#2 Vanderbilt 10 Tennessee 1
Nashville, Tenn, – Vanderbilt pounded out 17 hits en route to a 10-1 win Saturday over Tennessee at Hawkins Field to clinch the team’s 10th series victory of the season.
The Commodores struck first scoring in the bottom of the first on Jason Esposito’s RBI-double but the Volunteers picked up a solo home run from Ethan Bennett in the second to tie the game. Aaron Westlake’s solo home run in the third put the Dores back out in front to stay with VU scoring eight runs over the next five innings to put the game away.
#3 South Carolina 10 Auburn 2
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Second-ranked South Carolina pounded out 11 hits and scored six times in the seventh inning on its way to a 10-2 victory over Auburn to clinch a three-game SEC baseball series on Saturday night at Carolina Stadium. South Carolina is now 34-8 and 16-4 in the SEC while the loss drops Auburn to 23-20 and 9-11 in the SEC. Carolina has won all 11 three-game series it has played this year. Sunday’s series finale is at 3 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN and can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network.
South Carolina sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes worked a career-high 7.1 innings and allowed just two runs on four hits to pick up the win. He is now 4-1 on the year. Holmes also tied his career-high with seven strikeouts in the victory. Auburn starting pitcher Derek Varnadore suffered the loss and is now 4-2 for the season. He allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits in 3.1 innings. The Gamecocks did not strike out at all in Saturday’s victory vs. the Tigers.
Sophomore left-hander Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) tossed 6.2 scoreless innings, matched his career high with nine strikeouts and was supported by a balanced offense that scored multiple runs in four different innings as No. 4 Florida (33-10/16-4 SEC) claimed its weekend series with an 8-1 victory over Ole Miss (24-19/9-11 SEC) on Saturday night in front of 4,305 fans at McKethan Stadium. Florida’s sixth-straight league win secured the team’s fifth-straight SEC series victory, was its first series win over the Rebels since 2008 and was the squad’s first series triumph over UM in Gainesville since 2002.
Johnson (7-1) helped his own cause by going 2-for-3, while junior Jeff Moyer (Winter Springs, Fla.) (2-for-4, two RBI) and sophomore Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) (2-for-4, two RBI, two runs) each homered. Eight of UF’s nine starters had at least one hit to help the Orange and Blue remain deadlocked with No. 2 Vanderbilt (37-5/16-4 SEC) and No. 3 South Carolina (34-8/16-4 SEC) in the conference race.
“It all starts on the mound,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Brian (Johnson) was good tonight. He located to both sides of the plate and pitched well. Offensively, we’re seeing the ball well, having quality at-bats and we’re getting quality pitches from top to bottom. I think they’re confident right now, playing with a little bounce and having fun. We’re getting a lot of guys in there and they are contributing. I knew we were going to swing the bat better as the season went on but we’re seeing the ball well right now.”
Georgia 3 #14 Arkansas 0
ATHENS, Ga. —Georgia junior Michael Palazzone pitched eight innings of shutout baseball en route to the Bulldogs 3-0 victory over No. 14 Arkansas Saturday at Foley Field.
Palazzone improved to 8-1 overall with a 1.94 ERA and notched his fifth win over a ranked team. In the SEC, he is 6-0 this season with a 1.74 ERA. Palazzone scattered four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five through eight innings. Also, junior Tyler Maloof came on to pitch the ninth to register his NCAA-leading 15th save.
“Michael throws all three pitches to both sides of the plate,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “That’s what makes him so good. I think everybody in their lineup saw fastballs, breaking balls and changeups at some point today.”
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Pinch-hitter Brett Whitaker hit the first pitch he saw in the top of the 10th inning to lift the Alabama baseball team to a 5-4 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in game one of a Southeastern Conference doubleheader on Saturday from Polk-DeMent Stadium. With the win Alabama improved to 27-18 overall and 9-10 in SEC play, while the Bulldogs dropped to 24-17 overall and 7-12 in SEC competition.
It was the first hit of the season for Whitaker, who entered the game without a hit in eight at-bats of the year. Whitaker spent little time in the batter’s box as he smashed the first pitch of the 10th inning off MSU closer Caleb Reed over the left center field wall. Reed took the loss to drop to 0-1 on the year. UA closer Jonathan Smart threw the final 2.1 innings of the game, getting the win to improve to 3-1 on the year.
Alabama connected for 12 hits in the first game of the doubleheader, as Andrew Miller paced the Tide with three hits and a run scored. Taylor Dugas was 2-for-5 with a run scored, Brock Bennett was 2-for-5 with two RBI and Josh Sanders was 2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and two runs scored.
BATON ROUGE — LSU first baseman Mason Katz continued his hot streak with a homer and two doubles, and center fielder Mikie Mahtook blasted a two-run shot to lead the Tigers (28-17, 7-14 SEC) to an 8-4 victory and series sweep of Kentucky (20-25, 4-17 SEC) Saturday in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers will return to action Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CDT when they welcome in-state foe Tulane to Alex Box Stadium. Live video, audio and stats can be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net. It can also be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
In addition, the contest will be televised by Cox Sports Television.