Here is your SEC Recap for February 20th.
#2 LSU 25 Centenary 8
BATON ROUGE — Led by a two-homer performance by designated hitter Matt Gaudet and a six-RBI evening by first baseman Blake Dean, second-ranked LSU exploded for 23 hits en route to 25-8 victory over Centenary, giving head coach Paul Mainieri his 1,000th career victory Saturday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (2-0) scored the most runs of any LSU team since 1999 when they defeated Ohio 26-5. Centenary dropped to 0-2 with Saturday’s loss.
#10 Florida 9 South Florida 1
No. 7 Florida (2-0) clinched its season-opening weekend series with a 9-1 victory over USF (0-2) on Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 3,723 fans at McKethan Stadium. Freshman left-hander Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) tossed 5.2 scoreless innings in his collegiate debut to pick up the win, while sophomore Tyler Thompson (Tequesta, Fla.) (2-for-5) had a career-high four RBI, highlighted by a bases-clearing double in the eighth inning. Freshmen Kamm Washington (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) belted solo homers in the triumph for the Orange and Blue.
Ball State 5 #15 Arkansas 2
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Ball State baseball team picked up its first win of the 2010 season Saturday afternoon as the Cardinals upset No. 15 Arkansas 5-2 in front of a crowd of 8,004 at Baum Stadium. The victory is the Cardinals’ first over a nationally ranked opponent since April 22, 2009 when Ball State defeated 23rd-ranked Ohio State.
"I am proud of how our team played today," head coach Greg Beals said. "We had to play a very good baseball game today from the start to beat a team of Arkansas’ caliber. We showed great character coming back from a tough opening day loss and turning in the effort we had today in our second day outside. Dygert (Zach) and Vitek (Kolbrin) are both big-time players and they had big-time games to lead up offensively today."
#20 Ole Miss 14 Louisiana-Monroe 0
OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebel offense exploded while Aaron Barrett and Eric Callender combined to pitch a four hit shutout as No. 17 Ole Miss (1-1) defeated Louisiana-Monroe (1-1) by a score of 14-0 on Saturday to even the weekend series.
The two teams will play the rubber match at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. Slated to throw for the Rebels is junior Trent Rothlin, while Louisiana-Monroe is expected to send Corey Brown to the mound for the final contest.
#21 South Carolina 13 Duquesne 3
Columbia, S.C. – Jeffery Jones and Christian Walker both homered for the second consecutive day with Walker also driving in five runs as Carolina defeated Duquesne 13-3 on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 2-0 on the year while Duquesne falls to 0-2 for the season. The two teams close out the series on Sunday afternoon with first pitch at 1:30 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network including 107.5 FM with a live video broadcast and live Gametracker stats available at GamecocksOnline.com.
Duke 9 #26 Georgia 5
WACO, Texas – Jake Lemmerman drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the seventh inning and then delivered a solo home run in the ninth to lead Duke to a 9-5 win over No. 22 Georgia Saturday evening at Baylor Ballpark in game four of the QTI Apparel’s Opening Weekend Classic.
Lemmerman was one of three Blue Devils with two RBI, joining classmate Dennis O’Grady and freshman Eric Brady. In his third career game and first hitting in the leadoff spot, Brady delivered three hits, a sacrifice fly and two runs. O’Grady tagged two hits, including a two-run single in the first inning.
#29 Vanderbilt 16 Niagara 2
NASHVILLE— Taylor Hill continued where Sonny Gray and Corey Williams left off on Friday, throwing six and two thirds innings of scoreless baseball in Vanderbilt’s 16-2 win over Niagara Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
Hill (1-0) struck out a career-high nine batters and scattered six hits in the start, before getting relieved with two outs in the seventh inning.
Kentucky 6 West Virginia 0
CONWAY, S.C. — In the first appearance of his college career freshman left-hander Taylor Rogers tossed 7.2 shutout innings and threw first-pitch strikes to 25-of-29 hitters faced, leading the Kentucky Wildcats to a 6-0 win over West Virginia, Saturday afternoon at Coastal Carolina’s Charles Watson Stadium at Vrooman Field.
A 6-foot-3, 170-pound southpaw, Rogers got the starting nod in his first collegiate game and turned in a gem, tossing 7.2 frames with only six hits and no runs allowed, issuing just one walk and fanning two. A native of Littleton, Colo., Rogers got outs from the first 13 hitters he faced, carrying a perfect game into the fourth inning. Rogers, who threw just 85 pitches, filled up the strike zone throughout the game, tossing first-pitch strikes to 25-of-29 batters. He forced 15 ground outs in the contest, also fielding his position splendidly, with a putout and two assists, not allowing a WVU base runner to reach scoring position until the fourth inning.
Mississippi State 9 Rhode Island 0
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State freshman right-hander Chris Stratton won his collegiate pitching debut, throwing six innings of shutout baseball as the Bulldogs blanked Rhode Island 9-0 Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs matched last season’s 2-0 start by clinching the weekend series from the Rams. Saturday’s outcome was much different than Friday night’s come-from-behind 9-8 MSU victory. The comfort factor Saturday came from Stratton, who sparkled in his Bulldog debut.
Alabama 12 South Alabama 4
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Sophomore left-hander Adam Morgan struck out a career-high 11 batters and senior third baseman Jake Smith picked up a career-high four hits, leading Alabama to a 12-4 win over South Alabama in the 2010 season opener Saturday afternoon in front of 4,848 energetic fans at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Crimson Tide gave head Coach Mitch Gaspard the win his UA coaching debut. Gaspard is in his 10th season on the UA coaching staff, with nine seasons coming as an assistant coach under Jim Wells.
Auburn 9 SE Missouri State 8
AUBURN, Ala. – Creede Simpson finished the night with just one hit but it was a big one as the sophomore delivered a two-out, game-winning RBI single to center in the bottom of the 10th inning as Auburn defeated Southeast Missouri, 9-8, on Saturday evening. Auburn trailed by two runs heading into the bottom of the 10th but RBI singles by Gilmer and Simpson lifted Auburn to its first victory of the season and a chance at a series win on Sunday.
"I was struggling all day at the plate and I wanted to get a pitch that I could drive early in the count. Luckily he threw me one up there and I hit it," Simpson said. "There we so many ups and downs in today’s game but we found a way to pull out the win. It’s always good to get the first one off your back and hopefully we can take some momentum from that and keep it going."
Tennessee 7 Xavier 6
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – After erupting for 16 runs on 19 hits on Opening Day, the Tennessee baseball team took a while to get going offensively on Saturday. It came at just the right time though, as the Volunteers scored three in the bottom of the ninth, capped off by a walk-off, two-RBI single by freshman Cody Stubbs, to edge Xavier, 7-6, and clinch the team’s first series victory of the season.
"I knew that somebody was going to come up with a big hit, but I was getting to the point where I was getting a little nervous," UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. "For Cody (Stubbs) to step up there and come through in the clutch like that is huge, especially with Cody Hawn out this weekend. He’s going to be a terrific player for us and today was just a perfect example of what he brings to our team."