Freshman left-hander Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) and sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) combined on a four-hit shutout as Florida (13-16/4-5 SEC) claimed the rubber game of its weekend series with No. 11 Ole Miss (23-6/4-5 SEC), 4-0, on Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium.
With yesterday’s 7-0 victory, it marked the first time since March 10 & 12, 2010, that the Gators had posted consecutive shutouts. Making his first SEC start, Young (1-2) allowed one hit over 5.1 innings to pick up his first collegiate win and Magliozzi worked the final 3.2 innings to notch his fifth save. Senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-4) belted a two-run homer as part of a three-run third inning for UF and sophomore Mike Fahrman (Tampa, Fla.) was 2-for-3.
“We pitched well and Ole Miss has a great lineup,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “They’ve got older players in their lineup whom been around the league for two to four years. I don’t remember the last time we had back-to-back shutouts, so it’s pretty remarkable. We hung in there today and Danny Young gave us a really good start, just giving up one hit over five and a third, and then Mags [Johnny Magliozzi] came in and did his thing. We only walked two guys and our offense did just enough. Vick [Vickash Ramjit] was the guy today offensively, his home run put us up two more runs, and he did a really nice job. Overall, this is the kind of weekend we’ve been looking for and waiting for and I’m hoping this will be a nice jumpstart for us.”
“I was able to make good pitches today, get groundouts and let my defense make plays,” Young said. “It’s huge having our offense able to put up runs and knowing as long as you put up zeros, we’re going to win the game.”
The Gators grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out wild pitch by UM sophomore Chris Ellis (1-2) that brought across sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.). Ellis retired the first two batters before Gushue beat out a single to third base and went to second on a throwing error by senior Andrew Mistone. Sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) reached on a fielding error by junior Austin Anderson, with Gushue taking third on the play. Ellis’ first wild pitch of the year enabled Gushue to break the ice and Shafer to occupy second base and then redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) drew a walk. A fielder’s choice by Ramjit forced Shafer at third for the final out.
Florida loaded the bases with none out in the second inning but came away empty-handed. Sophomore Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) drew a leadoff walk, Fahrman followed with his second double in as many games into left field and senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) earned a free pass. Ellis wiggled out of the jam by having sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) line out to right field and freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) ground into an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
UF extended its lead to 4-0 in the third stanza, highlighted by a two-run homer from Ramjit into the left-field bleachers. Gushue started things off with a walk, went to third on a double into left field by Mitchell and scored on a throwing error by senior Tanner Mathis. After a sacrifice bunt by Powers advanced Shafer to third base, Ramjit deposited a 1-0 pitch from Ellis over the fence for his third homer of the campaign. Junior Aaron Greenwood replaced Ellis (2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB) and induced a pair of groundouts to end the inning.
Young issued a leadoff walk to Mathis in the sixth and had Anderson fly out to left field before being replaced by Magliozzi. The right-hander induced back-to-back pop-ups by sophomore Ausin Bousfield and junior Stuart Turner to keep the score at 4-0.
Greenwood had retired 10-consecutive Gators before Fahrman blooped a single into center field with two down in the bottom of the frame and Dent followed with a base-hit through the right side of the infield. Redshirt senior Tanner Bailey came in for Greenwood (3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) and had Turgeon ground out to complete the inning.
Junior Preston Overbey opened the eighth with a single up the middle but was erased at second base on a fielder’s choice by senior Tanner Mathis. Anderson roped a ground-rule double over the wall in right center field for Rebels on second and third and Magliozzi had Bousfield foul out to Gushue and struck out Turner to preserve the shutout.
The Gators return to action on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium against UCF (18-11/4-2 C-USA). The game will begin at 7 p.m., be carried live on FOX Sports Florida with Nick Belmonte and Mick Hubert, GatorVision and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.
Wildcats Down Dawgs, 5-0
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Behind a career-high 12 strikeouts in seven shutout innings from Corey Littrell and a three-hit game from Austin Cousino, No. 8 Kentucky posted a 5-0 win over Georgia to win the three-game series, on Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (21-6, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) rode the dominating arm of Littrell, a junior southpaw, and the hot bat of Cousino to its third consecutive SEC series win to open 2013. UK plated a single run in the first, got two runs in the third and a two-run homer from catcher Micheal Thomas in the fifth for the 5-0 win.
Littrell (4-0) worked seven dominating frames, scattering just three singles and walking two, striking out a career-high 12. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Louisville, Ky., has now started 11 series-deciding games in the last two years – all UK wins – posting an 8-0 record and a 1.68 ERA in those 11 starts.
A preseason All-America selection, Littrell allowed only three singles in the game – with one hit bouncing off him on the mound. He worked into the eighth inning and with 12 strikeouts became the third UK pitcher to record double-digit strikeouts in 2013. Littrell toppled his previous career high of nine strikeouts with his 10th strikeout of the game, coming as an inning-ending punchout of All-America UGA shortstop Kyle Farmer in the sixth.
On the year, Littrell has a 4-0 record and a 2.57 ERA in seven starts, tossing 45.2 innings and striking out 47. In his three SEC starts to open 2013, Littrell has a 3-0 record and a 0.82 ERA, striking out 23 and allowing only 15 hits in 22 innings. Without one rocky outing vs. USC Upstate in his season debut, Littrell has a 4-0 record and a 1.28 ERA in 2013.
Cousino paced the Wildcats at the dish, including starting the game with a triple off the centerfield wall. The All-America centerfielder went 3-for-4 with a triple, double and an RBI, as his attempt at hitting for the cycle ended in a warning-track fly out in the right-centerfield gap in the eighth inning.
UK also got the two-run homer from Thomas, his second of the year, and hits from freshman outfielder Kyle Barrett, Matt Reida and Zac Zellers. Barrett, who moved into the team lead with a .364 average, extended his hitting streak to a club-high eight games with a single into centerfield in the fourth inning.
Georgia (10-19, 1-8 SEC) starter Bryan Benzor (1-1) worked four innings, allowing six hits and five runs, walking one and striking out two. Ross Ripple took over in the fifth, working three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three. Jarrett Brown worked a scoreless eighth, allowing just a walk and a hit batter.
UK will return to action on Tuesday, traveling to No. 10 Louisville for a 6 p.m. ET matchup at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Kentucky got on the board in the bottom of the first inning as Cousino tripled to deep centerfield to leadoff the game, with the ball bouncing out of DJ Smith’s glove as he collided with the wall. Zellers then hung a sacrifice fly to rightfield to score Cousino.
In the bottom of the third, UK added to its lead with two runs on two hits. Matt Reida led off the frame with a full-count walk, taking second on Thomas’ sacrifice bunt. Cousino then smashed a double off the wall in left-centerfield, scoring Reida from second base. Zellers followed with a single off the diving glove of Smith in centerfield, allowing Cousino to motor home with UK’s third run.
Kentucky plated two runs in the fifth inning as Reida smacked a single to leadoff the frame and scored when Thomas belted a two-run homer down the leftfield line. It was Thomas’ second homer of the year and the third of his career.
Vandy Completes Sweep of In-State Rival Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Kyle Smith won't forget the first home run of his Vanderbilt career. The freshman from Old Hickory, Tenn., blasted a grand slam over the monster in left field in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Vanderbilt a 10-8 lead as the third-ranked Commodores swept Tennessee with a 12-8 win in rainy conditions Sunday at Hawkins Field.
Vanderbilt had trailed the entire game before Smith's slam in the seventh. The Commodores earlier had rallied back from a 4-0 deficit and then a 6-4 deficit to tie the score each time. After Smith's home run, Vanderbilt added two runs for insurance in the eighth inning.
Vanderbilt improved 25-4 overall and 8-1 in the SEC, while sweeping its second league series of season. Tennessee dropped to 13-13 overall and 3-6 in the SEC.
Mike Yastrzemski led Vanderbilt with four hits. Connor Harrell also had two hits and three RBI. Smith also scored three runs.
As had been the case with the previous two games of the series, rain again fell during Sunday's finale. Rain came down from the outset of the game and forced a 15-minute delay in the top of the second inning after Tennessee had scored the first two runs of the game.
After the delay, Vanderbilt starter Philip Pfeifer retired the first batter on a pop out for the second out of the inning before Scott Price laced a 2-run single to left field to give Tennessee a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, Vanderbilt loaded the bases with no one out. After a pop out to shallow left, Conrad Gregor flew out deep enough to left field to bring home Kyle Smith. Connor Harrell followed with a two-out triple off the wall in right field that plated two runs to pull VU within one, 4-3. Mike Yastrzemski followed with a triple of his own to tie the game at four.
The back-and-forth continued from that point on until Smith's grand slam.
Razorbacks Clinch Series WIth 3-1 Win Over Bulldogs
FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas scored three runs in the bottom of the first and Arkansas pitcher Randall Fant, Jalen Beeks and Colby Suggs made that stand up for the rest of the game as the 13th-ranked Razorbacks defeated No. 15 Mississippi State, 3-1, in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
The victory clinches the series for the Razorbacks and improves the team to 21-8 overall and 6-3 in Southeastern Conference play. Mississippi State drops to 23-8 overall and 3-6 in league play.
Fant (2-0) started on the mound and turned in his fourth consecutive quality start. The senior southpaw allowed one run on four hits and struck out six over six innings of work.
Fant then turned the game over to the Razorback bullpen, which worked three scoreless innings. Beeks allowed just one hit over his two shutout frames, while Suggs closed the door in the ninth, earning his third save of the season and second of the series with a scoreless ninth inning.
Mississippi State starter Ben Bracewell (0-1) took the loss. Bracewell did not record an out and gave up three runs on two hits and walked a pair.
Jake Wise had a pair of hits to lead the Razorbacks at the plate. Tyler Spoon and Matt Vinson each had a hit and a RBI, while Jacob Mahan and Joe Serrano had a hit and a run scored.
Wes Rea homered and went 2-for-4 with a RBI to lead Mississippi State offensively. C.T. Bradford, Demarcus Henderson and Brett Pirtle also contributed one hit each in the loss.
Arkansas scored its only three runs of the game in the bottom of the first. Mahan led off the inning with a single to center and a walk to Serrano put runners on first and second. Spoon then laced a double down the left field line, scoring Mahan and advancing Serrano to third. A walk to Brian Anderson loaded the bases and Vinson then drew a bases loaded walk to score the second run of the inning. Ficociello brought home the third run of the inning on his 6-4-3 double play.
Mississippi State got a run back in the top of the fourth. Rea led off the inning with his second home run of the inning, sending a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left field.
The Bulldogs were unable to get any closer the rest of the game. In the sixth, the Bulldogs left runners stranded on first and second after Daryl Norris flied out to center to end the threat.
Mississippi State attempted to mound one last rally in the ninth. The Bulldogs got the leadoff man on after an error by Ficociello, but Suggs came back to retire the next three batters to end the game and give Arkansas the series victory.
Arkansas continues SEC play next weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala., against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The series begins on Thursday with a 7 p.m. first pitch in a game that will be televised by ESPNU. Friday’s game is set for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch, while the series finale on Saturday will start at 1:05 p.m.
LSU Sweeps Mizzou
COLUMBIA, Mo. – A five-run third inning allowed LSU to erase a four-run deficit, and stellar relief pitching made it stand up as the Fighting Tigers (No. 2 USA Today/ESPN, No. 3 Baseball America, No. 4 Collegiate Baseball) completed a three-game Southeastern Conference sweep of Missouri with a 6-5 decision on Easter Sunday.
LSU (26-2 overall, 8-1 SEC) won its eighth consecutive game and will end the weekend no worse than tied with Vanderbilt for the SEC lead.
This was LSU’s first conference series with Missouri (9-15, 2-7), which joined the conference in July 2012. Until this weekend, the schools faced each other only three times, and not at all since 1987.
Trailing 5-1 entering the third, LSU immediately created trouble for Missouri starting pitcher Alec Rash when Sean Bregman led off with a ground ball single and Raph Rhymes walked, bringing up the team’s home run leader, Mason Katz.
For the third time in as many games, Katz made Missouri pay on a high fastball, depositing one over the right-center field fence for the three-run home run which trimmed the margin to 5-4.
Reliever Keaton Steele walked Christian Ibarra before his defense betrayed him.
Steele should have been out of the inning, but Missouri third baseman Shane Segovia misplayed a ground ball by Jacoby Jones, and right fielder Dane Opel dropped a fly ball by Ty Ross.
Instead of three outs and Missouri still ahead, LSU was still alive with one out and the bases loaded.
Sean McMullen cashed in the gifts with a two-run single back through the box to put LSU on top again.
Four relievers, led by Brent Bonvillan, kept the scoreboard frozen at 6-5 the rest of the way.
Bonvillan worked 4 1/3 hitless, scoreless innings to earn the victory, improving to 2-0 on the campaign. He entered the game with two out in the third and worked through the seventh.
Joey Bourgeois retired the first two batters of the eighth before hitting Shane Segovia.
Closer Chris Cotton came in to face left-handed Logan Pearson, and the LSU southpaw struck out Pearson looking.
Case Munson led off the bottom of the ninth with a single under the glove of third baseman Ibarra, but he retired the next three batters for his second save of the series and eighth of the season.
Missouri was shut out 2-0 and 8-0 in the first two games of the series, but it broke through in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Kelly to tie the game at 1-1.
LSU starter Cody Glenn retired the first two batters in the Missouri second, but he loaded the bases by walking Segovia, allowing a single to Logan Pearson, and hitting Case Munson on the right knee.
Glenn hit the next two batters, Opel and Kelly, to force in a pair of runs and put Missouri in front for the first time in the series.
Reliever Kevin Berry gave up a two-run single to Jake Ivory before striking out Kendall Keeton on a pitch out of the strike zone.
The Tigers return to action with non-conference games Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at home vs. Alcorn State, and Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Zephyr Field in Metairie vs. Southern Mississippi.
LSU hosts Kentucky (21-6, 6-3) next weekend in SEC play.
Missouri plays Illinois at Busch Stadium in St. Louis Tuesday before traveling to Georgia for a three-game conference series next weekend.