career that he has accomplished such a feat.
The Bulldogs recorded 15 total hits, including three from both Farmer and senior Curt Powell, and two apiece from Jared Walsh and Zack Bowers. Walsh recorded two doubles on the evening to go along with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Bowers also recorded two RBIs, two runs scored and a team-leading fourth home run of the season.
"We had good balance tonight in the lineup, and Sean continues to impress in his role as the Friday night starter," said Georgia coach David Perno. He's unique, a freshman who is having fun and is a competitor. Our battery tonight was freshmen in Sean and Zack (Bowers) who are showing they have a chance to be special. It's going to be fun to watch them the next few years. We got some big hits tonight, several guys swung the bats well."
After a scoreless first two innings for both teams, McLaughlin retired the Flames in order to start the third before the Georgia offense broke through for a run in the bottom half of the inning. Ward started the scoring with a one-out single to center, and Powell followed with a single of his own to right that moved Ward around to third. Ward then came home to score on a sacrifice fly to center by Farmer that gave the Bulldogs the early 1-0 lead.
Bowers launched a solo home run deep over the left field wall in the fourth inning to extend the Georgia lead to 2-0. Ward drew a two-out walk two batters later and advanced to second as Powell beat out an infield single to the shortstop. Farmer followed with his second RBI of the night, singling to left field to score Ward and give Georgia a 3-0 advantage.
After a scoreless fifth and sixth innings for both teams, senior Blake Dieterich entered the game in relief in the seventh, recording a pair of strikeouts and allowing no runs, despite a passed ball and an error that left two runners in scoring position.
Georgia exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh, as Farmer led off with a single to right and Hunter Cole followed with a walk. Two outs later, Walsh doubled for the second time of the evening, this time to left field, to plate both Farmer and Cole. Walsh advanced to third on a wild pitch and would go on to score off an RBI single to left by Bowers, extending the Bulldogs' lead to 6-0.
After a pitching change for the Flames, a pair of back-to-back walks drawn by D.J. Smith and Ward loaded the bases for Georgia. Powell promptly launched a two-RBI single to center, scoring Bowers and Smith. Following another Liberty pitching change, Farmer picked up his third and fourth RBIs of the night off a double to left that plated Powell and Ward.
Dieterich held the Flames scoreless in the eighth before the Bulldogs added a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame off RBIs by Smith and Ward that scored Phillips and Walsh. Redshirt sophomore righty Ross Ripple entered the game in the top of the ninth, allowing no runs and no hits while recording one strikeout to preserve the shutout victory for the Bulldogs.
Georgia continues the series with Liberty Saturday at Foley Field with first pitch set for 3 p.m.
South Carolina Downs Rider
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Sophomore right-hander Evan Beal retired 14 consecutive batters at one point and combined with three Gamecock relievers for a one-hit shutout as sixth ranked South Carolina defeated Rider 2-0 on Friday night in game one of a three-game series at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 11-2 with Rider now 6-2 on the year.
In only his second career start, Beal was outstanding as he went six-plus innings and limited the Broncs to just one single in the second inning. Beal struck out a career-high six batters and walked just two to earn his first win of the year. He is 1-0 on the season. Senior left-hander Tyler Webb posted his fourth save after pitching 2.1 perfect innings of relief with four strikeouts. Rider starting pitcher Tyler Smith was effective on the mound as well as he went the distance allowing seven hits in eight innings of work. He struck out eight and walked just one. He is 2-1 on the year.
South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning with an unearned run off of Smith. George Iskenderian reached base with a one-out single up the middle. With two outs and Iskenderian on first base, Graham Saiko knocked a hard grounder that Rider third baseman Adam Wayman snagged. Wayman would throw low though over to first base with the ball getting past first baseman Justin Thomas. Iskenderian, who was running on a 3-2 count, kept hustling and scored all the way from first base after the throwing error to give the Gamecocks a one-run lead.
Carolina increased the lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth. Three consecutive one-out hits led to the run as Saiko reached on an infield single, advanced to third on a perfectly executed hit and run with Chase Vergason and scored on Joey Pankake's RBI base hit through the left side.
Rider's best chance to score came in the seventh inning. Consecutive walks to Adam Wayman and Justin Thomas opened the seventh inning. With Forrest Koumas in relief of Beal, the Gamecocks would get two outs on a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Justin Thomas. With two outs and runners on the corners, Webb relieved Vince Fiori and struck out Greg Fazio to keep Carolina ahead by a pair of runs.
South Carolina had seven hits in the contest. Saiko and Vergason each went 2-for-4. The shutout victory marked Carolina's third shutout in the last four games.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. Live video broadcast is available on the All Access Channel at GamecocksOnline.com. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game."
Mizzou Outlasts San Fran
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Rob Zastryzny was dominant in Mizzou's (3-6) 6-2 victory over San Francisco Friday (March 8) night at Taylor Stadium, tossing 10 strikeouts in a complete game, his first since Apr. 27, 2012, when he threw all nine innings in a 9-0 win at Texas Tech. The lefty found his rhythm after the first inning, shutting out the Dons and allowing just three hits over the game's final eight frames while earning eight of his 10 strikeouts over the final eight frames.
The Tigers amassed a season-high nine hits at the plate in the Friday night win, and they fell just one run shy of the season-high seven. Case Munson shined offensively for the home squad, going 2-for-3 at the plate with a RBI double, scoring twice. Dylan Kelly also went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while driving in the winning run. Logan Pearson went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI as well. But the story of the night was Zastryzny, who earned his first win of the season while helping the Tigers to their third-straight win.
Three straight two-out doubles for San Francisco put the visiting Dons on top 2-0 in the top of the first, answering a good start by Zastryzny that featured a groundout and two strikeout. The Tigers went down scoreless in the bottom of the frame, and Zastryzny responded with an eight-pitch gem of an inning that featured two more strikeouts. Mizzou again went down quietly in the bottom of the second.
After the Dons were held scoreless in the third, the Tigers threatened after back-to-back singles by Munson and Pearson as Kendall Keeton dropped a sac bunt to advance the runners. Dane Opel popped up to third, and Kelly wore a pitch to load the bases. Scott Sommerfeld's infield single brought home two after an errant throw, knotting the game at two after three innings.
After the teams traded scoreless at-bats, the fifth inning was highlighted by a spectacular defensive play to close out the frame, with Shane Segovia bare-handing a bunt and gunning the ball to first, where Keaton Steele beat the runner with a split on first base to end the inning. Keeton singled to lead off the bottom of the inning, and Dane Opel bunted him to second. Kelly laced a liner over the second baseman's head, allowing Keeton to score to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead over the Dons. Josh Lester sent a single to center, scoring Kelly for a 4-2 lead. Both teams went scoreless in the sixth and seventh as Zastryzny kept the Dons off balance yet again.
Lester started the eighth with a great defensive play, fielding a short hop and nailing the runner at first, and a lineout and strikeout ended the frame. Keaton Steele led off the eighth by reaching on error, and a sacrifice bunt advanced him to second. Munson doubled him home with a shot to left, pushing the Mizzou lead to three. Pearson singled Munson in to give Mizzou a 6-2 lead heading to the final inning. Zastryzny finished off the Dons easily in the final frame, allowing one baserunner in the last three outs.
The Tigers square off against the Dons Saturday (March 9) at 2 p.m. at Taylor Stadium. Stay up to date with Missouri baseball by following the team on Twitter (@MUTigerBaseball) and checking in to MUTigers.com.
Mississippi State Downs Central Arkansas
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State passed the first test in a critical weekend series against Central Arkansas.
Despite spring break on the MSU campus, the Bulldogs were up to the challenge, squeezing past Central Arkansas 4-2 in an exciting college baseball contest played at Dudy Noble Field.
Entering the final weekend of a season-opening 19-game homestand, the third-ranked Bulldogs improved to 17-0, while the Southland Conference leading Bears slipped to 12-2.
"Our pitching was outstanding tonight," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "We really beat a great baseball team tonight. We beat a great team the way you have to most nights. You have to pitch it well. You have to make the plays defensively. You also have to have some key hits."
The Bulldogs played errorless ball and saw seven pitchers combine on a four-hitter. The atypical pitching staff number occurred after starting pitcher Jacob Lindgren left the game after taking a line drive off his left knee in the second at-bat of the contest.
"We will know more about Jacob tomorrow," Cohen said. "Hopefully, we can get him back rather quickly. Myles Gentry did a great job, being pressed into service like that. Will Cox gave us two really strong innings."
Gentry earned his first victory in the Maroon and White, while making staff-highest ninth appearance. In 4.1 innings of work, the true freshman right-hander allowed no hits and no runs, with three strikeouts. Chad Girodo followed and got the Bulldogs out of a tight spot in the fifth inning.
Cox allowed two hits and one run (earned) in two innings of work. C.T. Bradford appeared twice in the eighth inning, before giving way to Ben Bracewell first and Jonathan Holder last.
Holder allowed a home run to Michael Marietta but completed the ninth inning with three strikeouts for his sixth save. Holder now has 15 career saves at MSU, which ties him with Adam Larson for seventh all-time at MSU.
"Offensively, we put some things together against a great pitcher," Cohen said. "I thought we did good job of taking advantage of our speed and set some things up."
The Bulldogs built a 4-0 lead with a sacrifice fly from Hunter Renfroe in the fourth inning; back-to-back RBI-singles by Demarcus Henderson and Sam Frost in the fifth inning and a run-producing double play ball in the sixth inning.
MSU finished with seven hits. Renfroe's multi-hit game included his second triple of the season.
The Bulldogs and Bears meet again at 2 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Ole Miss Takes Care of Lipscomb
OXFORD, Miss. – It was a big night for the Rebel offense early as No. 7 Ole Miss (14-1) jumped on Lipscomb (6-8) with three big scoring innings out of the gates to defeat the Bison 10-1 in the series opener Friday night at Swayze Field.
With the win, Ole Miss head coach tied former Rebel All-America and Major Leaguer Jake Gibbs with 485 wins as Rebel skipper.
Preston Overbey led the way with a career-high four-RBI night as the junior was part of a trio of Rebels with multiple-RBI and multiple-hits in the outing. Overbey was 2-for-4 on the night, while Andrew Mistone went 3-for-3 with three RBI and Stuart Turner went 2-for-2 with two RBI and three runs scored.
Bobby Wahl (4-0) picked up the win for Ole Miss, striking out six and limiting Lipscomb to three this through 6.0 scoreless innings of work. He did not allow a walk in the outing. Left-hander Jeremy Massie picked up his first save of the season, working the final 3.0 innings and allowing one run on seven hits and two strikeouts.
Josh Cotham (1-2) took the loss for Lipscomb as he allowed nine runs on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 3.0 innings of work.
“It was a well played game by us,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “This was by far Bobby (Wahl)’s best outing of the year. He had electric stuff with all three pitches in the strike zone. He commanded the fastball in and out tonight. A couple of innings he struggled to get it into the strike zone. It was so hard and breaking so much. It was a tremendous pitch for him at times tonight. He threw some changeups even with a huge lead to get them off of the fastball a little bit.
“Offensively it was a great night; Preston was big with the base hit with two outs early on. It broke the game open for us. Mistone had a great night. Boz (Bousfield) came back after having some so-so games. We had a terrific night swinging the bat. Turner continues to swing well. It was nice to see some of the young guys get in and play tonight.”
The Rebels got things started in the second inning with a two-RBI single through the left side from Overbey. Turner and Mistone scored on the bases-loaded single to put Ole Miss on top 2-0. Turner walked and Mistone singled before Sikes Orvis walked to load the bases and set up the Overbey hit.
Ole Miss added four more runs in the third inning. The first two came on a single up the middle from Mistone that scored Anderson and Turner who reached on a single and a double. Orvis then drew his second walk of the game before a walk of Will Jamison loaded the bases for the second time on the night. Overbey then came through with his second bases-loaded hit of the night to drive in Turner and Orvis, and give the Rebels the 6-0 lead.
Four more runs came home in the fourth inning on a two-RBI single from Turner, a single from Mistone and a double from Orvis to give Ole Miss a commanding 10-0 lead on the Bison.
The Rebel pitching staff held Lipscomb in stretch until the ninth when the visitors from Nashville put together a two-out rally to scratch out a run and get on the board. The lone run would be all the Bison could manage as Ole Miss picked up the win 10-1.
The two teams will return to action on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Swayze Field.
Nola Retires 18 in LSU Win
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Starting pitcher Aaron Nola (2-0) retired the first 18 batters he faced Friday night as No. 3 LSU (13-1) collected 13 hits in a 9-4 victory over Washington (4-8).
Nola earned the victory, allowing four runs in 6.1 innings of work while striking out six. He did not allow a Huskie to reach base until the seventh inning.
"Aaron Nola was brilliant through the first six innings, and you have to credit Washington for finally getting to him in the seventh," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I don't think it was necessarily a case of Aaron throwing bad pitches; Washington just did a nice job of stringing together some hits."
The Tigers jumped ahead 2-0 in the third inning with an RBI single to left from centerfielder Mark Laird, followed by an RBI single up the middle from left fielder Raph Rhymes, who went 3-for-5, extending his hit streak to 12 straight games and his on-base streak to 14 games.
In the fourth inning second baseman JaCoby Jones stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jones then scored on a sacrifice fly from catcher Ty Ross increasing the Tigers' lead to 3-0.
LSU doubled its lead in the fifth after a Washington error and a two-out, two-RBI double down the third base line from third baseman Christian Ibarra.
"I was very pleased with our offensive approach throughout the game," Mainieri said. "We were aggressive at the plate and delivered key hits when we needed them. There was never a sense of panic after Washington had their big inning; our guys stayed focused and gave us the cushion we needed."
The Huskies rallied back in the seventh with four runs of their own, including a two-RBI single from first baseman Trevor Mitsui, cutting the Tigers' lead to 6-4.
LSU quickly responded in the bottom half of the seventh with another RBI hit from Ibarra, who finished 2-for-4 on the night.
The Tigers added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth after an RBI-single from Rhymes and a Huskie error.
Reliever Chris Cotton took the mound in the ninth with the bases loaded and retired three straight hitters to record his fourth save of the season.
Washington starting pitcher Nick Palewicz (2-3) suffered the loss, giving up three earned runs (six runs overall), on eight hits.
Ibarra also shined on the defensive side of the diamond with a diving catch and throw from third base on the game's first pitch.
Vandy Downs Oregon
Eugene, Ore. - Kevin Ziomek tossed his second straight complete game as No. 2 Vanderbilt downed No. 15 Oregon 4-1 on Friday night at PK Park.
Ziomek (4-0) pitched around trouble from the Ducks (10-4) in the first stranding a pair of runners by recording his first strikeout of the game. The punch out would not be his last as he shut down Oregon for nine innings. The lefty had retired seven straight until the fourth inning when Ryon Healy led off the frame with a home run to left field. Ziomek bounced back to get the next three hitters and start a new streak of nine straight retired. The Ducks tried to start a rally in the seventh when Brett Thomas was hit by a pitch to lead off but Ziomek struck out two and induced a ground ball to get out of the inning. The junior finished off his night in the ninth by striking out Thomas to end the game and give the Dores their 12th straight win. Over his last two starts Ziomek has allowed one run on three hits with 28 strikeouts in two complete game victories.
The Vandy offense staked Ziomek to an early lead with a three-run second inning. Rhett Wiseman's one-out single started a streak of six consecutive VU batters to reach base. Tony Kemp's two-run triple knocked in Wiseman and Xavier Turner for the game's first runs. The triple is Kemp's 17th of his career leaving him four shy of the Southeastern Conference mark. Jack Lupo followed Kemp with a single to center field to stretch the lead to three runs. Vanderbilt tacked on a run in the ninth with Lupo dropping down a safety squeeze bunt to score Navin from third. Kemp and Lupo combined to drive in all four VU runs and go 3-for-7.
The Ducks were held to just two hits as starting pitcher Jake Reed (1-3) was pinned with the loss. Reed allowed three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings.
Vanderbilt's 12-game winning streak is the team's longest since 2011 when the Dores reeled off 12 straight to start the season 19-1. Ziomek's outing lowered the Commodores' starting pitchers' ERA to 1.50 and the group now has 110 strikeouts in 90 innings. The victory marked the 13th time this season Vanderbilt has held opponents to three runs or less.
The Commodores and Ducks play tomorrow afternoon with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. CT. Sophomore Tyler Beede gets the nod for the Dores against southpaw Tommy Thorpe for Oregon.
TAMU Gets First True Road Win at CSF
FULLERTON, Calif. - The Texas A&M Aggies dodged some early bullets and posted a titanic four-run ninth inning to fend off No. 8 Cal State Fullerton in non-conference baseball action Friday night at Goodwin Field.
In their first true road game of the season, the Aggies rose to the challenge behind a gritty performance from starting pitcher Kyle Martin and an opportunistic offensive effort led by Blake Allemand who went 3-for-4 with one double, two runs and one RBI.
The Aggies drew first blood in the top of the fourth inning. With one out, Allemand deposited a double down the rightfield line to spark the rally. After Daniel Mengden struck out swinging, Justin Moroney reached on an error by the Titans' third baseman to put runners on the corners. Cole Lankford slashed a single in front of Fullerton's centerfielder to plate Allemand for the 1-0 advantage, but Moroney was thrown out at third to end the rally.
Cal State Fullerton (11-3) seemed posed to knot the game in the home half of the fourth, but the Titans were unable to capitalize on their leadoff man reaching base for the fourth consecutive inning. Anthony Hutting was gifted first base on an error by Aggie shortstop Mikey Reynolds to start the frame. With one out, Hutting stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch. Martin uncorked an errant pitch on the fourth ball offered up to Chad Wallach and Hutting got a late break for home as Wallach trotted to first. A&M catcher Troy Stein scurried to retrieve the ball and was able to fire to Martin at the plate in time for the tag to prevent the Titans from tying the game.
Texas A&M (10-5) tacked on another run in the sixth to take a 2-0 lead. Mikey Reynolds threaded a leadoff double down the leftfield line to extend his consecutive-game hit streak to 14. Reynolds moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Krey Bratsen and scored on an RBI groundout to first base by Allemand.
After brewing up trouble with runners in scoring position in four of the first six innings, the Titans finally got on the scoreboard with the help of four free passes from Aggie pitches in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs in the inning, Keegan Dale drew a four-pitch walk from Martin. AJ Minter came in from the bullpen to relieve Martin and issued a pair of five-pitch base on balls to Ricky Pedroza and Carlos Lopez to load the bases.
Aggie closer Jason Jester was called on to get out of the jam, but yielded the Titans' fourth consecutive walk, this one to Matt Chapman, to plate Dale and cut the lead to 2-1. Jester was able to retire JD Davis with a strikeout to end the frame.
With A&M nursing a one-run lead, Jester retired the Titans in order in the eighth with two strikeouts and a grounder to short.
The Maroon and White created separation in the top of the ninth with four runs on five hits. Bratsen lined a single up the middle to start the frame and Allemand roped a hit-and-run single to rightfield to put runners on the corners, driving Titans' starter Thomas Eshelman from the game. Mengden deposited a single in front of the Titans' centerfielder to plate Bratsen. The outfielder misplayed the ball allowing it to roll to the warning track, scoring Allemand and putting Mengden on third. After Moroney struck out for the first out of the inning, Lankford bounced a single up the middle to score Mengden for the 5-1 advantage. Stein doubled to put two runners in scoring position and Charlie Curl plated Lankford with a sacrifice fly, giving A&M the 6-1 edge.
Jester sandwiched a pair of groundouts around a strikeout in the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season. He worked 2.1 hitless innings allowing one walk while striking out four.
Kyle Martin (1-2) picked up his first win of the season, allowing one run on six hits and two walks while striking out four over 6.2 innings.
A&M pitchers were able to work around six hits and five walks, forcing the Titans to strand nine runners on the evening.
Eshelman (3-1) was saddled with his first loss of the season. He allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits while striking out six over 8.0 innings of work.
The Aggies and Titans return to action for game two of the series at 8 pm Central on Saturday.