Mississippi State 5 #2 South Carolina 3
STARKVILLE, Miss. – A three-run sixth inning lifted the Mississippi State baseball team to a 5-3 Southeastern Conference baseball victory over second-ranked South Carolina Saturday night at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs have now won at least one game in five of six conference series this year. MSU has also now won eight games against ranked opponents. The victory also allowed the Maroon and White to better last season’s overall win total with 17 games remaining. The teams will meet again in a series-deciding rubber match at 1:30 p.m. Easter Sunday.
With the victory, MSU improved to 24-15 overall and 7-10 in league play. South Carolina fell to 30-8 and 13-4. The Bulldogs remain in fifth place in the Western Division standings but did gain a game on three of four rivals above them. South Carolina slipped into a three-way tie for the overall league lead with Vanderbilt and Florida.
Nashville, Tenn, – Vanderbilt clinched the series Saturday with a 10-1 win over LSU at a sold out Hawkins Field.
Commodores’ starter Grayson Garvin tamed the Tigers over seven innings to notch his eighth win of the year and move to a perfect 6-0 in six SEC starts. The lefty fanned eight and allowed one run on five hits and one walk to help the Dores to the team’s ninth series win of the year. Garvin was perfect through the first three innings before his lone walk of the day came around to score in the fourth on a fielder’s choice. Will Clinard finished off the win working two scoreless innings.
Sophomore Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) went 2-for-4, scored twice and drove in four runs to lead No. 5 Florida (30-10/13-4 SEC) to a 9-2 win over Alabama (25-17/8-9 SEC) on Saturday night in front of 4,917 fans at McKethan Stadium. With the Gators holding a 4-2 lead in the seventh, Zunino cranked a two-out, three-run homer into the left-field bleachers on an 0-2 count and senior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) added an RBI double to cap a four-run outburst that clinched UF’s fourth-consecutive SEC series victory. Sophomore Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) (6-1) gave up seven hits and two runs over five innings to pick up the decision.
Alabama totaled three-straight hits against Johnson in the first inning and used an RBI single by freshman Austen Smith to take a 1-0 lead. Senior Brock Bennett (2-for-4) singled through the left side with one down and junior Jared Reaves (3-for-4) followed with a base-hit into left field before Smith singled into right field to score Bennett. Johnson rebounded to strike out junior Josh Rosecrans and had sophomore Andrew Miller ground out to end the inning.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — After allowing the go-ahead run to score in the top of the ninth on a pair of errors, Kentucky rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning to even up the game and third baseman Thomas McCarthy drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk to force home the walk-off run, lifting the Wildcats to a 3-2 win over No. 12 Arkansas in the series opener, on a cloudy Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
With the game tied at 1-1 and UK starter Alex Meyer tossing the best game of his career, Arkansas led off the top of the ninth with a three-base error on a fly ball to centerfield. After getting the go-ahead run across on a second error in the frame, UK mounted a furious rally in the bottom of the ninth. Catcher Michael Williams led off the frame with his third hit of the game, a single down the rightfield line. After Lucas Witt’s sacrifice bunt pushed pinch runner Matt Reida into scoring position, freshman pinch hitter Paul McConkey reached on an infield hit. Junior outfielder Chad Wright then singled down the line in leftfield, allowing Reida to score the game-tying run. After a Taylor Black single, a slick defensive play got the force out at home plate. McCarthy then came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded and drew four consecutive balls from Arkansas ace closer Nolan Sanburn to force home the win.
KNOXVILLE, TENN. — Georgia scored seven two-out runs Saturday to defeat Tennessee 8-6 and even the SEC series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Junior Michael Palazzone improved to 7-1 after going a solid 8.2 innings, spoiled only by Davis Morgan’s ninth-inning, three-run shot down the left field line that was ruled a home run. Palazzone’s final line was six runs (four earned) on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts. He had allowed just one earned until the ninth. Junior Tyler Maloof came on to get the final out and record his 13th save. UT starter Rob Catapano got the loss to fall 2-4 after allowing five runs on six hits before leaving in the fourth.
Auburn 9 Ole Miss 7
AUBURN, Ala. – Kevin Patterson’s seventh-inning three-run home run into the K Korner in right completed the Auburn baseball team’s comeback on Saturday afternoon as it defeated Ole Miss, 9-7, to claim a third straight SEC series win. The win improved Auburn’s record to 22-17, 9-9 SEC while Ole Miss dropped to 24-17, 9-9 SEC.
“I didn’t hit it great but I knew I got under it enough, I just didn’t know if I got enough to get it out,” Patterson said. “We just keep playing hard. Our pitchers are pitching their butts off. You have to chip away when you can. You are not going to score nine runs an inning all the time.”