LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Freshman right-hander Kyle Cody worked into the sixth inning and eight of nine starters collected hits to lead No. 13 Kentucky to a 6-3 win over Austin Peay, on a picture-perfect Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (23-9) rode a strong outing from Cody and a nine-hit offensive attack to the 6-3 win. UK got two runs in the fourth, a run in the fifth and a three-spot in the sixth inning, fending off an eighth-inning Austin Peay rally. UK’s three-run win comes against a Governors team that had set the program record for the best start to a season.
UK starter Kyle Cody (3-1) worked 5.1 innings, allowing four hits and one run, walking two and striking out four. Sophomore Chandler Shepherd took over in a 1-out, 2-on jam in the sixth, allowing a run to score on a groundout and escaping the jam. Shepherd worked 1.2 innings, getting into the eighth, allowing a pair of leadoff hits that came around to score on the UK bullpen. Walter Wijas got three outs in the eighth after replacing Shepherd.
Junior Trevor Gott took over to start the ninth with UK holding a three-run lead. The right-hander picked up his eighth save of the year and the school-record 19th of his career, striking out the side in the ninth. With eight saves in 2013, Gott sits just one save shy of equaling his own school single-season record for saves, set in 2012.
UK was led offensively by a 2-for-5 game from Barrett, who had a two-run triple. Eight of UK’s nine starters got hits, with freshman Zack Storm recording his first career hit in a 2-for-4 game. Zac Zellers, A.J. Reed, Max Kuhn, J.T. Riddle, Micheal Thomas and Matt Reida each added hits, with Zellers stealing a base.
Austin Peay (25-8) starter Zach Hall (3-2) worked five innings, allowing five hits and three runs – two earned – walking three and striking out four. Austin Peay used Tommy Hager, Kacy Kemmer, Alex Belew and Tyler Rogers in relief. Rogers is the brother of former UK star Taylor Rogers and the AP school-record holder in saves.
Kentucky will return to action on Friday, beginning a three-game series with Tennessee at Cliff Hagan Stadium, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. The games 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 games live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Following three and a half scoreless innings of play, Kentucky notched two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the first lead of the evening. Reed led off the inning with a hard single on the ground through the right side and with one out Riddle walked to move Reed into scoring position. With two outs, Reida singled into leftfield, enabling Reed to trot home from second and give UK a 1-0 lead. With Riddle on second and Reida on first, Storm put the ball in play with a swinging-bunt single allowing Riddle to score from second and increase the Wildcats’ lead to 2-0.
Zellers opened the bottom of the fifth with a one-out single past the third basemen down the leftfield line and eventually stole second to move into scoring pitch. A wild pitch allowed Zellers to move over to third. After a strike out, Kuhn walked to give Kentucky runners on first and third with two outs. As a designed play, Kuhn took off for second and Zellers took advantage of the throw to second attempting to nab Kuhn and went towards home. Kuhn was eventually tagged out but after Zellers had crossed the plate, giving UK a 3-0 lead through five.
Austin Peay answered in the top of the sixth with a run of its own, lessening the Kentucky lead to 3-1. Kevin Corey led off the inning with a single down the rightfield line and Dylan Riner walked to give the Governors two runners on base. A sacrifice bunt put both runners in scoring position and forced Kentucky to make a change on the mound, bringing in Shepherd to replace Cody. Shepherd forced a ground out from the first batter he faced but the grounder allowed Corey to score from third. Shepherd struck the following batter out to end the inning and get the Wildcats out of the jam leading 3-1.
Kentucky responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth as Thomas opened the rally with a one-out single into leftfield. A Reida walk put two on for Kentucky and forced Austin Peay to make a change on the mound. Storm knocked a solid groundball to the shortstop and an error gave Thomas the opportunity to come around from second and score. With two on still one out following the error, Barrett tripled down the rightfield line to clear the bases and give Kentucky an additional two runs. Kentucky led 6-1 through six.
The Governors weren’t ready to lay down, plating two runs in the top of the eighth to decrease the Wildcats’ lead to 6-3. P.J. Torres led off the inning with a double into right-centerfield and advanced to third on a single from Corey. With runners on first and third, a balk would bring home Torres from third and move Corey to second. Corey would eventually score on consecutive ground outs.
No. 22 Alabama Downs Alcorn State
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama junior righty Tucker Hawley tossed five scoreless innings and freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet had two RBI as the Crimson Tide held on to defeat the Alcorn State Braves, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The win moves Alabama to 21-13 overall, while Alcorn State’s loss drops their record to 8-29.
“I thought [Tucker] Hawley gave us a good start, then [Taylor] Guilbeau came in and gave us a couple of innings,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “We wanted to stretch Ray [Castillo] out a little bit with two innings and we certainly weren’t expecting that in the ninth, but on Tuesdays after tough weekends, sometimes you just have to find a way to win and that’s we did tonight.”
Hawley did not factor into the decision in his fifth start of the year, despite allowing only three hits and tying his season-high with six strikeouts. After five scoreless innings, Hawley gave way to sophomore south paw Taylor Guilbeau (2-1), who got up the win after two innings in relief of Hawley, allowing one run on two hits with two punch outs. Freshman right-hander Ray Castillo pitched the final two innings to pick up his sixth save of the season, allowing one run on one hit and a walk with two strikeouts.
Freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet led the Tide offensively, going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI singles and a walk. Sophomore right fielder Ben Moore was 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored and senior catcher Brett Booth was 1-for-3 with a single, a hit by pitch and a run scored. Freshman third baseman Daniel Cucjen was 2-for-4 with two singles in his first start as a member of the Crimson Tide.
“Offensively, we hit a few balls hard and worked underneath some balls,” Gaspard said. “We have to get a few more line drives, but their kid did a nice job making some pitches and I thought they made some nice defensive plays as well. At the end of the day, it’s a win and that is what’s important right now. Hopefully tomorrow we play a little bit cleaner and a little bit better.”
Alabama wasted no time getting on the board. After two outs to start the first inning, Moore and Booth got back-to-back singles to set up runners on the corners for Overstreet, who stroked a single into left field to give Alabama an early 1-0 lead.
Other than the early Tide run, the starting pitchers locked into a pitchers’ duel early, allowing nothing through the next four innings. After allowing two hits in the second, Hawley retired the next nine batters he faced.
After Hawley gave way to Guilbeau in the sixth, the Braves’ Angel Rosa singled to right to open the inning and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryant Piper. Josh Powell doubled down the right field line to drive in Rosa, tying the game at 1-1.
Booth set the table for the Crimson Tide in the bottom of the frame after being hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Booth advanced to second on a balk and took third on a wild pitch. Booth made it home on the next at-bat, as Overstreet recorded his second RBI single of the game. After Mikey White reached on a fielder’s choice, a pair of errors by Alcorn State’s Mundo Sanchez allowed Andrew Miller to reach second on his single and allowed White to come all the way around to put the Tide up, 3-1.
The Tide had a chance to extend its lead after loading the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but failed to cash in.
After Castillo walked two of the first three batters he faced in the ninth inning, a 2-3-4-3-6 pick off at first allowed the runner from second to score from second to cut the lead to 3-2. Although Castillo walked the next batter, he was able to strike out the final batter of the frame, sealing the win for Alabama.
The No. 22 Alabama Crimson Tide returns to Sewell-Thomas Stadium Wednesday night to host the second game against Alcorn State. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. CT. Freshman right-hander Mike Oczypok (1-0, 3.38) will make his first career start for Alabama, and the Braves will trot out Ryan Fuentes (0-1, 8.20).
Follow the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team on Facebook at Alabama-Baseball and on Twitter at @AlabamaBSB.
Gators Take Advantage of Errors to Edge No. 7 Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) snapped a 3-3 tie with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to drive in freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) with the decisive run as Florida (16-18) edged No. 7 Florida State (27-6), 4-3, in front of a crowd of 6,719 fans on Tuesday night at Dick Howser Stadium, the fifth-largest crowd in school history. It marked the second year in a row that the Gators had emerged victorious in Tallahassee.
Bader (2-for-4, three runs) had reached on a leadoff throwing error by sophomore third baseman Jose Brizuela, taken second on the play and gone to third on a failed pickoff attempt by junior Robby Coles (2-1). Tobias’ second sac fly of the year moved the Gators in front and junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) (1-0) retired the Seminoles in order in the ninth to collect his first win of the season and help UF take the finale of the teams’ regular-season meetings after coming up short in the first two outings.
Florida State had seized a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out RBI double by junior Marcus Davis. Making his first start since March 13, 2012, also against the Seminoles, sophomore left-hander Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) started the frame with a strikeout of redshirt junior Brett Knief for his first K of the season. Freshman DJ Stewart (3-for-4, two runs) followed with a base-hit up the middle and Poyner caught redshirt junior Stephen McGee looking on the strikes for the second out. Davis roped his team-leading 13th double of the campaign into right center field to open the scoring.
The Gators knotted the score at 1-1 on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) in the third inning. Seminoles junior righty Peter Miller retired the first seven Gators of the contest before Bader and senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) had back-to-back singles with one down. Sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) worked a walk on a full count to load the bases and Martin’s first collegiate sac fly into right field brought home Bader with the tying run. Dent was thrown out at third base as part of an attempted double steal to end the inning.
Although Stewart led off the home part of the third with a double to left field, Poyner stranded him there on a pair of grounders by McGee and Davis and a lineout by sophomore John Nogowski to redshirt sophomore third baseman Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.).
Martin provided the Gators with a 2-1 lead in the fifth on a two-out double into right field. Miller had recorded the first two outs of the frame before issuing a free pass to Dent. Turgeon poked a single into right field and Martin’s second two-bagger of the year into right field scored Dent and moved Turgeon to third. Miller worked out of further trouble by having sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) ground out to first base.
Poyner matched his career-long stint of four innings, scattering four hits, yielding one run and totaling three strikeouts, before sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) took over on the mound. Shafer struck out Knief but then Stewart connected on a game-tying homer over the fence in right field to even the game at 2-2 on his fourth big fly of the season. Bader ended the stanza with a leaping grab at the left-field wall to rob Davis of a round-tripper.
Redshirt junior Gage Smith replaced Miller (5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R) prior to the sixth and plunked Powers with one down before having senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) hit into a 5-4-3 double play. Junior Casey Smit had a pinch-hit single through the right side of the infield to open FSU’s sixth and moved to second on a grounder by sophomore Giovanny Alfonzo that was the second out of the inning. Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) was summoned from the bullpen for Shafer (1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R) and uncorked a wild pitch that pushed Smit to third base. Freshman Jameis Winston (2-for-3) put the hosts on top, 3-2, with a double into right center but was thrown out at third base to complete the inning.
The Gators answered with the tying run in the seventh on a two-out passed ball that scored Bader. Bader had collected his second hit of the night with a single into right field and sophomore Billy Strode came in for Smith (1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R) and had pinch hitter Tobias line out to center field. Bader moved into scoring position with his team-leading sixth stolen base and took third on a throwing error by McGee. The rookie scampered home on a passed ball to square the affair at 3-3.
Winston replaced Strode (0.2 IP) on the mound to begin the eighth and mishandled Martin’s bunt for a fielding error to start the frame. After Gushue flew out to right field, Shafer singled into left field to move Martin to third base and went to second on the relay throw. The Seminoles elected to walk Powers intentionally to load the bases with one out and Coles kept the game tied by having Ramjit pop up to second base and sophomore Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) ground out to first base.
In the bottom of the frame, McGee led off with a base-hit to center field, prompting a pitching change. Gibson came in for Harris (1.1 IP, 2 H) and had Davis fly out to left center. After issuing a walk to Smit, Gibson uncorked a wild pitch that advanced McGee to third base. With runners on the corners and one down, Gibson induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play by Brizuela.
Bader reached on a throwing error by Brizuela to begin the ninth and wound up on second base. A failed pickoff attempt by Coles enabled Bader to take third with none out and Tobias delivered a sacrifice fly into right field to give the Gators a 4-3 advantage. Florida State held an 8-7 advantage in hits but committed four errors, compared to zero for the Gators.
The Share A Little Sunshine Showdown, Florida vs. Florida State Game was presented by Visit Florida. Share a Little Sunshine is Visit Florida’s campaign to encourage all Floridians to invite their friends and families to Florida to boost tourism and help our state’s economy.
The Gators return to SEC play on Thursday night with the opener of a three-game series with Eastern Division rival No. 8 South Carolina (27-7/8-4 SEC). The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be carried live on ESPNU with Dave Neal and Kyle Peterson, Channel 251 and 1251 HD in Gainesvile. It can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Mick Hubert, 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.
Mizzou Downs In-State For Missouri State
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Sophomore Logan Pearson (Bentonville, Ark.) hit a triple to deep center field to spark a three-run eighth inning and Mizzou baseball held off a furious rally to defeat in-state rival Missouri State, 5-4, on Tuesday night (April 9) at Hammons Field. The win for Mizzou is its third in four games and its third straight over Missouri State. The Tigers are now 12-17 on the season.
Pearson had the big hit in the game to break it open in the eighth, but the story at the dish was reigning SEC Player of the Week Keaton Steele (St. Joseph, Mo.) as he tallied his second consecutive three-hit game, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Sophomore Jace James (Oklahoma City, Okla.) earned the win for Mizzou after going 3.0 innings, allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out two with no walks. He is now 3-1 on the season. John Miles (Columbia, Mo.) may have gotten the biggest two out of the game though, getting Luke Voight to ground into a game-ending double play in the bottom of the ninth. MSU scored three times in the bottom of the eighth and got the first two men aboard in the ninth before Miles cleaned up the mess.
Steele continued to swing a hot bat in the top of the first as he laced an RBI single off of the third baseman after a leadoff double by Case Munson (St. Charles, Mo.) to put Mizzou on top, 1-0. After James retired the first six batters he faced, Mizzou got another run in the top of the third after a two-out RBI single by Dane Opel (Edwardsville, Ill.) to give Mizzou 2-0 lead. The hit extended his one-base safely streak to 22 straight games.
James went back to the hill in the third and allowed a run on an RBI fielder’s choice before pitching out of the inning and then from there, Eric Anderson (Highland Ranch, Colo.) took over on the mound. The appearance on the mound was his first since Feb. 24 as he continued to recover from Tommy John surgery. The first three batters that he faced reached, one on an error and another two on singles into right field. But just as Tiger fans have grown accustomed to seeing, Anderson pitched out of the jam. He struck out Conner Smith before getting Travis McComack to line into a double play at third. Shane Segovia (Sinton, Texas) snared the line drive and tagged third with his glove while falling down for the double play to get the Tigers out of the inning.
Brett Graves (St. Charles, Mo.) then took over on the mound and he got a diving catch from Opel in right field in the sixth inning to save a run as Mizzou took its 2-1 lead into the seventh. Mizzou threatened to score again in the seventh with two men aboard and two outs as Cheray’s day ended in that frame. With two on, two out for Opel, MSU Matt Hall came in and sat Opel down swinging to end the threat.
After Steele led off the eighth with his third hit of the day (his second straight three-hit game), Dylan Kelly (Roswell, Ga.) walked to put two men on and then Pearson delivered his two-run triple over the head of Tate Matheny in center, extending the Tiger lead to 4-1. Pearson was then driven in on a single by Kendall Keeton (Columbia, Tenn.) to put Mizzou up 5-1.
Missouri State answered with a three-spot of its own in the eighth, making Keeton’s RBI in the eighth inning a big one. Jake Walsh (Dallas, Texas) tried to close it out in the ninth, but allowed the first two men to reach before getting Eric Cheray to foul out. Miles then came on and got Luke Voight to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Mizzou will head to No. 2/3 Vanderbilt this weekend. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.
Texas A&M Takes Care of Sam Houston State
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M junior catcher Troy Stein came up just a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with four RBI as the Aggies registered a 4-1 win over the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Tuesday evening.
Stein roughed up the binturong staff for an RBI double in the first inning and a three-run home run in the third inning. He added a single for good measure in the eighth inning. All four of Stein’s RBI came with two outs.
Texas A&M (21-13) drew first blood with a run in the home half of the first inning. Mikey Reynolds lined a single through the left side of the infield to leadoff the frame. The single extended Reynolds’ streak for games reaching base to 34, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. A pair of fielder’s choice groundouts put Blake Allemand on first base in place of Reynolds. With two outs, Stein rattled a first-pitch offering into the corner down the leftfield line to drive in Allemand for the 1-0 lead.
The Aggies pounced for three more runs in the bottom of the third. Reynolds bounced a one-out single up the middle and Allemand laced a two-out single through the right side of the infield to put runners on the corners. Stein pounded a 1-1 pitch over the leftfield fence for a three-run home run, his first dinger of the season, staking the Aggies to a 4-0 lead.
Sam Houston State (19-13) scored its lone run in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, Luke Plucheck hit a 1-1 pitch from Aggie reliever Matt Kent off the scoreboard in left field for a solo home run, trimming the A&M lead to 4-1.
A&M starting pitcher Corey Ray (3-0) kept the Bearkats’ offense from purring or growling for 6.0 shutout innings to earn the win. He scattered three hits and two walks while striking out two.
Kent allowed a run in the seventh inning on one hit and a strikeout. Parker Ray retired three of the four batters he faced in the eighth for the hold. Jason Jester walked one and struck out one in the ninth inning for his ninth save of the season.
Tyler Eppler (3-2) was strapped with the loss for Sam Houston State. He allowed four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out three over 6.0 innings.
Reynolds joined Stein as the only other Aggie to record multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with one run.
Plucheck registered two of the Bearkats five hits, going 2-for-4 with the solo home run.
The Aggies return to action at Blue Bell Park on Friday when they host the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a three-game series. First pitches for the three contests are slated for 6:35 pm on Friday, 12:35 pm on Saturday and 1:05 pm on Sunday.
Georgia Falls Short Against GT
ATHENS, Ga. – Three Bulldogs recorded multi-hit games, including a trio of hits from senior Curt Powell, but Georgia ultimately fell 7-5 to in-state rival Georgia Tech on Tuesday evening at Foley Field.
Ross Ripple took the loss for the Bulldogs (12-22) after giving up three hits and three runs in 1.2 innings of work. Josh Heddinger picked up the win in relief for the Yellow Jackets (24-9), surrendering just one run and one hit through 1.2 innings. Powell went 3-5 on the night with two runs scored, and freshman Zack Bowers went 2-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Freshman Jess Posey also notched a pair of hits.
The Bulldogs scratched one run across in the bottom of the first, as Powell led off the inning with a single to right. Two batters later, Farmer singled to left to place runners on the corners, and Walsh followed with an RBI single to center to plate Powell for the early 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second inning by both teams, Georgia Tech scored a pair of runs in the third off a two-RBI double to left by Zane Evans. Georgia evened the game up at three in the bottom half of the frame, as Powell recorded a one-out single and Cole brought him around to score with a double to center.
Ripple retired the Jackets in order in the fourth before Georgia picked up two more runs in the bottom of the inning. DeLoach led off with a single to left, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Bowers launched his fifth home run of the season over the left field wall to help the Bulldogs regain the lead at 4-2.
Georgia Tech responded with three runs in the fifth, as the first two batters of the inning reached base and later scored on a double to left field by Brandon Thomas. Thomas came home to score two batters later when Zane Evans singled to center to push the Jackets back in front, 5-4.
Georgia Tech added to their lead in the sixth, as Sam Dove drew a bases-loaded RBI walk to score A.J. Murray and push the lead to 6-4. Murray led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a fielding error by the Bulldogs, resulting in an unearned run for Heath Holder.
Mike Mancuso took the mound for Georgia in the seventh, retiring all three batters he faced, including a strikeout to end the inning. The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh behind a leadoff single for Bowers, a walk by pinch-hitter Daniel Nichols and a single by Powell. Farmer recorded a one-out sacrifice fly to right to plate Bowers and pull the Bulldogs back within a run at 6-5. Powell was then picked off trying to steal second and tagged out to end the inning.
Jarrett Brown entered the game to pitch for the Bulldogs in the eighth, allowing no hits and no runs. Posey drew a two-out walk in the bottom half of the frame but the Bulldogs came up empty. Dylan Cole pitched the ninth inning for the Bulldogs, giving up one run on two hits, and Georgia was unable to mount a comeback in the ninth, going down in order.
“We did have a better approach at the plate and scored some runs, and we had the guys we wanted at the plate with a chance for a big inning, but it didn’t happen,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We made some errors tonight, and we haven’t shown that much this year so that was a surprise. We gave them eight base runners when you take those in to account and the walks, and that’s too many freebies for their lineup which is one of the best in the country. We’re not going to be able to get them out every time. Still, a few of the guys on the mound were impressive including Mike Mancuso, Jarrett Brown and Patrick Boling got us out of a jam. Our offense is starting to come around, we have to put it all together.”
Georgia returns to action this Friday when they travel to Auburn for a three-game series with the Tigers. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on Friday.
South Carolina Uses Walk-Off to Drop the Citadel
Columbia, S.C. –Joey Pankake led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off homer to left-center to lift eighth ranked South Carolina to a 6-5 win over The Citadel on Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium. The win improves Carolina to 27-7 with The Citadel dropping to 17-17 for the season.
Pankake’s homer was his sixth of the season. After The Citadel rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game, Pankake quickly responded for the Gamecocks as he launched a 1-0 pitch to left-center from Bulldog right-hander David Rivera to set off the celebration.
Right-hander Curt Britt earned the win and is now 2-0 on the year after 0.1 innings of work allowing just one hit. Rivera suffered the loss and is 4-1 on the year. He allowed one run on two hits in 1.1 inning with no walks and a strikeout.
The Citadel grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Mason Davis led off with a single and stole second base. After a groundout, Joe Jackson would walk to give the Bulldogs a pair of runners. On Seddon’s 1-0 pitch, Bo Thompson knocked a RBI double past Gamecock third baseman Chase Vergason and down the left field line to score both runners.
South Carolina tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Dante Rosenberg led off the inning with a home run, his first career homer as a Gamecock. The Gamecock catcher knocked the first pitch he saw from Austin Livingston over the wall in left field. The inning continued with Tanner English reaching base on an infield single as he beat out the throw to first by the shortstop. A failed pickoff attempt moved English over to second base. After a deep flyout to center by Saiko advanced English to third base, Carolina would tie it on Vergason’s sacrifice fly to center.
The Gamecocks took a three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Vergason would jumpstart the inning with a one-out base hit. With two outs, LB Dantzler drew a walk to put a pair of runners on base. The chess match then began as the Gamecocks sent up pinch hitter Kyle Martin. With Martin being a left-handed bat, The Citadel went to the pen for left-hander James Reeves. One more time, Carolina countered, as Brison Celek entered for Martin to give the Gamecocks a right-handed bat. On a 1-0 pitch, Celek delivered with a RBI single up the middle scoring Vergason. After a Connor Bright hit loaded the bases, Grayson Greiner drove in a pair of runs with a double.
The Citadel didn’t waver though and scored three times to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the ninth inning. Hughtson Armstrong reached base with a one-out base hit. A single by Joe Jackson followed to bring the tying run to the plate. The Gamecocks would bring in right-hander Evan Beal, who got the second out of the inning as he coaxed Thompson into a popup. However, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with a base hit by Jason Smith. A walk to Drew DeKerlegand allowed Armstrong to score and cut Carolina’s lead to a pair of runs. With Britt on in relief, Johnathan Stokes laced a two-run single into left field to tie the game. Britt worked out of the inning recording the third out on a popup by Brett Bullard.
South Carolina finished with 13 hits while The Citadel tallied 11 for the game. Bright went 3-for-4 with Pankake, Greiner, Rosenberg and English all with two apiece. Joe Jackson was 3-for-4 with Davis and Stokes each recording two hits for The Citadel.
South Carolina heads back on the road for a three-game SEC series at Florida. First pitch for the opener on Thursday is 7:30 p.m. with the game televised on ESPNU. Friday’s contest is also 7:30 p.m. on CSS with Saturday’s series finale at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”
Complete Team Effort Leads Tennessee Past ETSU
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Tennessee used a complete team effort to hold off ETSU, 4-3, on Tuesday evening at Thomas Stadium. The victory snaps an eight-game skid for the Vols (14-17) and completes the sweep of the season series over the Buccaneers (18-12).
“It seems longer than it has, but I am so happy for these guys,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “We’ve gone through some tough times. This is never an easy atmosphere to play in and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and it wasn’t. It came down to the [wire] with the tying run at the plate. I’m very happy with the way the pitching responded in a mid-week game. We gave up very few, if any, free passes. We gave up two solo home runs but that doesn’t beat you most of the time.
“This was a good win, especially when you have dropped as many as we had in a row, but we just have to continue to keep building. I could see the happiness and the jubilation after the last out was recorded when they were shaking hands and that makes you feel good as a coach. I know how hard it has been on these guys, just like it has on the coaching staff, and it feels good to get back on the bus and feel good about what you accomplished today.”
The Big Orange did not issue a walk for the first time this season, played its first errorless game since March 30 and had four players record two-hit contests. Scott Price led the way offensively, going 2-for-3 with his second home run of the season and two walks.
Freshman Andy Cox improved to 2-2 on the season with three strong innings to open the game for the Vols. Eric Martin followed with two shutout innings, allowing just a single hit and Trevor Charpie followed suit with 2.1 frames of one-hit ball as well. Trevor Bettencourt slammed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record his third save of the season.
ETSU used a solo home run by Dylan Tritsch to open the scoring in the bottom of the first but the Vols engineered a run in the very next frame to tie the contest back up at 1-1. Christin Stewart got the second inning started with a four-pitch walk, stole second, moved to third on a single by Pierce Bily and scored on a groundout to first by Vincent Jackson.
The Buccaneers got another solo shot, this one by Mason Hershey, to take the lead back, but Tennessee had an immediate answer once again. Price quickly brought the Big Orange back to even with an opposite field bomb to lead off the top of the fourth. Stewart followed that with a single back up the middle and advanced to third just three pitches later on a base hit by Bily. Taylor Smart would then bring him in to score with an RBI groundout to short.
The Vols extended their lead to 4-2 in the top of the fifth as A.J. Simcox was hit by a pitch, moved to third on a single by Will Maddox and scored on a wild pitch.
ETSU inched within a run and threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth but Charpie came out of the bullpen to notch a huge strikeout, getting Alex Phillips swinging to strand the tying run at third.
Charpie and Bettencourt combined to throw zeroes up in each of the final three innings to close out the contest and put a tally in the win column for the Vols.
Tennessee will continue its five-game road swing against Kentucky in Lexington this weekend, April 12-14. The series will open with a 6:30 p.m. contest on Friday before a 2 p.m. showdown on Saturday. The series will conclude at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Commodores Roll Past Seahawks
Nashville, Tenn. – No. 2 Vanderbilt rolled by UT-Martin 10-3 Tuesday night at Hawkins Field to improve to 30-4 on the season.
The Commodores wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard with single runs in the first two innings. The Skyhawks (9-23), however, tied it up 2-2 in the fourth inning on Matt Haynes’ second RBI-single of the night. The Vanderbilt offense responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. Tony Kemp’s bases loaded walk scored the first run and Xavier Turner’s single knocked in the second run. Connor Harrell came through with a clutch two-out, two-run single to cap the rally. VU added three more runs in the fifth when Turner capped the rally with a two-run single. The Commodores went 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position on the night.
Tyler Ferguson (3-0) picked up the win for the Dores working five innings. The freshman allowed two runs on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts to notch the victory. The team’s bullpen turned in a solid outing with T.J. Pecoraro, Adam Ravenelle and Keenan Kolinsky working the final four innings. Pecoraro worked two perfect innings with two strikeouts in his first relief outing of the year. UT-Martin starter Chris Ross (3-2) took the loss allowing six runs on five hits over 3.1 innings.
Nine Commodores contributed at least one hit as 20 Dores saw playing time in the win. Kemp and Turner led the way combining for four hits, three runs and five RBI. Harrell added to his team-best RBI total with three more Tuesday night to push his season total to a career-best 42. Haynes and Brent Morris provided the bulk of the Skyhawks’ offense with two hits each and two RBI.
The victory is Vanderbilt’s 11th straight with the team improving to 21-2 at Hawkins Field this season. The Commodores’ offense racked up 11 hits, marking the fifth time in the team’s last six games to have at least 10 hits. For the 25th time this season VU held their opponent to three runs or less.
Vanderbilt opens a three-game Southeastern Conference series with Missouri on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series between the Commodores and Tigers will be the first meeting between the two schools. Saturday’s game is scheduled at 4 p.m. on ESPNU as part of Black & Gold Weekend following the Spring Football game. Sunday’s finale is slated for 1 p.m. For ticket information call 615.322.GOLD or visit vucommodores.com.
Arkansas Splits Doubleheader with New Mexico
FAYETTEVILLE – The 10th-ranked Arkansas baseball team split a doubleheader with New Mexico on Tuesday at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks won the nightcap, 4-3, after dropping the opening game of the doubleheader, 3-0.
Arkansas is now 24-10 overall on the season, while New Mexico stands at 17-16 after the twinbill split.
Tyler Spoon led the Razorbacks at the plate in the doubleheader, going 5-for-7 with a RBI. Matt Vinson was 4-for-8 with a pair of runs scored, while Dominic Ficociello was on base six times during the two games, going 2-for-5 at the plate with four walks.
Game One Recap: Arkansas drops opener of twinbill, 3-0
New Mexico pitchers Drew Bridges and Josh Walker combined on six-hit shutout as the Lobos defeated Arkansas, 3-0, in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
Tyler Spoon and Matt Vinson each had two hits to lead the Razorbacks at the plate. Jordan Farris and Dominic Ficociello also added one hit.
New Mexico was led offensively by Josh Melendez, who had three hits. Mitch Garver drove in a run and went 1-for-5, while Sam Haggerty was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
Bridges (2-1) earned the win after allowing just three hits and striking out three in 5.1 innings. Walker picked up his sixth save, fanning two and giving up three hits in 3.2 innings.
Arkansas starter Tyler Wright (1-1) took the loss. Wright surrendered two unearned runs on three hits in two innings. Four Razorback relievers combined to allow an unearned run and strike out seven in seven innings.
The Lobos grabbed an early lead with a run in the top of the first. With two out and the bases loaded, a wild pitch from Wright allowed Sam Haggerty to score from third.
New Mexico added another run in the third on a one-out RBI ground out from Garver, scoring Haggerty from third.
The Lobos stretched the lead to 3-0 in the fifth inning. New Mexico had runners on first and second with nobody out and Peterson hit a ground ball to third that was misplayed by Jordan Farris for an error and went into left field, allowing Chase Harris to score from second.
Arkansas had its best chance to score in the opener in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Razorbacks loaded the bases with two out, but Michael Gunn hit into a fielder’s choice to second to end the inning and keep the score at 3-0.
Game Two Recap: Mahan’s walk-off single lifts Arkansas to doubleheader split
Arkansas senior Jacob Mahan broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out bases loaded RBI single to lift the Razorbacks to a 4-3 win in game two of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
With the game tied at three entering the bottom of the ninth, the Razorbacks put together a game-winning rally. With one out, Matt Vinson lifted a 2-2 pitch into left field for an opposite field single. A base hit to left by Tyler Spoon advanced Vinson to third and a fielding error by the left fielder allowed Spoon to take second. After an intentional walk to Dominic Ficociello, Brian Anderson struck out for the second out of the inning. Mahan, who had been battling a stomach bug for much of the day, stepped to the plate and sent a 1-1 pitch back up the middle and into center field, scoring Vinson from third and lifting Arkansas to a 4-3 win.
Spoon reached base all five times in game two, recording three hits and drawing two walks, while also driving in a run. Vinson scored a pair of runs and went 2-for-4 at the plate. Anderson hit his second homer of the season and went 1-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored.
Josh Melendez and Alex Real each had two hits to lead New Mexico in game two. Chase Harris, Jared Holley and DJ Peterson each drove in a run.
Arkansas reliever Chris Oliver (2-0) picked up the victory, striking out a pair in three hitless innings. New Mexico reliever Hobie McClain (1-1) was saddled with the loss. McClain gave up a run on three hits and struck out three in 2.1 innings.
New Mexico jumped out to a 3-0 lead, scoring a run in the top of the first and two runs in the top of the second. In the first, Peterson drove in a run with a RBI single. The two runs in the second scored on a RBI single by Holley and a sacrifice fly from Harris.
Arkansas started its comeback in the bottom of the second. With one out and runners on the corners, Eric Fisher hit a fielder’s choice to second, scoring Anderson from third.
The Razorbacks got another run back in the home half of the fourth when Anderson led off the inning with his second home run of the season, sending an 0-1 pitch into the Razorback bullpen.
Arkansas tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fifth. After Vinson drew a one-out walk, Spoon doubled to the left-center field alley, scoring Vinson from first base.
The game would remain tied until the bottom of the ninth when Mahan’s heroics gave the Razorbacks a 4-3 win.
Arkansas continues Southeastern Conference play this weekend, hosting No. 2 LSU in a three-game series. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 6:05 p.m. on Saturday and 1:05 p.m. on Sunday. The final two games of the series will be televised on Cox Sports Television.
LSU Wins No. 31 for No. 31
METAIRIE, La. – No. 1 LSU scored five runs in the first inning for the second straight game in an 11-2 victory over Southern (12-13) Tuesday night in the 10th annual Wally Pontiff Jr. Foundation Classic at Zephyr Field. The win marked the Tigers’ 13th consecutive victory as they improved to 31-2 on the year.
LSU increased its win streak against Louisiana schools to 22 consecutive games, and the Tigers have won 29 straight mid-week games. LSU’s last loss to a Louisiana school came on April 12, 2011, when the Tigers dropped a 5-2 decision to Northwestern State. That game also marked the Tigers’ last loss in a mid-week game.
Proceeds from Tuesday’s game go to the Wally Pontiff Jr. Foundation, which benefits charitable organizations throughout Louisiana.
LSU and Southern will meet again at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Alex Box Stadium. The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television, and it can be heard in the Geaux Zone at LSUSports.net and on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates.
Junior right-hander Kurt McCune (1-0) earned the victory in his season debut, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three in three innings of work. McCune had been sidelined by a stress fracture in his back suffered prior to the start of the season.
LSU reliever Brent Bonvillain was outstanding on the mound in three innings of work, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out a career-high seven hitters.
“This was a tremendous experience for our players, competing in front of our great New Orleans fans in a Triple-A ball park for a wonderful cause,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I thought we played with a lot of intensity early and I liked the approach we had at the plate to score those five first-inning runs. It was great to see Kurt back on the mound again, and I thought he delivered an excellent outing that he can build upon. Brent Bonvillain was dominant on the mound in his three innings with seven strikeouts, and that helped us stretch the lead midway through the game.”
Senior first baseman Mason Katz (2-for-3) opened the first-inning scoring Tuesday with his SEC-leading 56th and 57th RBI of the season on a single to left field.
Later in the inning, freshman center fielder Andrew Stevenson beat out a ground ball to second, scoring two runs and extending the Tigers’ lead to 4-0.
Freshman catcher Michael Barash (2-for-3) batted in the fifth run of the first frame with a single to left field.
Southern rallied back in the second and third innings with RBI from right fielder DJ Wesley and designated hitter Jose De La Torre, cutting the LSU lead to 5-2. However shortstop Alex Bregman quickly widened the gap in the fourth inning with a bases-loaded triple off of the left field wall, giving the Tigers an 8-2 advantage.
Bregman’s fourth inning three-bagger extends his hitting streak to 21 straight games.
Freshman outfielder Mark Laird provided insurance runs in the seventh inning with a two-run double.
Southern starting pitcher Camilo Godoy (0-3) suffered the loss, giving up nine runs (six earned) on nine hits and three walks and two strikeouts.
Bulldogs Reclaim Governor's Cup With Win Over Ole Miss
PEARL, Miss. – Mississippi State sophomore left-hand Ross Mitchell stands 6-foot-1.
Tuesday night Trustmark Park, Mitchell stood much taller than that.
A dominating six-inning relief performance by the Smyrna, Ten., native provided the difference as No. 16 Mississippi State knocked off No. 18 Ole Miss 5-1 in the seventh annual Governor’s Cup baseball game played before a stadium record crowd of 8,240 at the home of the minor-league Mississippi Braves.
“It feels great to come out here in front of all of these fans and pitch a good game and then get the win at the end,” Mitchell said. “I was able to get a lot of ground balls and it was a real good effort by everybody that came into the ballgame.
“Usually it’s a good thing to keep teams from seeing me on the second and third time through the other but tonight was because I just kept the ball low and had movement.”
The Bulldogs gained revenge for a 6-3 setback last year in this annual non-conference friendly with the rival Rebels. The teams meet again in a Southeastern Conference series in Oxford in May.
With the victory, MSU improved to 27-9. Ole Miss dropped its sixth straight decision to fall to 23-10. The Bulldogs are a perfect 9-0 in mid-week games and also notched their 16th victory out of the bullpen this season.
Brandon Woodruff drew that start for MSU. The sophomore right-hander was lifted after giving up three hits and the Rebels’ lone run in the second inning. Mitchell got the final two outs of the inning, while working around one walk.
For the night, Mitchell worked six innings, allowing two hits with four strikeouts and that lone walk. Jonathan Holder closed the contest with 1.2 innings of work, allowing only one hit and striking out four.
“I went down to the bullpen in the second inning and it kind of shocked me because apparently Woodruff was a little sore, so I needed to come in a little earlier than I expected to,” Mitchell said. “I attacked them the same way I normally do and after every game, it seems like I say the defense made every play possible.”
For the season, Mitchell is now 6-0 with a 0.98 earned run average. In 15 appearances, Mitchell has allowed only five earned runs in 46 innings of work. Holder was again his splendid self, even though he did not meet the qualifications for a save.
“The obvious thing here is Ross Mitchell really stepping in when we really needed him today,” said MSU head coach John Cohen, who has won six of the last night against in the arch-rival. “I thought he was just dominant and you’re talking about a guy that walked just one in six innings. Eighty pitches in six innings is pretty economic for us.”
The Bulldogs battled back from the 1-0 deficit with a single score in the fifth inning and two scores in each the sixth and seventh innings.
In his fifth career start, junior outfielder Derrick Armstrong started the fifth inning with a leadoff single. Taking second on a groundout and third on a wild pitch, Armstrong scored the game-tying run on an RBI-single by Alex Detz.
In the sixth inning, the Bulldogs grabbed the lead for good on a two-run RBI-single by Adam Frazier. Battling hard from the leadoff spot, Frazier fouled off three straight pitches before lining another 2-2 delivery to left field for the go-ahead scores with two outs. Two walks preceded the monster hit.
“Adam Frazier is a guy that you know is going to put a good swing on the ball and I think he got jammed a little bit but with two strikes that’s okay,” Cohen said. “He is just one of those guys that just gets hits and gets hits when it matters. He just knows how to play because he understands counts and how to get the barrel in position and that’s a skill that is hard to teach in an 18-year period before a kid ever gets to us.
“You either have that feel or you don’t and he has it.”
A Hunter Renfroe double started the MSU seventh inning. Renfroe scored on an RBI-single by Brett Pirtle. An RBI-single by C.T. Bradford capped the scoring.
Each team finished with six hits. Ole Miss catcher Stuart Turner was the lone multiple hitter for either team.
Ole Miss starting pitcher Josh Laxer was lifted in the fifth inning. Jeremy Massie (0-1) took the loss in relief.
MSU remains on the road this weekend for a three-game conference series at Texas A&M. The Bulldogs and Aggies meet at 6:35 p.m. Friday, 12:35 p.m. Saturday (SportSouth and ESPN3 in selected areas) and 1:05 p.m. Sunday.