#1 Vanderbilt 10 Mississippi State 0
Nashville, Tenn, – Vanderbilt opened Southeastern Conference play with a 10-0 win over Mississippi State Friday night at Hawkins Field.
Sonny Gray dominated over 7.1 innings to earn his fifth win of the year. The junior right-hander fanned 10 Bulldogs, scattered four hits and walked four in his fifth start of the year. He worked into eighth striking out his final batter of the night before turning it over to the bullpen. Corey Williams and T.J. Pecoraro finished off the Dores’ second shutout of the year.
Down to its final two outs in the ninth inning, No. 1 Florida (16-2/1-0 SEC) used a game-tying solo homer by sophomore Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) and a go-ahead two-run single by sophomore Nolan Fontana(Winter Garden, Fla.) en route to a 5-4 victory over No. 5 LSU (16-2/0-1 SEC) in the league opener for both clubs on Friday night in front of a record crowd of 10,220 fans at Alex Box Stadium. The triumph marked just the third time in its last 11 visits to Baton Rouge that UF claimed game one of the series.
The Tigers clawed to within 5-4 on an RBI double with none out in the bottom of the ninth by freshman Ty Ross before junior Anthony DeSclafani (Freehold, N.J.) recorded the final three outs to strand sophomore pinch runner Beau Didier on second base to pick up his third save and preserve the Gators’ sixth-consecutive victory.
COLUMBIA, S.C.—-Alex Wood, the Southeastern Conference’s reigning pitcher of the week, provided another stellar performance Friday in beating fourth-ranked South Carolina 4-2 in front of a crowd of 8,069 at Carolina Stadium. A week earlier in Los Angeles, Wood defeated 2010 College World Series finalist UCLA and ace Gerrit Cole, and tonight, he knocked off the defending CWS champions with 8.1 strong innings in the SEC opener for both clubs. Wood improved to 2-2 and junior Tyler Maloof notched his SEC-leading seventh save as the Bulldogs evened their record 9-9. USC dropped 12-4.
“Alex is turning into a giant slayer, and we’re so pleased for him,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “He’s gritty, tough, poised and confident out there. He can handle the moment. Offensively, we got a couple early runs and South Carolina didn’t play well defensively tonight and that’s rare. We have to play well defensively to win and we did tonight. They were several guys that made great plays.”
AUBURN, Ala. – Collin Kuhn drove in the game-winning run in the top of the 11th and Nolan Sanburn threw three shutout innings in relief as Arkansas defeated Auburn 6-5 in 11 innings in the Southeastern Conference opener on Friday night.
Arkansas improves to 15-2 and 1-0 in the SEC, while Auburn is now 12-6 and 0-1 in the league.
With the game tied at five in the top of the 11th, Arkansas scored once to take a 6-5 lead. Jarrod McKinney was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then stole second. With one out, Kuhn ripped a double down the left field line, scoring McKinney from second to put the Razorbacks in front 6-5.
OXFORD, Miss. – Matt Crouse continued to turn in solid outings on the mound, pitching 6.2 scoreless innings and combined with Jake Morgan for a shutout as Ole Miss (15-4, 1-0 SEC) opened Southeastern Conference play with a 4-0 win over Alabama (11-7, 0-1 SEC) on Friday night.
The Rebels have now allowed only one run in the last 45.0 innings of play following the shutout of the Crimson Tide.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — With the game locked at 3-3, Kentucky junior two-way star Braden Kapteyn belted a two-run homer into the batting eye in centerfield and then took the mound in the eighth and ninth to record a six-out save and lift the Wildcats to a 5-3 series-opening win over Tennessee, in the Southeastern Conference opener on Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (11-7, 1-0 SEC) battled from a 3-0 hole with a three-run inning in the bottom of the fifth to even up the game at 3-3. After a scoreless sixth and after UK starter Alex Meyer got through the top of the seventh with the game still tied, UK mounted its late-inning rally. Senior shortstop Taylor Black led off the inning with a rope through the left side of the infield and after a line out from Chad Wright, Kapteyn pelted a 1-2 offering from UT go-to reliever Zack Godley to the deepest part of the yard, a no-doubt bomb into the hitting eye in centerfield.