SEC Tournament Day 1 Recap (May 20)

Mike Minor lead Vanderbilt to a 4-1 victory over top-seeded LSU. (Scout.com Photo)
Mike Minor pitched Vanderbilt to a 4-1 victory over top-seeded LSU. (Scout.com Photo)

The first round of the SEC Tournament is in the books.  Here is a rundown of the day’s action.

Vanderbilt 4, #2 LSU 1

HOOVER, Ala. ­­— Mike Minor pitched his second complete game victory in three games to lead Vanderbilt to a 4-1 win over No. 2 LSU Wednesday night in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament at Regions Park.

Minor (6-4), pitching on four days rest, scattered six hits over nine innings and allowed just one run while striking out five and walking three. It was his second complete game of the season and second in three games after achieving the feat against Georgia on May 9.

“Early in the game, I wasn’t really pitching, I was just throwing the ball,” said Mike Minor. “I got lucky with my defense backing me up and turning double plays. Later in the ballgame, I started feeling my stuff, and started throwing more off-speed, more curveballs and sliders.  And then in the eighth and ninth inning, I clicked in and I felt like I was just starting the game – and it worked for us.”

Vanderbilt Recap

#22 Georgia 6, #8 Ole Miss 3

HOOVER, Ala.—–Matt Cerione‘s grand slam in the top of the sixth gave Georgia a 4-1 lead and the Bulldogs held on for a 6-3 win over Ole Miss in the first round of the SEC Tournament Wednesday at Regions Park.

The No. 6 seed Bulldogs (36-20) advance to face No. 7 seed Arkansas Thursday at 6 p.m. Eastern. The Razorbacks defeated No. 2 seed Florida, 8-5.

Cerione finished with five RBI while Zach Cone and Peter Verdin had two hits apiece.. It was the Bulldogs’ first win in an SEC Tournament game since 2006.

Justin Grimm (3-4) earned the win after holding Ole Miss to two runs–one earned–on eight hits in 5.1 innings.

“Justin got off to a good start and threw the ball extremely well,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “He’s been pitching well the last several weeks and he continued that today. We’re trying to get back to playing good baseball, and we got off to a good start here.”

Georgia Recap

#20 Arkansas 8, #11 Florida 5

HOOVER, Ala. – Mike Bolsinger threw four-plus innings of relief to lead the No. 20 Arkansas Razorback baseball team to an 8-5 victory over the No. 9 Florida Gators in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Championship Tournament on Wednesday morning in Hoover, Ala.

The No. 7 seeded Razorbacks (32-20) used a five-run fourth inning to dispatch the No. 2 seeded Gators (38-19) for the fourth time this season and advance in the winners bracket of the conference tournament.

“You have to give credit to the players,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said.  “They made a couple of big plays and got some big two-out hits.”

Arkansas capitalized on four Florida errors to score seven unearned runs and pick up its seventh first round Southeastern Conference Tournament win in school history.

Arkansas Recap

#26 South Carolina , #21 Alabama

Hoover, Ala. – South Carolina scored four runs in the top of the 11th inning on its way to a 9-5 extra inning victory over Alabama on the first day of the SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover, Ala. Bobby Haney scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch with Nick Ebert drawing a RBI bases loaded walk and Justin Dalles driving home a pair of runs on a two-out double as the Gamecocks broke a 5-5 tie to earn the victory. The Gamecocks are now 38-19 on the year and have won 11 of its last 12 games played. Alabama suffers the loss and is now 37-18 on the year. Carolina returns to action vs. No. 8 seed Vanderbilt with first pitch scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET at Regions Park. The game can be heard live on GamecocksOnline.com and on the Gamecock Radio Network.

The three hour and 57 minute game had several moments of truth before the Gamecocks broke the deadlock in the 11th inning. Haney jumpstarted the inning with a one-out double over the head of left fielder Kyle Moore and a bloop single by Scott Wingo and a hit by pitch against Whit Merrifield loaded the bases for Carolina. The go-ahead run would score then as reliever Jimmy Nelson threw low and past catcher Vin DeFazio allowing Haney to score. The Tide would then intentionally walk Carolina’s batter, DeAngelo Mack, to load the bases for a second time for Nick Ebert. On a 3-2 pitch, Nelson threw low of the strike zone to walk Ebert and give Carolina a two-run cushion. With two outs and the bases still jammed, Justin Dalles gave Carolina some insurance with a two-run double off the left field wall putting Carolina ahead by four.

South Carolina Recap