KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Ethan Bennett and David Houser each drove in a pair of runs and the Tennessee bullpen combined to throw five innings without allowing an earned run as the Volunteers defeated Morehead State, 6-4, on Tuesday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Bennett finished 2-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, a pair of RBIs and a run scored. Taylor Smart also had two hits for the Vols while Christin Stewart was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Trevor Charpie gave Tennessee four strong innings in his first collegiate start, allowing just two runs on four hits. Andy Cox, Eric Martin, Dalton Saberhagen and Drake Owenby then closed out the contest with five inning in which they allowed just two unearned runs.
Owenby pitched a perfect ninth to record his second save of the season and UT's first since Cox closed out a 5-4 win over Virginia Tech in the Hokie-Smokey Classic on April 16.
Tennessee jumped on the Eagles early, plating four runs in the bottom of the first after Charpie opened the contest with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the frame. After a quick first out, an infield single by A.J. Simcox and a four-pitch walk to Scott Price put two on for Bennett who brought them both in with a sharply-hit double down the left-field line.
After Bennett's two-bagger, Stewart drew UT's second four-pitch free pass of the inning and Jeff Moberg was hit by a pitch two batters later. David Houser then came through with a two-out, two-run single back up the middle to put the Big Orange up 4-0 after one inning of play.
Morehead State cut the UT lead in half with a two-out, two-strike, two-run single in the top of the third, but the Vols scored an unearned run in the home half of the frame to push their lead up to 5-2. With Stewart on second with two outs, he saw a pitch hit the dirt and took off for third. The throw from the catcher sailed into left field, allowing him to come home the final 90 feet.
UT's first error in three games came back to haunt it in the top of the fifth as the Eagles would take advantage of it to lad the bases. The Vols would then walk back-to-back batters to allow Morehead State to move back within one at 5-4.
Another wild throw by the MSU catcher gave the Big Orange an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth as Taylor Smart scored while trying to move up on a wild pitch.
The score would remain 6-4 in favor of the home team into the ninth as Martin and Saberhagen combined for three shutout frames out of the UT bullpen. Owenby would then retire the Eagles in order in the ninth to finish off the win for the Orange and White.
Tennessee will close out the 2013 regular season with a three-game series against Texas A&M, May 16-18. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday before a 1 p.m. showdown on Saturday.
Seventh Inning Rally Takes Kentucky Past Indiana
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Micheal Thomas led off the seventh inning with a game-tying home run and A.J. Reed singled with two outs to driving in the go-ahead run and lift Kentucky to a 5-3 comeback win over No. 15 Indiana, on Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (29-22) entered the bottom of the seventh trailing 3-2 after allowing a two-run inning for the Hoosiers, who rank No. 13 in the NCAA RPI and sports one of the nation’s top offenses. Thomas led off the frame with a no-doubt blast over the leftfield fence to even up the game, with UK getting the two-out, go-ahead RBI single from Reed to take a 4-3 lead. The Wildcats added an insurance run in the eighth on an Austin Cousino single and steal of second, and a RBI single from Matt Reida.
The Wildcats then turned to record-setting closer Trevor Gott in the ninth, with the junior notching his season-record 12th save of the year with just nine pitches, striking out two. A native of Lexington, Ky., Gott now has a record 23 saves in his career and has paced the dynamic UK bullpen to 86 consecutive wins when leading after eight innings, dating back to 2011. Since Gott arrived on campus as the Gatorade Kentucky High School Player of the Year out of Tates Creek in 2010 the Wildcats have gone 88-1 when leading after eight frames.
UK starter Jerad Grundy worked his sixth quality start of the year, tossing six strong innings, allowing four singles and one run, walking two and striking out two. Senior Walter Wijas took over to start the seventh, getting two outs and allowing two runs to score – one earned. Dylan Dwyer and Chandler Shepherd also worked in the seventh, with Shepherd getting out of the frame with a pop up. Shepherd (5-0) worked 1.1 shutout innings, not allowing a base runner, for his fifth win.
The Kentucky offensive attack totaled 10 hits in 32 trips to the plate, drawing two walks, stealing three bases and getting plunked by one pitch. UK was led at the plate by Reida – a native of Russiaville, Ind. – who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a steal. Reed, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., belted his 13th homer of the year as part of a 2-for-3 game. His 13-homer season marks the most for a UK player since first-team All-Americans Sawyer Carroll and Collin Cowgill hit 19 homers in 2008.
UK also got the solo homer from Thomas, his third of 2013, and a hit and steal from Cousino. Max Kuhn, a native of Zionsville, Ind., had a 2-for-4 game and freshman outfielder Kyle Barrett extended his hitting streak to a club-high 15 games with a first-inning single.
The win marked UK’s seventh triumph over a top-25 team in 2013, with UK sporting 13 wins against top-45 RPI teams on the year.
Indiana (38-12) starter Will Coursen-Carr worked six innings, allowing five hits and two runs, walking one and striking out three. IU used Luke Harrison (4-2) and Brian Korte in the seventh, with Harrison allowing the game-tying homer from Thomas to leadoff and the go-ahead run with two outs. Scott Effross pitched the eighth, allowing two hits and one run.
UK will conclude its regular season with a three-game series at Missouri, starting on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at Taylor Stadium.
Barrett worked his way around the bases in the bottom of the first to give Kentucky a 1-0 lead through one inning. He reached on an infield single and then moved over to third on a wild pitch and throwing error from the catcher, before taking home on a wild pitch.
Reed knocked an opposite field homer over the wall in left-centerfield in the bottom of the third to increase UK’s early lead to 2-0.
Indiana recorded its first run of the evening on a two-out solo homer from Dustin DeMuth in the top of the sixth.
The Hoosiers took the lead with two runs in the seventh. Casey Smith led off the inning with a single into leftfield and a throwing error on a Nick Ramos groundball advance the two baserunners to second and third with no outs. Ricky Alfonso singled to score the two baserunners, giving IU its first lead of the game.
Kentucky responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs to take back the lead. Thomas opened the inning with a solo home run over the leftfield wall to tie the game at 3-3. Reida followed the lead-off homer with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Barrett walked to put two runners on, Reed knocked a two-out single into centerfield to score Reida and help UK retake the lead at 4-3.
The Wildcats added one in the bottom of the eighth to take a 5-3 lead into the ninth. Cousino singled up the middle with one out and stole second to move into scoring position. Reida brought Cousino home with a single into leftfield.
Ole Miss Falls at Southern Miss in Final Mid-Week Game
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – What looked like it might be a pitching duel early changed quickly with a pair of big middle innings as No. 14 Ole Miss (35-18) fell to Southern Miss (27-23) on Tuesday night by a score of 10-3.
The Golden Eagles got four run innings in the fourth and the sixth to take the lead and the Rebels were unable to mount a rally as Southern Miss picked up the win.
Jacob Waguespack (0-1) took the loss in his first collegiate start, allowing two runs on four hits through 3.0 innings of work. The Rebels used four more pitchers on the night, all of whom surrendered two runs each in the loss.
A.J. Glasshof (1-2) picked up the win, working 6.0 scoreless innings and holding the Rebels to four hits with a walk and a strikeout.
“There’s not much that can be said after a performance like that,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We had a few opportunities early, but we didn’t capitalize on them. When that happens, you have to come back out and grind it out and hold the other team down. We didn’t do that tonight in any phase of the game.”
Ole Miss got the first chance to bring a man home, loading the bases in the second inning, but the Golden Eagles got the fly out with the bases loaded to end the Rebels scoring threat and keep a zero on the board.
Southern Miss got on the board first, converting on its first scoring opportunity in the fourth inning. Back-to-back singles opened the frame and had two men in scoring position out of the gates to start the rally. The Rebels then turned to the bullpen for left-hander Austin Blunt to try to minimize the inning.
A sacrifice fly from Mason Robbins put the Golden Eagles on the board, trading the run for the first out in the inning. Blunt struck out the next batter to put two away before a balk and a double down the right field line brought a second run home. Blake Brown then hit a two-run shot to left field to give the Golden Eagles the 4-0 lead before the Rebels would get out of the inning.
Ole Miss got a man in scoring position again in the fifth, but a double play ended the scoring threat and kept the Rebels off the board for the second time in the game.
Southern Miss built on the lead in the sixth inning with a two-out rally. With two men on, Austin Roussel hit ball to the gap at first. Sikes Orvis dove for the ball and made the stop, but the runner beat defenders to the bag safely in a close play and the lead runner on second came home to score. A walk loaded the bases and Ole Miss turned to the bullpen for the second time in the inning, calling on right-hander Josh Laxer.
The first pitch from the right-hander was wild, allowing all runners to advance as the Golden Eagles moved out to the 6-0 lead. A two-RBI single up the middle from Creel in the next at bat took the lead out to eight runs before Ole Miss would get the final out.
The Rebels cut into the lead in the eighth inning, pushing three runs home in the frame. A single and a hit batter put two on before Austin Anderson delivered an RBI double to right. With two runners in scoring position, pinch hitter Austin Knight got an RBI groundout to short before Sikes Orvis would come to the plate two batters later with the bases loaded and deliver a sac fly to center.
Ole Miss would get nothing more home in the inning, but cut the lead to 9-3.
Southern Miss got a run back in the bottom of the inning with a triple from Roussel followed by a wild pitch that brought him home.
Ole Miss will return to action on Thursday with the first game of a three-game series at No. 2 LSU. The opener will start at 6:30 p.m. and be televised by ESPNU.
Auburn Falls to Jacksonville State in Final Non-Conference Game
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn baseball team finished up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 6-1 loss to Jacksonville State at Plainsman Park on Tuesday night. With the loss, which gave the teams a season series split with each team winning on the other’s home field, Auburn falls to 31-21 while Jacksonville State improves to 30-23.
“We talked about the adjustment we were going to have to make offensively but give them credit, they pitched it extremely well and we didn’t make the necessary adjustments to overcome the stuff he was throwing up there,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “If you don’t bring you’re ‘A Game’ against anyone we play on our schedule, it’s going to be tough night.”
Jordan Ebert drove in Auburn’s lone run with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly as Auburn collected just five hits against a combined five Jacksonville State pitchers.
Jacksonville State starter Adam Polk (4-6) was the winner after holding Auburn off the board for 5 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and walking two while striking out two.
Auburn reliever Daniel Koger (0-3) took the loss, allowing five runs on three hits and three walks in an inning-plus of work.
Michael Bishop’s two-run home run in the third made it 2-0 Jacksonville State while Andrew Bishop’s two-run double off of Trey Cochran-Gill made it 5-0 at the time. Andrew Bishop, who was the first hitter Cochran-Gill faced after coming in for Koger, came around to score on a Gavin Golsan RBI groundout for the six-run lead.
Damek Tomscha finished with two of Auburn’s five hits while Garrett Cooper went hitless in two at bats to snap his career-best hitting streak at 15 games. Cooper did reach base three times, however, walking in the first and getting hit by a pitch in both the sixth and eighth innings.
Auburn finished out its non-conference season 20-5.
Auburn closes out the season against No. 11 Arkansas at Plainsman Park this Thursday through Sunday. Game times are 6pm on both Thursday and Friday and 1pm on Saturday.
South Carolina Edges Presbyterian
Columbia, S.C. – Consecutive sacrifice flies by Graham Saiko and Chase Vergason helped lift 12th ranked South Carolina to a 4-3 win over Presbyterian on Tuesday night in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 38-14 on the year and the loss drops the Blue Hose to 24-29.
Patrick Sullivan earned the win for South Carolina and is now 2-0 on the year. Sullivan hurled 1.2 innings of relief giving up one run on one hit and striking out three. Tyler Webb earned his 15th save of the season and made his 102nd appearances of his career, which ties a school record set by Matt Price. Webb pitched one scoreless inning of relief and struck out two batters. Tim Corbin suffers the lost for Presbyterian and falls to 2-4 on the year. Corbin hurled seven innings giving up four runs on nine hits, with five walks and one strikeout.
South Carolina was quick to get the bats going tallying three hits in the bottom of the first and pushing across two runs to take an early lead. Saiko opened the frame with a single and came home when Vergason doubled down the right field line. A walk to Joey Pankake and a single by Max Schrock loaded the bases for Grayson Greiner, who grounded into a double play that allowed Vergason to score and gave the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.
Presbyterian scored a run in the top of the second to cut South Carolina’s lead in half. Three consecutive one-out singles loaded the bases for Jacob Midkiff who drove in Brandon Paul with an infield single. The Blue Hose still had the bases loaded but Forrest Koumas was able to end the threat by turning a double play when Ryan Hagan’s squeeze bunt attempt popped up.
Presbyterian tied the game at 2-2 after scratching across a run in the top of the seventh. Cam McRae reached base on an error to lead off the inning. After Midkiff sacrificed McRae to second, he further advanced to third on a single by Ryan Hagan and would score the tying run on Jay Lizanich’s RBI groundout.
The Gamecocks responded with two runs and reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Sean Sullivan drew a leadoff walk, Tanner English followed with a bunt for a base hit, and Dante Rosenberg reached base on a fielder’s choice with a sacrifice bunt when the Blue Hose attempted to get Sullivan out at third. With the bases loaded a pair of sacrifice flies off the bats of Saiko and Vergason drove in Sullivan and English respectively and gave the Garnet and Black and 4-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Presbyterian cut South Carolina’s lead to 4-3. Nathan Chong led of the inning with a double and would score on Hagan’s two-out RBI single to center.
South Carolina starter Forrest Koumas pitched three innings, allowing one run on four hits and struck out one batter. Evan Beal pitched two scoreless innings of relief allowing no hits and walking one batter while Joel Seddon contributed 1.1 innings allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout.
The Gamecocks belted out nine hits including two from both Rosenberg and Schrock. Vergason had the team’s only extra base hit of the night, a pair of RBI and a scored a run. Saiko contributed a hit, drove in a run, and scored a run as well.
South Carolina is back on the road for a three-game SEC series with Mississippi State in the final weekend of the regular season. First pitch for the opener on Thursday is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Friday’s contest is also scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the series finale on Sunday will begin at 3 p.m. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, “The Game.”
Mississippi State Handles ORU
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State closed the non-conference portion of its 2013 baseball schedule with a 3-2 victory over Oral Roberts Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field.
The 16th-ranked Bulldogs improved to 38-15 overall. MSU finishes the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 24-2 mark, including a perfect 11-0 mark in midweek play. For the Bulldogs, it is their largest number of non-conference wins since the 1989 squad went 25-5 outside the Southeastern Conference.
“It was a work-man like performance against a very good team,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “Even though they are below .500, they have been to 14 straight NCAA tournaments. Over the years, it is a program that has won a ton of games.
“The kids had much rather play than practice. So this was a good opportunity to get some things done before a very big weekend.”
The Bulldogs were able to get some mound time for five hurlers, including Daryl Norris, who pitched in a game for the first time since the 2011 Super Regional at Florida. Trevor Fitts started and gave way to Chad Girodo in the fourth inning.
Girodo (5-1) threw 2.1 innings of shutout relief to garner the win. Norris faced six batters in 1.1 innings of work, before giving way to C.T. Bradford. Jonathan Holder got the final out of the eighth inning and struck the side out in the ninth inning for his 14th save.
The 14 aves by Holder is a new single season record.
“At his request, we have been trying to get Daryl some more time on the mound,” Cohen said. “His bullpens have been fabulous. It was good to see him go out there and do what he did in a game situation. Then what can you say about Jonathan that hasn’t been said before?
“Hopefully, he will get some more opportunities and will totally crush that record. We need him on the back end for us to be the type of team we want to be for the rest of the season.”
MSU built a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Back-to-back singles by Adam Frazier and Alex Detz got things going. A sacrifice fly by Brett Pirtle scored the run.
After Oral Roberts (21-29) grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, the Maroon and White answered with two scores of their own in the home half of the inning.
C.T. Bradford led off that inning with a single and Sam Frost drew a walk. After a sacrifice bunt by Mitch Slauter moved both runners, a ground ball out by Jacob Robson tied the game. The Bulldogs grabbed the lead on a follow-up RBI-single by Frazier.
Frazier and Detz each finished with three hits. For Frazier, it was his eighth three-hit game, while Detz has done it six times. Bradford also had multiple hits.
Tyler Boss had three of Oral Robert’s seven hits. Logan Domenico also had multiple hits for the Golden Eagles. Starting pitcher Gavin Glanz (1-4) was lifted in the fourth inning and took the loss.
MSU remains home for South Carolina in Southeastern Conference action this weekend. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday to close out the regular season. MSU will go over five million in all-time attendance (since the statistic was tracked beginning in 1976) at Dudy Noble Field during Thursday’s game.
Vandy Ties Single-Season Win Record
Nashville, Tenn. – No. 1 Vanderbilt scored two runs in the first and cruised by crosstown rival Belmont 6-1 on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (46-6) jumped on the Bruins (36-16) in the first inning with Tony Kemp singling and stealing second to open the Dores’ night. Kyle Smith put the home team in front on his third home run of the season, a rope into the right-center field bleachers. Vandy blew the game open in the fourth with a three-run rally. A one-out single from Rhett Wiseman ignited the rally before John Norwood lined a single into left field to score Wiseman from second. The red-hot Tony Kemp followed with a triple into the right field corner to score two more runs and open up the VU lead up to 5-0. The triple for Kemp was his sixth of the season and 21st of his career matching the Southeastern Conference career mark held by Florida’s Brian Duva. Kemp reached 21 triples in 180 games, 61 games faster than Duva did in the early 1990s.
Philip Pfeifer (3-0) worked six scoreless innings to beat the Bruins for the second time this season. The lefty did not allow a hit through the first three innings before finally yielding a single to Drew Turner to lead off the fourth. Pfeifer responded by retiring the next six batters he faced and closed out his night by working around a pair of singles in the sixth. Belmont starter Jordan Deal was pinned with the loss allowing Smith’s home run in his two innings of work.
The 46th victory of the season for the Commodores matches the school record for the most wins in the regular season set by the 2007 team. Vanderbilt is now 29-3 at Hawkins Field this season.
The Dores’ offense remained hot with 13 hits on the night led by Kemp, Wiseman and Norwood, who all had three-hit games. For Kemp it was his fourth straight multi-hit game and third three-hit performance in his last four games. Wiseman’s three hits match a career-best while Norwood’s three-hit night is a career-high. Smith added a RBI-single in the sixth inning to finish the game with three RBI in his first career start at third base. Matt Beaty drove in Belmont’s lone run while going 1-for-4.
The Commodores host Alabama in the teams’ final SEC series beginning Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Dores and Crimson Tide play Friday night at 6:30 and wrap up the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m. For ticket information call 615.322.GOLD or visit vucommodores.com.
LSU Sets Regular Seaon Win Mark By Beating UNO
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Five runs in the first inning boosted No.2 LSU (46-7) to an 11-2 win over the University of New Orleans (7-41) Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU’s 46 regular-season wins mark the most regular-season victories in school history since the NCAA adopted a standardized 56-game regular-season schedule in 1992.
LSU has now won 27 consecutive games against Louisiana schools and have 34 straight non-conference mid-week victories.
The Tigers take the field again Thursday against No. 14 Ole Miss (35-18). The game is set for 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
“The regular-season win record is something that we take a lot of pride in,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “When you do something that hasn’t been done in the very distinguished history of the LSU baseball program, that’s pretty significant. However, we know that this season will be ultimately judged by how we do in the postseason, so we have to continue to raise our game to a higher level. We’re certainly looking forward to the series with Ole Miss; they have a very talented team and a great coach, Mike Bianco, who played at LSU. We’ve had some tremendous games with them over the years and we always enjoy competing against them.”
Junior designated hitter Sean McMullen led off Tuesday’s game with a triple to the right-centerfield gap. He later came home on an RBI groundout from freshman outfielder Mark Laird.
Another run came off of the bat of outfielder Raph Rhymes who delivered an RBI single, extending the Tigers’ lead to 2-0. Second baseman JaCoby Jones followed up later in the inning with an RBI single of his own.
Catcher Ty Ross (2-for-3) tacked on another RBI in the first inning with a single to centerfield.
Centerfielder Andrew Stevenson executed a beautiful squeeze play with a bunt to the third base side in the fifth inning, scoring Jones from third and putting the Tigers in front 6-0. McMullen (2-for-3) added two more runs in the frame with a double.
Freshman first baseman Michael Barash delivered the Tigers’ final run with his first career home run into the left-field seats.
Freshman right-hander Hunter Newman (2-0) earned the victory, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out three in a season-high five innings of work.
UNO right-hander Alex Smith (3-9)suffered the defeat, surrendering five runs on six hits in 0.1 inning.
Aggies Coast to 10-Run Victory Over UTPA
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies scored in each of the first five innings and cruised to a 12-2 win over the UTPA Broncs in Tuesday evening’s run-rule shortened, seven-inning affair on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
The Aggies registered eight extra-base hits on the evening, including six doubles, one triple and one home run. A&M notched a season-high with 17 hits as the first six batters in the order recorded multiple-hit games and all nine starters registered at least one hit.
Cole Lankford went 3-for-4 with three doubles, two runs and two RBI to lead the hit parade. Hunter Melton also logged three hits, going 3-for-4 with one double, one triple, two runs and two RBI. Mikey Reynolds scored four runs, going 2-for-3 with his first home run of the season and his first career dinger at Blue Bell Park. Blake Allemand, Troy Stein and Daniel Mengden each added two hits.
The Aggies pounced on the Broncs early with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Reynolds followed with a double to the gap in right centerfield to put two runners in scoring position. Lankford plated Reynolds with a sacrifice fly to centerfield and A&M staked claim to a 1-0 lead.
The Maroon and White tacked on another run in the second inning. Mengden came up inches shy of a home run with a wall-banger to leftfield for a leadoff double, moved to third on a groundout by Mitchell Nau and scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Krey Bratsen for the 2-0 advantage.
The cavalcade of runs continued with four runs in the third inning. The frame was highlighted by an RBI triple by Melton and an RBI single by Bratsen.
Texas A&M (28-24) busted the Broncs with three runs in the fourth to inflate the cushion to 9-0. Lankford hit an RBI double, Stein tallied an RBI single and Melton scored on a passed ball to account for the runs.
Reynolds launched a 2-0 offering over the leftfield fence for a solo home run and a 10-0 lead.
UTPA (24-27) broke the scoring seal in the sixth inning when Alberto Morales sent a 2-1 pitch over the leftfield wall for a solo home run. The Broncs added a run in the seventh when Will Klausing scored on a groundout by Shane Klemcke, trimming the Aggie lead to 10-2.
The Aggies ended the contest in the seventh when they scored two runs to invoke the predetermined 10-run role. Melton plated a run with a single and Stein ended the contest with an RBI single of his own.
Pitching for the first time since April 16, Grayson Long (4-1) earned the win, allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out three over 6.0 innings. It marked the longest outing of his career.
Matt Daniels (1-6) was saddled with the loss for UTPA. He allowed six runs, five earned, on nine hits and one walk over 2.2 innings.
Texas A&M returns to action with a three-game series in Knoxville against the Tennessee Volunteers starting Thursday at 5 pm Central.
Georgia Erases Seven-Run Deficit to Down Rival Georgia Tech
ATLANTA-----Georgia erased an early seven-run deficit to outlast Georgia Tech 14-13 in 11 innings Tuesday and win the season series in front of 3,003 at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The game lasted four hours and 26 minutes and featured Tech building a 7-0 lead by the third; Georgia tied it at 8-all in the seventh; the Bulldogs went ahead 13-8 in the eighth only to see Tech rally back to tie it in the bottom of that inning.
Redshirt freshman Mike Mancuso struck out five over the final 2.2 innings for his first win while sophomore Jared Walsh drove in a career-high four RBI. Walsh tied the game in the seventh and provided the lead in the eighth and 11th. Tech had the tying run at third with one out in the final frame and Mancuso battled to strike out the Yellow Jackets number two and three hitters in Brandon Thomas and Daniel Palka. Kyle Wren doubled with one out and stole third where he was stranded.
This past weekend, Tech posted a pair of walk-off wins over second-ranked North Carolina but was denied another one Tuesday. Georgia improved to 19-31 and wins its first season series over Tech since 2007.
“This was a huge win, bigger than the 17-0 win at Turner Field this year because this won the series and it came on their field,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We had a lot of guys contribute tonight and a tremendous job by Mike Mancuso as he handled the moment. He had his command and didn’t walk anybody. The guys that didn’t walk anybody were effective. He’s not a strikeout pitcher but he came up with some big wins tonight. Even after we got down by seven, the guys hung in there and battled and credit Tech for coming back to after we went up by five. That was a bizzare eighth inning, each team scored five runs.”
The Yellow Jackets (32-21) jumped in front 2-0 in the first on a two-out, two-run single by Sam Dove off Bulldog senior Bryan Benzor. Tech did more two-out damage in the second, scoring three runs on four hits, getting RBI from Kyle Wren, Daniel Palka and Zane Evans to build a 5-0 lead. After Tech put the first two on in the third, Georgia went to the bullpen in favor of sophomore Ross Ripple. With one out, catcher Mitch Earnest made it 7-0 with a two-run single.
Senior Curt Powell smacked a single to shallow right field with one out in the fourth for the first hit off Tech sophomore Josh Heddinger. Senior right fielder Brett DeLoach notched Georgia’s second hit of the night with a one-out single in the fifth. Then with two outs in the frame, freshman catcher Zack Bowers popped up near first base and Tech infielders lost it in the lights, and it fell for an RBI-single as DeLoach scored. Sophomore Justin Bryan followed with a base hit to bring up sophomore Nelson Ward. He worked the count full and then blasted his second home run of his career, a three-run shot to close the gap to 7-4. For Ward, it was his second round-tripper in four days after getting his first to lead off the South Carolina series last Friday in Columbia.
Ripple provided two scoreless innings and junior left-hander Patrick Boling started the fifth for the Bulldogs. Tech got a run back in the frame on a one-out double from Earnest to make it 8-4. In the sixth, sophomore Hunter Cole blasted his fourth home run of the season to pull the Bulldogs to within three at 8-5. Senior Kyle Farmer followed with a double and went to third on a flyout by Jared Walsh. That ended Heddinger’s night as Tech went to right-hander Alex Cruz. DeLoach and Bowers brought the Bulldogs to within one with RBI-singles. Later, Georgia had the bases loaded with one out for Ward but Evans got him to bounce in to a double play to maintain Tech’s lead at 8-7. It marked only the third time this year that Ward hit in to a double play.
Georgia tied the game with a two-out double from Walsh in the seventh. Cole reached with a one out single, stole second, went to third on a Farmer flyout to bring up Walsh. Georgia had erased an early 7-0 deficit. After a walk to DeLoach, Tech went to the bullpen for right-hander Cole Pitts. Posey drew his third walk of the night to load the bases but Pitts came back to strike out Bowers to keep it a tie game.
In the eighth, Georgia batted around, scoring five runs on three hits to take a 13-8 lead. Walsh provided the go-ahead hit, a two-out, two-run single. Posey followed with a bases-loaded walk and freshman pinch-hitter Daniel Nichols capped the outburst with a two-run single. Tech tied it in the bottom of the inning off sophomore Jarrett Brown, scoring five runs on one hit and a three-run error by Bryan when he slipped on a flyball with two outs by Thomas Smith. In the 10th, Posey tied a school record by drawing his fifth walk, matching Brian Johnson who did it in 1995 against Georgia Southern.
In the 11th, Powell reached on a leadoff walk, went to second on a base hit by Cole and both moved in to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Farmer. Then, Walsh stepped up and delivered a sacrifice fly for a 14-13 advantage.
The Bulldogs close out the regular season by playing host to Florida (28-25, 13-14 SEC) starting Thursday. First pitch at Foley Field will be at 7 p.m.