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    SEC Baseball Diamond Update - 5/3

    friday baseball RESULTS
    Alabama @ Mississippi State - Postponed
    Ole Miss 6,  Auburn 1
    LSU 5,  Florida 0
    Arkansas 2,  Kentucky 1
    Georgia 8,  Tennessee 7
    Texas A&M 2,  Missouri 1
    Vanderbilt 3,  South Carolina 2


    OVERBEY HOMERS AS NO. 18 OLE MISS DOWNS AUBURN 6-1

    AUBURN, Ala. – For the ninth consecutive week, junior right-hander Bobby Wahl turned in a quality start and the Rebels put together a pair of two-out rallies as No. 18 Ole Miss (33-14, 12-10 SEC) defeated Auburn (25-19, 7-15 SEC) by a score of 6-1 on Friday night.

    Wahl (9-0) worked 8.0 innings in the start and allowed one run on four hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts. The one run came on a solo home run to open the Auburn half of the fourth.

    Conner Kendrick (3-3) took the loss for the Tigers, allowing four runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts through 6.0 innings of work.

    Preston Overbey hit his third home run of the season to get the Rebels’ scoring started as Ole Miss scored five of its six runs with two outs on the board in two separate rallies.

    “I was really proud of the way we swung the bats tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We got off some good swings and we made some timely hits, especially with the two, two-out rallies. Bobby (Wahl) was terrific again tonight and I think sometimes we forget how much of a warrior he is out there on the mound for us on Friday nights.”

    Ole Miss got on the board in the fourth inning when Preston Overbey hit a three-run shot over the green monster in left field to put the Rebels up 3-0. Stuart Turner and Andrew Mistone scored on the long ball after notching back-to-back hits with two outs to set up the score on the Overbey shot.

    Auburn responded with a solo shot over the wall in left from Garrett Cooper to start the bottom half of the fourth. Wahl retired the side in order the rest of the way to get out of the inning and keep the Rebels on top 3-1 after four innings of play.

    Ole Miss got the run back in the sixth when Turner came home on a ground ball to short from Christian Helsel. Turner reached on a single to right, his third hit of the evening, before going first to third on a single up the middle from Mistone. The Tigers got Mistone out on the play as he took an aggressive turn toward second on the play and was thrown out going back to first.

    Auburn then intentionally walked Overbey to bring Helsel to the plate. The freshman then delivered the ground ball to short and Auburn failed to turn the double play as Turner crossed the plate to put Ole Miss up 4-1.

    Wahl retired 12 consecutive batters before a leadoff double from Hunter Kelley opened the eighth. The Rebel right-hander responded, however, getting a pair of strikeouts around a groundout and a walk to end the inning and keep Auburn off the board.

    Ole Miss extended the lead in the ninth with another two-out rally. Holt Perdzock doubled to left with a ball that a diving Cullen Wacker couldn’t maintain control of to set things up for Will Jamison. The Rebels’ right fielder then singled up the middle to score Perdzock and took second on the throw home from the Tigers.

    Jamison then scored from second in the next at bat when a wild pitch went to the backstop and got lost by the catcher, allowing the speedy base runner to give the Rebels the 6-1 lead. It was the second time this season that Jamison has scored from second on a wild pitch.

    Tanner Bailey then took the mound for the Rebels in the ninth, closing things out as Ole Miss grabbed the series opener.
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    Arkansas downs Kentucky in series opener, 2-1

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Jake Wise hit his third home run of the season, while five Arkansas pitchers combined to hold Kentucky to one run as the No. 14 Razorbacks defeated the 23rd-ranked Wildcats, 2-1, in the series opener on Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

    Arkansas improves to 31-15 overall and 14-7 in SEC play, while Kentucky is now 26-18 overall and 9-13 in league play.

    Due to inclement weather, Arkansas and Kentucky will play a doubleheader on Saturday. Game one will start at 11 a.m. (CT) with game two scheduled to start 45 minutes after the conclusion of game one. The series opener will be aired on a tape delayed basis by the Big Blue Sports Network at 6 p.m. (CT). Due to the doubleheader on Saturday, the series finale will not be televised on CST.

    Wise had a pair of hits, including his third home run of the season, to lead the Razorbacks at the plate. Matt Vinson also added two hits and drove in a run. Jacob Mahan had a hit and a run scored, while Brett McAfee, Joe Serrano and Tyler Spoon each had one hit.

    Arkansas starter Barrett Astin (4-2) earned his fourth win of the season. Astin gave up one run on five hits and struck out four in 5.2 innings.

    Four Razorback relievers combined to throw 3.1 innings of shutout baseball. Colby Suggs picked up his ninth save of the season, striking out two in a scoreless ninth inning. Jalen Beeks, Trent Daniel and Brandon Moore also turned in a scoreless outing.

    Kentucky starter A.J. Reed (2-6) was a tough-luck loser after allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out five in 7.1 innings.

    The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth when the Razorbacks broke through with a pair of runs. Wise led off the top of the fifth with an opposite field home run over the wall in right field, his third round-tripper of the season. Arkansas added another run later in the inning as Vinson had a clutch two-out single to left, scoring Mahan from second base to make the score 2-0.

    Kentucky answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth. The Wildcats loaded the bases with nobody out and plated a run on a fielder’s choice RBI by Greg Fettes. Kentucky was only able to plate the one run in the inning as Astin and Daniel worked out of trouble in the inning.

    The score stayed 2-1 for the rest of the game, but Kentucky was able to put the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Kyle Barrett was hit by a pitch, but Suggs was able to get back-to-back strikeouts of Austin Cousino and Reed to end the game and give Arkansas a 2-1 win.
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    Bulldogs Hang On For 8-7 Road Win

    KNOXVILLE, TENN.-----Powered by home runs from Lee County freshmen Daniel Nichols and Jess Posey, Georgia posted a thrilling 8-7 win over Tennessee Friday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

    The Volunteers (18-26, 6-16 SEC) mounted a furious rally in the ninth, scoring four runs on three hits and four walks including two with the bases loaded, and then the game ended on attempted steal of home by Will Maddox. Tennessee had stolen home three times this year, however the Bulldogs were not to be denied on this night as they improved to 17-28 overall, 5-16 in the SEC. Tennessee batted around in the ninth and had the bases loaded with two outs when Maddox broke for home. The count was 2-2 on Taylor Smart who started the rally with a leadoff walk.

    Sophomore left-hander Jarrett Brown stepped off the mound and threw home to Brett DeLoach who chased Maddox back towards third and then third baseman Curt Powell completed the run down, tagging him and ending the game.

    “The team did a great job on the road and found a way to win,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “They were prepared for that situation on the steal attempt of home. It’s one thing to tell them stuff like that, we told them they are frisky on the bases, and it’s another for them to execute it when it happens. We know
    Tennessee is fearless on the bases regardless of the score or situation. I really liked how we hung in there against their best pitcher, he’s been really good all year, three straight complete games, a 2.88 ERA, and we got eight runs and 14 hits off him in six innings. Also, our Lee County connection came through with two big home runs.”

    The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the first. Sophomore Nelson Ward and Powell led off with base hits. After senior Zack Godley struck out Hunter Cole, the Bulldogs executed a double steal. Senior Kyle Farmer delivered his NCAA-leading 11th sacrifice fly. In the second, sophomore centerfielder Justin Bryan smacked a two-out double and scored on a base hit by freshman right fielder Sean McLaughlin. However, the lead was short-lived as the Volunteers responded in the bottom of the frame. Tennessee collected three hits off senior Bryan Benzor including a two-run double by designated hitter Christin Stewart to make it 2-all.

    Georgia answered in the third. Cole drew a leadoff walk and with one out, Nichols crushed his second career home run to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 advantage. It was only the fourth home run allowed by Godley in 86.1 innings this season. In the bottom of the fourth, Georgia lifted Benzor in favor of junior left-hander Patrick Boling and also inserted  DeLoach at catcher for freshman Zach Bowers.

    In the fifth, Georgia used the long ball again to extend its advantage to 7-2. With one out, Nichols notched his second hit of the night and took third on a base hit by DeLoach. Posey smashed a three-run home run to right field off Godley. It was his second career home run. The Volunteers got a run back in the bottom of the inning on a two-out RBI-single by Scott Price to close the gap to 7-3. Georgia made it a five-run game again in the sixth as Powell notched his third hit of the game, a double, took third on a base hit by Cole and scored on another Farmer sacrifice fly.

    Georgia knocked around Godley who allowed a season-high eight runs on 14 hits in six innings to fall to 4-6. He had pitched three straight complete games coming in to Friday, beating 13th-ranked Kentucky in Lexington, falling to 17th-ranked Ole Miss and a 4-2 victory over Florida in Gainesville last Sunday.

    Tennessee missed a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the sixth, putting runners at second and third with nobody out.  However, Boling came back to strike out Smart. Then, McLaughlin made a diving catch on a sinking line drive from pinch-hitter Jeff Mosberg and Peirce Bily grounded out.
    Boling (3-6) picked up the win, going five innings and allowing four runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Brown pitched the ninth for his second save.

    Georgia was without one of its top players in two-way standout and cleanup hitter Jared Walsh. The sophomore flew home to Georgia Friday morning to be with his ailing father.
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    Aggies Two-hit Missouri in Series Opener

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M starting pitcher Daniel Mengden allowed Missouri to get a leadoff single and score a run in the first inning, but the Tigers were held scoreless and managed just one hit over the next eight innings as the Aggies posted a 2-1 victory in the series opener Friday night on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

    Mengden (5-3) registered a career-high with 10 strikeouts and allowed one run on two hits and three walks over 8.0 innings. After the first inning, Missouri’s only other hit came in the fifth when Kendall Keeton was called safe on a bang-bang play at first after a chopper to short.

    Jason Jester earned his 11th save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning. He issued a one-out walk, but ended the game with a grounder to first base and a strikeout. The 11 saves is tied with Scott Centala (1988) for second on A&M’s single-season list and two behind the school record of 13 set by Scott Beerer in 2003.

    Missouri’s Rob Zastryzny (2-9) was the hard-luck loser, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven in the complete-game effort.

    The Tigers pounced on the Aggies for a run in the top of the first inning. Logan Pearson hit a leadoff single to centerfield, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dillon Everett and moved to third on a grounder to short by Dane Opel.  Keaton Steele put runners on the corners with an eight-pitch walk and Pearson came around to score when the fourth ball issued to Dylan Kelly was in the dirt for a wild pitch.

    Texas A&M (24-22, 8-13 SEC) staked claim to a 2-1 lead with a two-spot in the home half of the fourth inning. Troy Stein served as the rally’s catalyst by legging out an infield single on a grounder to short to start the frame. Hunter Melton followed with a single to the gap in right centerfield to put runners on the corners. Mitchell Nau plated Stein with a single to leftfield for the equalizer. After Jonathan Moroney pushed two runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Brandon Wood knocked in Melton for the go-ahead run with an RBI groundout to second base.

    Stein and Melton each went 2-for-4 with one run to lead the Aggie offense. Mikey Reynolds reached on a two-out double in the third inning, reaching base in his 44th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the nation. It also extended a 14-game hit streak.

    Missouri (15-26, 7-15 SEC) only managed singles from Pearson and Keeton along with four walks and a hit batsman.
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    Ziomek, Navin lead Dores to win
     
    Columbia, S.C. – No. 2 Vanderbilt used an early home run from Spencer Navin and a stellar start from Kevin Ziomek to win the series opener 3-2 at No. 15 South Carolina on Friday night.
     
    The Commodores (40-6, 20-2) picked up a big two-out, two-run homer from Navin in the second inning to take an early lead. With an early lead, Ziomek went to work against the South Carolina (33-13, 13-9) lineup. The lefty responded with seven scoreless innings before allowing a run in the eighth. Ziomek worked out of a jam in the fourth inning when South Carolina put two runners on base with back-to-back singles from Joey Pankake and LB Dantzler. The Dores’ defense picked up their pitcher with Tony Kemp snaring a line drive and Vince Conde making a nice play at second base to end the inning and the threat. Ziomek finally ran into trouble in the eighth when Pankake doubled with two outs to score Graham Saiko, who also doubled. Ziomek bounced back to strike out Dantzler for the second straight at-bat and end the Gamecocks’ threat.
     
    Brian Miller recorded two quick outs in the ninth before pinch hitter Kyle Martin belted a solo home run to make it a one-run game before Miller got his third ground ball of the inning to end the game. Miller picked up his school record 13th save and finished off Ziomek’s ninth win. Ziomek (9-2) turned in his 10th quality start of the season allowing one run on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts over eight innings. For the first time this season, Commodores’ pitching did not issue a walk in the game. South Carolina starter Nolan Belcher (6-5) took the loss giving up three runs on six hits in six innings of work.
     
    Vanderbilt added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Mike Yastrzemski reached on a walk. The senior moved to second on a wild pitch and stole third for the Dores’ 100th stolen base of the season. Conrad Gregor cashed in on the opportunity, singling through the middle to score Yastrzemski and give Vandy a three-run lead. Seven Commodores had at least one hit in the win led by Navin with two hits. Pankake and Dantzler led the Gamecocks with two hits each.
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    NOLA BLANKS FLORIDA, 5-0, FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT COMPLETE-GAME VICTORY

    BATON ROUGE, La. -- With his fourth consecutive complete game performance, sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola propelled No. 3 LSU (42-6, 18-5 SEC) to a 5-0 series clinching victory over No. 19 Florida (25-23, 12-12 SEC) Friday night in Alex Box Stadium.

    Nola became the first Tiger pitcher to throw four straight complete games since Mike Sirotka in 1993. Nola allowed four hits and one walk while striking out three Florida batters.

    In his last four outings, Nola (9-0) has allowed a combined four runs while striking out 31 opposing hitters.     

    Friday’s victory also marked head coach Paul Mainieri’s 300th career win at LSU, as he improved his record to 300-128-2 in seven seasons at the helm of the Fighting Tiger program.

    LSU and Florida will face off in the series finale on Saturday at Noon. The game will air on ESPN2 and the LSU Sports Radio Network.

    “Aaron gave us another tremendous performance; the conditions definitely weren’t great for offense tonight, and I think that helped him go the distance,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He didn’t have to run up his pitch count too high by striking out a lot of batters; the conditions allowed him to pitch to contact and let his defense make plays behind him. He was at 94 pitches going into the ninth inning, so we decided to let him finish, but we weren’t going to let him go much longer.  

    An RBI groundout from second baseman JaCoby Jones gave LSU a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

    Designated hitter Sean McMullen delivered an RBI double in the fifth frame to double the Tigers’ lead. Outfielder Mark Laird added another run in the inning on an RBI groundout to second, putting LSU ahead 3-0.

    In the eighth inning, outfielder Andrew Stevenson beat out a ground ball to short, adding two more insurance runs.

    “I didn’t think we had a great night offensively,” Mainieri said, “but that was mainly due to the wind blowing in and the cold temperatures. We’re capable of doing more, and we’re looking forward to another opportunity tomorrow.”