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    SEC Baseball Today: Monday, February 17

    Monday Baseball RESULTS
    USC Upstate 8, Kentucky 6
    Tennessee 8, Purdue 2


    Sixth Inning Rally Leads USC Upstate to Win Over Kentucky

    SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- USC Upstate rallied with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break open a tie game and lift the Spartans to an 8-6 win over Kentucky, on Monday afternoon at Harley Park. 
     
    Kentucky (2-2) took a 4-0 lead after two innings, before USC Upstate rallied with four in the third, one in the fifth and three in the sixth. UK mounted one-run rallies in the sixth and seventh innings. 
     
    UK’s offense collected 12 hits, three hit batters, four walks and six runs but couldn’t get the clutch hit, stranding 11 on base. UK was led by multiple-hit games from Kyle Barrett, Austin Cousino, Max Kuhn, Ka’ai Tom and Micheal Thomas. Cousino went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a double, with Barrett going 2-for-4 with a steal. UK also got hits from A.J. Reed and Matt Reida, with Connor Heady scoring a run and Thomas Bernal getting hit by a pair of pitches. 
     
    A native of Murray, Ky., UK starter Dylan Dwyer worked over three innings in his first career start, allowing five hits and four runs, walking two and striking out a career-high six. Sophomore Sam Mahar took over in a two on, no-out jam in the fourth, getting three outs to escape unscathed. Mahar worked 1.2 innings, allowing three hits and one run, striking out one. Freshman Robert Zeigler (0-1) replaced Mahar in a two on, two-out jam in the fifth inning for his collegiate debut, getting out of the jam. Zeigler started the sixth but allowed three hits, two walks and three runs before Spencer Jack replaced him. Jack worked three strong innings, allowing three hits and striking out four. 
     
    USC Upstate (2-2) starter Eric Birklund worked three innings, allowing six hits and four runs, walking two and striking out two. Righty Tresco Shannon took over to start the fourth, working three innings, allowing four hits and one run, walking one and striking out one. Zach Mitchell (1-0) came on to toss two innings, allowing two hits and one run, walking one and striking out one. Second baseman/right-handed pitcher Erik Samples took over in the ninth, picking up the save while also going 3-for-5 with three RBI at the plate.
     
    UK will return to action in Norfolk, Va., on Friday facing St. John’s at 11 a.m. ET on the campus on Old Dominion. 
     
    Kentucky got on the board in the top of the first inning, as Barrett singled to leftfield on the first pitch he saw. Cousino was then hit by a full-count pitch and Kuhn drew a full-count walk to load the bags. Reed then hung an opposite-field sacrifice fly, scoring Barrett from third base. 
     
    In the top of the second, UK got a leadoff single from Thomas, who took second after a sacrifice bunt from Heady. Barrett followed with a walk, with Cousino clearing Thomas and Barrett with an opposite-field double. Kuhn then scored Cousino with a single up the middle. 
     
    USC Upstate rallied in the bottom of the third inning. Justin Allen led off with a single up the middle and A.J. Mackey drew a walk. Daneil Fickas then singled down the third base line, with Kuhn’s throw getting by the first base bag for an error. Samples followed with an RBI single to leftfield and Tyler Lesch was hit by a two-strike pitch to load the bases. Luke Weber then singled up the middle to score one and Zach Krider replaced him at first base on a RBI fielder’s choice. 
     
    Upstate took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, chasing Mahar from the mound. A one-out double off the wall in leftfield from Weber and a RBI single from Daniel Seeba lifted USC Upstate to a 5-4 lead. 
     
    UK rallied to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the sixth inning, as Heady drew a four-pitch walk and Barrett singled through the right side, with Heady motoring to third base. Cousino then forced in Heady with a hard-hit 4-6-3 double play. 
     
    Upstate took a lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Zeigler walked Mackey and Fickas to lead off the inning and Samples smashed a double off the wall in left-centerfield, scoring the duo, with the throw from Reida sailing wide for an error allowing Samples to take third. Tyler Lesch then scored Samples with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. 
     
    UK cut into the lead in the top of the seventh, as Bernal was hit by a pitch to leadoff, with Tom replacing him at first on a fielder’s choice. Thomas then drew a big walk and Reida singled through the right side to score Tom and cut the lead to 8-6.
     



    Seven-Run Inning Propels Vols To Series Sweep
     
    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee took advantage of six walks issued by Purdue and piled on seven runs in the second inning en route to an 8-2 win on Monday and a season-opening series sweep of the Boilermakers.
     
    For the weekend, the Volunteers (3-0) outscored Purdue (0-3) by a 31-4 margin and hit .388 with a .505 slugging percentage. On the mound, the Vol pitchers closed the opening series with a 1.33 ERA.
     
    “It was a good weekend for many reasons; a sweep is always good,” said head coach Dave Serrano. “We got a lot of guys in and a lot of pitchers got their feet wet for the first time. “I’m proud of how we opened up. There are a lot of good things happening, but I keep reiterating to our team that we still have a long ways to go. I don’t think anyone has ever won an SEC championship or a national championship on a weekend sweep. It gets us going in the right direction, but I told them that even if we started 0-3, we are still going to work on the same things come Wednesday. We are still going to continue to build as a team and a program and not be satisfied with where we are at.”
     
    Making his first career appearance on the mound for the Vols, sophomore starting right-hander Andrew Lee delivered a five-inning, four-hit performance with three strikeouts to earn the victory. Coming off Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2012, the Morristown, Tenn., native played first base and was a designated hitter for UT as a freshman in 2013. The Vols’ ace delivered 75 total pitches in the appearance, including 49 for strikes.
     
    “Today was a team win, but it was mainly about Andrew Lee,” said Serrano. “He has worked extremely hard. I never will forget that phone call in June of his senior year that he told me that he was going to need Tommy John surgery and wouldn’t be able to pitch for us his first year. He has worked extremely hard, and there has been a lot of patience involved in this. He has healed well, and he is a welcome member on this pitching staff. He did exactly what I talked about. He pounds the strike zone, and he sets the tempo. I am very proud of him.”
     
    Purdue struck first in the game, benefiting from a Scott Price error in the outfield in the top of the second inning, which allowed designated hitter Kyle Wood to come around and score on a Kyle Johnson single.
     
    Shortly after, Price made up for it at the plate. With the bases loaded in the second frame, Purdue walked in back-to-back runs and balked a third. Junior Will Maddox was walked as well to reload the bases with Price stepping into the box. The senior then delivered the Vols’ biggest hit of the night, sending a double to the left-center wall and clearing the bases to give Tennessee a 6-1 lead.
    Sophomore A.J. Simcox followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Price to third. A pitch got away from Purdue’s Gavin Downs and Price came home to extend the lead to 7-1 in the second inning. Price extended his hit streak to 15 games dating back to last season with a four-RBI, 2-for-3 performance.
     
    Tennessee would tack on one more run in the game as Price placed a single through the right side to score Maddox in the third inning. Wood picked up a two-out double in the top of the eighth to cut the deficit to the final margin of 8-2.
     
    Junior College transfers Peter Lenstrohm and Zac Grotz pitched in relief for the Vols after Lee’s five innings. Lenstrohm worked through two innings, allowing just one hit, while Grotz closed out the night with two innings of his own.
     
    The Vols scored their eight runs on just seven hits. Freshman designated hitter Nick Senzel continued his hot start to the season, going 2-for-2 at the plate and stealing a base. Simcox, Maddox and Jeff Moberg each added singles in the contest.
     
    Tennessee is now 3-0 for the second time under Serrano. The Big Orange swept Northern Illinois to start the 2012 season.
     
    The Orange and White returns to the Lindsey Nelson Stadium diamond on Wednesday afternoon against Appalachian State, in a game that was originally scheduled for Tuesday. The Vols will send left-handed pitcher Andy Cox to the mound to take on the Mountaineers at 3 p.m. ET.