|friday baseball RESULTS
|South Carolina 7, Georgia 2
|Auburn 7, Florida 4
|Vanderbilt @ Kentucky (Rained Out)
|LSU @ Texas A&M (Delayed- Rain)
|Tennessee 8, Arkansas 3
|Alabama 9, Missouri 7
|Mississippi State @ Ole Miss (Suspended - Rain)
Game Two Halted Between A&M-LSU
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Following a two-hour, 31-minute rain delay, the second game of the series between the Texas A&M Aggies and LSU Tigers was halted after six innings with LSU leading 7-2.
The second game will resume on Saturday morning at 9:30 am. The regularly scheduled third game on Saturday will start at 12 pm regardless of the circumstances. In the second game, no inning will start after 11 am to prepare for the third game which is slated to be televised on ESPN. The third game will be a seven-inning affair.
Alabama Baseball Opens Missouri Series with 9-7 Win
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama lineup put up two runs in the first inning and exploded for seven in the seventh and the Crimson Tide held on defeat the Missouri Tigers, 9-7, Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the win, Alabama improves to 30-21 overall and gets back to .500 in the SEC with a 12-12 mark. Missouri’s loss drops them to 15-30 overall and 7-19 in conference action.
After Alabama scored seven runs in the seventh inning to take a 9-0 lead, the Tigers responded with a five-run eighth inning to cut the Tide lead to 9-5. The Tigers continued to battle in the ninth inning, scoring two runs off reliever Tucker Hawley and had the tying run at second base before Ray Castillo struck out Josh Lester to end the game and pick up his ninth save of the season.
“We certainly made that a little more interesting there at the end than what we’d like, but I think overall you’ve got to look at the full nine innings,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “I thought Sullivan gave us a really solid start for seven innings, and the bullpen let us down. And they’ve got to do a better job. That’s two weekends in a row that they have come in and have not been very sharp, so we’ve got to get that cleaned up immediately. But on the bright side, it’s a win and sometimes when you play 56 games you’ve got to win all types of games. Every now and then there’s one like that and at the end of the day you’ve got to win it, and we found a way.”
Starting pitcher Charley Sullivan (5-4) shined in his team-leading fifth win and final appearance at home, dealing seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Castillo allowed two walks in the ninth inning and allowed two of the inherited runners to score, but struck out each of the three batters to get his ninth save in 10 chances.
“Offensively we got off to the good start that we wanted and again, hit some balls really well and drove a couple balls out of the park,” Gaspard said.
Kyle Overstreet posted a 3-for-5 effort with a trio of singles, two RBI and a couple of runs scored. Freshman shortstop Mikey White recorded a 2-for-3 performance with a duo of singles as well as a bases-loaded walk that plated a runner, Austen Smith registered a 2-for-4 night with a double, an RBI single, a walk and a run scored and Ben Moore turned in his team-leading 20th multi-hit game of the season with an RBI double, a single, and a run scored.
Kenny Roberts sparked a nine-run 14-hit outburst as he stroked his fourth home run of the season to open the game for the Tide. The solo shot marked the first leadoff home run for the Tide this season and first since Taylor Dugas did it against Alcorn State on February 19, 2011. Roberts scored twice. Brett Booth carded his sixth home run of the year, a two run shot, as well as a walk and tied Austen Smith for the team-lead in home runs, as well as for eighth in the SEC.
Missouri starter Eric Anderson (0-3) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs on seven hits in five innings pitched. He had three strikeouts and walked two. Scott Sommerfeld came off the bench to post a 2-for-2 night with two runs scored, and right fielder Dane Open was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Dillon Everett was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and Lester was 2-for-5 with a time-high two RBI.
Roberts continued his hot play en route to igniting big first inning. After fouling off the first few pitches he was delivered, Roberts hit a 0-2 pitch over the left field wall, the first leadoff home run from the Alabama lineup this season. After getting hits from Overstreet and Moore and a walk from Booth, White drew a walk to force in a run and cap off the inning with a 2-0 edge.
The Tide erupted in the seventh inning for a seven spot, kicked off with an Andrew Miller walk on four pitches. Steven Cole laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on a fielder’s choice, and then Georgie Salem followed with a walk to load the bases. Ryan Blanchard, who pinch ran for Cole, scored in the next at-bat on a balk to open the floodgates. Overstreet then dropped a single into center to score the two and reached second on an error by the center fielder. Moore lined his 12th double of the season into left center to drive in a run, then scored on the next at-bat when Smith singled. The frame was finished off with a display of fireworks, as Booth sent a shot off the scoreboard to make the score 9-0.
The Tigers battled back late with an eighth inning rally, as Alabama went to the bullpen for lefty Jon Keller. Everett led off the frame with a single and pinch hitter Scott Sommerfeld followed with a single as well. After Opel walked to load the bases, pinch hitter Michael McGraw was hit by a pitch to score the first run and erase Alabama’s shutout bid. Jake Ivory, the Tigers’ third pinch hitter of the inning, followed with a single to plate another. After the next two batters were retired, another run came in courtesy of a balk. Missouri’s inning was punctuated with a Lester single to right to score two more runners to go to the bottom of the frame with a 9-5 score. Alabama went to the bullpen and Tucker Hawley got the final out of the inning.
Hawley struggled in the ninth, as Missouri loaded the bases on two singles and an error. Castillo replaced Hawley with no outs and the bases loaded. After a strikeout, a wild pitch allowed the first run to score. Castillo struck out Michael McGraw then a walk and a single cut Alabama’s lead to 9-7 with the tying run at second, before Castillo struck out Lester to end the game. “Ray kind-of tightened the belt there at the end, made some pitches, and got the W, and that’s the most important thing tonight,” Gaspard said.
BENNETT, GODLEY LIFT VOLS TO 8-3 WIN AT NO. 14 ARKANSAS
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Zack Godley struck out eight in his SEC-leading fifth complete game of the season and a five-RBI night by Ethan Bennett paced a 13-hit offensive attack as Tennessee went on the road to defeat No. 14 Arkansas, 8-3, in front of 9,110 on Friday night at Baum Stadium.
The eight runs and 13 hits were the most allowed by the Razorbacks in a single game this season as they entered the contest with an NCAA-best 1.77 ERA as a team.
“We were kind of kicking ourselves a little bit early and then we strung some things together,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “Zack held them at bay and then we extended it in the [ninth] inning off their relievers.
“It is huge. I told the team that this is one of the best atmospheres you can play in in college baseball and if we were going to have trouble to come out and play in this we had some issues. I thought we handled it extremely well and played good baseball.”
For the fourth time in the last five weeks, Godley went the distance for the Volunteers, striking out eight and allowing just three runs on four hits to pick up his fifth win of the season. He has now thrown a league-leading 99.1 innings this season and becomes the first Tennessee pitcher with five or more complete games in a single season since Jamie Bennett had six in 2000.
“Godley is good,” Serrano said. “He has good stuff and he mixes pitches well. I’m a little disappointed that he walked two guys to lead off an inning once we got the lead but he was able to fight out of it. He’s just good. He battles for us, our team has a lot of confidence behind him and he gives us a chance most of the time to win.”
Bennett, meanwhile, led a 13-hit offensive attack against the nation’s best pitching staff, going 3-for-5 with all three hits driving in runs as he finished with a career-high tying five RBIs, matching his total from a game against Manhattan on March 13, 2011.
“[Bennett showed] his leadership,” Serrano said. “He’s been banged up a little bit with some soreness in his leg and hasn’t played in a few days, but he’s been important for us since we put him in the middle of the order and he gobbled up some runs tonight which was huge.”
Will Maddox also had a three-hit contest while Vincent Jackson hit his second home run of the year and A.J. Simcox scored three runs in the triumph.
After three scoreless stanzas to open the game, the Big Orange was the first to crack the scoreboard as Bennett pulled a 1-0 pitch through the left side to plate Simcox for the first run of the evening in the top of the fourth.
The Razorbacks stole the lead right back when Dominic Ficociello ripped a two-strike, two-out, two-run home run in the home half of the frame to put his team up 2-1, but that advantage would be short-lived as Bennett struck again in the sixth. With two runners on base, he cleared them with one swing as he took the first pitch he saw and crushed it for a double that short-hopped the wall in straight-away center and put the Orange and White up for good.
Tennessee took advantage of an Arkansas error to extend its lead in the top of the seventh. Pierce Bily opened the frame with a leadoff double and moved up to third two batters later on a fielding error by the Razorback pitcher. Simcox then laid down a perfectly executed safety squeeze to bring him in and make it a 4-2 ball game.
Arkansas would get one run back in the following inning thanks to a run-scoring groundout but Jackson answered immediately by blasting a solo shot over the right field wall in the top of the eighth.
The Vols would then put the game away in the ninth, scoring three more times to go up by a count of 8-3. Yet again it was Bennett who struck the big blow as he roped a huge two-run single to left. UT’s final run of the game would score moments later when Arkansas uncorked a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
Godley would go on to retire the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to finish what he started and preserve the victory for the Orange and White. With Missouri and Georgia both losing on Friday night, the Vols now move into the 12th in league play with five SEC games remaining.
Auburn Downs Florida, 7-4, To Claim Series Opener
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Auburn jumped out to a six-run lead after five and then held on to defeat Florida, 7-4, on Friday night in the series opener at McKethan Stadium. With the win, Auburn’s first in Gainesville since 2006, it improves to 30-19, 10-15 SEC while Florida falls to 27-24, 12-13 SEC.
“I thought our guys did a really good job and managed to come up with some really big hits,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “Ryan Tella with the three-run home run and (Dan) Glevenyak hits a double into the corner. I feel like this club is playing with a lot of confidence now and good things are happening. We have to clean up a few things, we made a few mistakes defensively, but we overcame those. When you are playing better you find a way to do that.”
Tella’s second home run of the year staked Auburn to a 3-0 lead in the fourth as he sent a 2-2 Jonathon Crawford offering into the palm trees in right. It was his first home run since hitting an inside-the-park home run against the College of Charleston on Feb. 23 of this season. It was also Auburn’s seventh home run in its last six games, dating back to the series-opener against Ole Miss.
“I got down 2-2 and I just remember today in BP I was missing a few balls and (hitting coach Gabe Gross) pulled me aside and told me to put my foot down to give me a pause and give me a little more reaction to the outside too,” Tella said. “Gabe told us that all balls die in center but carry to the corners.”
Auburn extended the lead to 6-0 in the fifth as Dan Glevenyak delivered a two-run double down the line in right and then scored on a Jordan Ebert RBI single back up the middle. Glevenyak, who was moved to the five hole in the lineup at the start of Auburn’s current five-game winning streak, finished the night 3-for-5 with a double, the homer, two RBI and two runs scored. Since settling into the five spot, he is hitting .368 (7-for-19) with two doubles, two home runs, nine RBI and five runs scored.
Florida got back into the game with a four-run seventh to cut the lead to 6-4. Only one of the four runs that scored were earned as Florida capitalized on a Glevenyak throwing error on a Zack Powers grounder with one out. Auburn starter Conner Kendrick then got a strike out for the second out of the inning before three straight singles and a bases-loaded walk made it 6-2 and ended Kendrick’s outing. Trey Cochran-Gill then entered and allowed a sac fly and a RBI infield single to cut it to 6-4, bringing Terrance Dedrick in with two outs and two on. Dedrick got a swinging strike out to end the Florida threat and keep Auburn up two runs.
Ebert pushed the lead back to three with a two-out, solo home run in the top of the ninth.
Kendrick (4-3) earned his second win in his last three starts by scattering seven hits over 6 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out four. Of the four runs that Florida scored, only one was earned.
Dedrick earned his team-leading seventh save by throwing the final 2 1/3 innings, striking out four.
Crawford (3-6) was charged for four runs on six hits and three walks in four-plus innings, striking out three.
Cullen Wacker kept the game scoreless in the bottom of the third as he threw out Harrison Bader trying to score from second on a Richie Martin two-out single. It was Wacker’s third outfield assist of the season and the sixth of his career.
Auburn finished with 11 hits, its fifth straight double-digit hit game. Garrett Cooper, who joined Ebert and Tella with two hits each, extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a fourth-inning single.
GAMECOCKS EARN 7-2 WIN OVER GEORGIA IN SERIES OPENER
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina senior left-hander Nolan Belcher limited Georgia to just two runs on five hits in 7.1 innings and seven different Gamecocks drove in at least one run as 12th ranked South Carolina upended Georgia 7-2 on Friday evening at Carolina Stadium in game one of a three-game SEC series. The Gamecocks are 35-14 and 14-10 in the SEC with Georgia 18-29 and 5-17 in league play. Game two of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday and will be televised live on CSS and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.” Saturday is also Senior Day with the Gamecocks honoring nine seniors before the contest. Pregame festivities will begin at 12:40 p.m.
Belcher earned the win and is now 7-5 on the year. He struck out eight batters and walked none and at one point in the game, he retired 16 straight batters from the first inning to the sixth inning. Georgia starting pitcher Sean McLaughlin suffered the loss and is now 4-6 for the season. He allowed four runs on six hits in three innings of work.
After Nelson Ward led off the game with his first career home run, South Carolina answered in the bottom half of the first with a pair of runs to take a one-run lead. Joey Pankake reached base on a two-out single up the middle and scored on LB Dantzler’s RBI double to the gap in left-center. Grayson Greiner followed with a RBI triple off the wall in right-center scoring Dantzler.
Carolina extended the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the third inning. Dantzler walked to lead off the frame and Grayson Greiner doubled down the left field line to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Graham Saiko drove in Dantzler with a sacrifice fly to right field and Kyle Martin added a RBI base hit scoring Greiner and giving the Gamecocks a three-run cushion.
Three more runs gave Carolina a 7-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Greiner singled up the middle for his third hit of the game and Saiko walked. After Martin sacrificed both runners into scoring position, Greiner would score on a fielding error by second baseman Nelson Ward. A squeeze play from Tanner English resulted in the second run and Max Schrock added a two-out RBI base hit giving Carolina a six-run edge. Georgia would score once in the top of the eighth on a squeeze bunt from Ward, his second RBI of the evening.
South Carolina had eight hits with Georgia finishing with seven. Greiner went 3-for-4 with two runs with Schrock 2-for-5. Dantzler also scored two runs in the contest. Ward went 2-for-4 to lead Georgia at the plate.
UK BASEBALL VS. NO. 1 VANDERBILT RAINED OUT
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- With heavy rains in the Central Kentucky area, the series opener with Kentucky and No. 1 Vanderbilt has been postponed, with the two teams to play a doubleheader on Saturday. Game one of the series will start at 2 p.m. ET, with the second game set for a 7 p.m. ET start at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
MSU-OLE MISS SERIES-OPENER SUSPENDED, TO BE RESUMED SATURDAY
OXFORD, Miss. --- The series-opening baseball game between the 13th-ranked Bulldogs and the 20th-ranked Rebels at Oxford-University Stadium has been suspended due to heavy rain in the Oxford area. It will be resumed at 3 p.m. Saturday.