South Carolina begins SEC play this weekend at Missouri. First pitch for the opener is Friday at 7 p.m. ET. Saturday's game is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET with Sunday's contest at 2 p.m. ET. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game."
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama starting pitcher Tucker Hawley threw six strong innings and Kyle Overstreet’s three-run double in the bottom of the first inning powered the Tide to a bounce-back victory over the Memphis Tigers, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The win moves Alabama to a 9-8 record heading into SEC play, and the loss drops Memphis to 10-6 overall.
“We got the big hit by Kyle Overstreet in the first to put us up three,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Tucker Hawley, in his first start since his injury, I thought he was dynamite. He pitched six innings and threw the ball well; there were a lot of strikes.”
Overstreet led the Tide offensively, going 2-for-2 with a double, a single, two walks, three RBI and a run scored. Sophomore right fielder Ben Moore was 2-for-4 with two stolen bases and a run scored, senior third baseman Kenny Roberts pitched in two walks, a stolen base, and a run scored, and freshman Georgie Salem also knocked in a run with his only hit of the game.
Junior right-hander Tucker Hawley (3-1) gave the Tide a “quality start”, allowing two runs in six innings pitched, in his first start since April 4, 2011 against Arkansas. Hawley struck out six batters and allowed four hits and a walk. Sophomore righty Jake Hubbard allowed two hits and a walk in three scoreless innings to earn his third save of the season.
After a tough outing against the Tigers on Tuesday, the Alabama offense came out swinging to open the action in the first. With one out, Roberts walked, Moore singled and Austen Smith walked to load the bases for Overstreet, who cleared the bases with a double to the gap in left center. The early three-run lead for Alabama gave the loss to Memphis starter Michael Wills (0-1).
Outside of a solo home run by Memphis’ Drew Griffin in the third inning, Hawley kept the Tigers in check through five. Hawley ran into trouble in the sixth after giving up a leadoff double. Although he retired the rest of the batters in the inning, a wild pitch and a passed ball enabled the runner to score, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Hubbard came in to relieve Hawley in the seventh.
“Jake [Hubbard] threw the ball well, we have actually made some adjustments with Jake and I thought that he threw the ball exceptionally. We got the drag bunt there in the eighth to get the insurance run from Georgie [Salem]. Where we are at right now, it is good to win. We have been scuffling here for about a week and a half. It was nice to get the win and that good vibe as you move into the SEC.”
Salem gave the Tide an insurance run in the eighth inning with a perfect RBI bunt single to score Overstreet from third, making the score 4-2. Hubbard allowed a 1-out single in the ninth, before getting his third strikeout of the game and a fly out to center field to record his third save of the season and help snap the Tide’s five-game losing streak.
Alabama returns to action on Friday to open their SEC campaign against the Tennessee Volunteers. First pitch for game one on Friday is set for 6:35 p.m. CT, game two on Saturday is set for a 6:05 p.m. CT start, and the final game of the series will begin at 1:05 p.m. CT on Sunday.
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Five-Run Eighth Boosts LSU
BATON ROUGE, La. -- No. 2 LSU (16-1) exploded for a five-run eighth inning in a win over Nicholls State (9-9) Wednesday night in Alex Box Stadium, extending the Tigers' win streak to 11 games.
The five-run inning was aided in part by a two-run home run by first baseman Mason Katz, marking his sixth long ball on the season. Katz also recorded three RBI in the game, giving him 22 during the Tigers' win streak.
Before Katz' dinger, shortstop Alex Bregman and left fielder Raph Rhymes contributed to the big eighth inning. Bregman reached base for his fourth time in the game by scorching a double into the left-center gap, plating two runners. Rhymes flew out to deep center, allowing right fielder Chris Sciambra to tag up and score.
The heart of the Tigers' order drove in six of the team's nine runs and combined for five runs.
The Tigers will travel to Starkville this weekend to take on No. 10 Mississippi State. Game 1 of the series begins at 6:30 p.m. CT Friday. Game 2, starting at 6 p.m. CT Saturday, will be televised by CSS and Sunday's Game 3 is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CT. All three games may be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live audio and stats will be available through the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
The win gave LSU the season sweep over the Colonels after a 2-0 victory on March 3.
"I could tell three hours before this game that our focus just wasn't there, and it showed a bit in this game," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "We just didn't have that same intensity and sense of urgency that we normally have. You preach as much as you can about playing one game at a time, but these players are human, and they were thinking ahead to our first SEC series this weekend."
LSU third baseman Christian Ibarra provided the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh when he drove in Bregman and broke a 3-3 tie.
Ten LSU pitchers, spearheaded by Russell Reynolds's two scoreless innings in his first career start, saw action in the contest as the Tigers prepared their staff for the SEC weekend series.
LSU reliever Brent Bonvillain (1-0) picked up his first victory of the season after entering a tied 3-3 game in the top of the seventh. The lefty recorded the third out of the inning.
Nicholls reliever Kelby Langston (0-3) was charged with the loss after allowing Ibarra's single in the seventh. Starter Brand Jackson was solid through five and allowed three earned on eight hits.
LSU center fielder Mark Laird continued his eight-game hit streak with a single in the first and ended the game with a pair of singles and a run. Sciambra reached base four times after walking three times and being hit by a pitch.
Nicholls scored a run in the third off of Hunter Newman and two in the fifth off of Hunter Devall. The Colonels committed five errors on the night, which led to two runs in the bottom of the second and one run in the bottom of the second for LSU.
Ole Miss Takes Another from ULM
MONROE, La. – Jake Overbey delivered a big two-out, two-RBI double in the eighth inning to give the Rebels some wiggle room as No. 6 Ole Miss (18-1) defeated ULM (8-9) by a score of 8-3 to close out a midweek series.
With the win, the Rebels tied the best start to a season in the Bianco era, matching the 18-1 start set by the 2004 squad.
Stuart Turner and Austin Anderson extended their hit streaks to 14 and 13 games, respectively. Turner went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Anderson went 1-for-3 with two walks. Jake Overbey made the most of his one at-bat, fighting back from an 0-2 count to deliver the two-RBI double that took the game from a one-run contest in the eighth and put it comfortably in the hands of the Rebels.
“It was good that Jake was able to extend the lead for us,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It’s always nice when someone can come off the bench and provide a big hit for the team, but it’s nice that it was him because no one deserves it more than Jake did.
“I’m also proud of the way our bullpen handled things,” Bianco said. “It may not have always been how you draw it up, with guys pitching in a one-run game, but they handled the pressure well until we extended the lead. Brady Bramlett also had a good night for us in the start.”
Bramlett (3-0) picked up the win, working 5.0 innings and striking out a season-high nine batters. He allowed two runs on three hits with three walks.
Jared Dye (1-2) suffered the loss for the Warhawks as he allowed four runs – three of them earned – on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Warhawks struck first in the Wednesday night contest, pushing home a run in the first inning on a groundout to short from Justin Stawychny. ULM got off to a good start with a walk and a double to open the home half of the first before Bramlett would get a strikeout for the first out. The Stawychny grounder gave Ole Miss the second out, but put a run on the board for the Warhawks as the Rebels traded the out for the run.
ULM added a second run in the inning on a wild pitch before Bramlett would coax another groundout to end the inning with the Rebels trailing 2-0.
Ole Miss erased the deficit in the second inning with three straight hits to open the frame. A single from Turner and a double to the wall in right from Mistone put two men in scoring position before Sikes Orvis singled up the middle to bring them both home. The Rebels would go on to load the bases, but were unable to get another run home as ULM squashed the rally with three consecutive outs.
Ole Miss moved in front in the third inning on back-to-back hits from Turner and Mistone for the second consecutive inning. Turner came up with a one-out single before Mistone doubled to right center, allowing Turner to score from first. The Rebel third baseman was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple for the second out. ULM would strike out the next Rebel batter to end the inning, but Ole Miss held the 3-2 lead.
The Rebels extended the lead to two runs in the fifth inning on an RBI single up the middle from Austin Anderson. Auston Bousfield reached on a fielding error in the previous at bat, sending a fly ball to shallow left center that was dropped, allowing him to reach and take second on the play to set up the RBI hit for Anderson.
The Warhawks cut the lead to one in the sixth inning when Logan Fiasco successfully lay down a sac bunt to bring home Chris Dudley. Dudley reached on a single up the middle and then went first to third on a single to left field in the next at bat to set up the score on the Fiasco bunt.
The Warhawks threatened again in the seventh, getting a man to third with one out. The Rebels squashed the rally with a foul fly snagged by Turner against the backstop and a groundball to short to strand the runner and keep Ole Miss in front 4-3.
Ole Miss responded with a successful two-out rally in the eighth on a two-RBI double to the wall in right center from the younger Overbey that put the Rebels on top 6-3. Tanner Mathis extended the lead with a single to right to bring Overbey home and Ole Miss was on top by four runs after the top of the eighth.
The Rebels added a final run in the ninth inning when Mistone hit into a fielder’s choice that brought Anderson home from third. Anderson reached on a walk before moving to third on a single up the middle from Turner to get into scoring position for Mistone. The run provided the Rebels with the 8-3 final margin of victory.
Ole Miss will continue play on the road this weekend with a three-game set at No. 11 Arkansas to open Southeastern Conference play. Friday night’s opener will begin at 6:35 p.m. at Baum Stadium.