|Alabama 7, Southern Miss 4
|Missouri State 4, Mizzou 2
|LSU 4, Tulane 3
Alabama Downs Southern Miss Thanks to Three-Run Eighth
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – With the score tied at 4-4, Alabama had a three-run eighth inning, that included back-to-back RBI doubles by Ben Moore and Austen Smith en route to a 7-4 non-conference win over the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles on Wednesday night from Pete Taylor Park. With the win, Alabama improves to 25-18 overall, while the Golden Eagles fall to 21-19.
“We competed really hard for nine innings. The key to the game tonight was Jay Shaw and the rest of the bullpen. Shaw was terrific when he came and he was followed by Guilbeau, Haack and Hawley. After the four-spot they gave us, then never really threatened the rest of the game due to the bullpen.”
Alabama used five pitchers in the game, with Jay Shaw being the most effective. In relief of starter Jon Keller, Shaw threw a career-high 3.1 scoreless and hitless innings as he walked one, hit one and struck out one. UA’s third pitcher of the night, Taylor Guilbeau (3-1), threw two scoreless innings, allowing two hits with a walk and two strikeouts and picked up the win. Tucker Hawley threw the ninth to record his first save of the season. Keaton Haack threw a scoreless eighth inning and starter Jon Keller lasted just 1.2 innings after allowing four runs in the second inning.
The Crimson Tide outhit the Golden Eagles 11-9 as Alabama notched its 18th double-digit performance of the year, against six Southern Miss pitchers. UA designated hitter Austen Smith had the big night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a pair of singles, a double, three RBI and two runs scored. Ben Moore was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a RBI, which was the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning. Andrew Miller was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
“Offensively, I thought we swung the bats really well throughout the ball game,” Gaspard said. “(Austen) Smith had a big night and it was good to see Ben (Moore) get the big double there in the eighth and I was pleased with our at-bats one through nine tonight. We had some adversity during the game, but our guys handled it well and played with a lot of confidence. This is a really good road win as this is a tough place to play. So it was a good midweek victory for us.”
With the win, Alabama improves to 16-9 against non-conference opponents this season, which includes a 10-3 mark in midweek games.
The fourth pitcher of the night for Southern Miss, James McMahon (0-1), gave up all three runs in the Bama eighth and took the loss. McMahon lasted 1.1 innings, allowing three runs on three hits with one strikeout. USM starter A.J. Glasshof went one-plus inning, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with a walk.
The leading hitter for Southern Miss was leadoff man Dillon Day who was 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Right fielder Mason Robbins was 1-for-4 with two RBI and Issac Rodriguez was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.
Alabama got out to an early 1-0 lead, scoring the first run of the contest just two batters into the game. Kenny Roberts drew an 11-pitch walk then scored from first when the Southern Miss third baseman threw the ball into right field on a sacrifice bunt by Georgie Salem.
The Tide added a run in the second after loading the bases with singles by Smith, Mikey White and Miller to open the inning, as Smith scored on a ground out by Chance Vincent. After Roberts struck out swinging, Vincent got caught in a run down between first and second, but White was thrown out at the plate trying to score.
After the Alabama base running miscue, the Golden Eagles responded with a four-run second inning. After a double opened the inning, Keller retired the next two hitters before giving up a walk, a single, a double, a hit batter and two-run single by Robbins with two outs to cap the scoring and end Keller’s night.
Bama evened the score in the sixth inning when Smith delivered a two-run single to score Kyle Overstreet and Moore. Overstreet walked to open the inning then with one out, Moore doubled to left field, as the USM left fielder slipped trying to make the catch, to put runners on second and third for Smith.
Alabama took the lead for good in the eighth inning. After Overstreet opened the inning with a single to center field, Moore followed with a double to left center to drive in Overstreet for the eventual game-winning run. Smith followed with a double to right center to plate Moore to make the score 6-4. With two outs and Smith on third, Andrew Miller singled down the line in right to cap the scoring at 7-4.
Alabama returns Southeastern Conference action on Friday night when it hosts the Texas A&M Aggies in game one of a three-game series. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CST, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Follow the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team on Facebook at Alabama-Baseball and on Twitter at @AlabamaBSB.
Mizzou Bats Fall Quiet as Tigers Lose
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou’s (13-23) three-game winning streak over in-state rival Missouri State came to an end as the Tigers fell by a 4-2 final Wednesday night (April 24) at Taylor Stadium. Dane Opel had the first RBI of the game for Mizzou, a single to center to make the score 2-1 in the third, and Josh Lester sent a RBI-double to left in the ninth. Jace James was tagged for the loss for the Tigers as he went three innings while giving up two runs. Case Munson’s on-base streak reached 18 games with a single and a walk in the contest.
After pitching a quick first, James pitched out of a jam in the second, forcing a pop up and getting a strikeout to escape a one-out, runners on the corners situation. The Bears drew first blood in the top of the third as Eric Cheray launched a two-run homer to right on a 0-2 count for a 2-0 lead. It was his first homer of the season. Mizzou put two on base in the bottom of the frame as Kendall Keeton and Munson walked, and Opel laced a single to center with two outs to make the score 2-1.
John Miles took over on the mound in the fourth, and pitched a quick fourth inning, but Mizzou went down scoreless in the bottom of the frame. The Bears put two aboard in the top of the fifth, but Miles held the visitors off the board. Another scoreless inning for Miles came before he was lifted in the seventh after a walk, giving way to Jake Walsh.
Walsh walked a batter and got an out before allowing a fielder’s choice that ended up scoring a runner on an errant throw from Keeton as he tried to turn an inning-ending double play, giving Missouri State a 3-1 lead. Dylan Kelly walked to start the seventh inning, but he was doubled off in the scoreless frame after a liner to third by Dillon Everett.
Eric Anderson took the ball in the eighth, surrendering a two-out RBI single to give the Bears a 4-1 lead. Case Munson knocked the Tigers’ only hit in the bottom of the frame, a single to left center. Breckin Williams became Mizzou’s pitcher in the ninth, and he threw a perfect inning. Kelly reached with one out in the bottom of the ninth, and Dillon Everett shot a single to right to put two on with one out. Lester’s double down the left field line made it 4-2, but the Tigers couldn’t push any more across.
Mizzou takes on Auburn Friday (Apr. 26) at 6 p.m. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, follow the team on Twitter (@MUTigerBaseball) or check in to MUTigers.com.
Tigers Edge Green Wave
BATON ROUGE, La. -- No. 2 LSU (38-4) erased a 2-1 deficit with three runs in the sixth inning, propelling the Tigers to a 4-3 victory over Tulane (20-21) Wednesday at Alex Box Stadium.
The victory improved LSU’s win streak over in-state opponents to 25 games. The Tigers have also won 32 straight mid-week games, dating back to April 12, 2011, when LSU dropped a 5-2 decision to Northwestern State.
“Those are streaks that we’re very proud of,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “That means that no matter the circumstances, our players give their best every time they put on an LSU uniform. We’ve had a lot of tough games during those streaks, and it’s a tribute to the determination of our players that we’ve maintained them for so long.”
LSU returns to The Box Friday against No. 11 South Carolina (31-11, 11-7 SEC). First pitch for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. on Cox Sports Television, the LSU Sports Radio Network and the Geaux Zone on LSUSports.net.
Junior catcher Ty Ross put the Tigers ahead 1-0 in the 5th inning Wednesday night with an RBI groundout, scoring left fielder Raph Rhymes from third base.
LSU fell behind in the sixth after a two-run double to left field from Tulane right fielder Andrew Garner.
The Tigers bounced back in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs on a bases-loaded wild pitch and a two-RBI single from Rhymes (3-for-4).
Tulane added another run in the eighth with an RBI single from second baseman Bowen Woodson; however, it was not enough as senior left-hander Chris Cotton shut the door in the ninth inning, marking his ninth save of the season.
Senior right-hander Kevin Berry (3-0), the fifth of nine LSU pitchers, earned the victory, striking out two in two shutout innings.
Tulane starting pitcher Randy LeBlanc (2-3) suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out one in 5.1 innings.
“I thought tonight was a pretty well-played ball game by both teams,” Mainieri said. “Tulane gave us their best shot, and our players were able to respond with a hard-earned win. We’re looking forward to being back here this weekend for what should be a tremendous series against South Carolina.”