#14 Arkansas 6 #6 LSU 3
BATON ROUGE, La. – For the third time in his career, Brett Eibner hit two home runs to lead the offensive charge as the No. 13 University of Arkansas baseball team beat third-ranked LSU, 6-3, Friday night at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La, in the Southeastern Conference opener. Eibner posted a pair of two-run home runs and had four RBI. Mike Bolsinger worked seven strong innings to pick up his third win of the season.
"We’ve talked about staying calm because this is just the first of 30 (conference games)," head coach Dave Van Horn said. "You never know how the team will react after a long trip and playing in a new park we’ve never seen before. I thought we handled it pretty well. We left too many runners on base and couldn’t get that big single in the game but we got the big home runs."
#8 Florida 7 Mississippi State 2
Sophomore Alex Panteliodis (Tampa, Fla.) worked a career-high 7.1 innings and No. 6 Florida (14-3) broke open a 2-1 game with a five-run sixth inning to defeat Mississippi State (11-7), 7-2, in the SEC opener for both teams on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. The southpaw (5-0) allowed four hits and two runs, with three strikeouts and a walk. Freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) (2-for-4) poked a two-run double and belted a solo homer, while sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) (2-for-4, two runs) homered for the third game in a row.
“(Alex) Panteliodis was around the plate tonight,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I think getting two runs in the first inning gave him a lot of confidence. There were some hard hit balls tonight but I thought we played really good defense, the outfield especially. (Matt) den Dekker did a real nice job tracking down deep fly balls and Tyler Thompson made two plays in left field that saved at least six bases. When we put the ball across the plate and play good defense, I like our chances.”
#23 Alabama 4 #18 Vanderbilt 1
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama sophomore left-hander Adam Morgan held the SEC’s No. 1 rated offensive team to a season low one run in six-plus innings, leading the No. 21 Crimson Tide to a 4-1 series opening win over No. 18 Vanderbilt at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Friday night.
Morgan held the SEC’s top hitting team to one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and three walks.
Vanderbilt (15-3, 0-1 SEC) came into the game hitting .352 and was averaging almost nine runs and 12 hits per game this season. The Commodores managed only eight hits in the loss, their second-lowest hit total of the season. The lowest was seven hits in a loss at UCLA on Feb. 26.
#22 Ole Miss 9 #20 Kentucky 0
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior left-hander Drew Pomeranz struck out nine and held the Wildcats to only one hit in his time on the mound as No. 19 Ole Miss (14-4, 1-0 SEC) shutout No. 20 Kentucky (14-4, 0-1 SEC) to take the first game of the weekend series in the SEC opener for both teams.
David Phillips helped lead the Rebel offense on the night as the senior went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI. He was one of four Ole Miss players to notch multiple hits in the outing as the Rebels put up 12 hits against the Wildcats.
Ole Miss has now posted 18.0 innings of shutout baseball against the Wildcats dating back to last season when the Rebels pitched an 8-0 shutout against Kentucky in the series finale in Oxford in a complete game win from Scott Bittle. Kentucky hasn’t scored an earned run against the Rebels in 24.0 innings of baseball dating back to last season.
#24 South Carolina 4 Tennessee 2
Columbia, S.C. – Jackie Bradley Jr.’s RBI base hit in the bottom of the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and Kyle Enders added a RBI sacrifice fly as well as South Carolina opened SEC play with a 4-2 win over Tennessee. Carolina is now 14-4 on the year and 1-0 in the SEC while Tennessee drops to 10-8 and 0-1 in conference play. Game two of the series is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Tied 2-2 entering the bottom of the eighth, the Gamecock got things going with a one-out single by Whit Merrifield to left field off Tennessee reliever Will Locante. Adrian Morales followed with a single also that gave Carolina a pair of runners on first and second base. Up to the plate stepped Bradley, who laced a 0-1 pitch up the middle scoring Merrifield and giving the Gamecocks a one-run lead. Enders then gave the Gamecocks some insurance as he lofted a sacrifice fly ball to left field that scored Morales to give Carolina a two-run cushion. Gamecock reliever Ethan Carter retired the Tennessee batters in order in the top of the ninth to preserve a South Carolina victory.
Auburn 20 Georgia 3
ATHENS, Ga. – Justin Bryant had four hits, including two home runs, and drove in eight RBI while Cory Luckie was masterful on the mound as Auburn steam rolled its way to a 20-3 conference season-opening win over Georgia at Foley Field on Friday night. Auburn pounded Georgia pitching for 22 hits, four of which were home runs, to claim its’ first win over Georgia and in Athens since the 2005 series opener between the two clubs.
"We came up with some big hits and some big two-out hits. You have one of those games where guys swing the bats well and play good defense," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "It’s so tough to win on the road. Every team has talent and ability and to get the first one on the road is an important step for us."