LAKE CHARLES, La. – In its first game of the 2014 season, the Mizzou baseball team rallied from down 2-0 to defeat defending Conference USA Champion Southern Miss, 4-2, on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 15) at Cowboy Diamond. Senior Shane Segovia tallied a go-ahead double in the seventh inning and sophomore righty Ryan Phillips earned the win, the first of his career, as he went a career-best 2.0 innings while striking out two, also a career-best. His outing came in relief of fellow Rock Bridge High School alum John Miles, who went 4.2 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out four and walking just one in his first start since May 26, 2012, at Kansas.
After a scoreless top of the first, Miles induced a couple of ground balls in the bottom of the second, but bad hops plagued starting shortstop Josh Lester on those two hits, allowing a run to score. Southern Miss clean-up hitter Matt Durst then ripped a double off the left field wall to put USM up 2-0. After Mizzou went 1-2-3 in the top of the second, Miles allowed the first two runners to reach in the bottom of the second inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over, Miles tallied his first strikeout of the season for the second out and then induced a pop-up to get out of the inning.
Miles settled in and retired eight batters in a row before a two-out error in the fourth, but he got a grounder to short to send the game to the fifth with USM still leading, 2-0. Mizzou finally got to Southern Miss starter Cameron Giannini in the top of the sixth as Segovia singled to right and eventually came around to score on a bases-loaded wild pitch. The Tigers failed to add more as senior catcher Dylan Kelly struck out looking to strand the bases loaded.
The Tigers then took their first lead of the day in the top of the seventh. Kendall Keeton tallied a leadoff single to center and Zach Lavy then reached on catcher’s interference as the first two men reached. Head coach Tim Jamieson opted to let Segovia hit rather than lay down a bunt and he delivered with his second hit of the game, an RBI double to left to score Keeton. Lavy then scored on a throwing error trying to cut down Segovia at second as the Tigers took a 3-2 lead.
Phillips cruised through the sixth and the seventh in relief of Miles and Austin Tribby, sitting down six in a row – including two strikeouts - to send the game to the eighth inning eighth with Mizzou on top, 3-2. The Tigers scored an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI groundout to score Lester, who singled to lead off the inning as he has now hit safely in 10 straight games dating back to last season. Sophomore Breckin Williams and Keaton Steele threw scoreless eighth and ninth innings with Steele picking up the save, the third in his career.
The Tigers will play again at 3 p.m. against host McNeese State. Tex Little and Hunter Mense will have the call from Cowboy Diamond. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team @MUTigerBaseball.
Mizzou Baseball Drops Nightcap to McNeese State, 3-2
LAKE CHARLES, La. – After a thrilling come-from-behind win in its season opener, Mizzou baseball dropped the second game of a split doubleheader to McNeese State, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 15) at Cowboy Diamond. Junior righty Brett Graves was dealt the loss after an unearned run scored in the bottom of the fifth. Graves went 4.2 innings, allowing four hits and two walks while being charged with three runs, only two of which were earned. Kendall Keeton and Jake Ivory each picked up RBIs in the game, but Mizzou failed to plate the tying run despite having a runner on third with only one out in both the seventh and eighth innings. The Tigers fall to 1-1 on the season and will play their final game of the weekend against Chicago State tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.
McNeese State got to Graves in the first after an RBI double by Chayse Marion. But Mizzou answered in the top of the second inning as Jake Ivory ripped an RBI double to the warning track in left to score Kendall Keeton. After McNeese regained a 2-1 lead on a double-steal in the third, Keeton came up with a big RBI double down the left field line to score Josh Lester, evening the game at 2-2.
McNeese State then regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth as an Andrew Guillotte single and steal put a runner in scoring position for Jackson Gooch. He hit a roller to third that snuck under the glove of freshman Ryan Howard, plating the go-ahead run. It was an unearned run but put Graves on the hook for the loss.
Mizzou threatened in the seventh and eighth innings, each time putting runners on third with one out. But Dylan Kelly grounded into a pinch-hit double play, 4-6-3. Sean Ullrich, who made his collegiate debut on Saturday, drew his second walk of the day to lead off the eighth and wound up on third with one out after a bunt and Dillon Everett’s first hit of the season. With runners on the corners and one out, Lester lined a rope to short and Everett was doubled off at first, giving the Tigers just three more outs to try and tie the game. The Tigers again got the tying run to third base in the ninth and again failed to get it across the plate as a pop-up by Ivory ended the game.
Mizzou will close out the 14thLake Area Classic tomorrow against Chicago State at 12:30 p.m. It was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. Tex Little and Hunter Mense will have the call from Cowboy Diamond. For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team @MUTigerBaseball.
Georgia Falls in Season Opener to Georgia Southern
ATHENS, Ga. – The Georgia Bulldogs opened the 2014 season and the beginning of the Scott Stricklin era with a 9-3 loss in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.
Sophomore Sean McLaughlin took the loss for the Bulldogs, surrendering four hits and four earned runs to go along with a pair of strikeouts in just 1.2 innings of work. Starting pitcher Sam Howard earned the win for the Eagles, allowing three hits and no runs while striking out seven over five innings.
Redshirt sophomore David Sosebee turned in a career-best performance in relief for Georgia, recording career highs in both innings pitched (3.1) and strikeouts (five). Junior left fielder Hunter Cole finished 3-4 at the plate with a double and a run scored, while shortstop Nelson Ward also notched a double in addition to scoring a pair of runs.
After a scoreless first inning by both teams, Georgia Southern pushed four runs across in the second to take the early lead. The first three batters of the inning reached base, and following a strikeout, Stryker Brown dropped an RBI single into center field for the first run of the game. Dalton Busby followed with a two-RBI single through the left side to add to the lead before the Bulldogs brought in Sosebee in relief. The Eagles would plate one more run in the inning following an RBI-single by Ben Morgan.
Georgia Southern pushed another run across in the fifth on an RBI groundout to second to take the 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Bulldogs put two runners on base with a two-out single to left by Brandon Stephens and a walk by Cody McCance, but a fly out to right ended the inning without a run.
Junior Luke Crumley took the mound for the Bulldogs in the sixth, and a two-out, bases-clearing double that dusted the chalk down the left field line scored three to extend the Eagles’ lead to 8-0.
The Bulldogs scored their first runs of the game in the sixth inning. Ward reached base with one out after being hit by a pitch, and Cole followed with a single through the left side. Posey then came through with a single, and an error on the play allowed Ward and Cole to score and trim the Eagles’ lead to 8-2.
Georgia added one more run in the eighth inning as Ward sent a one-out double into right field, followed by a single from Cole and a fielder’s choice RBI from Posey to score Ward.
Georgia Southern scored once more in the top of the ninth en route to claiming the 9-3 season-opening victory. Game two of the doubleheader is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. at Foley Field, and a complete recap will be posted on georgiadogs.com following the conclusion of the game.
Georgia Evens Series with 11-3 Win Over Georgia Southern
ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia used a strong offensive performance consisting of 11 hits to even up the series against Georgia Southern with an 11-3 victory in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.
Attendance for today’s games reached 3,494 fans, which marks a record crowd in a season opener since Foley Field was renovated in 1990.
After dropping the first game of the doubleheader earlier this afternoon by a score of 9-3, the Bulldogs (1-1) exploded offensively the second time around, in addition to enjoying a strong outing on the mound from sophomore starter Ryan Lawlor.
“That’s not the way we wanted to start in Game One,” said Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin. “I have to credit their pitcher, Sam Howard, because he kept us off balance. However I was pleased to see us bounce back in Game Two and respond the way we did. Baseball is a game where you can bounce back in a hurry, and Ryan Lawlor gave us a great start in that second game. We got guys on base, we were able to put some pressure on them, and that’s something we weren’t able to do in Game One.”
In his first career start as a Bulldog after transferring from Middle Georgia, Lawlor gave up just five hits and three earned runs while striking out three over six innings en route to earning the win. Starter Josh Wirsu took the loss for the Eagles (1-1) after surrendering four hits and six earned runs through two innings of work.
Junior left fielder Hunter Cole finished the day going a combined 6-for-9 at the plate with three runs scored, a pair of RBIs and a pair of doubles. Fellow outfielder Conor Welton went 3-for-5 in the second game of the doubleheader with two runs scored and a stolen base.
Junior shortstop Nelson Ward went a combined 3-for-7 on the day, including five runs scored, three RBIs, a home run, a stolen base and a walk. Jess Posey also put together a stellar offensive showing in the first two games of the series, turning in three RBIs and drawing a walk.
Defensively, the Bulldogs committed just one error on the day through 18 innings of play.
“I was encouraged that we played good defense,” said Stricklin. “We knew Nelson would do a good job at shortstop. He’s a great baseball player, and you can play him anywhere.”
Freshman Michael Bell was projected to start at shortstop for Georgia before suffering a broken hand in practice. As a result, Ward earned his first career start at shortstop today after spending his first two seasons with the Bulldogs at second base.
Freshman Stephen Wrenn led off the game with his first career base hit and stole both second and third base before Ward blasted a one-out, two-run home run over the right field fence to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. The homer was the third of Ward’s career and first of this season for the Marietta, Ga, native.
Later in the inning, Cole and Posey continued their productivity at the plate with a single to left and a walk, respectively. A walk by Daniel Nichols on the ensuing at bat prompted an errant throw by the catcher, allowing Cole to score from third. One batter later, freshman Skyler Weber notched a two-RBI single in his collegiate debut to score Posey and Nichols and extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 5-0.
Georgia continued to add to its lead in the second inning after batting around in the first. Wrenn drew a walk to reach base for the second time of the afternoon and reached third following a groundout and a stolen base. Ward notched a fielder’s choice RBI to plate Wrenn from third, and Ward would eventually come around to score following a two-out error by the catcher, putting the Bulldogs in front 7-0.
Lawlor recorded 10 straight outs from the first to the fourth inning before Chase Griffin drew a two-out walk in the fourth to break the streak. Ryan Cleveland then sent an RBI double into left to score Griffin for the Eagles’ first run of the game.
The Bulldogs continued their scoring streak in the bottom of the fourth, adding two runs on RBIs from Cole and Posey that plated Welton and Ward, respectively. Welton reached base earlier in the frame with a one-out single to left before stealing second and advancing to third on an error. Ward then drew a walk before Cole sent an RBI single to left and Posey followed with an RBI groundout to second, extending Georgia’s lead to 9-1.
After a scoreless fifth inning by both teams, Welton led off the sixth with a single to third and eventually came around to score on an RBI double to right field by Cole. Cole advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on an RBI groundout to second by Posey as Georgia led 11-1.
After the first two batters of the seventh inning reached base for the Eagles, junior Jared Cheek entered the game in relief for the Bulldogs. Georgia Southern pushed two runs across in the inning, both of which were charged to Lawlor.
Cheek surrendered no hits and no runs over the seventh and eighth innings while recording one strikeout. Freshman right-hander Robert Tyler took the mound in the ninth inning for the first time of his collegiate career, retiring all three batters he faced to preserve the 11-3 win for the Bulldogs.
The decisive third and final game of the series will be played tomorrow afternoon at Foley Field with first pitch set for 1 p.m.
South Carolina Beats Bucknell 17-4
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Seventh ranked South Carolina pounded out 10 hits and reached base with 13 additional walks and four hit by pitches en route to a 17-4 victory over Bucknell on Opening Day at Carolina Stadium.
Sophomore designated hitter DC Arendas was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI. Junior first baseman Kyle Martin went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored with junior catcher Grayson Greiner 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored as well. Connor Bright added three RBI. Max Schrock walked four times and scored four runs with Joey Pankake adding three runs also.
Junior left-hander Jordan Montgomery hurled five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out four batters to pick up the win. Freshman right-hander Taylor Widener added two scoreless innings of relief and allowed just two hits and struck out two batters. Bucknell starter Bryson Hough lasted only 2.1 innings and suffered the loss. He allowed eight runs on six hits with four walks and a strikeout.
Two walks led to a pair of runs in the bottom of the first for the Gamecocks. Back-to-back walks to Marcus Mooney and Max Schrock opened the frame and a double to right field off the bat of Kyle Martin scored Mooney for the first run of the 2014 season. Greiner drove in Schrock with a RBI groundout to give South Carolina a 2-0 lead.
The Gamecocks increased their lead to 8-0 in the bottom of the third. Schrock drew a one-out walk and a pitch hit Pankake to give Carolina a pair of runners. Martin singled for his second hit of the day and scored Schrock. With runners on the corners, Greiner doubled to right field and drove in his second run of the game as Pankake crossed home plate. Connor Bright increased South Carolina’s lead to 6-0 as he knocked a ball to deep right for a double, bringing home Martin and Greiner. DC Arendas then sent a 2-0 pitch over the right field wall for a two-run homer, the first home run and runs batted in of his career.
South Carolina scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth despite not recording a hit. A throwing error by the Bucknell shortstop Greg Wasikowski scored Mooney and Schrock for the first two runs of the inning. The pair reached base after being hit by a pitch and a drawing a walk, respectively. With Pankake on base, Martin and Greiner drew consecutive walks, loading the bases and a third walk to Bright would score Pankake. Bright’s three RBI tied a career-high. Arendas added a RBI and Greiner scored on a wild pitch. Elliott Caldwell would bring home Greiner with a sacrifice fly to center field giving the Gamecocks a 14-0 lead.
Carolina added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Mooney singled to open frame, and consecutive walks to Schrock, his fourth of the day, and Pankake loaded the bases. Pinch-hitter Brison Celek also drew a walk, allowing Mooney to score. A balk would bring Schrock home and pinch-hitter Gene Cone drove in the final run of the inning extending Carolina’s cushion to 17 runs.
Bucknell would get on the board in the top of the eighth after a pair of walks, a single and a fielder’s choice allowed Brett Smith to score. The Bison would add three more in the ninth inning including a homer from Anthony Ginerelli.
Gamecocks Sweep Doubleheader with 12-2 Victory Over Bucknell
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Seventh ranked South Carolina tallied 12 hits off the bats of seven different players including a 3-for-4 game from Tanner English who tripled and drove in a career-high five runs as the Gamecocks earned a 12-2 victory over Bucknell to sweep a doubleheader and clinch the series against the Bison.
Sophomore right fielder Connor Bright went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI and three runs scored. Junior catcher Grayson Greiner accounted for a pair of RBI and two hits as well while Joey Pankake and DC Arendas each scored a pair of runs. Eight of nine position starters had at least one hit.
South Carolina sophomore left-hander Jack Wynkoop earned the win in his first start of the year. He worked five innings and allowed two runs on six hits with no walks and a career-high six strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Curt Britt added 2.1 scoreless innings of relief allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out three batters. Bucknell starting pitcher Dan Weigel worked four-plus innings and allowed six runs, five earned, on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Gamecocks broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. After drawing four walks in the first game of the doubleheader, Max Schrock found his way on base again with a one-out walk. He would advance to third base on a throwing error by Bucknell third baseman Will Mooney and score on Kyle Martin’s RBI sacrifice fly to center.
South Carolina extended the lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second. Connor Bright opened the frame with a double. With one out and runners on the corners, Tanner English drove in Bright with a base hit down the left field line. Marcus Mooney followed with a perfect sacrifice squeeze bunt allowing DC Arendas to score. Schrock added a RBI single to score English.
Bucknell cut the Gamecock lead in half in the third inning. Corey Furman hit a solo homer and Jon Mayer tallied a RBI double to bring the Bison within a pair of runs.
South Carolina chased Weigel in the bottom of the fifth inning. Joey Pankake reached base with an infield single and Kyle Martin walked to put a pair of runners on base with no outs. After a wild pitch advanced both into scoring position, Grayson Greiner crushed a double off the wall in center field scoring both and putting Carolina in front by four runs.
The Gamecocks increased their lead to 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh after a pair of walks to Bright and Arendas and a two-run triple off the bat of Tanner English.
South Carolina added four more runs in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Bright knocked 0-2 pitch to right field for a base hit that drove in both Pankake and Martin. Arendas drew a two-out walk that loaded the bases and set the stage for English who singled to gap in left-center, brining home Greiner and Bright.
South Carolina and Bucknell close out the weekend series on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium with first pitch set for 12:30 p.m. Live video broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline.com. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network including flagship station 107.5 FM, “The Game,” with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody on the call.
Ninth Inning RBI Single Lifts No. 21 Alabama to 4-3 win over Saint Louis
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In his first collegiate start at catcher, Wade Wass delivered a two-out walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to lift the No. 21-ranked Alabama baseball team to a 4-3 win over the Saint Louis Billikens on Saturday afternoon from Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Alabama and Saint Louis are now 1-1 on the season and will play the rubber game of the three-game series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. CT.
With the first two batters grounding out to start the Alabama ninth inning, shortstop Mikey White and right fielder Ben Moore stroked singles to short and left field, respectively, to keep the inning alive. On a 1-0 pitch from SLU pitcher Damian Rivera, Wass singled through the left side to score White from second for the game-winning run.
“One key to the game, after a rough first inning, was that (Justin) Kamplain settled in and gave us four zeros and kept us there,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “We were able to get a couple of runs in the third and then the bullpen did a super job. Two freshmen came in – Nick Eicholtz and Thomas Burrows- and Burrows did a really good job there at the end, especially for the first time taking the mound here at Alabama.
Wass rounded out the afternoon with a 2-for-3 performance that included a single, a double, two walks and two RBI. White was 3-for-5 with a triple, two singles and two runs scored and Moore was 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Freshman lefty Thomas Burrows (1-0) picked up the win after throwing a perfect ninth inning in his collegiate debut. Also in his first collegiate appearance, right-hander Nick Eicholtz pitched three scoreless innings, striking out one and allowing two hits and two walks.
Rivera (0-1) was charged with the loss for Saint Louis after giving up the game-winning run in the ninth. Rivera struck out one in 3.2 innings and gave up six hits to Tide batters.
“Offensively it was a little scattered, but they pitched extremely well,” Gaspard said. “Their starter (was throwing) 90-94 and had three pitches he threw for strikes. Then they had a soft tossing lefty that commanded three pitches. We finally got something going, and then, obviously, in the ninth inning we put three good at-bats together to win the game. I tip my hat again to Saint Louis. They are a really good ball club and have done a great job the first two days here.”
Saint Louis benefitted from early Alabama miscues, as Crimson Tide starter Justin Kamplain hit leadoff batter Michael Bozarth and allowed him to advance to third on a throwing error on Alec Sole’s bunt single. The Billikens got each of the two base runners in, the first on a Braxton Martinez sacrifice fly, which was followed by a Mike Vigliarolo two-run home run, giving the Billikens a 3-0 lead after a half inning.
Daniel Cucjen sparked the comeback with his third-inning leadoff home run. Cucjen, who was making his first start of the season at third base, hit the first pitch he saw off the left-field foul pole for the Tide’s first run of the game. Later in the inning, White tripled to left center field with one out and scored the second run of the inning on a Moore sacrifice fly.
Alabama tied the game in the fifth inning when Moore scored from first on a two-out RBI double to left field by Wass.
Following the three-run first inning, Alabama starting pitcher Justin Kamplain did not surrender a hit for the remainder of his outing, allowing only two base runners on walks. He allowed three hits and struck out five in as many innings in his first start of the season. From there, Alabama freshmen Eicholtz and Burrows blanked the Billikens to set up the Tide’s late inning dramatics.
Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaBSB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.
Razorbacks Blast Past Appalachian State
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 25 Arkansas baseball team (2-0) defeated Appalachian State (0-2) 7-6 in game two of its three-game series on Saturday at Baum Stadium with an announced attendance of 8,074.
Junior Chris Oliver (1-0) picked up the victory on the mound. The Farmington, Ark., native struck out five, allowed one hit and one earned run in five innings of work. Fellow junior Michael Gunn threw the final 2.1 innings and allowed just one hit while striking out two to earn the save.
Arkansas’ offense was led by junior second baseman Brian Anderson, who was 3-for-5 at the plate, scored two runs and added his first stolen base of the season. Junior first baseman Eric Fisher opened the scoring with a solo home run to center field in the 2nd inning and drove in the Razorbacks’ final run of the game with a single in the 6th. Sophomore outfielder Tyler Spoon led Arkansas with three RBI courtesy of a three-run homer in the bottom of the 4th inning.
The season-opening series concludes Sunday at 1:05 p.m. in Baum Stadium.
LSU Posts 7-4 Win Over New Orleans at Zephyr Field
METAIRIE, La. – Junior left-hander Kyle Bouman worked five strong innings in his LSU debut and designated hitter Sean McMullen highlighted a three-run second inning with a two-RBI single as the second-ranked Tigers defeated New Orleans, 7-4, before 7,071 fans at Zephyr Field.
LSU (2-0) and UNO (0-2) will each play Sunday in the Major League Baseball Urban Invitational at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The Privateers will face Southern University at Noon CT and LSU plays host to Grambling State at 4 p.m. CT.
Both games on Sunday will be televised by the MLB Network. The LSU-Grambling game can also be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live video, audio and stats are available at LSUsports.net.
Freshman left-hander Jared Poche’, a native of Lutcher, La., will start Sunday’s game on the mound for the Tigers.
Bouman (1-0), a transfer from Jefferson County (Mo.) Community College, gave up a run on three hits in the first inning Saturday, but settled in and retired the final 13 batters he faced. He recorded no walks and one strikeout in his five-inning outing.
“Kyle is a strike-thrower who can keep hitters off balance, and I thought he did a fantastic job,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “After the first inning he really found his rhythm and gave us a great outing.”
The Privateers took a 1-0 lead against Bouman in the bottom of the first, but the Tigers responded with three runs in the second. Second baseman Conner Hale lined an RBI single and McMullen drilled a two-run single to highlight the rally.
LSU added a run in the fourth on a run-scoring single by centerfielder Andrew Stevenson, and the Tigers extended the lead to 6-1 in the fourth when shortstop Alex Bregman slapped an RBI single and leftfielder Mark Laird scored on a passed ball.
Back-to-back doubles by Bregman and rightfielder Jared Foster in the sixth gave LSU a 7-1 advantage.
LSU recorded 13 hits in Saturday’s game after collecting only seven in a 2-0 win over UNO on Friday night.
“I was pleased with the way we responded after UNO took the lead,” Mainieri said, “and overall I thought we swung the bats better than we did last night. We need to continue to build on this momentum, carry it through Sunday’s game and finish the weekend strong.”
UNO rallied on Saturday with three runs in the sixth, benefitting from three walks issued by junior right-hander Brady Domangue. A two-run single by pinch hitter Jonathan Santana was the lone hit of the inning and trimmed the Tigers’ lead to 7-4.
LSU junior left-hander Henri Faucheux, who gave up Santana’s single, struck out the side in the seventh, and freshman right-hander Alden Cartwright worked a perfect eighth inning.
Freshman right-hander Parker Bugg picked up his first career save, striking out the final two UNO hitters with the bases loaded.
“All five of the pitchers we saw today were making their LSU debuts,” Mainieri said. “It was the first time for each of them to pitch at this level in front of a large crowd, and I thought they handled the pressure well for the most part.
A&M Topples Northeastern, 11-2
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies scored double-digits for the second consecutive game as the Maroon and White logged an 11-2 win over the Northeastern Huskies on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Saturday afternoon.
It marked the first time the Aggies scored double-digit runs in back-to-back games since 2011 when A&M beat Missouri 10-9 in the final game of the Big 12 Championship (May 29) and topped Wright State 11-0 in the first game of the NCAA College Station Regional (June 3).
J.B. Moss highlighted the contest with his first career home run, a solo shot to start the eighth inning, and more importantly, robbing Northeastern of a pair of potential run scoring extra-base hits with his play in rightfield, including gloving a sure three-run home run over the short fence in front of the Huskies’ bullpen.
The Aggies logged 10 hits, including three of the extra-base variety and added four walks and three hit batsmen. Patrick McLendon, Hunter Melton and Mitchell Nau each recorded multiple hits. McLendon went 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBI. Melton went 2-for-4 with two runs, one double and three RBI. Nau batted 2-for-5 with two RBI. Troy Stein added three RBI.
The Huskies pounced on the Aggies for a run in the top of the third inning. Sean Lyons singled to centerfield with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch with two outs and scored on a single to rightfield by Jason Vosler for the 1-0 lead.
The Aggies responded in the home half of the third inning, scoring two runs without recording a hit. Jace Statum was issued a leadoff walk and McLendon was hit by a pitch to spark the rally. Blake Allemand pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and Logan Nottebrok was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Melton drew a five-pitch walk to push Statum across for the equalizer and, after Nau struck out looking, Stein was hit by a pitch to send McLendon across for the go-ahead run as the Aggies staked claim to a 2-1 lead.
The Huskies threatened to tie the game in the fourth, but Moss made the first of his two spectacular plays for the game, robbing Joey Scambia of an extra-base hit. With Connor Lyons on second following a leadoff single and groundout by Brad Burcroff, Scambia drove an 0-1 offering deep to right field, but the mercurial Moss made the catch in full stride just steps from the outfield fence. Lyons tagged up and moved to third on the play, but Aggie starter Parker Ray struck out Gabe Levanti to end the frame.
For the second consecutive game, A&M created separation with a five-run fourth inning. Moss reached on an error by Northeastern third baseman Levanti to start the frame. Statum followed with a bunt single and the Moss and Statum pulled off the double steal to put two in scoring position. McLendon gapped a single to right centerfield to knock in both runners for the 4-1 lead. With one out, Nottebrok drew a four-pitch walk and Melton bounced a single up the middle to score McLendon. Stein completed the cavalcade of runs with a two-run double, scoring Melton and Nottebrok, to extend the Aggie advantage to 7-1.
Moss once again kept Northeastern off the scoreboard in the fifth inning. With two runners on and one out, Jason Vosler launched a 1-2 pitch deep to right field. Moss got on his horse sprinted to the short wall in front of the Northeastern bullpen and used full extension to snatch the ball from the jaws of homer. The play kept three runs off the scoreboard and following a walk to Rob Fonseca, Parker Ray induced a groundout by Connor Lyons to end the inning.
A&M put the game out of reach with four runs in the eighth inning. Moss accounted for the Aggies’ first home run of the season, sending a first-pitch offering over the leftfield fence for a leadoff dinger.
Disorientation by the Northeastern defense allowed the Aggies to score the next three runs. With one out, McLendon reached on an infield single and Allemand drew a five-pitch walk. Nottebrok bounced into what looked like an inning-ending double play to shortstop, but Huskie second baseman Michael Foster kept the offering at the bag and appeared headed for the dugout as though he thought the inning was over. The Aggies made the Huskies pay for the mental misstep as Melton plated one run with a ground-rule double to centerfield and Nau followed with a two-run single to balloon the lead to 11-1.
The Huskies scored a run in the ninth with singles by Sean Lyons and pinch-hitter Shane Allen and an RBI groundout by Foneseca.
Parker Ray (1-0) earned the win for the Aggies. He allowed just one run on six hits and two walks while striking out a career-high seven over 5.0 innings.
Veterans Corey Ray, Ty Schlottmann and Andrew Vinson combined to work three innings of scoreless relief. Corey Ray scattered one hit and two walks while striking out 1.1 innings, Schlottmann retired the only batter he faced and Vinson struck out three of four batters in 1.1 innings. Freshman Mark Ecker worked the final inning, allowing one run on two hits.
Sean Lyons led the Northeastern hitters going 3-for-5 with two runs. Connor Lyons batted 2-for-5 as the only other Huskie with multiple hits in the contest.
The loss was hung on James Mulry (0-1) for the Huskies. He yielded seven runs, four earned, on five hits and three walks while striking out two over 3.1 innings.
The Aggies and Huskies wrap up the three-game series on Sunday with a 12:05 pm contest on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Maryland Squares Series With No. 20 Florida, 9-7
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Maryland freshman right-hander Mike Shawaryn carried a shutout into the sixth inning in his collegiate debut and the Terps (1-1) held off No. 20 Florida (1-1), 9-7, to even the teams’ weekend series on Saturday at McKethan Stadium. Freshman Brandon Lowe and sophomore Anthony Papio each went 3-for-4, scored three runs and belted solo shots to lead the visitors’ 13-hit offensive attack. Trailing 6-0 in the sixth, the Gators closed to within 8-7 with a three-run eighth-inning outburst.
Sophomore Kevin Martir staked the Terps to a quick lead with a two-run double in the first inning off of freshman right-hander Brett Morales (Tampa, Fla.) (0-1). Junior Charlie White (2-for-4, two RBI) had opened the game with a single through the right side of the infield and Lowe drew a walk before Martir sliced a two-run double down the right-field line.
Junior Andrew Amaro (2-for-4) extended Maryland’s margin to 3-0 in the second frame with an RBI single up the middle after a leadoff double from Papio and a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Jose Cuas.
The Terps added two more runs in the fourth for a 5-0 advantage. Freshman Nick Cieri began the inning with a double to right field and stole third on a walk to Cuas. Freshman A.J. Puk (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) replaced Morales (3.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R) and Cuas swiped second base before the southpaw struck out Amaro. White legged out an infield single that scored Cieri and Lowe followed with a base-knock into left field that brought home Cuas.
Papio connected on his first homer of the season to right center to start the sixth for a six-run cushion. The Gators countered with three runs on two hits and an error in the home part of the inning to pull within 6-3. UF mounted a two-out rally on a walk to junior Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and a single into left field by junior Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) (2-for-5) that prompted a pitching change, with freshman Tayler Stiles replacing Shawaryn (5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER). The reliever plunked freshman pinch hitter Peter Alonso (Tampa, Fla.) to load the bases and uncorked a wild pitch that enabled Turgeon to come home. A fielding error at third base on a grounder by junior Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) drove in Gushue and junior Braden Mattson (San Antonio, Texas) came through with a pinch-hit single that trimmed UF’s deficit to three runs. Stiles preserved the lead with a strikeout of junior Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.).
In the seventh, Maryland used a squeeze bunt by senior Blake Schmit for a 7-3 lead. The Terps had consecutive singles off of freshman Kirby Snead (Alachua, Fla.) to begin the inning and Martir sacrificed his teammates over with a bunt against sophomore Aaron Rhodes (Venice, Fla.) before Schmit’s well-placed bunt plated Lowe. For the Gators, freshman Buddy Reed (Finksburg, Md.) drew a leadoff walk in the seventh and scored on a two-out wild pitch from senior Ben Brewster to cut the margin to three runs. However, UMD answered with another run for an 8-4 score in the eighth on a fielder’s choice by White.
Another two-out rally by the Gators in the eighth narrowed the gap to 8-7. After Shafer was hit for the second time in the game, sophomore pinch hitter Jason Lombadozzi (Chambersburg, Pa.) earned a free pass and sophomore closer Kevin Mooney was summoned from the bullpen. Making his collegiate debut, freshman John Sternagel (Rockledge, Fla.) caromed a pinch-hit single off of the pitcher’s glove to load the bases. Reed delivered his first hit at Florida with a two-run single into left field and sophomore Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) brought the hosts within a run by punching a single into right center. Mooney kept the Terps in front with a strikeout of freshman Ryan Larson (Orlando, Fla.). Lowe finalized the 9-7 margin with a leadoff homer in the ninth.
Reed, Shepherd Pace Kentucky to 10-4 Win at UNC Wilmington
WILMINGTON, N.C. - Kentucky got 5.2 strong innings from Chandler Shepherd and A.J. Reed belted a three-run home run as part of a four-RBI game, leading the Wildcats to a 10-4 win at UNC Wilmington, on a windy Saturday evening at Brooks Field.
Kentucky (2-0) won its second consecutive game to open the season, after posting a win over No. 1 Virginia in the season opener on Friday, 8-3.
UK had a dominating start on the mound from Shepherd, who carried a one-hit shutout into the sixth inning before UNCW mounted a two-run rally to keep him from a quality start. UK got a three-run inning in the third and batted around in a seven-run frame in the fifth inning, with UNCW getting two-run frames in the sixth and seventh.
The Wildcats tallied a 12-hit attack, with three walks, two steals and two hit batters. UK was led by Reed, who went 2-for-5 with four RBI. A first-team preseason All-America selection, Reed’s home run came as a mammoth three-run blast over the right-centerfield fence, sailing into the teeth of a blistering 25 mph wind.
Kentucky also got the 44th multiple-hit game of the career of Austin Cousino, a third-team preseason All-America selection. Cousino went 2-for-4 with a walk and his second steal in as many games. Sophomore Kyle Barrett, went 2-for-5 with a double and a steal, with sophomore Ka’ai Tom going 3-for-3 with an RBI in his collegiate debut.
UK also got a hit from Max Kuhn, who had two doubles on Friday, and a hit from freshman second baseman Connor Heady. Thomas Bernal reached base three times in the game, scoring once, with catcher Micheal Thomas drawing a walk and scoring a run.
The two-time defending Colonial Athletic Association regular-season champions, UNC Wilmington (1-1) suffered its first loss of the season, after posting a 5-3 win over VMI in the first day Hughes Brother Invitational on Friday.
A native of Louisa, Ky., Shepherd (1-0) worked 5.2 innings, allowing four hits and two runs, walking two and striking out four. Ranked as the 70th-best college prospect available in the 2014 MLB Draft in the preseason by Baseball America, Shepherd cruised through five innings, facing just two hitters over the minimum, scattering just a hit batter and a single. In the sixth inning, Shepherd – who made 25 relief appearances in 2013 – found himself in a base-loaded jam, with UK turning to freshman Logan Salow. Salow got a strikeout of a right-handed pitch hitter to get out of the threat, working 2.1 innings, allowing three hits and two unearned runs, walking one, striking out five. A native of Ashland, Ky., Salow’s first four collegiate outs came as strikeouts. Junior right-hander Spencer Jack then made his collegiate debut with a perfect ninth inning, with one strikeout.
UNC Wilmington starter Jordan Ramsey (0-1) – the 2013 CAA ERA leader – worked 4.2 innings, allowing 10 hits and 10 runs, striking out four. Ramsey entered the start off a season that saw him own a league-best 2.34 ERA in 104 innings. UNCW then turned to Will Shepley as the first arm out of the bullpen, working 1.1 innings, before Cory Gantz worked a shutout frame. Jared Gessell came on to start the eighth, with Teddy Cillis working the ninth.
Kentucky will return to action on Sunday, facing VMI at 10 a.m. ET at Brooks Field. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WWTF 1580-am and online at UKathletics.com, with Dick Gabriel calling the action. UK will send sophomore right-hander Kyle Cody to the mound to face off with VMI right-hander Andrew Woods.
The Wildcats got on the board in the top of the third inning, as Cousino singled up the middle with one out. Kuhn followed with singled to rightfield to put two runners on for Reed. With a 25 mph wind blowing from right to leftfield, Reed belted a no-doubt blast out to right-centerfield, giving UK a 3-0 lead.
Kentucky batted around to blow the game open with seven runs in the top of the fifth inning. Barrett led off the inning by reaching on an error and after a fly out, Kuhn beat out the back end of a double play to reach on a fielder’s choice. Reed followed and smashed a double off the diving glove of centerfielder Josh Abshire, scoring Kuhn. Bernal was then hit by a pitch and Thomas forced in Reed after hitting into a throwing error. Reida then drilled a double into the gap in right-centerfield, scoring Bernal and Thomas. Tom then singled up the middle to score Reida, with Heady scoring Tom with a single into rightfield. Barrett then belted a double off the wall in leftfield, scoring Heady with an opposite-field double.
The Seahawks got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Abshire singled with one out into left-centerfield. Luis Renvil replaced him at first on a fielder’s choice, with Luke Dunlap then drawing the first walk of the game. Corey Dick delivered the first RBI hit of the game for UNCW, with Ryan LaGrange following with his own RBI single up the middle.
In the bottom of the seventh, UNCW rallied with a pair of unearned runs after a two-out UK error. Terrence Connelly reached on a one-out single that dribbled down the first base line. Salow fielded it on the run and made an off-balance throw to Bernal at first, with his throw skipping in the dirt under the glove, with Heady wisely backing up the play down the rightfield line. Renvil then reached on an error and Dunlap drew a full-count walk. Dick then lofted a blooper into shallow centerfield, just getting under the diving glove of Cousino for a two-run single.
Fitts Fans Career-High 11 In 6-1 Win Against Western Carolina
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State picked up its first win of the college baseball season with a 6-1 victory over Western Carolina Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
Trevor Fitts picked up the squad’s first quality start of the season as junior right-hander allowed seven hits and one run, with a career-high 11 strikeouts and two walks. Jacob Lindgren, Preston Brown and Jonathan Holder followed. Holder faced four batters and struck out two for his first save of the season.
“Trevor really set the tone for us today,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “It was big for him to go out there and navigate the first five or six innings for us today before we finally got some balls to fall for us. We needed this because the kids were looking at each other thinking ‘are we ever going to score’ and in baseball those things can begin to start playing mind games with you. The monkey is off our back there and I hope now our kids can relax a little bit and just go play.”
MSU (1-1) scored three runs in both the fourth and eighth innings.
In the fourth inning, Brett Pirtle started things with a leadoff single. After a strikeout, Cody Brown gave the Maroon and White its first lead of the season with an RBI-triple. After a pair of walks, Jake Vickerson collected his first RBIs with MSU with a two-run single.
After Western Carolina (1-1) closed within 3-1 thanks in part to two wild pitches in the fifth inning, MSU blew the contest open with three runs off five WCU relievers in the eighth inning.
Zack Randolph started things with a one-out single. A hit batsman and Alex Detz’s second hit loaded the bases. Wes Rea followed with a two-run single and C.T. Bradford drew a bases-loaded walk.
The extra offense was more than enough for Holder, who got the final out of the eighth inning before setting the side down in order in the ninth inning.
MSU finished with nine hits, including multi-hit games by Detz and Pirtle. Detz has now reached base safely in 25 straight games dating back to last season.
Cody Jones had two of Western Carolina’s seven hits.
The series concludes at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. MSU is expected to start either freshman right-hander Dakota Hudson or senior right-hander Ben Bracewell in that contest.
Rebels Power Past Stetson For 11-1 Win
DELAND, Fla. - For the second straight day the Rebels' bats came alive early and the pitching staff turned in another dominant performance as Ole Miss (2-0) defeated Stetson (0-2) by a score of 11-1 to claim the weekend series and set up the chance for a sweep on Sunday.
Christian Trent (1-0) led another solid outing by Rebel pitchers, working 6.0 innings and allowing one run on three hits with six strikeouts. Trent did not walk a batter and worked a perfect 3.2 innings before Stetson would get its first base runner of the game with a hit batter.
Austin Perez (0-1) suffered the loss for the Hatters, allowing five runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. Four of the five runs were earned against Perez.
Austin Anderson led the Rebels at the plate, going 4-for-6 with three runs scored on the afternoon as the Ole Miss offense pounded out 11 runs on 18 hits. Fellow senior Will Allen went 2-for-3 with five RBI and a run scored while adding a walk.
"Christian Trent was really good for us today," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "All three of his pitches were working and he was throwing a lot of early strikes. He really kept them off balance. I'm proud of him for his first outing.
"We had a lot of guys on the field today making their first outings and that first time can be difficult whether you're a junior college transfer or a freshman," Bianco said. "Instead of playing differently, they just went out and made plays and were terrific. Our depth really showed tonight with so many guys able to come in and make plays and hits and pitches no matter the situation."
The Rebels again got off to a quick start in game two of the series when Will Allen launched a three-run shot over the wall in left center to put Ole Miss on the board. Singles from Braxton Lee and Austin Anderson put two men on base with one out before Allen launched his shot over the wall to give the Rebels the 3-0 advantage out of the gates.
Stetson got on the board in the fourth inning with a two-out rally. Patrick Mazeika was hit by a pitch to put a man on base before Josh Powers delivered a double to the wall in left center that brought Mazeika home and cut the lead to 3-1. Trent then got a groundout from the next batter to end the inning and squash the rally.
Ole Miss answered in the top of the fifth, capitalizing on a Stetson miscue after applying pressure on the base path. With Auston Bousfield and Anderson on base following a walk and a single, the two runners executed a double steal to get into scoring position. The Hatters catcher threw to second, but the throw tailed wide of the bag allowing Bousfield to come home and score while Anderson moved to third.
A single to left from Preston Overbey two batters later brought Anderson home and gave the Rebels a 5-1 lead. Stetson then turned to the bullpen for right-hander Josh Thorne with two outs on the board. The junior struck out the next Rebel batter to end the inning, but Ole miss held the four-run lead.
Will Jamison extended the lead with a solo shot to right field to open the sixth inning. Errol Robinson was hit in the head with the next pitch, prompting Stetson's Thorne to be removed from the game as Robinson took his base and went to first. Robinson was thrown out on a fielder's choice from Braxton Lee, but Bousfield delivered a double through the right side on a perfectly executed hit-and-run to bring Lee home a batter later to take the lead to 7-1.
A single to left from Anderson put two men on before another double steal advanced both Bousfield and Anderson to scoring position. Allen then delivered a double to right to bring both runners home as the Rebels' lead grew to 9-1.
Three consecutive singles from Austin Knight, Dalton Dulin and John Gatlin in the eighth brought another run home and the Rebels took the lead out to 10-1 on the Hatters.
Ole Miss continued to build on the lead in the ninth inning when Brantley Bell scored on a fielding error at first off a ground ball from Anderson. Bell opened the inning with a single before moving to second on a walk of Woodman. Anderson then hit the ball down the first base line that went through the legs of the fielder, allowing Bell to score from second and Woodman to move from first to third.
The two teams will play the series finale at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday at Melching Field.
Auburn Falls Short Against Ohio State
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Sunny Golloway was not happy. He let his players know it loudly and clearly as they gathered in right field at North Charlotte Regional Park on Saturday.
Auburn lost to Ohio State 1-0 on Saturday in the Snowbird Classic. The Tigers left nine runners on base. They had two or more baserunners on in four innings. And they didn't score.
Twice, one-out bunts resulted in runners being thrown out at third base. A hit and run that went awry resulted in Anfernee Grier being thrown out at home. And Golloway fumed. He said he was "as mad as I've been in seven or eight years."
"It is a terrible mistake by a third baseman not come get the ball," Golloway said. "When we had runners on first and second with one out, the third baseman just stayed there. He did not move one time.
Hitters were told, Golloway said, to bunt the ball anywhere but to the pitcher. Twice they bunted it to the pitcher. Another time pinch hitter Daniel Robert popped out to the catcher on a bunt attempt.
"We should have been able to exploit and drag the ball all day long," Golloway said. "They didn't budge him. They expected the pitcher to go all the way over and pick it up. Twice he was able to throw it to third base. All you have to do is bunt the ball with conviction down the third-base line. We tried to exploit that twice and bunted the ball to the pitcher. We did it twice. We popped one up in a crucial situation."
In the third inning, Golloway called for a hit-and-run with Dan Glevenyak at the plate. Glevenyak didn't make contact, Damon Haecker as caught between first and second and Grier was easily thrown out at home.
"The biggest mistake is our baserunner stops," Golloway said. "If he goes in hard, the shortstop has to tag him. If the shortstop tags him, he's safe at home. I don't know why we stopped there. We don't teach that."
Most of the mistakes, Golloway said, were made by freshmen. And he said the blame was on him.
"I'm mad at myself," Golloway said. "I should have put this baseball team in a better position to win. Nothing against Ohio State, but this is a game that disappoints us. It's a game we have to win if we're going to be who we're going to be. If you don't beat people like that you're not going to the NCAA Tournament. It's that simple."
Starter Michael O'Neal pitched six innings, giving up four hits and Ohio State's only run. Trey Ciochran-Gill pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits. Including in Friday's 4-0 win over Indiana State, Auburn pitchers have given up one run in 17 innings.
O'Neal had one shaky inning, walking the first two hitters he faced on eight pitches in the fourth and giving up a run-scoring single. He then retired nine of the last 10 batters he facd.
"We're pitching pretty good," Golloway said. "We've thrown the ball really well except for eight straight balls. He pitched really well. Giving up one run in two games is pretty good. We ought to be able to win those games."
Golloway said he sensed trouble even before Saturday's game started.
"Before the game, you'd have thought we were in a 15-game win streak," Golloway said. "Our guys have to learn. We have too much carryover from old habits. We have to understand, and that falls back on me. There was no intensity."
Auburn managed just five hits against the Buckeyes and does not have an extra-base hit yet this season. Ohio State managed six hits off Auburn's pitchers.
The Tigers play their final game here Sunday at 11 a.m. CST.
Dores blank Long Beach State behind Miller
Long Beach, Calif. - No. 10 Vanderbilt improved to 2-0 on the season behind strong pitching from Jared Miller and Carson Fulmer, who combined to toss a shutout in Vanderbilt 6-0 win on Saturday at Blair Field.
Miller dominated over six innings allowing only one hit and issuing no hits with four strikeouts. The big lefty allowed a two-out single in the first then retired the next 14 batters he faced until an error in the sixth snapped the streak. Miller cruised through the second, third, fourth and fifth innings and allowed only one runner to reach second base. He also made the defensive play of the day in the fifth when he made a backhanded play slapping a ball that was hit up the middle. Miller's glove flew off in the direction of the first baseline along with the ball where catcher Chris Harvey picked it up and fired it to first for the out.
Carson Fulmer followed Miller into the game and turned in three scoreless innings of his own to complete the Dores' first shutout of the season. The right-hander fanned five and allowed two hits to earn the save.
All the offense the Commodores (2-0) needed came in the third inning when the team sent 10 men to the plate to score five runs. Ro Coleman started the rally with his first career hit, a single to right-center field. Dansby Swanson followed with a double down the left field line to score the first run. Nolan Rogers made it 2-0 with a crisp single to the outfield and started a string of four straight hits. Vince Conde and Bryan Reynolds each knocked in runs with RBI-singles before Johnny Norwood capped the rally with a double. Conde later added a run in the seventh on a ground out that scored Xavier Turner from third.
Reynolds, Norwood and Zander Wiel all had two hits to lead the Commodores. Norwood now has back-to-back, two-hit games to open the season. In his first career start, Reynolds went 2-for-4 with one RBI. Michael Hill had two of the Dirtbags' (0-2) three hits in the game. Starter Andre Rohrbach took the loss allowing five runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings.
Sophomore Tyler Ferguson gets the nod for the Commodores in the series finale tomorrow with first pitch set for 3 p.m. CT at Blair Field.