Mississippi State 9 #1 Vanderbilt 8
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A go-ahead RBI-single by C.T. Bradford capped a five-run eighth inning as Mississippi State rallied to stun No. 2 Vanderbilt 9-8 in a Southeastern Conference baseball game played Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
After being shut out in the first two games of the series, the Bulldogs salvaged the finale in the opening series of conference play. MSU snapped a 12-game VU win streak in the series and a 12-game win streak for the 2011 Commodores.
MSU improved to 15-6 overall and 1-2 in league play, while Vanderbilt fell to 19-2 and 2-1.
No. 1 Florida (18-2/3-0 SEC) overcame a 3-0 deficit with seven unanswered runs to complete a sweep of No. 5 LSU (16-4/0-3 SEC), 7-3, on Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium. The Gators’ first sweep of the Tigers in Baton Rouge in school history marked the first time since 2006 against South Carolina that the Bayou Bengals had dropped all three contests at home to an SEC foe.
UF’s eighth win in a row matches the longest winning streak in head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s four-year tenure and equals the Gators’ most victories through 20 games in program history, as the 1952 team started 18-1-1. Florida has now swept all five of its weekend series (USF, Boston College, No. 24 Miami (Fla.), Rhode Island and No. 5 LSU) and improved to 7-1 against top-25 opponents and 4-1 versus top-five foes this season. The three-game series established Alex Box Stadium records for total attendance (28,215) and the number of tickets sold (34,562).
#6 South Carolina 8 Georgia 3
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Four South Carolina relievers combined to limit Georgia to just one run on three hits in eight innings of work and six different Gamecocks tallied at least one RBI as South Carolina defeated Georgia 8-3 winning the rubber game of three-game SEC baseball series on Sunday afternoon in front of 8,012 fans at Carolina Stadium. Carolina is 14-4 and 2-1 in the SEC while the loss drops Georgia to 9-11 and 1-2 in league play.
Gamecock freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas allowed just one run on two hits in 3.1 innings of work to earn the win. He is now 2-0 on the year. Senior right-hander John Taylor worked 2.1 hitless innings and tallied a strikeout, junior left-hander Bryan Harper struck out the lone batter he faced and sophomore closer Matt Price worked two scoreless innings with four strikeouts to pick up his fifth save of the year. The four relievers along with Gamecock starter Adam Westmoreland combined for 14 strikeouts, a season-high in a game for the Gamecock pitching staff. Georgia reliever John Herman suffered the loss and is now 1-2 on the year. He allowed one run on two walks in 0.1 innings.
#26 Auburn 8 #11 Arkansas 7
Casey McElroy drove in four runs, including two in Auburn’s four-run eighth, and Justin Fradejas threw out the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth as the No. 24 Auburn baseball team rallied to defeat No. 9 Arkansas, 8-7, on Sunday afternoon at Plainsman Park. The win improved Auburn’s record to 14-6, 2-1 SEC while Arkansas fell to 15-4, 1-2 SEC, losing its first series of the season.
“Twenty-seven outs are tough to get in college baseball,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “It doesn’t matter who you are playing, where you are playing, the games are never over.”
Down 5-4 heading to the bottom of the eighth, Auburn batted around on three different Arkansas pitchers to build an 8-5 lead. McElroy’s bases loaded, two-run single with one out gave Auburn a 6-5 lead, scoring pinch runner Bobby Andrews and Justin Hargett (2-for-4, BB, RBI, R), and put runners on the corners. A single by Dan Gamache (1-for-4, RBI) followed, bringing Fradejas (1-for-3, 2BB, R) home to put Auburn up 7-5. McElroy scored what proved to be a necessary insurance run on Tony Caldwell’s (1-for-4, BB, RBI) single to left to take the three-run lead.
OXFORD, Miss. – Andrew Miller continued his hot hitting as he had three hits to help lead the Alabama baseball team to a 6-4 win over Mississippi on Sunday afternoon from O-U Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide takes the weekend series over the Rebels, winning two of three games to open Southeastern Conference play.
Alabama (13-7, 2-1 SEC) sophomore starting pitcher Tucker Hawley earned the win and improved to 4-1 on the year. Jonathan Smart earned his second save in as many games, notching his third save of the season. Smart pitched the final 2.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits. Mississippi (15-6, 1-2 SEC) starting pitcher Austin Wright took the loss, dropping to 2-2 on the year.
“We got another really good start from Tucker (Hawley),” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Offensively we came alive yesterday and we were able to put that together again today and put a lot of pressure on them throughout the day.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Senior Mike Kaczmarek made his first start since Feb. 25 and went 4-for-4 at the plate and then took to the mound to record the final four outs for the save, leading the Kentucky Wildcats to a series-clinching 7-3 win over Tennessee in the rubber match of the Southeastern Conference three-game series, on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
After Kentucky won game one of the series on Friday 5-3 behind heroics from junior Braden Kapteyn, Tennessee rebounded for a 12-8 win on Saturday, to even up the series at set the stage for the rubber match on Sunday. With UK in search of an offensive spark in the lineup on Sunday, the Wildcats inserted Kaczmarek into the lineup for his first start since Feb. 25 against Illinois-Chicago.
Kaczmarek, who has been UK’s primary closer throughout the year on the mound and has made 55 career appearances over his four-year career as a go-to reliever, was the story of the game. The Orland Park, Ill., native collected his first career multi-hit game, ripping four singles as the designated hitter and the No. 7 hitter in the lineup. With UK holding a 6-3 lead and the tying run at the plate with two outs in the top of the eighth, UK called on Kaczmarek to relieve freshman right-hander Trevor Gott. Kaczmarek struck out the first hitter he faced, No. 2 man Andrew Toles, before retiring the side in the top of the ninth for his fourth save of the year.