Tennessee will return to SEC play this weekend when it hosts a three-game set against Missouri, March 22-24. The Vols will shuffle the rotation against the Tigers with senior Zack Godley getting the start at 6 p.m. on Friday, junior Nick Wiliams going at 4 p.m. on Saturday and freshman Trevor Bettencourt getting the ball at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Murfreesboro, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee State jumped on Vanderbilt early for three runs in the first inning and never looked back, defeating the No. 2 Commodores 4-1 Wednesday night at Reese Smith Field.
The Blue Raiders (12-10) wasted no time with leadoff hitter Ryan Ford starting the rally in the first inning with a single. With one out and two on, Trent Miller roped a double down the left field line to score two runs. One batter later Michael Adkins made it 3-0 with his own double off the left field wall. MTSU tacked on an unearned run in the third when Johnny Thomas scored on a passed ball.
The Vanderbilt (19-3) bats endured a frustrating night leaving 10 men on base and hitting into a season-high three double plays. The team entered the night having hit into just eight double plays all year. The first twin killing ended the second inning when the Dores had two runners aboard. Tony Kemp led off the third inning with a walk but was doubled off first when Xavier Turner fouled out to first on a hit and run play. Kemp bounced into the third double play in the fifth after Chris Harvey had led off the frame with a walk.
Vanderbilt's lone run came in the sixth when Joel McKeithan singled down the right field line to score John Norwood from second. McKeithan and Norwood led the Commodores with two hits each on the night. Ford paced the Blue Raiders with three hits.
Joey McClung (2-0) earned the win for the Blue Raiders working 2.2 innings out of the bullpen. The lefty allowed one unearned run on three hits. MTSU starter Jordan Cooper walked six and allowed three hits over 4.2 scoreless innings. Walker Buehler took his first collegiate loss after giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits over four innings. Steven Rice pitched a career-high four innings scattering two hits over his four scoreless frames.
Vanderbilt hosts Florida this weekend at Hawkins Field in the Commodores' first Southeastern Conference home series of the season. The Dores and Gators play Friday night at 6:30 p.m. on FSN-Florida, Saturday at 6 p.m. on CSS and Sunday at noon. Left-hander Kevin Ziomek (5-0) gets the ball Friday night against Florida freshman right-hander Jay Carmichael (2-1).
Alabama Downs Jacksonville State
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama scored in each of the first four innings and held on to defeat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 6-5, on Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The win moves Alabama’s overall record to 13-9, and a loss drops the Gamecocks to 11-12 this season.
“For the fourth game in a row we did a nice job offensively,” Gaspard said. “Every time they scored we had the ability to answer in the front part of the game. We had good offensive pressure throughout, which was really the story of the game. Once we got the lead, the bullpen did a nice job to hold the game right there toward the end."
The game was a back-and-forth affair early, as each team put up a run in each of the first three innings. The Crimson Tide also added a run in the fourth and got shutdown pitching from their bullpen to protect the lead. Sophomore right Jake Hubbard (1-0) picked up his first win of the year after throwing 2.1 innings and allowing only one run on three hits. Sophomore righty Jay Shaw and sophomore left-hander Justin Kamplain combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless, hitless work, and freshman Ray Castillo pitched the final inning to pick up his second save of the year.
"We didn't get a great start to get things going on the mound for us,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “I thought our bullpen did a really nice job from Jake Hubbard, to Jay (Shaw), to Justin (Kamplain) and then to Ray Castillo, to keep the game where it was.”
Sophomore south paw Taylor Guilbeau did not factor into the decision in his fifth start of the year. Guilbeau threw two innings and surrendered four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks. Adam Polk (2-4) was charged with the loss for the Gamecocks after allowing two runs in his one inning pitched.
Junior first baseman Austen Smith recorded his second straight three-hit game and his sixth multi-hit game of the year after a 3-for-3 performance that included a single, a double, a walk, a run scored and two runs batted in. Freshman center fielder Georgie Salem was 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, and senior third baseman Kenny Roberts also put up an RBI in 2-for-4 night.
In the first inning, the Gamecocks had their two leadoff hitters reach base, and the third batter grounded into a double play but was able to advance the runner across for an early 1-0 lead.
The Tide responded in the bottom half of the frame, when Ben Moore and Brett Booth reached base on a fielder’s choice and single, respectively, and a wild pitch on a walk to Smith allowed Moore to score from second to knot it up, 1-1.
The two teams exchanged runs again in the second. The Gamecocks loaded the bases on a single, an error and a walk, but a Tide double play limited the damage to one run. The Alabama offense got the run right back, as a walk drawn by Andrew Miller and a single by Salem set up Miller at third base. Roberts drove him in with a single to left field to tie the score again, 2-2.
Following a double and walk by the Gamecocks to open the third inning, Guilbeau got the hook in favor of Hubbard. Hubbard allowed a hit in the inning, but a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to deep left center allowed the Gamecocks to retake the lead at 4-2.
Alabama stormed back with three runs on five hits to retake the lead in the bottom of the inning. Booth’s single set the table for Smith’s RBI double in the following at-bat, and although Overstreet was thrown out in an attempt to stretch a double into a triple, his shot into right scored Smith from second to tie the game at 4-4. Cameron Carlisle drew a walk in the next at-bat to set up a single from Salem that gave the Tide a 5-4 lead. After Moore reached on a dropped pop out to lead off the bottom of the fourth, Smith sent a single in to left to extend the lead in Alabama’s favor, 6-4.
After allowing three straight base runners and a run to the Gamecocks in the fifth, Shaw relieved Hubbard for 1.2 scoreless, hitless innings. Kamplain pitched two perfect innings of his own, and Castillo slammed the door shut in the ninth to seal the win for Alabama.
The Alabama Crimson Tide returns to action on Friday when they travel to Athens to face the Georgia Bulldogs. First pitch from Foley Field is slated for 6:00 p.m. CT on Friday, 3:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. CT on Sunday.
Follow the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team on Facebook at Alabama-Baseball and on Twitter at @AlabamaBSB.
LSU Wins on Walk-Off in Extras
BATON ROUGE, La. – No.3 LSU (19-2) defeated Northwestern State (9-14) in a 13-inning pitching duel by a score of 2-1 Wednesday night at Alex Box Stadium.
Shortstop Alex Bregman (3-for-6) delivered a walk-off single to right field sending second baseman JaCoby Jones to the plate for the game’s winning run.
Will LaMarche (1-0) struck out four in 2.2 innings of work and earned the victory.
Northwestern State right-hander Cameron Brewer suffered the loss, giving up the Tigers’ walk-off single.
Auburn Downs Southern Miss in 11 Innings
MOBILE, Ala. - Cullen Wacker's three-run double tied the game in the bottom of the eighth and Kody Ortman's RBI single with two down in the 11th won it as the Auburn baseball team rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat Southern Miss, 4-3, in 11 innings on Wednesday night at Hank Aaron Stadium at Mobile. The win improved Auburn's record to 15-6 while Southern Miss dropped to 8-12.
"Wacker sat on a fastball and absolutely smoked that ball," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Then Kody came through with a big hit today too. I am really proud of our team. We didn't have anything going. This was a game where we were getting stuffed for most of the game. Our guys had a lot of energy in the dugout, we had some fun with it and we found a way to win tonight."
Trailing 3-0 going to the bottom of the eighth and with just three hits off of Southern Miss starter Jake Drehoff, Auburn capitalized on free bases before Wacker's double. Damek Tomscha reached on a fielding error by the Southern Miss left fielder to start the inning. Two batters later Dan Glevenyak was hit by a pitch to put two on base. Pinch hitter J.D. Crowe then drew a walk to load the bases. After Jordan Ebert went down swinging for the second out of the inning, Wacker blistered a double into the gap in right-center, clearing the bases.
"It's special to come out here and get a win, especially with a clutch hit like I did," Wacker, who is from Mobile, said. "This is a good team win and gives us some momentum going into Baton Rouge."
Auburn was able to win it in the 11th by again taking advantage of free bases. Garrett Cooper led off the inning with a walk and went to second on a Ryan Tella sac bunt. Patrick Savage was then intentionally walked to set up the double play. Tomscha would foul out to the catcher before Ortman sent one into left to score Cooper.
Conner Kendrick (2-0) earned the win out of the Auburn bullpen, throwing 3 1/3 innings of shutout baseball. After uncorking a wild pitch on his first offering of his relief appearance, he allowed a hit to Southern Miss leadoff hitter Dillon Day and then retired 10 straight, five via strike out.
Cody Livington (0-1) took the loss for Southern Miss.
Southern Miss took a 1-0 lead on Tim Lynch's sac fly in the third. The run was unearned off of Trey Cochran-Gill, who went five innings and allowed three hits and two walks while striking out four.
Southern Miss scored twice more in the eighth to extend the lead to 3-0. Blake Brown led off with a double and went to third on a sac bunt. Nick Dawson followed with a triple and then scored when Kendrick uncorked the wild pitch.
Auburn returns to the field at 7pm on Friday when it takes on No. 3 LSU at Alex Box Stadium at Baton Rouge, La.