ATHENS-----Georgia’s late surge was not enough to overcome Furman’s early runs as the Paladins defeated the Bulldogs 7-5 Tuesday at Foley Field.
Furman improved to 15-6 while Georgia lost its fifth straight to fall to 8-13 including 1-5 in midweek contests. It didn’t take long for the Furman to get on the scoreboard. Before recording an out, the Paladins had scored three runs. Right fielder Taylor Johnson’s single with men on first and second knocked in the first run of the game. During the next at bat, Georgia’s freshman starting pitcher David Gonzalez threw a wild pitch allowing another run to score. Then, first baseman Alex Abrams singled to left to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the first, Georgia responded with two runs. Sophomore second baseman Nelson Ward reached base on a single and was able to advance to second when Johnson misplayed the ball. After a bunt, Ward scored the first run on a groundout by Kyle Farmer. Next, sophomore left fielder Hunter Cole hit his second home run of the year, closing the Furman lead to one.
However in the second, the Paladins tacked on another run off of Gonzalez, who picked up his second loss of the season while allowing three hits, four runs and three walks in one inning of work.
After two scoreless innings, Furman added to their lead in the fifth. Abrams led off with a single that took a bad hop right over Ward’s head and then third baseman Chris Ohmsteade doubled to left center. Abrams scored on a groundout by left fielder Griffin Davis and Ohmsteade was plated by designated hitter Jarrod Rickman’s single up the middle. Rickman later scored on an error by Farmer, to put the Paladins up 7-2.
The Bulldogs put two more runs on the board in the seventh. Ward led off with a bloop single to left field and then Farmer hit his first triple of the season to score Ward. A Cole sacrifice fly, then scored Farmer. Georgia also added one more in the eighth, sophomore Jared Walsh singled, moved to second on a walk, to third on a fielder’s choice and eventually scored on a groundout by pinch hitter Sean McLaughlin. In the ninth, Cole singled with two outs bringing the tying run to the plate, but catcher Zach Bowers struck out swinging to end the game.
Drake Browne (1-0) earned the win, while Matt Solter picked up his fifth save of the season.
“We just have got to get better, you look out there, and it’s sad, but it’s a fact that these teams are playing better than us right now,” said Georgia coach David Perno “We still have time, and we have got to get better. We will do better and get better performances from guys we just have to hang in there and keep pushing and hopefully in a couple weeks we will learn a lot and be a different team.”
Georgia did get 1.1 scoreless innings of relief from Ross Ripple plus two scoreless innings of relief from junior Dylan Cole and freshman Mike Mancuso.
The Bulldogs return to action Friday at 7 p.m. as Alabama comes to Foley Field to open a three-game SEC series.
Kentucky Handles WKU
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A three-run first inning spurred the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to a 6-3 win over No. 8 Kentucky, on Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (16-4) suffered its first midweek loss of the year, dropping to 4-1 in midweek tilts, as the Toppers plated three run on three two-out hits in the top of the first. WKU then added two runs in the fifth inning and a tally in the seventh, with UK scrapping out single runs in the second and fifth. In the ninth, UK rallied to bring the go-ahead run to the plate, getting one run, before a game-ending double play was turned up the middle.
UK collected 11 hits in the game and drew seven walks, leaving a total of 15 runners on base as the Wildcats stranded a runner in each of their first seven innings. UK fell to 10-1 in 2013 when out-hitting its opponents.
UK freshman starter Kyle Cody (1-1) worked 4.2 innings, allowing three hits and five runs, walking four and striking out a career-high seven. Cody, making his third career start, allowed three runs on three two-out singles in the top of the first, before settling down to retire 12 straight from the first to the fifth innings. In the fifth, a pair of two-out walks ended his outing, with UK turning to its bullpen.
Kentucky used Zach Strecker, Dylan Dwyer and Chandler Shepherd to get out of the fifth inning in relief of Cody. Shepherd worked 2.1 innings, allowing three hits and one run, striking out two. Lefty Ryne Combs worked 1.1 innings, allowing one hit. Senior Walter Wijas came on to get the final two outs of the ninth.
The Wildcats were paced by two-hit games from junior shortstop Matt Reida, sophomore third baseman Max Kuhn, junior second baseman J.T. Riddle and freshman rightfielder Kyle Barrett. Barrett recorded an RBI double and stole a base, while Reida singled home a run in the second. Kuhn doubled to leadoff the seventh, his sixth double of the year. Riddle also doubled and stole his fourth base of 2013. Zac Zellers, A.J. Reed and Paul McConkey each delivered knocks.
Western Kentucky (11-9) starter, freshman 6-foot-4, submarine righty, Alex Mercer worked three innings, allowing three UK hits and one unearned run, walking four and striking out four. Josh Bartley (1-0) picked up the win with 2.2 innings in relief, allowing five hits and one run, striking out one. Submarine lefty Austin Clay tossed 2.1 shutout innings, allowing two hits and no runs, walking one. Ian Tompkins came on to pitch the ninth, getting one out and allowing a run. Taylor Haydel picked up his third save of the year in getting the final two outs of the game.
Kentucky returns to action with its first home Southeastern Conference series of 2013, hosting No. 14 Mississippi State starting on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
The Hilltoppers opened the game with a quick three runs in the top half of the first. Cody walked the first two batters but followed with consecutive strike outs to give Western Kentucky runners on first and second with two outs. Ryan Huck opened the scoring with a single through the left side that would bring home Thomas Peter from second. Following an infield single to load the bases, Anderson Miller singled up the middle score Huck and Scott Wilcox and increase the lead to 3-0 through the first half inning.
Kentucky answered with one run in the bottom half of the second. With one out, Barrett singled up the middle. Barrett stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Greg Fettes walked, leaving runners on first and third for Kentucky. Reida delivered for the Wildcats, singling through the left side to score Barrett. Lucas Witt walked with two outs to load the bases but the Wildcats were unable to convert on the opportunity and left the inning down 3-1.
After a scoreless third and fourth, Western Kentucky added to its lead in the top of the fifth. Following to quick ground outs, Cody walked two consecutive batters to force UK to bring Strecker out of the bullpen. Strecker beaned the first batter he faced and with the bases loaded, Huck recorded to more RBI to increase the lead to 5-1. Two pitchers later, Kentucky would get out of the bases loaded jam allowing no more damage and trailing 5-1 through four and a half.
Kentucky added one run of its own in the bottom half of the inning with two outs. Kuhn singled up the middle and a pinch-hit single into rightfield from McConkey allowed Kuhn to move into scoring position. Barrett would knock in Kuhn with a double down the leftfield line but Kentucky wasn’t able to bring across the two runners in scoring position and was down 5-2 through five.
In the top of the seventh, Huck notched his fourth RBI of the night for WKU, knocking a solo home run over the leftfield wall to increase the Western Kentucky lead to 6-2.
UK rallied in the ninth, as Riddle doubled to leadoff and McConkey and Barrett drew walks to load the bases with one out for Micheal Thomas. Thomas was hit by his 10th pitch of the year to force in the third run of the game for the Wildcats. Reida then smacked a grounder up the middle, with WKU turning the game-ending double play.
GAME NOTES: Kentucky falls to 2-2 in the blue tops and white pants on the season … The Wildcats tumble to 9-2 on the season at Cliff Hagan Stadium … Gary Henderson owns a 98-40 career mark at Cliff Hagan Stadium … Kentucky is now 11-3 against right-handed starters in 2013 … Kentucky now owns a 31-25 record against WKU, with an 18-14 record in Lexington… Kentucky lost its first game of the season when outhitting the opponent, moving to 10-1 … UK leads the all-time series with the Hilltoppers, 31-25, including an 18-14 mark in games played in Lexington.
Florida Turns in Balanced Effort Against UNF
Freshman right-hander Tucker Simpson (Oxford, Ala.) (1-1) worked a career-high 5.2 innings for his first collegiate win and was supported by home runs from sophomores Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) and Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) as Florida (10-12) notched a 9-4 victory over North Florida (15-7) on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) also drove in two runs for the Gators, who ended a nine-game homestand on a winning note.
“Tucker [Simpson] did a really nice job,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “He got us into the sixth inning. He kept his pitch count under 75 and that was his limit tonight, so we’ll have him available for the weekend. [Justin] Shafer came in and threw strikes. I thought [Ryan] Harris was really sharp and Mags [Johnny Magliozzi] threw the ball well.”
“Pitching-wise, the game was very good. We got on the board early. [Justin] Shafer hit a homer, then [Taylor] Gushue hit a homer, we were a little more aggressive on the basepaths tonight. We stole some bases and we did a couple of hit-and-runs, so overall, it was a clean game. It was a game that we put a lot of emphasis on. We’re at a point now in the season where these midweek games are just as important as any other games we play on the weekend. It was a good team effort and it certainly gives us a little momentum going into the weekend.”
Shafer opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run homer in the first inning off of UNF junior David Trexler (2-2). Freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) (2-for-4) extended his hitting streak to six games with a one-out single, matching his career high, but was thrown out trying to steal second base. Powers earned a free pass and Shafer followed with his second big fly of the year into the left-field bleachers.
Senior Corey Bass (3-for-4) cut the Ospreys’ deficit in half at 2-1 with a one-out homer to right field in the third inning. Simpson had breezed through the second frame with a pair of strikeouts. Senior Joe Wielbruda was hit by a pitch after the homer and Simpson worked out of further trouble by inducing an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play by sophomore Drew Weeks.
The Ospreys squandered a prime opportunity in the fourth, when junior Tyler Marincov drew a leadoff walk and a base-hit into right field by freshman Donnie Dewees (2-for-4). Simpson struck out freshman Corbin Olmstead, had senior Paul Karmeris fly out to center field and then fanned junior Peyton Walsh to preserve the Gators’ advantage.
Florida plated two runs on two hits in the bottom of the frame to build a 4-1 lead. Gushue (2-for-4) led off with his first homer since March 18 of last season against Vanderbilt by roping a 1-0 pitch into the bleachers in left field. Senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) and sophomore Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) were each hit, prompting a pitching change. Olmstead moved from first base to the mound for sophomore Jamie Cardwell (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R). Sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) loaded the bases with a single into left field and sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (1-for-2, two runs) extended the Gators’ lead to 4-1 with a sacrifice fly into center field that brought home Ramjit.
Simpson recorded the first two outs of the sixth before Dewees reached on an infield hit and Olmstead punched a single into center field. Shafer replaced Simpson, who worked a career-high 5.2 innings and allowed six hits and three runs, with five strikeouts and a walk. Karmeris doubled to left field, barely out of the reach of Bader, to narrow the gap to 4-3 and Shafer caught sophomore Spencer Herrmann looking on strikes to keep Florida in front.
“I was able to get into a rhythm there, especially in the second inning,” Simpson said after picking up his first victory. “Knowing that we put two runs on the board in the first, I was able to get more comfortable there and get into a rhythm.”
Bass had a one-out single in the seventh but was erased at second base on a nice defensive play by Powers. Although a wild pitch with two down enabled Wielbruda to occupy second, Shafer struck out Weeks to end the inning.
Senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) (1-for-3, two runs) began the home part of the frame with a walk and Turgeon followed with a single through the left side before Bader sacrificed his teammates into scoring position with a bunt. Hermann replaced junior Ryan McMahon (0.2 IP, 1 H 2 R) and uncorked a wild pitch to bring across Dent and Powers then stroked a double down the right-field line to give the hosts a 6-3 advantage.
Florida tacked on three more runs in the eighth for a 9-3 cushion. Mitchell started things off with a walk and was forced at second base on a fielder’s choice by Tobias. After Tobias stole second, Dent sliced an RBI single down the left-field line to drive him in. Turgeon was hit by a pitch and Bader legged out an infield single to load the bases before Powers earned a free pass to score Dent for an 8-3 count. Senior Marshal Rosenberger came in for Trey Ferrano (0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R) and uncorked a wild pitch that brought in Turgeon with the Gators’ final run.
After sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) worked a perfect eighth on seven pitches, sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) took the mound for the ninth. The righty retired the first two batters before yielding a single through the left side by freshman Kyle Brooks (2-for-4). Bass delivered a two-out triple to score Brooks and finalize the 9-3 margin.
UF returns to action on Friday at 7:30 p.m., when it visits No. 2 Vanderbilt (19-2/3-0 SEC) in the opener of a three-game series at Hawkins Field. The game can be seen in Gainesville on Sun Sports (Channel 48 or Channel 1048 HD) with Nick Belmonte and Larry Vettel and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell. Live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball program.
Auburn Rolls Past Alabama State
AUBURN, Ala. - All nine starters either had a hit or scored a run as the Auburn baseball team defeated Alabama State, 10-2, on Tuesday night at Plainsman Park. The win improved Auburn's record to 14-6 while Alabama State dropped to 14-8.
"After coming off the weekend we had, we challenged our team to come out and respond," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "(Alabama State) got up 1-0 and we kept fighting and finding ways to get on base. Cullen Wacker and Garrett Cooper were both on base a total of six times."
Wacker, hitting third in the lineup, was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a RBI and a run scored while Cooper, hitting cleanup, was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Wacker, who extended his hitting streak to six games, would double in a run in the four-run fourth as Auburn took a 6-1 lead and he also scored in Auburn's four-run seventh after doubling to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Cooper singled in the third and fifth innings and then walked and scored in the seventh.
Will Kendall got the start for the second time this season and allowed one run on three hits and a walk in two innings, striking out two. The only run he allowed came on a Waldyvan Estrade leadoff home run in the second that put Alabama State up 1-0.
Trey Wingenter (1-0) earned the win with five innings of one-run ball. He scattered three hits and two walks while striking out one to pick up his first career win in just his second career outing.
"You look at the job that Will Kendall, in his third outing, he made one mistake but we are very encouraged by that," Pawlowski said. "Trey Wingenter had a very solid performance and you can't say enough about what he did."
Patrick Savage finished the night 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI, extending his hitting streak to a career-best nine games.
Ryan Tella and Blake Austin each finished with two RBI for Auburn.
Auburn finished the night with 13 hits, one shy of its season high, while Alabama State had seven.
Alabama State starter Anthony Ricciardi (1-3) took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk in 3 2/3 innings.
Auburn will play its next five games away from Plainsman Park, beginning with Wednesday night's game against Southern Miss at Hank Aaron Stadium at Mobile. Trey Cochran-Gill (0-0) will get the start on the mound for Auburn.
Alabama Takes Down Samford
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Alabama bats stayed hot as the Crimson Tide scored five runs in the first and eight runs in the third en route to a 15-7 victory over the Samford Bulldogs on Tuesday night from Joe Lee Griffin Field. With 14 hits against nine Bulldog pitchers, Alabama recorded its fourth straight 10-hit game, as eight players had at least one hit and four players tallied multiple hits in the game.
“Offensively, we’ve been in a pretty good flow over the last four games,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “They helped us a little bit early and walked a couple guys, but I felt that we had pretty good offensive pressure in the front part of the game. Our guys are in a better place than we were in the front part of the season. We're getting guys out there that are getting hit by pitches and talking walks and were taking advantage of mistakes.”
Leading the way offensively for the Tide (12-9) was Austen Smith’s 3-for-5 night to extend his hitting streak to four games. Smith hit his first home run of the season, had a double, a single, three RBI and three runs scored. Ben Moore was 2-for-3 with a double and a single to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Moore also walked three times, scored three runs and drove in two. Kyle Overstreet reached base in all five of his plate appearances, and finished the night 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a run scored and two walks. Brett Booth was 1-for-5 with a game-high four RBI and has now hit in a team season-high eight straight games.
Alabama starting pitcher Tucker Hawley earned the win in the mid-week game, as he improves to 4-1 on the season. Hawley threw three innings, allowing one earned run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Samford starting pitcher Patrick McGavin (0-3) took the loss after allowing five runs in the first inning, which was the only inning he threw in the game.
“Hawley had a pretty good start,” Gaspard said. “Samford has a good hitting team and they are a good fastball hitting team. We threw some guys that haven’t pitched a lot. Haack had a rough first inning, but settled down and threw well against the meat of their lineup in his second inning. Overall we were pleased with our pitching, but we would like to see them hold them down. We’ve played some really close games against these guys and it was nice to stretch one out and relax a little bit.”
Alabama got off to a quick start for the second straight game, this time scoring five runs off Samford (12-10) starting pitcher McGavin in the first inning. After Georgie Salem grounded out to start the game, Kenny Roberts walked and scored on the sixth double of the season by Moore. Moore scored on an error on a Booth ground ball and then four straight hits, singles by Smith, Overstreet and Cameron Carlisle and a double by Mikey White, respectively, produced three more runs for an early 5-0 Bama lead for Hawley.
Samford got a run back when C.K. Irby hit his fourth home run of the season over the left field wall with two outs in the bottom of the first. It was the nation-leading 23rd of the season for the Bulldogs.
Alabama produced their second eight-run inning in as many games when it scored eight times on three hits in the third inning. After scoring three times in the big inning, the Tide got a two-out, three-run double by Booth, then on the next pitch, Smith homered for the first time this season to left field to make the score 13-1.
After Alabama made a pitching change to open the Samford fourth, the Bulldogs scored three runs off reliever Keaton Haack to make the score 13-4 after four.
Alabama got a run back in the top of the fifth, when Overstreet delivered a two-out RBI double to score Moore, who walked for the third time in the game to open the inning, from first, making the score 14-4. The Tide tacked on another run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Booth in the seventh, scoring Roberts, who singled earlier in the inning.
Samford did not go down without a fight, scoring three times in the seventh inning off UA reliever Trey Pilkington. An RBI single by Brandon Powell plated the first run then a groundout to first allowed Sam Few to score the second run. The final run of the inning came across when Powell scored on an RBI double by Jared Watson, making the score 15-7 in favor of the Tide.
Mike Oczypok made his second appearance of the season to close out the game on the mound for Alabama. Oczypok threw two scoreless and hitless innings, with a strikeout and a hit batter.
Alabama returns to action on Wednesday night when it hosts Jacksonville State at 6:05 p.m. CST from Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Follow the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team on Facebook at Alabama-Baseball and on Twitter at @AlabamaBSB.
South Carolina Earns Win at the Citadel
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Fifth ranked South Carolina belted three home runs and freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop allowed just two runs on five hits in 5.1 innings to earn his fourth win of the year as the Gamecocks defeated The Citadel 9-5 at Riley Park in front of 5,838 fans on Tuesday evening. The Gamecocks improved to 18-3 with The Citadel now 14-8 on the year.
Grayson Greiner tallied a two-run homer in the third inning, LB Dantzler added a solo shot in the fourth inning and Joey Pankake hit a two-run homer in the ninth to help lead the Gamecocks to a win. Both Greiner and Pankake drove in three runs as well.
Wynkoop is now 4-0 on the year. He struck out five batters and walked just one. Senior left-hander Tyler Webb pitched two perfect innings of relief with two strikeouts to pick up his eighth save of the season. The Citadel starting pitcher Logan Cribb suffered the loss and is 1-2 for the season. He lasted only 3.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
"I'm proud of our team," said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. "We played well for the most part. We had some quality at bats today, a lot of guys contributed. The Citadel has a good offensive team. It was a good win for us on the road."
The Citadel broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Mason Davis led off with a triple to center field as he knocked a 1-2 pitch from Wynkoop over the head of Shon Carson in centerfield. Davis would then score on a one-out sacrifice fly to left field off the bat of Joe Jackson.
South Carolina went ahead 2-1 with a pair of runs in the top of the third. After a leadoff single by Connor Bright, the Gamecocks would grab the lead on a two-run homer by Greiner. The Gamecock catcher absolutely crushed a 3-2 pitch from Cribb over the wall in center for his second homer of the season.
Dantzler increased the Carolina lead to 3-1 in the fourth inning with a solo homer, his team-leading seventh of the season. Dantzler knocked a 3-1 pitch from Cribb over the right field wall.
A pair of unearned runs extended the Gamecock lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning. TJ Costen opened the frame reaching base on a throwing error by third baseman Bret Hines. Carolina then put runners on second and third as Shon Carson reached on his sac bunt attempt as The Citadel reliever Zach Sherrill committed a throwing error trying to nab Carson at first. Chase Vergason would drive in Costen with a RBI groundout and Joey Pankake ripped a RBI single up the middle to score Carson.
The Citadel got a run back in the sixth inning. Drew DeKerlegand opened the frame with a walk. With one out, Bo Thompson knocked a single to the gap in right field. DeKerlegand would score on a fielder's choice. Carolina answered in the top of the seventh. Costen led off with a double to left field and after a passed ball scored on Carson's sacrifice fly to right field.
The Bulldogs responded though and crept to within a run in the bottom of the seventh inning scoring three times. With runners on second and third and one out, DeKerlegand laced a triple into the gap in left-center. On a play at third base, Joey Pankake's throw went low and past Chase Vergason and allowed for DeKerlegand to scamper home and make it a one-run contest.
The Gamecocks fought back in the top of the eighth. Kyle Martin struck with a pinch-hit double and after pinch runner Tanner English was sacrificed over to third base, he would score on Greiner's sacrifice fly to center field. Webb retired all three batters he faced in the bottom of the eighth and Pankake gave Carolina a pair of insurance runs with a two-run homer to left field in the ninth inning, his fifth home run of the season.
"They threw a haymaker at us (in the bottom of the seventh inning)," said Coach Holbrook. "Our guys responded. It was good to see Grayson swing it well tonight."
South Carolina returns to action this weekend hosting a three-game series vs. Arkansas. First pitch for the opener on Friday is set for 7:30 p.m. with the game being televised live on CSS with live streaming available at ESPN3. Saturday's game is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. and will be televised live on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Carolinas with live streaming available at ESPN3. Sunday's series finale is 1:30 p.m. with live video streaming at GamecocksOnline.com on the All Access Channel. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game."
Aggies Blank Dallas Baptist, 2-0
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Four Texas A&M pitchers combined to scatter three hits and two walks in the Aggies' first shutout of the season, a 2-0 win over the Dallas Baptist Patriots, Tuesday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Grayson Long (3-0) started for the Aggies, sprinkling two hits and two walks over 5.1 innings while striking out five to earn the win. With a runner on second and one out in the sixth, AJ Minter came in from the bullpen and induced a fly out and foul pop up to the catcher to end the inning. Parker Ray retired six of the seven batters he faced in 2.0 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and notching a strikeout. Jason Jester picked up his sixth save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Texas A&M (15-7) held Dallas Baptist to 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, including two strikeouts
The Aggies, who entered the season outscoring opponents 27-10 in the first inning of games, pounced in the opening frame again with two runs. With one out, Krey Bratsen drew a six-pitch walk and scored with two outs when Mitchell Nau lined a double down the leftfield line. Cole Lankford laced a single through the right side of the infield to plate Nau and stake the Aggies to a 2-0 lead.
Six different A&M hitters accounted for the Aggies' six hits. Mikey Reynolds dropped a single underneath the glove of a sliding Patriots' leftfielder to extend his hit streak to 21 games, tied with Ben Feltner (2007) for seventh place on A&M's all-time list.
Dallas Baptist (11-10) used seven different pitchers in the game. Starter Blake Webster (1-1) was saddled with the loss, yielding two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out one over 0.2 inning. Aaron Gilbreath was the first out of the bullpen, leading a corps that combined to allow just four hits over 7.1 innings of scoreless relief. Gilbreath worked 2.1 shutout innings, allowing one hit while striking out three. Jay Calhooun, Caulin Cragle, Patrick Hicks, Cody Beam and Paul Voelker each worked one blank inning to keep the Patriots within striking distance.
Texas A&M returns to action on Friday when the Aggies travel to Oxford, Mississippi for a three-game series against the No. 6 Ole Miss Rebels.
AMMIRATI TRIGGERS STATE IN 7-6 COMEBACK WIN OVER ALCORN
STARKVILLE, Miss. --- Mississippi State erased an early five-run deficit Tuesday night as the 14th-ranked Bulldogs (20-4), nipped Alcorn State 7-6 at Dudy Noble Field. The win closed out a run of 23 home games in the first 24 for Mississippi State and made the Bulldogs the SEC’s second 20-game winner for 2013.
ASU (4-18) erupted for four runs in the first frame off MSU starter Brandon Woodruff stretched that advantage to 5-0 on Alvin Jackson’s RBI double in the second inning.
The Bulldogs battled back. Catcher Nick Ammirati delivered the first of his three hits to open the third inning when State plated three runs. Two of those runs scored on a double by Hunter Renfroe. Ammirati singled and Adam Frazier doubled to open the third inning when State scored twice to knot the score at 5-5. Ammirati’s third hit of the game sent Jacob Robson home with the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and Daryl Norris’ two-out double tacked on an insurance run for a 7-5 MSU lead in the sixth.
“Ammirati has come along as a hitter. He got us going offensively tonight after our rough start,” said head coach John Cohen. “Alcorn State played well and seemed to make every play early on. But Myles (Gentry) was outstanding tonight, and with 15 strikeouts, you have to feel pretty good about your pitching staff.”
After a slow start, Bulldog pitching held ASU at bay. Freshman Myles Gentry, the third of six MSU hurlers in the game, struck out eight and blanked the Braves over four frames. The Germantown, Tenn., product struck out the first five batters he faced en route to his second career win. At a key point in the game senior Chad Girodo fanned three batters in the eighth after ASU parlayed a walk and a pair of MSU errors into a run that had cut the State lead to a run at 7-6. Sophomore relief ace Jonathan Holder then retired the final three batters in the ninth, two via strikeout, to successfully close out the game and earn his seventh save.
Mississippi State pitchers matched a season-high with a combined 15 strikeouts and held the Braves hitless over the final seven frames.
Adam Frazier reached base four times in five plate appearances with a walk and three singles. Ammirati had a career-best three hits while Renfroe drove in a pair of runs and extended his current hitting streak to nine games. Frazier has now had a hit in 21 of MSU’s 24 games.