|South Carolina 12, Tennessee 8
|Alabama 5, Arkansas 0
|Auburn 10, Texas A&M 5
|Mississippi State 2, Florida 0
|Vanderbilt 2, Ole Miss 1
|LSU 9, Kentucky 1
|Georgia 6, Mizzou 5
South Carolina Clinches Series at Tennessee
Knoxville, Tenn. – Eleventh ranked South Carolina pounded out a season-high 17 hits and all nine starters reached base at least once as the Gamecocks defeated Tennessee 12-8 to clinch the three-game series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland was tremendous in relief allowing just one run on five hits in a season-high six innings to improve to 4-0 on the year. The Gamecocks are now 25-7 and 7-4 in the league with Tennessee now 13-16 and 3-8 in the SEC.
The 17-hit performance for the Gamecocks featured three-hit games from Connor Bright, Graham Saiko and Chase Vergason, all tying their career-highs. Dante Rosenberg doubled twice and drove in a career-high three runs. Vergason and Schrock each homered with Schrock, Tanner English and Joey Pankake driving in two runs apiece. Tennessee’s 13-hit day featured a 3-for-4 game from Pierce Bily as well as two hits from David Houser, Vincent Jackson, Will Maddox and Taylor Smart.
Westmoreland struck out six and walked none in his six-inning stint. Tennessee starter Nick Williams suffered the loss and is 1-2 for the year. He allowed eight runs on eight hits in three innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
“We had some big swings of the bat offensively and squared some balls up,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. “It was good to see that for us against a good arm. Williams has been around in this league and has had some very good outings. To perform and do that against him makes me feel very good (for our offense). It is a very satisfying series win for us.”
Carolina raced out with eight runs in the first three innings to take a commanding 8-0 lead.
Vergason drilled a 1-0 pitch from Williams in the first inning for his fourth homer of the year for the first run of the game. It was the first home run Williams allowed this season. Tennessee looked to answer in the bottom half of the first loading the bases with two outs on a pair of walks and a base hit but South Carolina starter Evan Beal worked out of the jam inducing a groundout by Vincent Jackson to second to end the threat.
Carolina scored two more runs in the second inning. Brison Celek walked with one out followed by a base hit by Bright to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners. Rosenberg drove in Celek with a RBI double as he belted a 1-2 pitch to left field. English plated home Bright on a RBI groundout to the shortstop.
The scoring continued in the third inning as Carolina batted around to score five runs with two outs increasing the lead to 8-0. It all started with a two-out walk as LB Dantzler fought off a 3-2 count to earn a walk. That set the stage for Schrock, who crushed a two-run homer to right-center, his second home run of the season. Schrock, who did not have a RBI in conference play for the weekend, increased that total to three for the series with his homer. Celek reached base for the second time in the game on a hit by pitch. Bright followed with his second hit as he singled to left field. Both would then score as Rosenberg connected for his second double of the game as his ball sailed to the left-centerfield gap. English would drive in Rosenberg as he also tallied a RBI double.
Tennessee responded in the bottom of the third sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven times to cut the Gamecock lead to one run. Nine straight batters reached base for Tennessee. Will Maddox led off with a single and Jeff Moberg was hit by a 3-2 pitch from Evan Beal to give Tennessee a pair of runners. That ended the day for Beal as Carolina went to the pen for left-hander Jack Wynkoop.
Scott Price would single to load the bases. The Volunteers then caught a break as Wynkoop’s 3-2 pitch to Stewart was just inside and hit him scoring Maddox for the first run of the frame. Tennessee then got their bats going as Pierce Bily singled to score a run. Carolina would go to the pen for right-hander Curt Britt. Designated hitter Vincent Jackson took a 1-0 pitch from Britt down the right field line for a triple, clearing the bases. A RBI single from Taylor Smart scored Jackson. David Houser also singled and the bases were then loaded as A.J. Simcox reached base on a throwing error by Rosenberg on a sac bunt attempt. Westmoreland entered for Britt and got the next three outs yielding just one more run as the Gamecocks stayed ahead 8-7 on the Volunteers.
“(It was) the inning that never would end and Adam finally ended it,” added Coach Holbrook. “(Adam) kept us in the game and stopped their momentum. He kept everybody comfortable in the dugout and confident that we could still win the game.”
Both Westmoreland and Tennessee reliever Trevor Bettencourt settled in as both teams went scoreless in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Insurance runs were at a premium and the Gamecocks scratched across three in the sixth and one in the seventh to build a five-run cushion. Saiko singled with one out in the sixth followed by a base hit from Vergason. They both would score on Joey Pankake’s RBI double to the gap in left-center. Pankake displayed great base running then as he advanced twice on balls in the dirt and scored on a wild pitch for the third run of the sixth inning. South Carolina made it 12-7 in the seventh inning on Saiko’s one-out double to left-center scoring English.
Westmoreland limited Tennessee the rest of the way as the Volunteers had no more than one base runner per inning from the fifth to the eighth. Taylor Smart’s solo home run n the seventh inning was the lone run for the Volunteers against Westmoreland.
In the ninth inning, after a leadoff single by Bily, South Carolina went to the pen one more time for left-hander Tyler Webb. Webb got out of the ninth with a scoreless inning of relief to preserve the four-run victory.
South Carolina’s series victory over Tennessee marks the seventh consecutive series victory for the Gamecocks over the Volunteers and South Carolina’s third series win in four SEC series this season.
The series concludes on Sunday afternoon with first pitch at 2 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.” Live audio broadcast is also available on the All Access Channel at GamecocksOnline.com.
Bama Shuts Out Arkansas to Avoid Sweep
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama sophomore right-handed pitcher Spencer Turnbull extended his scoreless innings streak to 29.2 innings after throwing seven scoreless against No. 9 Arkansas, leading the Crimson Tide to a 5-0 Southeastern Conference victory on Saturday afternoon from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama earned their 20th win of the year to move to 20-13 and 8-4 in conference play, and Arkansas’ loss dropped them to 23-9 overall and 8-4 in the SEC.
“Well it’s a big win, no question,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “To beat an opponent like Arkansas, who is one of the elite teams in our league, I think that win does a lot for our team and our confidence moving forward. To come out, particularly after the first two games where Arkansas was pretty dominant against us, and play the way that we did, I thought it was one of our better games this year. Obviously, it started on the mound with Spencer Turnbull, who was dynamite all day. [Brett] Booth got the offense going with his solo homer, but I thought we played well today.”
Turnbull (4-1) earned the win in his eighth start of the year for the Tide. Turnbull allowed five hits and two walks, while striking out five to move his scoreless streak to 29.2 innings pitched. Sophomore south paw Justin Kamplain and freshman right-hander combined to give Alabama two scoreless innings to complete the shutout of the Razorbacks. Arkansas starting pitcher Randall Fant (2-1) was charged with the loss after lasting just three innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a strikeout.
Senior catcher Brett Booth led the Tide offensively, with his third home run of the season, a walk single and two walks, to go along with two RBI and two runs scored. Freshman center fielder Georgie Salem had three singles to record his 10th multi-hit effort and his fifth three-hit performance of the year, and freshman shortstop Mikey White and senior left fielder Andrew Miller each also notched a two-hit game.
Arkansas had just five hits in the game and was led by a 2-for-4 performance by Joe Serrano, that include a single and a double. Tyler Spoon, Brian Anderson and Willie Schwanke all singled in the game to account for the Razorbacks hits.
The Crimson Tide opened the scoring in the second when Booth swung at the third pitch he saw and sent a bomb over the left field wall to put the Tide up 1-0. After Salem and Ben Moore singled in the third, Booth added another RBI with a base hit into center field.
Alabama was the beneficiary of three errors by the Razorbacks in the fifth. Miller, who was pinch-hitting for Ryan Blanchard, ripped a double to right center to open the inning, the moved to third on a bunt single by Salem, and scored on the play thanks to a throwing error by Jake Wise. After Salem reached third base on back-to-back throwing errors by Arkansas pitcher Brandon Moore, Kyle Overstreet singled through the left side to drive Salem home, giving the Tide a 4-0 advantage.
In the seventh, Booth and Austen Smith set the table by reaching on a walk and an error, respectively, to put runners on the corners. They then executed a double steal to deliver the Tide’s fifth and final run of the game. Alabama was gunning for a sixth run, but Smith was thrown out at home plate on a White single.
The Alabama Crimson Tide returns to action when they host the Alcorn State Braves for a pair of midweek games at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. First pitch on Tuesday is set for 6:05 p.m. CT, and Wednesday’s matchup will begin at 5:05 p.m. CT.
Follow the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team on Facebook at Alabama-Baseball and on Twitter at @AlabamaBSB.
Auburn Pounces on A&M for 10-5 Win
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Auburn's offense exploded for 10 runs on 14 hits on Saturday en route to a 10-5 series-clinching win at No. 18 Texas A&M. With the win Auburn improved to 19-12, 3-8 SEC and won its first SEC series of the season while Texas A&M fell to 19-13, 5-6 SEC.
"It's good to win this game today, obviously for a lot of reasons; the main reason is the confidence continues to build. There is a little change in the air, so-to-speak, going on around our ball club right now," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "What we did offensively was a tremendous sign. We got some balls up in the wind and we hit some balls hard too."
Leading 1-0 heading to the third, Auburn busted the game open with a five-run third, which included back-to-back solo home runs from Cullen Wacker and Garrett Cooper to start the inning and a two-run shot by Blake Austin moments later that made it 5-0.
"I was just trying to get the timing down. He (Texas A&M pitcher Grayson Long) got me on a change-up the first at-bat. It was a 3-2 count there and they had beaten me with fastballs last night and I was just able to catch up to one and put a good swing on it," Wacker said. "Hitting is contagious and we swung the bats well today. We had balls that had eyes and balls that hadn't been finding holes came through yesterday and today."
Auburn extended the lead to 9-0 in the fourth, taking advantage of a Texas A&M error to do so. Wacker and Cooper had back-to-back singles and then moved up on a Damek Tomscha sacrifice. Jackson Burgreen then reached on an error, bringing Wacker in and Cooper to third, before Austin drove in Cooper with a sac fly. Dan Glevenyak then followed with a RBI single to plate Burgreen.
Given the early lead, Auburn starter Michael O'Neal (6-2) cruised through six innings to get the win. He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk while striking out one and hitting two in six-plus innings. The six wins are the most by an Auburn pitcher since Derek Varnadore finished the 2011 season 6-3.
Wacker and Cooper each finished the day with three hits while Austin finished with three RBI. Ryan Tella was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored from the leadoff spot and Burgreen was 2-for-4 with two runs scored from the six-hole.
Trey Cochran-Gill earned his second save of the season, tossing the final two innings and allowing two runs, both in the ninth, on five hits while striking out two.
Long (3-1) took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings.
The three-homer game was Auburn's first in exactly a year as it homered three times in a 10-6 loss at Alabama on April 6, 2011 while the three-homer inning was Auburn's first since it hit four in a six-run fifth-inning in a 16-14 come-from-behind win over Mississippi State on May 8, 2010.
The last time Auburn hit back-to-back home runs was April 27, 2011, when Justin Fradejas and Dan Gamache did it against Texas Southern in the second inning. The last time it happened in a SEC game was May 15, 2010, when Trent Mummey and Brian Fletcher did it in the third inning against Tennessee.
After securing the series win, Auburn will attempt to get its first SEC sweep since April 27-29, 2012 against Tennessee and the first on the road in conference play since May 20-22, 2010 at Ole Miss. Auburn will start left-hander Will Kendall (0-2) while Texas A&M will start right-hander Rafael Pineda (2-2). First pitch is set for 1pm.
Bulldogs Clinch Series With 2-0 Win Over Gators
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Senior Kendall Graveman hurled a five-hit shutout as No. 17 Mississippi State (26-8/5-6 SEC) secured its weekend series with a 2-0 victory over Florida (14-18/4-7 SEC) in front of a season-high 8,564 fans on Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. The righty-hander (4-2) surrendered five singles in going the distance for his second-consecutive start and the Bulldogs made two first-inning runs stand up in the win.
MSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Gator freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) (1-3). Junior Adam Frazier (2-for-4) led off with a double into left center and junior Alex Detz (2-for-4) roped a single into right field to advance his teammate to third base. Junior Hunter Renfroe was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out. Young struck out junior Brett Pirtle (2-for-4) but then issued a walk to redshirt sophomore Wes Rea that brought home Frazier with the game’s initial run. Junior C.T. Bradford delivered an RBI grounder to first base that scored Detz and senior Mitch Slauter was walked intentionally to fill the bags with two down. The move paid off when senior Sam Frost grounded out to end the frame.
Graveman had retired seven-straight Gators before sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (2-for-4) began the fifth with a base-hit into right field. The right-hander had redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) ground into a 6-4-3 double play and senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) extended the inning with a bloop single into right center field. Graveman then had sophomore Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) ground out.
Detz began MSU’s fifth with a single into left center, ending the afternoon for Young. In his first career road start, the southpaw gave up six hits and two runs, with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) took over on the mound and set down the next three Bulldogs to hold UF’s deficit at two runs.
After a 1-2-3 sixth that featured a couple of strikeouts by Harris, sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) drew a one-out walk in the seventh and Shafer followed with his second hit of the afternoon. However, Graveman had Powers hit into a 6-3 double play to snuff out the rally and keep the Gators off of the scoreboard.
Harris fanned junior Demarcus Henderson to start the home part of the frame to equal his career-best for strikeouts in an outing with four. Sophomore Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) replaced Harris, who retired all seven Bulldogs he faced, and had Frazier and Detz ground out.
Graveman recorded the first two outs of the eighth before issuing a free pass to freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.). The righty had a fielder’s choice by sophomore pinch hitter Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) force Martin at second base for the final out of the stanza.
Freshman Mike Vinson (Miami, Fla.) made his second appearance of the series and caught Renfroe looking on strikes before yielding a single up the middle to Pirtle. The righty had Rea bounce into a 6-4-3 double play to end the eighth.
Graveman notched the first two outs of the ninth before Gushue collected a single that ricocheted off the second baseman. The righty had Shafer fly out to right field to complete the shutout, the first time the Gators had been held scoreless since May 12, 2012, by Mississippi State.
The Gators and Bulldogs will wrap up the series tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. ET, live on GatorVision. Adam Schick and Bob White will call the action for the Gator IMG Sports Network, 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.
Vandy Downs Ole Miss for Series Win
Oxford, Miss. - No. 2 Vanderbilt slipped by No. 17 Ole Miss on Saturday afternoon to clinch the series with a 2-1 victory at Swayze Field.
Commodores' (28-4, 10-1) starter Tyler Beede was terrific in winning his eighth straight start. The sophomore cruised through the first inning and picked up a nice inning-ending double play from the Dores' defense to end the second inning. The right-hander lost control in the fifth walking the bases loaded before responding by getting Tanner Mathis to foul out to end the threat. Walks finally caught up to Beede in the sixth when a leadoff walk came around to score and cut Vanderbilt's lead to a single run. The Vandy bullpen, however, made the lone run stand as Carson Fulmer, Jared Miller and Brian Miller slammed the door over the final three innings. Fulmer fanned three over two innings and Brian Miller recorded the final two outs to notch his 10th save of the season.
The Commodores struck first in the third inning when senior Connor Harrell laced a single to left field to score Tony Kemp, who led off the inning with a single. Another senior padded the lead in the fifth when Mike Yastrzemski singled to score Conrad Gregor. The two runs were enough for Vanderbilt's pitching but the offense left 11 men on base in the win. Kemp led the way with three hits to stretch his hitting streak to nine games. Yastrzemski and Gregor each added two hits. Sikes Orvis paced the Rebels (23-8, 4-7) with two hits.
The series win is the eighth straight for Vanderbilt and the team's 10-1 start in the Southeastern Conference matches the school record set in 1972. The series victory at Ole Miss is the first for the Commodores since 2006 when the Dores took two-of-three from the Rebels. Saturday's win also pushes Vandy's winning streak to nine games.
The Commodores go for the sweep tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. with lefty Philip Pfeifer (2-0) on the mound against Ole Miss' Sam Smith (2-0).
Eades Pitches LSU Past Kentucky
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A dominating performance from star right-hander Ryan Eades and a four-run third inning lifted No. 2 LSU to a 9-1 win over No. 7 Kentucky to clinch the series, on a gorgeous Saturday night in front of 11,608 at Alex Box Stadium.
Kentucky (22-8, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) saw the Tigers jump out to an early lead with a run in the second and a four-run frame in the third. LSU then rode the dominating right arm of Eades, who improved to 7-0 in his eighth start of the year. The win gives LSU the best start in the history of the storied program.
The Tigers – sporting the SEC’s leading offensive club – got to UK starter Jerad Grundy (5-3), who was roughed up in his eighth weekend start of the year. Grundy worked six innings, allowing career highs in hits (15) and runs (nine), walking one as he battled to save the UK bullpen for Sunday after allowing the four-spot in the third.
UK freshman righty Kyle Cody came on to start the seventh, working a shutout frame with a hit and a strikeout. Freshman lefty Ryne Combs worked the eighth, allowing a walk and getting the third double play of the game from the Wildcats to end the inning.
Eades worked 8.2 innings allowing only four UK singles, one walk and striking out six in his gem. The standout right-hander improved his sparkling ERA to 1.30. Lefty Hunter Devall came on to get the final out of the game.
UK got four hits in the game, as Zac Zellers went 2-for-4 and catcher Micheal Thomas and A.J. Reed singled. Austin Cousino added a ninth-inning walk and Max Kuhn forced in UK’s run of the game with a sacrifice fly.
The series will conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Alex Box 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. UK will send junior southpaw Corey Littrell (4-0, 2.17 ERA) to the mound.
LSU jumped on the board in the bottom of the second inning, as Christian Ibarra smacked a liner down the leftfield line that was bobbled in leftfield and was scored for a double. After a groundout, Ty Ross singled to rightfield to score Ibarra for a 1-0 LSU lead.
The Tigers added to their lead in the third inning as Sean McMullen led off reaching second base on a double after it was ruled that rightfielder Kyle Barrett trapped the ball on his diving attempt. After a wild pitch moved McMullen to third, Alex Bregman singled him home with a smash through the left side. After a Raph Rhymes single, Mason Katz cleared the duo with a double down the leftfield line, scoring on Ibarra’s groundout.
LSU got a run in the fourth, as Ross singled, took second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on McMullen’s double into the gap. Bregman then scored McMullen with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
The Tigers got two runs in the fifth as a ball got lost in the rightfield lights with two outs, allowing two runs to score.
UK got on the board in the ninth, as Cousino drew a walk and scored on Kuhn’s sacrifice fly.
Georgia Hangs On to Beat Mizzou
ATHENS, Ga. --- After building a five-run lead, the Georgia Bulldogs held off the Missouri Tigers for a 6-5 SEC victory Saturday in front of a season-high crowd of 2,679 at Foley Field.
Georgia (12-20, 2-9 SEC) jumped ahead 5-0 thanks to strong hitting from the top of the order and a good outing from freshman starter Sean McLaughlin. He improved to 4-2, allowing one earned run on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts in five innings.
However, Missouri (10-17, 3-8 SEC) fought back to pull within one run, and Georgia had to employ four relief pitchers in the last four innings to keep the Tigers at bay.
The Bulldogs made good use of their first at-bat, scoring one run off a sacrifice fly from Kyle Farmer and a second off a Jared Walsh (2-4, 2 RBI) double down the first base line. Farmer and Walsh duplicated their efforts in the third inning, as another combination of sacrifice fly and base hit put Georgia up 4-0.
Curt Powell (3-5, RBI) made it 5-0 in the fourth with a two-out blooper that dropped into shallow left, allowing J.T. Phillips to cross the plate. That was the end of the night for Missouri starter Brett Graves, who gave up seven hits while falling to 0-4 on the season.
The Tigers got on the board in the fifth after McLaughlin hit leadoff batter Kendall Keeton and threw two wild pitches that advanced him to third. Josh Lester then knocked him in with a sacrifice fly and Dillon Everett followed with a single, but McLaughlin was able to retire the next two batters to hold the tally at 5-1.
Ross Ripple replaced McLaughlin to start the sixth and quickly found himself in a jam, giving up two walks and a base hit to load the bases with no outs. After a sacrifice fly and infield hit produced two runs, Georgia turned to Luke Crumley. Missouri got one more score out of the situation before the reliever could retire the side and preserve a one-run lead.
The Bulldogs got another scare in the next inning when Crumley walked his first two batters, but redshirt freshman Mike Mancuso, making his SEC debut, entered the game and forced three straight outs.
Georgia added a run in the bottom of the frame thanks to a Missouri throwing error that allowed Farmer to score from second.
That extra score would prove to be crucial, as the Tigers were also able to plate an additional run in the top of the ninth before junior Dylan Cole closed out the game to earn his third save of the year, including second in the SEC.
“This was a big win for the guys, a must win after Friday, and I’m really proud of how they responded. We got a good start from Sean and then Mike Mancuso really stepped up for us until we got it to Dylan to finish,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We got production from the top of the order, we tried to get some things going early, hitting and running, and we were able to get a few runs tonight.”
The series concludes Sunday with first pitch slated for 2 p.m.