|Kentucky 8, Virginia 3
|Florida 4, Maryland 0
|Texas A&M 10, Northeastern 2
|LSU 2, New Orleans 0
|Western Carolina 3, Mississippi State 2
|Ole Miss 7, Stetson 0
|Arkansas 12, Appalachian State 2
|Auburn 4, Indiana State 0
|St. Louis 2, Alabama 1
Kentucky Takes Down No. 1 Virginia in Season Opener
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Kentucky got a solid start from junior preseason All-American A.J. Reed and multiple-hit games from Austin Cousino, Max Kuhn and Thomas Bernal, posting a 8-3 win over No. 1 Virginia in the season opener, on a pleasant Friday afternoon at Brooks Field on the campus of UNC Wilmington.
Kentucky (1-0) faced off with Virginia, the No. 1-ranked team in the Baseball America preseason Top 25, in the season opener, falling behind 1-0 after three complete innings. UK then mounted a four-run rally in the fourth – highlighted by two-out RBI from freshmen Connor Heady and JaVon Shelby – before getting two runs in the fifth.
UK stretched its lead to 8-1 with single runs in the seventh and eighth, before UVA ruined sophomore Ryne Combs’ bid for a four-inning save with two runs in the ninth.
UK got a solid start on the mound from Reed, who worked five innings, allowing just three hits and one run, walking three and striking out two.
Combs, a native of Lexington, Ky., came on in relief in a 6-1 game, starting the sixth and worked three hitless innings, before UVA rallied with two runs in the ninth on two hits. Combs finished with 3.2 innings, walking two and striking out one, with sophomore Zach Strecker getting the final out of the game with a strikeout.
“(A.J. Reed) is a lot more mature,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “We have to do a better job of getting his secondary stuff. And he will. All fall and through January and early February his secondary command has been good. It was not very good today. His fastball command was very good, especially deep in the count when it needed to me. He is much more mature, he has some things to get better at, and he is not a finished project by any stretch. In some ways he is just getting started. A good job. A very competitive job today. A lot of poise from both those kids today. The toughness of those guys was really, really good to see.”
Virginia (0-1) starter Brandon Wadell worked 4.1 innings, allowing seven hits and six runs, walking one and striking out seven, scattering just one UK hit through the first three innings. He was relieved with one out in the fifth and a runner on second by freshman right-handed standout Connor Jones, who worked 2.2 innings, allowing three hits and one run.
“(Wadell) is good. The Virginia kid was good. He was really good,” Henderson said. “We battled really well. Obviously he was good for the first four innings. Our kids had a lot of heart and a lot of spirit and a lot of fight. It was fun to watch, boy, really impressed.”
Kentucky totaled 11 hits in the game, drawing three walks and getting hit by one pitch. UK’s offensive attack included six doubles, four stolen bases and two sacrifice bunts. Eight of UK’s nine starters contributed RBI.
UK’s pitching effort came against a Virginia team that has produced an Atlantic Coast Conference-leading .314 average over the last five seasons. UVA led the ACC in batting in 2009, 2010 and 2013, and ranked second in 2011 and 2012. The Wahoos entered the ninth inning with just three hits as a team.
“Some really good quality at-bats,” Henderson said of the UK offense. “Our two-strike approach was better today than just about any time at all last year. And it should be, we have spent a lot of time talking about it and emphasizing it and (offensive coordinator) Brian (Green) has done a great job with the kids. More importantly, or just as important, they bought it. That was fun to watch and it is nice to get rewarded for something that you spend so much time working on.”
UK got multi-hit games from Cousino, Kuhn and Bernal, with Cousino giving UK its first hit of the game with a double. Later in the game he added a stolen base after beating out an infield single, eventually coming around to score.
UK will return to action on Saturday with host UNC Wilmington at 4 p.m. ET at Brooks Field. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Network, with Dick Gabriel calling the action.
Virginia got on the board in the top of the second, as Derek Fisher – Reed’s roommate in the summer in the Cape Cod League – led off with a two-strike single to leftfield. Nick Howard then smashed a double down the rightfield line, moving Fisher to third base. Kenny Towns then fought off a two-strike offering from Reed for an RBI groundout up the middle, giving the ‘Hoos a 1-0 lead.
UK evened up the game in the bottom of the fourth inning as Kuhn led off with a double into the right-centerfield gap. Reed followed and lofted a double down the leftfield line, with the outfield shifted towards right, allowing Kuhn to score from second. Bernal was then hit by a pitch and after a Thomas sacrifice bunt moved two runners into scoring position, Reida grounded out up the middle to score one run. Shelby then smacked a first-pitch single to rightfield for his first career hit, scoring Bernal from second. Heady then followed with a double that one-hopped off the wall in leftfield, scoring Shelby from first base for a 4-1 UK lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, UK mounted a rally started by an infield from Cousino, who then stole second base for his 30th career steal. Kuhn then doubled into the gap in left-centerfield, scoring Cousino and giving Kuhn two doubles in the opener. After a pitching change, Bernal singled to leftfield, allowing Kuhn to score from second base.
UK added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning as Bernal reached on a two-out infield single. Bernal then stole second – his first career two-steal game – and scored on Thomas’ two-strike RBI double into right-centerfield.
Virginia got on the board in the ninth inning, chasing Combs in his quest for a four-inning save. UVA got a two-out single from Mike Papi and Joe McCarthy then was hit by a pitch. Brandon Downes followed with a double down the leftfield line, scoring Papi and McCarthy.
No. 20 Florida Blanks Maryland, 4-0, In Season Opener
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida junior left-hander Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) (5.1 IP), junior right-hander Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (1.2 IP) and sophomore left-hander Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) (2.0 IP) combined on a three-hitter as the No. 20 Gators topped Maryland, 4-0, on Friday night at McKethan Stadium in the season opener for both squads. Poyner (1-0) established a career high with five strikeouts and Young collected his first career save as the Orange and Blue kicked off the program’s 100th season with its first shutout in a season opener since 2006 (10-0 over Cincinnati).
Held in check through the first two innings by UMD senior right-hander Jake Stinnett (0-1), the Gators plated three runs on three hits in the third inning to seize a 3-0 advantage. Freshman Peter Alonso (Tampa, Fla.) (1-for-2) singled up the middle in his first career at bat and freshman Buddy Reed (Finksburg, Md.) drew a one-out walk before sophomore Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (2-for-4, two runs) singled through the left side to load the bases. A fielder’s choice by freshman Ryan Larson (Orlando, Fla.) (1-for-4) brought home Alonso with the initial run when the Terps’ catcher was unable to hold on to the relay throw and Reed was also able to score on the play on heads-up base-running. Junior Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) (1-for-3, two RBI) increased UF’s margin to three runs with a single into shallow center field to bring across Martin.
After freshman Brandon Lowe started Maryland’s sixth with a walk, Poyner (three hits allowed) completed his outing by having sophomore LaMonte Wade fly out to left field. Harris entered the contest and induced an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play.
Over five innings, Stinnett yielded three hits, three runs and totaled seven strikeouts, one shy of his personal best. Although junior Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (2-for-4) greeted freshman reliever Brandon Casas in the sixth with a double down the right-field line, he was stranded at second base.
The Gators tacked on another run in the eighth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Gushue that scored Martin. Martin had led off with a base-hit through the left side and Larson and Turgeon followed with consecutive singles to fill the bags. Gushue sent an offering from sophomore Alex Robinson to the warning track in left field that finalized the 4-0 margin.
Aggies Open Season with 10-2 Win over Northeastern
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies opened the 2014 campaign with a 10-2 victory over the Northeastern Huskies on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Friday evening.
In front of 5,506 fans in attendance for the season opener, Logan Nottebrok led the Aggie offense going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and three RBI in his Aggie debut and Daniel Mengden equaled a career-high with 11 strikeouts to earn the win on the mound.
Nottebrok, a transfer from Temple College, led an Aggie arsenal that logged 12 hits, including three extra-base knocks on the evening. Blake Allemand went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI and Troy Stein hit 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Mengden (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while recording his 11 strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. Tyler Stubblefield scattered two hits and struck out one in two innings of relief and Ryan Hendrix closed out the game by striking out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth inning.
The Aggies took advantage of a Northeastern error to draw first blood with three runs in the bottom of the first. Huskies’ shortstop Jason Vosler dropped an infield fly by Patrick McLendon to start the frame. Allemand followed with a single to the gap in left centerfield and Nottebrok drove in both runners with a double down the leftfield as A&M staked claim to a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Stein bounced a single up the middle to send home Nottebrook for the three-run advantage.
Northeastern cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the second inning. With one out, Brad Burcroff singled up the middle and Joey Scambia added a two-out single to centerfield, putting a pair of runners on base. Josh Treff hit a double down the leftfield line to knock in both the runners, trimming the lead to one run.
The Maroon and White blew the game open with five runs in the fourth inning. Nick Banks hit a leadoff single and Jace Statum followed with a double down the rightfield line to put two runners in scoring position. McLendon knocked Statum home with an infield single and Allemand scored Statum with a fielder’s choice groundout to first base. After Nottebrok and Mitchell Nau drew walks to load the bases, Cole Lankford drove in Allemand with a sacrifice fly and Stein gave the Aggies an 8-2 lead with a single up the middle. The final run scored on an error by Northeastern second baseman Michael Foster on a grounder by Ryne Birk, giving A&M a 9-2 cushion.
The Aggies closed out the scoring in the seventh. Ronnie Gideon drew a pinch-hit walk, JB Moss reached on an infield single and Statum drew a walk to load the bases. After McLendon popped up to first base, Allemand plated Gideon with a sacrifice fly for the 10-2 lead.
Foster was the lone Huskie to record multiple hits, going 2-for-4 on the evening.
Huskies’ starter Nick Berger was saddled with the loss. He allowed nine runs, six earned, on nine hits and three walks while striking out one over 3.2 innings of work.
Texas A&M and Northeastern return to action on Saturday with a 2:05 pm start on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. Sunday’s game time has been moved to 12:05 pm due to changes in the Huskies travel back to Boston.
Nola's Six Scoreless Innings Lead No. 2 LSU over New Orleans
BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU junior right-hander Aaron Nola pitched six scoreless innings Friday night, scattering four hits in the second-ranked Tigers’ 2-0 win over the University of New Orleans in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The win was LSU’s 13th straight in a season-opening game. The contest was played before a paid crowd of 12,472, the second-largest attendance figure in LSU baseball history.
LSU (1-0) faces UNO (0-1) again at 2 p.m. Saturday at Zephyr Field in Metairie, La. The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television, and it can be heard in Baton Rouge on WTGE 100.7 FM. Live stats and audio will be available at LSUsports.net, and live video is available at ESPN3.com.
Junior left-hander Kyle Bouman will start Saturday’s game on the mound for LSU, while the Privateers will counter with right-hander Alex Smith.
Nola (1-0) fired 81 pitches Friday night, recording no walks and six strikeouts in the victory. Junior Joe Broussard provided two innings of strong relief work, allowing Bone walk with two strikeouts.
Senior right-hander Kurt McCune worked a scoreless ninth for the save. McCune struck out two Privateers and forced a groundout to close the game.
“I think we’re certainly capable of swinging the bats better than we did tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, “but overall it was a solid performance. Our guys were just so happy to finally be able to play an actual game after so many practices and scrimmages. Aaron Nola gave us a very strong outing as we know he would, but as I told our players, Aaron is only going to start about 14 of our 56 regular-season games. We can’t count on the pitching to carry us every night like it did tonight.”
In his debut for the Tigers, junior second baseman Connor Hale singled to right center to begin the third inning. Sophomore left fielder Mark Laird then doubled to left field. With runners on second and third, sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman lined an RBI single to right field to score Hale.
In the bottom of the sixth, junior third baseman Christian Ibarra led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Junior first baseman Tyler Moore then produced a bunt single to advance Ibarra to third. Junior DH Kade Scivicque provided the first RBI of his LSU career with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Starter Raymond Winter (0-1) was charged with the loss for the Privateers. Winter allowed seven hits and two runs in five innings with one walk and two strikeouts. UNO relievers Darron McKigney and Seth Laigast combined to blank the Tigers over the final three innings.
Comeback Bid Falls Short In Baseball's 3-2 Setback To WCU
STARKVILLE, Miss. – A two-run rally in the ninth inning was not enough Friday night as Mississippi State dropped a 3-2 decision to Western Carolina in the 2014 season-opening baseball game played at Dudy Noble Field.
For MSU, it was the first opening-day loss since the 2003 season. Head coach John Cohen lost an opener for the first time in 15 tries as a head coach.
Western Carolina starter Jeremy Null sparkled for eight innings. The junior right-hander allowed three hits and no runs through eight innings. The Bulldogs scored twice in the ninth inning against three WCU relievers but stranded runners on the corners to end the contest.
“You really can’t punch out as many times as we did (12 total strikeouts) and expect to win,” Cohen said. “We really struggled against a good pitcher. We gave them a couple of opportunities and they took advantage of them. We didn’t take advantage of ours.”
Western Carolina struck for two runs in the first inning. Jacob Hoyle and Luke Gragg each had RBI-singles off MSU starter Brandon Woodruff in the first inning. Woodruff was pulled after a leadoff walk an inning later.
From there, Ross Mitchell took care of things on the mound for the Bulldogs. Mitchell worked a career-best eight innings with a career-high seven strikeouts. Defensively, the Bulldogs turned three double plays behind the junior left-hander.
The Catamounts did scratch for an insurance score in the seventh inning. Aaron Attaway laced a one-out double and scored on an RBI-single by Cody Jones.
In the MSU ninth inning, Alex Detz drew a leadoff walk to reach base safely in a 24th straight game. Brett Pirtle followed with a hit. Wes Rea slapped a two-run single up the middle. After a second out, pinch hitter Cody Brown drew a walk. However, the rally ended there with Jacob Robson flying out to left field to end the contest.
MSU finished with five hits, including C.T. Bradford’s 24th multi-hit game of his Bulldog career.
Gragg had three hits and Attaway added two hits for the Catamounts, who finished with eight hits.
“We have two more games in the series and we are looking forward to competing,” Cohen said. “We simply have to pound the strike zone because Western Carolina is a team that will put it in play.”
Junior right-hander Trevor Fitts is expected to draw the start for MSU when the series resumes at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Rebels Blank Stetson 7-0 To Open 2014 Season
DELAND, Fla. – The Rebels came out and turned in an all-around solid performance on opening night Friday, combining an opportunistic offense with a lock-down pitching performance as Ole Miss (1-0) shutout Stetson (0-1) by a score of 7-0.
Chris Ellis (1-0) picked up the win in his first Friday night start for the Rebels, working 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Wyatt Short also turned in a solid outing, working 2.0 scoreless innings without allowing a hit and striking out four batters.
Hawtin Buchanan then closed things out, working a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the shutout for the Rebels.
Kurt Schluter (0-1) suffered the loss for the Hatters, allowing six runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work. Only two of the six runs were earned as the Rebels took advantage of miscues to break the game open early.
Auston Bousfield paced the Rebels offensively, going 3-for-3 with a run scored and a walk as the Rebels tallied nine hits on the night in an opportunistic offensive performance.
“I’m proud of the way we played on opening night on the road,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We really played well in all three phases of the game. Chris (Ellis) was just dominant tonight, as were all of our pitchers. Wyatt (Short) came in and pitched really well for his first collegiate outing. Auston (Bousfield) really got us going offensively and we got some big two-out RBI hits. That’s what you have to do to win.”
The Rebels got on the board in the first inning when Bousfield scored from second. The junior delivered a one-out double to the wall in left center to get things started. He then stole third during the next at bat and came home on the steal when the ball hit in the dirt and kicked to the backstop to give Ole Miss a 1-0 lead.
The lead grew in the third when Braxton Lee scored on a ground ball to first from Austin Anderson as part of a five-run inning for the Rebels.
Lee drew a walk to open the inning and took second on a steal. He then moved to third on a sac bunt from Bousfield down the third base line. The third baseman’s throw pulled the first baseman off the bag, allowing Bousfield to reach safely and put runners at the corners for the Rebels.
Lee then came home a batter later when Austin Anderson delivered a ground ball to first and the Hatters threw Bousfield out at second to get the lead runner. The Rebels held the 2-0 lead, however, with one out on the board. He then came home with a single to center from Will Allen and the Rebels moved the lead out to 3-0.
A double from Preston Overbey and a walk of Will Jamison loaded the bases before J.B. Woodman would send a single back up the middle to bring home two more runs and keep runners at the corners. Errol Robinson delivered a single to left to score a sixth run and send the Hatters to the bullpen for right-handed freshman Mitchell Jordan.
Jordan coaxed a pop up to left for the final out, but the Rebels held a 6-0 lead after the top half of the third.
Sikes Orvis added to the Rebels’ lead in the seventh inning, opening the frame with a solo shot to left field to give Ole Miss a 7-0 lead on the Hatters.
The Rebel bullpen held Stetson in check down the stretch as Ole Miss picked up the win in the series opener. The two teams will take the field for the second game of the series at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday afternoon.
Razorbacks Take Down Mountaineers 12-2 In Season Opener
FAYETTEVILLE - The No. 25 Arkansas baseball team won its 20th consecutive season opener with a 12-2 defeat of Appalachian State on Friday in front of an announced attendance of 7,203. The win also was the program’s 400th victory inside Baum Stadium.
Starting pitcher Jalen Beeks threw six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, to earn the win in his first start as a Razorback. The junior team captain from Prairie Grove, Ark., threw 72 pitches, 50 for strikes, in an efficient six-inning effort. Juniors Jackson Lowery and Lance Phillips also threw one shutout inning each in relief.
Juniors Brian Anderson, Krisjon Wilkerson and Joe Serrano led the way offensively for Arkansas. Anderson was 3-for-5 at the plate with two doubles and three RBI, all of which came on a bases-clearing double in the 4th inning that chased Appalachian State starter Jamie Nunn. Wilkerson was also 3-for-5 and hit a two-run homer in the 3rd inning to give Arkansas a 5-0 lead. Serrano was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and also registered an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the 5th to push the Razorback advantage to 9-0.
Arkansas returns to action Saturday at 12:05 p.m. for the middle game of the season-opening, three-game series with Appalachian State. The teams conclude the series Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Tigers Post "Really Solid" Victory in Golloway's Debut
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -On the first day of baseball season, two Auburn pitchers combined to pitch a shutout. The Tigers ran, they bunted and they played defense.
It was baseball, Sunny Golloway style.
In the Snowbird Classic at Charlotte Sports Park, senior Dillon Ortman and sophomore Justin Camp combined on an eight-hit shutout, catcher Blake Austin hit a two-run single and freshmen Damon Haecker and Keegan Thompson drove home runs as Auburn beat Indiana State 4-0 in Golloway's first game as head coach.
"Really solid first game," said Golloway, who left Oklahoma for Auburn last June. "I thought we were in control from the get-go."
The Tigers, with five true freshmen in the starting lineup played the way Golloway has said they must play to fulfill his oft-stated goal of making it to Omaha for The College World Series.
A sacrifice bunt by freshman DH Daniel Robert set the stage for Austin to poke a two-run single through the left side in the sixth. After freshman centerfielder J.J. Shaffer beat out an infield single to lead off the seventh, senior Dan Glevenyak advanced him to third with a groundout and Thompson put down a squeeze bunt to drive him home.
Ortman went five innings, giving up five hits and got the win. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. Camp went four innings for the save. He gave up three hits, issued one walk and struck out two.
Auburn scored its first run in the second on an RBI single by freshman Damon Haecker. The inning ended when Austin was thrown out at home.
"I thought we put ourselves in position to put some pressure on them," Golloway said. "We made a baserunning mistake early, but we know that's going to happen early in the season."
Ortman said he felt good from the start on a warm Florida afternoon.
"We had a beautiful day and the defense played great," Ortman said. "I was trying to fill the zone and not give up walks. I really tried to concentrate on pounding the zone and getting easy outs and quick outs."
Auburn made two errors, one when Glevenyak's throw after making a leaping catch hit a baserunning in the back and the other on a wild pickoff attempt by Ortman. But Golloway was delighted with the defense.
"How about the plays that Glevenyak made?" Golloway said. "How about the plays that (third baseman Damek) Tomscha made? How about the plays their shortstop made? There were some really good plays made on that field today."
Freshman had four of Auburn's seven hits. Haecker had two, Shaffer one and right fielder Anfernee Grier one.
And six freshmen got their taste of college baseball.
Shaffer, Thompson, Robert, Haecker and Grier were in the starting lineup. Blake Logan took over for Austin and caught the final inning.
"I thought our guys really played well," Golloway said. "We've seen that. They are in the lineup for a reason. They are very, very talented."
The Tigers play Ohio State Saturday at 11 a.m. CST and close out the tournament Sunday with a 10 a.m. game against UConn.
No. 21 Alabama Baseball Falls to Saint Louis in Season Opener, 2-1
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After a rain delay that lasted one hour and 41 minutes, the No. 21-ranked Alabama baseball team fell to the Saint Louis Billikens, 2-1, in their 2014 season opener.
“I thought [Spencer] Turnbull came out and was really sharp in the first three innings prior to the rain delay,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “After the rain delay, I thought their kid did a really good job. [Nick] Bates came in and pitched to both sides of the plate and we never got in any kind of rhythm offensively after that.”
Alabama’s lone run came in the bottom of the third when Ben Moore drove in Georgie Salem with an RBI double. Salem singled to lead off the inning before stealing second to get into scoring position. After the final out of the third inning, the game was halted due to rain, before resuming more and 90 minutes later.
After the rain delay, the Tide got three hits and a pair of walks over the final six innings. The Crimson Tide was outhit by the Billikens, 8-7. SLU stranded five runners compared to nine by Alabama.
Following the delay, Saint Louis scored a run in both the fourth and fifth innings. The Billikens got a single from Mike Vigliarolo followed by a Danny Murphy RBI triple in the fourth to tie the score. SLU added the eventual game-winning run in the fifth via a Danny Brennan leadoff triple and Jake Henson RBI groundout.
“A lot of credit to Saint Louis, as we said they’re a good team, there’s a reason they won 41 games last year,” Gaspard said. “They returned the whole team and they certainly played very well tonight, and with that we obviously have to regroup and correct some of the mistakes we made today.”
Nick Bates (1-0) earned the win after allowing three hits and two walks in 4.2 scoreless innings after the rain delay. Matt Eckelman pitched the final 1.1 innings for SLU to earn the save. Alabama’s Tucker Hawley (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing a run in each of his two innings pitched.
Alabama starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull blanked the Billikens in three innings, allowing one hit with four strikeouts before the rain delay. Freshman righty Geoffrey Bramblett tossed three scoreless innings in his Alabama debut, surrendering three hits with three strikeouts and junior south paw Taylor Guilbeau added a scoreless ninth inning.
Alabama had a chance to tie the score in the eighth inning, but Mikey White was thrown out at the plate by SLU left fielder Michael Bozarth, on a Kyle Overstreet single with one out. With runners on the corners and two out, Saint Louis turned to Eckelman who struck out Smith to end the inning, maintaining the one-run advantage.
The Tide got a pair of hits and a stolen base from Salem, two hits from Austen Smith and an RBI double from Moore.