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    SEC Friday Night Baseball Report

    friday sec baseball RESULTS
    Tennessee 4,  Missouri 0
    Mississippi State 8,  Kentucky 4
    Alabama 6,  Georgia 3
    Ole Miss 8,  Texas A&M 2
    Arkansas 15,  South Carolina 3
    Florida 7,  Vanderbilt 1
    LSU 9,  Auburn 4


    MSU BASEBALL WINS SEC SERIES OPENER AT KENTUCKY

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – A five-run sixth inning provided the difference as No. 14 Mississippi State rallied past No. 8 Kentucky 8-4 in a Southeastern Conference baseball game played Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

    The Bulldogs captured the opening game of a three-game conference series, while winning their first true road contest of the season. The victory also marked a happy homecoming for MSU head coach John Cohen, who served five seasons as UK’s head coach. The contest was MSU’s first game played at Kentucky since the 2008 season.

    “We got some balls on the barrel,” Cohen said. “We really wanted to extend their starting pitcher (A.J. Reed). He throws 106 pitches through five innings. I am proud of our guys for continue to believe and continuing to work hard.

    “Through five innings, we had 11 line drive outs. We knew the Kentucky bullpen was not as strong as it has been. Our job was to get into that pen because we thought we could have some add-on runs late.”

    With the victory, MSU improved to 21-4 overall and 2-2 in league play, while Kentucky fell to 16-5 and 2-2. The Bulldogs won a conference series opener for the first time, after accomplishing that feat seven times last season. MSU is now 2-2 this season against Top 10 opponents.

    For MSU, the tone was set on the mound. Sophomore left-hander Jacob Lindgren delivered another strong start. Despite a second straight Friday no decision, Lindgren pitched well, working 4.1 innings, while allowing six hits and four runs (all earned), with six strikeouts and four walks.

    Ross Mitchell (5-0) finished the contest in relief. Mitchell worked the final 4.2 innings, allowing five hits and no runs, with three strikeouts and no walks.

    “It started on the mound for us tonight,” Cohen said. “Lingo (Lindgren) really gave us a chance out there. It was a tough zone for both teams. When you have that, you just have to keep shoving it into the strike zone. The ball was not carrying great tonight so you could really challenge hitters.

    “Ross did a great job of picking (Lindgren) up. He throws 56 pitches in 4.2 innings and that is very effective. You really can’t lose track of what he means to our ballclub. He just goes out there, fills the strike zone and gets out.”

    The Bulldogs built an early 2-0 lead with single scores in the first and fourth inning. The Wildcats responded with two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to grab a 4-2 lead.

    MSU came right back with five runs on four hits in the sixth inning. UK also helped out with three of its four errors coming in that half inning.

    Wes Rea began things by reaching on a dropped fly ball. Brett Pirtle and Daryl Norris followed with back-to-back hits to load the bases. This ended the night for Reed (2-3) on the mound.

    After a strikeout, Adam Frazier reached on an infield error, which forced in a run. C.T. Bradford connected for a game-tying sacrifice fly. Another infield hit by Hunter Renfroe re-loaded the bases.

    Mitch Slauter followed with a two-run single, with another run coming home as the ball was misplayed coming back to the infield.

    In the ninth inning, MSU capped its scoring when Renfroe hit his seventh home run of the season. The Bulldog right fielder has now hit safely in 10 straight games and 22 of 25 games this season.

    Mitchell got the Bulldogs’ conference-leading 34th double play ball to close out the victory.

    The Bulldogs finished with 10 hits. Renfroe had three hits, while Frazier and Pirtle each added two hits.

    The Wildcats finished with 11 hits. Thomas Bernal had three hits, while Zac Zellers and Max Kuhn each added two hits.       
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    ZACK GODLEY FIRES COMPLETE-GAME SHUTOUT AS VOLS DOWN MISSOURI, 4-0
     
    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Senior Zack Godley fired Tennessee's first complete-game shutout since 2006 as the Volunteers (12-9, 2-2) claimed the series opener over Missouri (7-11, 1-3), 4-0, on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
     
    The last UT pitcher to throw a nine-inning shutout was Craig Cobb in a 19-0 win over LSU on April 8, 2006. Godley finished with eight strikeouts and scattered five hits as he evened his record at 2-2 for the year.
     
    “What we got out of [Godley] was huge,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “I mean, when you anticipate that we're going to play a doubleheader tomorrow, you hope you find a guy who can go deep into the game. We had to get two guys up that didn't come in the game and that is still a little wear-and-tear on them, but we didn't have to use anyone else which bodes well for us tomorrow. They had to use three guys tonight and we had to use one.
     
    “Tip of the hat to Zack. Sometimes I am tough on my pitchers because you can look at the scoreboard [and see] 4-0, he gave up five hits, but he walked too many guys. He walked five guys and he overcame himself, got some big double-play balls after he got himself in a jam and I'm very proud of him because I know he's worked extremely hard to have a complete game and he finally got one.
     
    “I would be wrong if I didn't compliment the defense. As much as Zack pitched well, if it wasn't for the outfield defense, and the defense overall, it would have been hard to throw that shutout. I thought we made some spectacular plays in the outfield and I'm very proud of our guys for doing that.”
     
    For the 17th time in 21 games this season, the Big Orange got on the scoreboard in the first inning, plating three runs to give Godley all the support he would need. Junior Scott Price got the scoring started with an RBI single to center before Pierce Bily came through with a clutch two-out hit just moments later to drive in two more.
     
    That was the beginning of a 3-for-3 night for Bily who posted his second consecutive three-hit performance. He is 6-for-8 over his last two games as he has upped his average to a solid .345 on the season.
     
    “I thought we took some good at-bats,” Serrano said. “Anytime our leadoff hitter gets on, especially when it's Will Maddox, we seem to score. We got some clutch base hits. Pierce Bily got a clutch base hit in that [first] inning, and he had a great game.  He continues to show his experience as a junior college transfer like Price has done and like Taylor Smart has done.
     
    “I think [the first inning] settled our team down a little bit. I'll be honest with you, we've talked a lot this week as a team, we've worked on things, and we've talked about holding them accountable. I think we were kind of tip-toeing around a little bit. Our coaches noticed that, during BP, it was almost like they were afraid to make a mistakes and I think the three [runs] kind of allowed them to take that deep breath, exhale and think, ‘Ok, now let's put it in Zack's hands and get a Friday win for the first time this year.’”
     
    Godley worked out of a number of jams throughout the game, stranding a total of eight Tiger base runners. Missouri’s biggest threat came in the eighth when a walk and a single put runners on the corners with just one out. The Bamberg, S.C., native buckled down though, getting MU cleanup hitter Dylan Kelly swinging or the second out and an easy groundball to shortstop to end the inning.
     
    The Vols then added an insurance run in the home half of the frame as Taylor Smart drew a one-out walk, moved to third on a single by Bily and scored on a safety squeeze by Parker Wormsley.
     
    Godley came back out for the ninth and closed out his first career complete game with a strikeout and a 6-3 double play to give the Vols their second SEC win of the season.
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    OLE MISS TAKES DOWN TEXAS A&M 8-2

    OXFORD, Miss. – Bobby Wahl struck out nine through eight innings to help the Rebels to a series-opening win as No. 6 Ole Miss (21-2, 3-1 SEC) defeated No. 24 Texas A&M (15-8, 3-1 SEC) by a score of 8-2 at Swayze Field.

    The nine strikeouts was a season-high for Wahl (6-0), while the 8.0 innings of work tied a career-high for the right-hander. Only one of the two runs scored in his time on the mound was earned.

    Kyle Martin (2-3) took the loss for the Aggies, allowing six runs – five earned – on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout through 4.2 innings of work.

    “The story of the game certainly was Bobby (Wahl),” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “He had his best outing of the year. There have been outings before where he just couldn’t find his rhythm early and it took him a few innings. This seemed like from inning one he had a good command, mostly with the fastball and slider. He was in control of the game all the way. He only gave up two runs. He hung in there and didn’t let that blow up.”

    The Ole Miss offense continued to be efficient at the plate, scoring the eight runs on 11 hits. The Rebels were paced by junior catcher Stuart Turner who went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while extending his hit active hit streak to 18 games.

    Ole Miss got on the board first, pushing two runs home in the fourth inning as part of a two-out rally. Sikes Orvis was hit by a pitch to reach before scoring from first on a double to the wall in left center from Will Allen. A double down the right field line from Will Jamison then brought Allen home and gave the Rebels the 2-0 lead.

    A four-run fifth inning extended the Rebels’ lead to six runs.

    Tanner Mathis reached on a bunt single to open the inning and stole second before a single from Bousfield put men at the corners. Austin Anderson then singled to right to score Mathis. Turner dropped a single into shallow center in the next at bat to bring Bousfield home and put the Rebels on top 4-0.

    Andrew Mistone kept things going with a sac fly for the first out, but Ole Miss continued its opportunistic ways by taking advantage of a fielding error on a ground ball to short to keep the inning alive. Jamison was hit by a pitch to load the bases and an infield single from Preston Overbey to short brought home the fourth run of the inning and put Ole Miss on top 6-0.

    Texas A&M got two runs back in the sixth, using a pair of fielding errors and a pair of singles to bring two runs home and cut the lead to 6-2.

    Bousfield got one of the two runs back in the seventh with a solo home run, sending the first pitch into the bullpen in left field to put the Rebels back up by five.

    Ole Miss moved back out to the final 8-2 margin in the eighth inning when Mathis and Bousfield were both hit by a pitch to start things off. A fly out moved Mathis to third before a Turner sac fly brought him home and put the Rebels on top 8-2.

    Aaron Greenwood then entered the game to pitch the ninth and got the Rebels through the final inning unscathed to pick up the series-opening win.
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    Alabama Opens Series at Georgia with 6-3 Win

    ATHENS, Ga. – Alabama won its fourth straight game after opening its Southeastern Conference series against the Georgia Bulldogs with a 6-3 win on Friday night from Foley Field. With the victory, the Crimson Tide improves to 14-9 overall and 3-1 in SEC play. The Bulldogs drop to 8-14 overall and 0-4 in conference play.

    Charley Sullivan (2-1) recorded his second straight victory to improve to 2-0 in SEC play. Sullivan threw six innings, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts and a couple walks. Ray Castillo threw the final 1.1 innings for the Tide to pick up his third save of the season. Georgia starting pitcher Sean McLaughlin (3-2) took the loss after throwing five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

    “Charley Sullivan did a real good job tonight,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “He didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but he continued to compete and gave us the six innings we needed. When we took the lead he got better. After giving up the three hits in the first inning, he gave up just one more the rest of the night and gutted it out and made quality pitches. That’s what a Friday night starter does, he finds a way to put you in a position to win the game, like he did tonight.”

    Offensively, Alabama collected 11 hits and reached double digits in hits for the sixth straight game. Leading the way offensively for the Tide was shortstop Mikey White, who was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. White delivered big hits for the Tide in the fourth and fifth innings, which allowed Bama to score four of its six runs on his base hits. His two-out single with runners on second and third in the fourth brought in a pair then he delivered a two-out bases loaded single to left field.

    “It was huge for our team and for Mikey to get back-to-back big hits,” Gaspard said. “We’re starting to get a lot of production now out of both Kyle and Mikey. They’ve been good defensively all year, and now were starting to see the offensive side come around as well. Those two at-bats from Mikey were the keys to the game. He’s a really good offensive player and hopefully this will really jump start him at the plate.”

    Freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and is now hitting .263 for the season. Kenny Roberts was 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored and Ben Moore was 2-for-5. Austen Smith finished the night 1-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored, extending his hitting streak to six games, and Brett Booth was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to a team, season-best 10 games.

    Georgia took an early lead thanks to three straight singles to open the game. After singles by Nelson Ward and Curt Powell put runners on the corners for Kyle Farmer, who singled up the middle to drive in Ward from third. After the Tide’s 25th double play of the season, Brett DeLoach flied out to left field with a runner on third to prevent further damage.

    Alabama got on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. After Smith and Overstreet singled to open the inning, Carlisle had a bunt single to move the runners up 90 feet. White delivered a single to right field to score Smith, and after Jared Walsh misplayed the ball in right field, Overstreet was able to score from second.

    “The offense was outstanding again,” Gaspard said. “When we had our opportunities in the middle of the game, we were able to take advantage of things and put good swings on the ball. I thought the run in the sixth inning was important. We played with a lot of energy, played hard for nine innings and got good relief work from Kamplain and Castillo. It was a good road win on a Friday night in the SEC.”

    The Tide added to their lead in the fifth, scoring three times against McLaughlin. Roberts singled to open the inning then moved to third when a perfectly executed hit and run single by Booth. Smith then hit a ground ball to shortstop and beat out the double play attempt, allowing Roberts to score. Overstreet followed with a single and Carlisle walked to load the bases with two outs. White stepped to the plate and delivered again, this time a he had a sharp single to left field to drive in Smith and Oversteet, giving the Tide a 5-1 advantage.

    Alabama scored an unearned run in the sixth to make the score 6-1. With Roberts moving on the pitch, Moore grounded out to third and when Georgia first baseman tried to throw out Roberts at third, the errant throw got away from third baseman Kurt Powell, allowing Roberts to trot home.

    Georgia made it interesting, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning of UA reliever Justin Kamplain. With runners on second and third, Powell delivered a double down the left field line to score two. After a strikeout, Kamplain hit Brett DeLoach to end his night. Castillo entered and after pinch hitter J.T. Phillips reached on an error to load the bases, Castillo got Walsh to ground out to first to prevent further damage.

    Castillo threw the final 1.1 innings and did not allow a hit or a run the Bulldogs. Castillo has now appeared in nine games, has throwing 18.1 innings, with 16 strikeouts and is tied for the team lead with three saves.
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    Big innings lift Arkansas to 15-3 win

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 17 Arkansas baseball team used a nine-run fourth and a five-run seventh inning to defeat sixth-ranked South Carolina, 15-3, on Friday night at Carolina Stadium.

    With the win, the Razorbacks improve to 15-7 on the season and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference play, while South Carolina drops to 18-4 and 2-2 in league play.

    The Razorbacks pounded out 15 runs on 13 hits in the victory. The 15 runs were the most scored by Arkansas in a SEC game since scoring 17 runs against Kentucky on April 4, 2010, in a 17-16 win. Arkansas had double-digit hits for the third straight game and for the fifth time in the last six contests.

    Eight of the nine position starters for the Razorbacks had at least one hit in the victory, led by Tyler Spoon, who had three hits and drove in five runs to increase his season RBI total to 31. Brian Anderson had two hits, including his first homer of the season, and drove in two runs, while Jacob Mahan and Joe Serrano also added two hits apiece. Mahan ran his hitting streak to 10 straight games with his two hits. Dominic Ficociello, Jacob Morris, Matt Vinson and Jake Wise each had one hit. Mahan and Morris each had two RBI. Vinson has now hit safely in seven straight games, while Morris is on a six-game hitting streak.

    South Carolina had six players with one hit each. Connor Bright, LB Dantzler and Grayson Greiner each had a RBI in the loss.

    Arkansas starter Barrett Astin (2-1) earned the win after allowing three runs on six hits and striking out five in 5.1 innings. Brandon Moore and Chris Oliver combined to throw 3.2 hitless innings out of the bullpen, striking out four.

    South Carolina starter Evan Beal (2-1) took the loss. Beal allowed eight runs on six hits and struck out six in his 3.2 innings.

    After a quiet first three innings, Arkansas broke the game open with a nine-run fourth. The first two runs of the inning scored on back-to-back bases loaded walks. Morris then drove home a pair with a ground-rule double to the left-center field alley to make it 4-0. A wild pitch scored the fifth run of the inning and Spoon drove in his first two runs of the game with a single to left. Anderson capped the scoring in the inning with his first home run of the season, a two-run blast over the wall in left field to make it 9-0.

    South Carolina got three runs back in the bottom of the sixth. Dantzler and Greiner hit back-to-back RBI doubles to trim the lead to 9-2. A RBI single to right by Bright scored the third run of the inning to cut the lead to 9-3.

    Arkansas responded with five runs in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded and two out, Mahan hit a liner back to the mound that hit off South Carolina pitcher Joel Seddon and went into left field, scoring a pair of runs. Spoon then followed later in the inning with his second two-RBI single of the game and the fifth run of the inning scored on a fielding error by Dantzler at third base to make the score 14-3.

    The Razorbacks closed the scoring with a run in the top of the eighth inning. With runners on the corners and one out, Spoon grounded into a fielder’s choice to second, driving home Mahan from third for Spoon’s fifth RBI of the contest.
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    Florida Claims Series Opener At No. 2 Vanderbilt, 7-1

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) snapped a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer in the sixth inning as Florida (11-12/2-2 SEC) knocked off No. 2 Vanderbilt (19-4/3-1 SEC), 7-1, on Friday night at Hawkins Field in the opener of the weekend series between Eastern Division rivals.

    Freshman right-hander Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) (3-1) worked five strong innings for his first SEC win in his second collegiate start and combined on a three-hitter with freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) (1.2 IP) and sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (2.1 IP). The Gators had multiple-hit efforts from freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) (2-for-5), Gushue (2-for-3) and sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (2-for-5) and handed Commodore junior lefty Kevin Ziomek (5-1) his first defeat after winning the first five starts of the campaign.

    Ziomek retired the first seven Gator hitters on fly-outs before freshman Brady Roberson (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) drew one-out walk in the third inning. Ziomek picked Roberson off first base and then had sophomore Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) ground out on a full count after a long at bat.

    Carmichael retired nine-consecutive Commodores, highlighted by a tremendous catch in right field by sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) for the second out in the fourth. Senior Connor Harrell followed with a single up the middle for Vanderbilt’s first hit of the contest and then stole second base. After senior Mike Yastrzemski drew a walk, sophomore Vince Conde sliced an RBI single through the right side of the infield to bring in Harrell with the game’s opening run.

    Senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (three runs) and Gushue opened the fifth inning with back-to-back walks and Ziomek had sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) pop up a bunt attempt in foul territory. Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) tied the game with a single down the left-field line that scored Ramjit but was thrown out in a run-down between first and second base. Roberson and Mitchell earned free passes to load the bases with two down and Ziomek kept the game tied by having a fielder’s choice by Turgeon force Mitchell at second to complete the frame.

    Gushue provided the Gators with a 4-1 lead in the sixth with a three-run homer to left field. Bader led off with a bunt single to third base to raise his hitting streak to a career-high seven games and Shafer roped a ground-rule double that bounced over the right-field wall. Bader was thrown out at home plate on a grounder by Ramjit and Gushue made it two-straight contests with a homer by sending a 1-2 pitch from Ziomek out of the yard. It was Gushue’s second homer of the season and just the second surrendered by the left-hander. Tobias had a base-hit into center field for Florida’s fourth hit of the stanza before Ziomek retired Powers and Bader.

    Senior Jack Lupo began the home part of the inning with a flare into center field, prompting a pitching change. Young took over for Carmichael (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 K, 3 BB) and had junior Conrad Gregor hit into a 3-6 double play before having Harrell fly out to right field.

    Sophomore Jared Miller replaced Ziomek (6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 1 K) prior to the seventh and the Gators tacked on an insurance run on a fielder’s choice by Shafer. Turgeon delivered a one-out double into left field and a single by Bader resulted in runners on the corners. A grounder to shortstop by Shafer brought Turgeon home for a 5-1 score.

    In the bottom of the frame, Young issued a one-out walk to Conde and then struck out freshman Rhett Wiseman before Harris was summoned from the bullpen and struck out junior Spencer Navin.

    Helped by a pair of errors, the Gators increased their lead to 7-1 in the eighth. Ramjit began the inning by reaching on an error by Gregor and Miller (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R) was replaced by sophomore Adam Ravenelle. Gushue singled through the right side to put the Gators in business and Tobias drew a walk to fill the bags with none out. Although Powers grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, Ramjit come home. Soon after, Roberson’s grounder was misplayed by junior shortstop Joel McKeithan, enabling Gushue to come in for a six-run advantage.
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    LSU OPENS SERIES WITH 9-4 WIN OVER AUBURN

    BATON ROUGE, La. -- Home runs from first baseman Mason Katz and leftfielder Raph Rhymes Friday night lifted No. 3 LSU (20-2, 3-1 SEC) to a 9-4 victory over Auburn (15-7, 0-4 SEC) in Alex Box Stadium.

    The teams resume the series at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Junior right-hander Ryan Eades will take the mound for LSU, while Auburn will counter with junior left-hander Michael O’Neal.

    LSU’s 20-2 record is the Tigers’ best 22-game mark since the 1997 team also won 20 of its first 22 games.

    “We did a lot of things really well tonight, and some other things we didn’t do so well,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We had some big hits, including the home runs from Rhymes and Katz, but Auburn never quit and stayed in the game the entire night. I told our guys after the game that you can throw out the records every time you play an SEC team. Every game in our league is a serious challenge against a quality opponent.”

    Rhymes connected with a three-run dinger to left in the first inning Friday after back-to-back singles from rightfielder Mark Laird and shortstop Alex Bregman, giving the Tigers an early 3-0 lead.

    Auburn answered in the second and third frames with RBIs from catcher Blake Austin and first baseman Garrett Cooper.

    Katz increased the Tigers’ lead to 5-2 with a two-run homer of his own to left, marking his 10th home run of the season.

    Third baseman Christian Ibarra added two RBIs with a laser up the middle, giving LSU a 7-2 lead in the fifth inning.

    A wild pitch and an RBI single from Katz gave the Tigers two more insurance runs in the eighth inning.

    Bregman recorded his fifth three-hit game of the season and has now recorded a hit in 10 consecutive games. Rhymes finished 2-for-4 on the night and has reached base in all 22 games this season.

    LSU starting pitcher Aaron Nola (3-0) earn the win striking out nine in 6.2 innings while giving up two runs on nine hits.
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