|THURSday Baseball RESULTS
|Auburn 3, Arkansas 0
|Florida 4, Georgia 2
|Missouri 4, Kentucky 2
|Texas A&M 5, Tennessee 1
|LSU 7, Ole Miss 1
|Vanderbilt 7, Alabama 6
|Mississippi State 5, South Carolina 4
Auburn Shuts Out No. 11 Arkansas, 3-0, In Series Opener
AUBURN, Ala. – Conner Kendrick and Terrance Dedrick combined to hold No. 11 Arkansas to just five hits and kept them out of the run column for the entire night as the Auburn baseball team picked up a 3-0 win on Thursday in the series opener. With the win Auburn improved to 32-21, 12-16 SEC while Arkansas fell to 34-18, 17-10 SEC.
Kendrick tied his career high with eight strike outs, set twice before, and scattered four hits (three singles and a double) over 7 1/3 innings to move to 5-3 on the season. The left-hander walked just one and only allowed multiple base runners in one inning, it being the fourth. The southpaw would record inning-ending strike outs in the second, third and sixth as Auburn posted its first SEC shutout since a 3-0 win over Georgia on May 7, 2011.
“I thought that was the best off-speed stuff he has had all year,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “He commanded his fastball, threw three pitches for strikes and went deep in the game. He had a ton of confidence tonight.”
“I felt good, it was probably the best I felt all year,” Kendrick said. “This is a huge win coming off the loss the other night (vs. Jacksonville State). We came back today and played well.”
Dedrick earned his ninth save by throwing the final 1 2/3 innings. He entered for Kendrick following a one-out walk in the eighth and got a fly out and a strike out to keep Arkansas off the board. After he walked the second hitter he faced in the ninth, he surrendered a single but was able to close the door by getting Jordan Farris to ground into the game-ending double play, the first time Farris has been doubled up this season.
Dedrick’s nine saves are ninth in Auburn single-season history and the most by an Auburn pitcher since Austin Hubbard saved 10 in 2010.
Auburn took a 2-0 lead in the third on a Garrett Cooper two-run single. Mitchell Self slashed a single through a drawn in left side of the infield and Hunter Kelley reached on a fielder’s choice, which erased Blake Austin at third after he reached on an error. After Cullen Wacker grounded out to the pitcher to put two in scoring position, Cooper singled to left to drive in two, tying him for the team lead with 37 RBI on the season.
Auburn tacked on an insurance run in the seventh as Self, who finished 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, singled and scored on a throwing error by the Arkansas third baseman on a Hunter Kelley double. Self had entered the game with just four hits and three runs scored on the year.
“I found out earlier today that it was turn to go in, my chance to play and I was real excited and real pumped to be out there on the field,” Self said of getting the start in place of the injured Damek Tomscha. “You always wait for the opportunity to get in the game and when it happens you have to take advantage of it. As long as we are out there playing hard and everyone is trying to win, I’m good.”
“Mitchell really stepped up for us today,” Pawlowski said. “Guys work hard, they practice hard, they come to the field with the right attitude. He got an opportunity and certainly I am proud of what he did today to help contribute to our cause.”
Arkansas starter Barrett Austin (4-4) was charged for all three runs, though all three were unearned, in 6 1/3 innings, getting roughed up for nine hits and a walk despite striking out seven.
Florida Takes Series Opener At Georgia, 4-2
ATHENS, Ga. – Freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) snapped a 2-2 tie with an RBI single in the ninth inning and Florida (29-25/14-14 SEC) added an insurance run on a balk to defeat Georgia (19-32/5-20 SEC), 4-2 on Thursday night at Foley Field. Bader was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI, sophomore right-hander Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (5-3) worked out of a jam in the eighth inning to earn the win, while sophomore right-hander Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) registered the final three outs to notch his 12th save.
With the game deadlocked at two runs apiece entering the final frame, senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-3, two runs) led off with an infield single off of UGA redshirt junior Patrick Boling (3-7) and sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) (2-for-3) followed with a base-hit down the right-field line that pushed Ramjit to third base. Bader moved the visitors in front with a single into left center that brought home Ramjit and a sacrifice bunt by freshman Brady Roberson (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) left UF with a pair of runners in scoring position. After senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) flew out to left field, Boling was charged with a balk that scored Tobias for a 4-2 advantage.
Roberson had given the Gators a 1-0 lead in the second inning against senior left-hander Blake Dieterich with a sacrifice fly. Ramjit had led off by being hit by a pitch and advanced to third base on a one-out double down the right-field line by Bader. Roberson’s first career sacrifice fly into right center field broke the ice for the Orange and Blue.
The Gators loaded the bases with none out in the fourth inning, as sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) beat out an infield single, Ramjit doubled into left center and Tobias was plunked. Bader brought home Shafer with a sacrifice fly into left field, his second of the season, and a grounder by Roberson gave the Gators a pair of runners in scoring position with two down. However, Dieterich kept the Bulldogs’ deficit at 2-0 with a strikeout of Dent.
After junior Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) worked three scoreless frames, Georgia narrowed the gap to 2-1 in the fourth. The righty retired the first two batters of the inning before sophomore Hunter Cole singled into left field. After Cole moved into scoring position with a stolen base, Farmer reached on a fielding error by Dent and Cole went to third. A wild pitch enabled Cole to come across and Crawford responded by fanning sophomore Jared Walsh to end the stanza.
The Bulldogs used a two-out RBI single by senior Brett DeLoach (2-for-4) to knot the contest at 2-2 in the seventh. Farmer singled up the middle with one down and took second on a grounder by Walsh. DeLoach tied the game with a base-knock into left field and Jess Posey followed with a single through the right side of the infield to prompt a pitching change. Junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz. Fla.) came in for Crawford (6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 5 K, 0 BB) and a tremendous defensive play by Dent on a ball hit by freshman Daniel Nichols kept the contest tied.
Redshirt freshman DJ Smith began the Bulldogs’ eighth with a pinch-hit walk and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by sophomore Nelson Ward. Harris replaced Gibson (0.2 IP) and a grounder by Curt Powell advanced Smith to third base before Harris had Cole ground out to Ramjit unassisted.
Tigers Move Closer to SEC Tournament with 4-2 Win
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Mizzou baseball team (17-30, 9-19) moved closer to earning a spot at the SEC Tournament on Thursday (May 16) night against Kentucky (29-23, 10-18), taking advantage of RBIs from Keaton Steele, Logan Pearson and Shane Segovia in the 4-2 victory at Taylor Stadium. Tiger senior Dane Opel also knocked in a run, scoring freshman Josh Lester in the fourth inning.
Brannon Champagne also had a big day for the Tigers, going 1-for-3 at the dish and scoring a run in addition to getting his first outfield assist of the year, gunning a runner at home plate. Brett Graves scored his second win of the season, allowing just three hits and one earned run over five innings of work, striking out three along the way. Relievers Jake Walsh and Steele finished off the game with four scoreless frames, finishing off a big win. Steele earned his first cave of the season after pitching the final two innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three.
Steele had the only hit for either team in the first inning, and the Tigers threatened again in the second as they loaded the bases with two outs, but a lineout to right ended the frame scoreless. Graves then worked himself into a jam in the third, issuing three straight free passes with one out to load the bases, but a 4-6-3 double play held Kentucky off the board. Mizzou jumped on top in the third, scoring two runs as freshman Josh Lester and senior Scott Sommerfeld crossed the plate on RBI hits from Opel and Segovia.
Kentucky responded with one run in the fourth, loading the bases with two outs before single by Paul McConkey brought home one run. Champagne nailed a second runner trying to score, keeping the Tigers on top 2-1. Champagne then wore a fastball to start off the bottom of the frame, eventually coming around to score on a two-out single from Steele for a 3-1 edge. The Wildcats wasted no time answering, tacking on their second run of the game to make the score 3-2.
Mizzou extended the lead in the bottom of the inning, cashing in on a two-on, no-out situation with Pearson’s one-out groundout to second for a 4-2 advantage. The scoring then slowed in the sixth, as Walsh threw two scoreless innings for Mizzou until Steele took over on the bump in the eighth inning, throwing a scoreless frame. He worked a quick ninth inning, too, striking out the final two batters he faced.
A&M Tops Tennessee in Series Opener, 5-1
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – After yielding just one run over 8.0 innings in each of his last two starts, Texas A&M right-handed pitcher Daniel Mengden finally broke through for his first career complete-game. The sophomore pitched the Aggies to a 5-1 win over the Tennessee Volunteers at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Thursday evening.
Mengden allowed just one run on seven hits and two walks while striking out four over 9.0 innings. He lowered his ERA to 1.84 on the season and has yielded just three runs in his last three starts, totaling 25.0 innings.
The Aggies harvested a run in the top of the third inning to take the early lead. Jace Statum knocked a leadoff single up the middle and was replaced at first base by Mikey Reynolds who was unsuccessful in a sacrifice bunt attempt. Reynolds moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a groundout by Blake Allemand. Cole Lankford broke the scoring seal, knocking Reynolds home with a single to the shortstop for the 1-0 lead.
Tennessee (21-29, 7-19 SEC) tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Will Maddox started the inning with a single to rightfield and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by AJ Simcox. An infield single by Scott Price put runners on the corners with one out, and Ethan Bennett sent the Maddox home for the equalizer with a groundout to the shortstop.
The Volunteers were feeling charitable in the top of the fifth, yielding an unearned run to the Aggies. With one out, Statum drew a five-pitch walk and moved to second on a groundout to the shortstop by Reynolds. Allemand bounced a ball into the hole on the left side, but shortstop Simcox fumbled the ball for an error, putting runners on the corners. Lankford took advantage of the extra out, driving a single through the left side of the infield to plate Allemand with the two-out run and the Aggies staked claim to a 2-1 edge.
Texas A&M (29-24, 12-15 SEC) created separation with a three-run seventh inning. Centerfielder Parker Wormsley made a diving attempt on soft line drive by Krey Bratsen, but he couldn’t keep it in the glove for the leadoff single. The Volunteers were unsuccessful in an attempt to retire the lead runner at second on a sacrifice bunt by Statum giving the Aggies two runners with no outs. Reynolds pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt for the first out of the inning. After Allemand struck out swinging, Lankford was intentionally walked to set up the double play opportunity.
With the bases saturated with Aggies, Hunter Melton hit a ball deep in the hole on the left side of the infield. Simcox corralled it and went to second in an unsuccessful attempt at a force out and Melton was credited with the RBI single, driving in Bratsen. Stein capped off the rally by pushing two runs across with a single up the middle for the 5-1 lead.
Zack Godley (5-7) worked a complete-game in the loss, allowing five runs, four earned, on nine hits and three walks while registering a career-high with 13 strikeouts over 9.0 innings.
Lankford and Melton each had two hits for the Aggies. Lankford went 2-for-4 with one run, one walk and two RBI. Melton went 2-for-5 with one double and one RBI.
Christin Stewart led the Volunteers with three of their seven hits. Price was the only other Tennessee player with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a walk.
SECOND-RANKED TIGERS POST 7-1 WIN OVER NO. 14 OLE MISS
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 2 LSU (47-7, 22-6 SEC) launched four home runs in a 7-1 victory over No. 14 Ole Miss (35-19, 14-14 SEC) Thursday night at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU tied its school record for most SEC victories in a season, matching the 22 wins collected by the 1986 and 1997 squads. The Tigers’ 47 overall regular-season victories equals the mark set by the 1986 team, which won 47 of 59 regular-season games prior to the NCAA instituting a 56-game maximum in 1992.
The Tigers and Rebels face off again Friday at 7 p.m. on Cox Sports Television and LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates. Prior to Friday’s game LSU will honor its 1993 national championship team and designate the diamond at Alex Box Stadium as “Skip Bertman Field.”
Sophomore left-hander Cody Glenn (6-2) earned the win on the mound for the Tigers, allowing one run on eight hits while striking out two.
“I thought Cody Glenn was the real key to the game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He just seems to get better with every outing, and I really admire the way he works his way out of jams. He keeps his composure and makes big pitches at the right time to keep the opponent off the scoreboard.”
Ole Miss right-hander Mike Mayers (4-5) suffered the defeat, giving up five runs on seven hits and one walk while fanning seven.
“We beat a very good pitcher tonight,” Mainieri said. “Mayers has had a lot of success against us over the years, and we really respect his ability. I liked our approach at the plate – we got off to a great start in the first inning and swung the bats well throughout the game.”
Shortstop Alex Bregman and leftfielder Raph Rhymes gave the Tigers a 2-0 advantage in the first inning Thursday night with RBI hits.
In the fourth inning, LSU delivered a pair of solo blasts into the left field seats off the bats of first baseman Mason Katz (his 14th homer) and third baseman Christian Ibarra (his sixth). Katz’s long ball was his first since March 31 at Missouri.
Rhymes delivered his third long ball of the season on a thrilling inside-the-park home run that included a somersault over Ole Miss catcher Stuart Turner at the plate. The inside-the-park homer was LSU’s first since March 20, 2012 when Tyler Moore produced one against Southern in Alex Box Stadium.
In the following inning, designated hitter Sean McMullen launched a rocket of his own over the right-field wall, putting the Tigers in front 6-1.
Dores hold off Crimson Tide
Nashville, Tenn. – No. 1 Vanderbilt held off a late rally en route to a 7-6 win over Alabama at Hawkins Field Thursday night to push the Commodores win streak to 14 games.
With the victory, Vanderbilt ran its record to 47-6 overall and 25-2 in the SEC. The 47 wins set a new school record for the most wins in a regular season, which was previously held by the 2007 squad. The Commodores’ 25 SEC wins ties the SEC record for most SEC wins in a season set by South Carolina in 2000. Vanderbilt is 30-3 at the friendly confines of Hawkins Field this season.
The Commodores jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead over the Crimson Tide (31-23, 13-14) after a two-run home run by Connor Harrell in the first inning. The home run was Harrell’s 11th of the season. An inning later, Kyle Smith delivered another two-run homer, making the score 4-0 in favor of the Commodores. Smith has hit home runs in consecutive games after missing nearly a month with an injury.
Vanderbilt tacked on another run in the third as Mike Yastrzemski scored off Conrad Gregor’s double play ball. In the fourth inning, Smith doubled and scored off a hit by Xavier Turner to give VU a 6-0 lead.
Alabama plated its first run of the game in the top of the fifth off a Commodore error. Leading 7-2 in the top of the ninth, Adam Ravenelle worked himself into a bases loaded jam before giving way to closer Brian Miller. Kenny Roberts greeted Miller’s first pitch with a grand slam to left and just like that, Vanderbilt’s lead was cut to one. Miller quickly regrouped to retire the next two Crimson Tide hitters to record his 14th save of the season. Miller’s save was the 19th of his career, matching the school record for career saves held by Ryan Rote.
Freshman Walker Buehler (4-1) went seven complete innings, allowing just two runs, one earned, with six strikeouts. The seven innings pitched are a career-high. The right-hander gave up seven hits, but limited the damage all night. Alabama starting pitcher Charley Sullivan (5-5) lasted only 3.2 innings, while surrendering six runs on 10 hits.
VU’s offense continued its impressive output with 12 hits led by five players with at least two apiece. Tony Kemp recorded his fifth-straight multi-hit game by going 2-for-5 at the plate. Harrell went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, giving him 59 RBI on the season. In his last two starts, Smith is 4-for-7 at the plate with two home runs and five RBI. Yastrzemski was 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. The Dores continued their clutch hitting with five more two-out RBI to run the team total to 20 over the last five games.
The Commodores’ 14-game winning streak matches the squad’s longest streak from earlier this year and is the team’s third winning streak of at least 13 games this season.
MSU BASEBALL OPENS SEC SERIES WITH WIN OVER SOUTH CAROLINA
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State found Thursday night baseball to its liking.
Down 4-1, the 16th-ranked Bulldogs rallied for a 5-4 victory over No. 12 South Carolina in the opening game of a three-game weekend Southeastern Conference series at Dudy Noble Field.
With the victory, the Maroon and White kept their hopes alive for a Top Four finish in the conference standings. To achieve that, MSU will have to take all three games of the series from South Carolina.
In the meanwhile, the Bulldogs moved into sole possession of third place in the Western Division and fifth place in the overall standings with two games left in the regular season. MSU is now 39-15 overall and 15-13 in league play, while USC is 38-15 and 16-11.
“(Former South Carolina coach) Ray Tanner told me before the game that he thought we had two evenly matched teams,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “We really saw that tonight. Each team has a premier closer and a great defense. We were fortunate enough to make a few more plays.”
On a night where MSU topped five million (since 1976) in all-time attendance at Dudy Noble Field, the Bulldogs staged a dramatic rally with four runs in the eighth inning. The script was similar to the last MSU conference game where a 6-0 deficit was zapped in a 7-6 win over Ole Miss.
“The one thing I hope our fans have learned by now is don’t leave the ballpark early,” Cohen said. “This group also has the capability of making something special happen. The attitude and determination is incredible. This group is special. They are going to fight you for every one of their outs.”
The big eighth inning started with a solo home run to left field by Wes Rea. After USC’s second pitching change of the inning, C.T. Bradford singled and Demarcus Henderson followed with a one-out bunt single. Nick Ammirati followed with a single to make it a one-run game. Adam Frazier followed with a game-tying RBI-single.
After an intentional walk to Hunter Renfroe re-loaded the bases, USC closer Tyler Webb (2-2) walked Brett Pirtle to force in the go-ahead run.
From there, Jonathan Holder closed down the situation for his 15th save of the season. Holder replaced winning pitcher Chad Girodo (6-1) after a leadoff walk in the ninth inning. A groundout, strikeout and flyout ended the matter.
For MSU, Luis Pollorena started and worked 4.2 innings. Pollorena allowed five hits and four runs (all earned) but did have a stretch of 12 straight retired Gamecocks after being touched for two runs in the first inning.
USC ran the lead to 4-1 and chased Pollorena in the fifth inning. Ross Mitchell, Will Cox, Girodo and Holder combined for 4.1 innings of two-hit shutout relief.
The Bulldogs finished with 14 hits, including three-hit nights by Bradford, Henderson and Ammirati. The bottom four spots in the lineup were a combined 9-for-15 in the contest. The Bulldogs made one error and stranded 12 base runners.
South Carolina had two hits from Brison Celek. The Gamecocks finished with seven hits.
“South Carolina has a real scrappy ballclub and they are going to come out ready to play Friday night,” Cohen said. “We had a nice crowd Thursday night but we really need a huge crowd on Friday night. There is nothing better to do in Starkville. So we need our people to come out and fill up the stadium.
“This a huge series between nationally-ranked teams and our kids are going to put it all on the line all weekend.”