Here is your SEC Recap for March 9th.
BATON ROUGE – A four-RBI performance by first baseman Blake Dean, along with 10 extra-base hits by the LSU offense, lifted the top-ranked Tigers to an 18-7 victory over UL-Monroe Tuesday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (12-0) are off to their best start since 1997 when that team started the season 19-0. The win was also LSU’s 18th-straight home victory dating back to last season. ULM dropped to 5-5 with the loss.
#7 Florida 8 Illinois State 2
In the first-ever meeting between the schools, No. 6 Florida (8-2) downed Illinois State (4-6), 8-2, on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. Freshman right-hander Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) (2-0) had a career-high five strikeouts and allowed one run over five innings, freshman Kamm Washington (Boynton Beach, Fla.) was 3-for-4 with three of the Gators’ season-high nine stolen bases and freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) clubbed a three-run shot as UF claimed the opener of a two-game series.
“In Miami, we changed our offensive strategy a little bit, as we wanted to get some guys more in motion,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We’ve been scoring runs, but not consistently throughout nine innings. We’ve been bunching up our runs in very few innings. We got the running game going, I think we had five on Sunday and then stole nine tonight. I think that’s going to help us down the road.”
South Dakota State 3 #14 Arkansas 2
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Alex Oberle and Trever Vermeulen combined to limit Arkansas to four hits and Jesse Sawyer hit his fourth home run of the season, lifting the South Dakota State University baseball team to a 3-2 upset victory over 14th-ranked Arkansas Tuesday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits improved to 6-2 overall. Arkansas, a College World Series qualifier a season ago, dropped to 8-3.
Arkansas gained a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out rally. Matt Vinson walked, stole second and scored on Collin Kuhn’s base hit to left field.
#20 Ole Miss 14 Austin Peay 4
OXFORD, Miss. – Rory McKean turned in a solid performance on the mound, while the Rebels pounded out 16 hits to lead No. 17 Ole Miss (10-2) to a 14-4 win over Austin Peay (8-4) on Tuesday night at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
The game was the first of a two-game set in the mid-week for the Rebels against the Governors. Wednesday’s game has been moved to a 3 p.m. start time due to the expectation of inclement weather.
#24 Kentucky 7 Evansville 1
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Andy Burns hit his fourth homer of the year and right-hander Nick Kennedy tossed three shutout innings for the save in his first appearance of the season, leading the 22nd-ranked Kentucky baseball team to a 7-1 win over Evansville, Tuesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (10-1) was able to use Kennedy, a dynamic submarine reliever, for the first time since the beginning of the 2009 season and he responded with three shutout innings out of the bullpen for his first save of the season and the second of his career. Kennedy, who missed all but two games during the 2009 campaign due to injury, allowed only two hits and walked one, striking out three, tossing 29 strikes in 40 pitches.
#28 South Carolina 12 Valparaiso 4
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina (7-4) scored 10 runs in the third inning on its way to a 12-4 victory over Valparaiso (3-10) on Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium. Whit Merrifield tied the school record for consecutive games with a hit at 25 and was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and junior reliever Jose Mata pitched six strong innings of relief to lift the Gamecocks to victory. The two teams meet again on Wednesday to close the series out. Game time has been moved to 2 p.m. due to forecasted inclement weather for Wednesday night.
Kennesaw State 11 Georgia 1
ATHENS, Ga. – Peyton Hart went 4-for-5 with three RBIs as Kennesaw State earned its third win all-time at Foley Field with an 11-1 victory over Georgia Tuesday evening. The win gives the Owls victories over two different Southeastern Conference programs within four days.
A seven-run third inning, in which the Owls sent 11 men to the plate, proved to be the big difference in the contest. With two men on and one man out, Tyler Stubblefield singled into left, scoring Jordan Craft with the first run of the inning. A walk to Josh Whitaker loaded the bases for the Owls, and KSU would take full advantage. Drew Fowlkes earned his 11th RBI of the season with a bases loaded walk, chasing UGA starter Eric Swegman (0-1) in the process.
Western Kentucky 5 Tennessee 4
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU plated two runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to erase a 4-2 deficit and force extra innings, and Blake Crabtree’s first career hit sent WKU past Tennessee, 5-4, in the bottom of the 10th. The win snaps WKU’s two-game losing streak to Tennessee and moves the team’s record to 9-3. Tennessee falls to 6-6 with the loss.
A two-out RBI double by Kes Carter, his third hit of the game, brought the Hilltoppers within one run in the bottom of the ninth, and Matt Borgschulte drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at four. Rye Davis entered the game and mowed down the Volunteers in the top of the 10th, and the Hilltoppers loaded the bases with no outs in the home-half off a pair of Tennessee relief pitchers. Crabtree, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the top of the 10th, knocked a single into right-center with the bases loaded for his first career hit and the WKU game-winner, scoring Kory Petri.