Kentucky 2 #1 Vanderbilt 0
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Behind a dominating complete-game outing from junior Alex Meyer and a solo home run from junior Thomas McCarthy, the Kentucky baseball team posted a 2-0 win over No. 1 Vanderbilt in the series opener, on a gorgeous Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Meyer turned in a sterling performance for the fourth consecutive week, posting his second complete-game shutout of the year. The 6-foot-9 right-hander pitched UK to its first win over a No. 1 ranked team since the Wildcats posted an 8-6 win over the David Price and Casey Weathers-led No. 1 Commodores in 2007 in Lexington.
“Good performance from Alex tonight,” UK head coach Gary Henderson. “Really pleased, and dropping the strikeout total down from 12 to five got him through the entire ballgame on his pitch count. I thought they hit one ball hard and in the key spots he made real pitches and got some soft contact. Obviously we played some really good defense behind him. Anytime you win on Friday night it is big. Where we are and how it has gone, it is a big win. We beat Vandy’s best guy and it sets us up to have more pitching throughout the weekend.”
Oxford, Miss. – South Carolina junior left-hander Michael Roth allowed just one run in eight innings of work to earn his 10th win of the season and was backed by an offense that tallied 14 hits as the top ranked Gamecocks defeated Ole Miss 6-1 on Friday evening at Swayze Field in game one of a three-game SEC baseball series. Carolina is now 37-8 and 18-4 in the SEC while the loss drops Ole Miss to 25-21 and 9-13 in league play. Game two of the series is set for 3 p.m. ET and will be televised live on SportSouth and can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network.
Roth battled the entire night and limited Ole Miss to just six hits while striking out six batters and walking one. He is now 10-1 for the season. Senior reliever John Taylor pitched a perfect ninth inning to seal the win. Ole Miss starter Matt Crouse suffered the loss and is 6-4 on the year. He allowed five runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
“Roth was able to mix a little bit,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “He stuck some fastballs when he needed to. His change-up was really good, he located, his stuff was really good and he got us deep into the game.”
#16 Arkansas 5 #4 Florida 3
FAYETTEVILLE – Randall Fant and Barrett Astin held down the Florida offense, allowing just three runs and retiring the final 14 batters of the game, while Franco Broyles and James McCann each had two hits as Arkansas posted a series-clinching 5-3 win over Florida on Friday night in front of 9,032 fans at Baum Stadium.
“I think Randall (Fant) will tell you, he didn’t have his best stuff,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “He was up in the zone early in the game and we got out of a couple of jams, made a couple nice plays and it seemed like we were just kind of hanging around. I was a little worried when we left some runners out there. (Franco) Broyles got a big hit that about took the third baseman’s glove off. That ball was hit really hard and it gave us an insurance run and what can you say, (Barrett) Astin was outstanding.”
The Razorbacks improve to 32-14 overall and 12-11 in Southeastern Conference play, while Florida is now 35-12 and 17-6 in league play. The series win marks Arkansas’ first over a top five team since the Razorbacks took two of three from No. 1 Vanderbilt on March 23-25, 2007. Florida suffers just its second series loss of the 2011 season.
Auburn 4 Georgia 3
AUBURN, Ala. – Tony Caldwell’s single into right-center with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 11th propelled Auburn to a 4-3 comeback win over Georgia on Friday night at Plainsman Park. The win improved Auburn’s record to 24-21, 10-12 SEC while Georgia dropped to 24-22, 13-9 SEC.
Trailing by a run heading to the bottom of the 11th after Georgia’s Jonathan Hester (2-for-5, HR) crushed a two-out, two-strike home run in the top half of the inning, Auburn used three singles and a walk to turn around its fortunes. Justin Hargett (2-for-5) led off with a single to left and went to third on a Justin Fradejas (2-for-6) single to right-center. Pinch hitter Jay Gonzalez then drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases with none out.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Sophomore right fielder Mason Katz went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs while left fielderTrey Watkins tied a career high with three hits to pace a 14-hit LSU attack as the Tiger baseball team won its sixth straight game and took the series opener from Alabama by a score of 10-6 on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
LSU (30-18, 8-14 SEC) scored in each of the first five innings to build a 10-1 advantage on the Crimson Tide, who dropped to 28-20 overall and 10-12 in conference play.
“I told the guys after the game, through the first five innings and (Raph) Rhymes at-bat to leadoff the top of the sixth inning, these were several of our best at-bats of the year,” said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. “Not only did we hit the ball hard, we had a great approach at the plate. We had good situational hitting, clutch hitting and two-out hitting – all of those things that you preach.”
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Nick Vickerson’s three-run double highlighted a five-run fifth inning as Mississippi State defeated Tennessee 16-5 in a Southeastern Conference baseball game played Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Bulldogs won the opening game of a weekend league series for the first time in four weekends. MSU improved to 3-5 in series openers. The Bulldogs have now won at least one game in seven of eight league series this year.
Offensively, MSU pounded out 15 hits and scored its most runs in a conference game this season. Earlier this year, the Bulldogs beat Auburn 15-8 on a Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. After breaking a 2-2 tie with the five-run fifth inning, the Maroon and White blew the contest wide open with six scores in the visitors’ portion of the seventh inning.