#1 Vanderbilt 6 Kentucky 3
Lexington, Ky. – Vanderbilt rallied for three runs with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to down Kentucky 6-3 and clinch the series Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Two-out singles from Anthony Gomez and Aaron Westlake put runners on the corners for Jason Esposito in the ninth and the Commodores’ third baseman came through singling to right field on the first pitch he saw to score Gomez. Mike Yastrzemski and Curt Casali followed with RBI-singles of their own to push the VU lead to 6-3. Esposito’s single extended his hitting streak to 27 games. Westlake, Gomez and Kemp all had two hits for Vandy in the win. Thomas McCarthy led the Wildcats with three hits and Michael Williams hit a two-run homer that put UK in the lead in the fourth inning.
Ole Miss 7 #2 South Carolina 6
OXFORD, Miss. – It was a back and forth battle, but the Rebels delivered the final blow when Preston Overbey came up with a sac fly to right center in the ninth to deliver a 7-6 win for Ole Miss (27-21, 11-13 SEC) over No. 1 South Carolina (37-10, 18-6 SEC) on Sunday at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Tracy drew a lead-off walk off South Carolina closer Matt Price – only the 11th of the season – to start things in the ninth. He then moved from first to third on a single through the right side from Miles Hamblin before coming home on the fly out to right center from Overbey to give the Rebels the victory.
The win gave the Rebels a series win over the top-ranked Gamecocks. It is the second time in the last three seasons the Rebels have hosted the top-ranked team in the nation and walked away with a series win. Ole Miss took the series from then No. 1 Georgia in 2009 on the way to the Southeastern Conference championship.
Georgia 14 Auburn 11
AUBURN, ALA.—–Kyle Farmer’s grand slam capped a nine-run ninth inning to power Georgia past Auburn 14-11 Sunday at Plainsman Park.
The Tigers (25-22, 11-13 SEC) were looking for a series sweep and jumped ahead 8-0 in the first. Auburn’s early outburst came off junior left-hander Craig Gullickson who failed to get out of the first inning. He allowed eight runs on seven hits before leaving with two outs as Georgia looked to sophomore Bryan Benzor. Shortstop Casey McElroy had a pair of RBI-singles in the frame, and the big blast came from centerfielder Creede Simpson who connected for a three-run home run as the Tigers sent 13 to the plate in the first inning. Sophomore right-hander Slade Smith was the beneficiary of this early support and went six innings in his first league start of the year.
Georgia (25-23, 14-10 SEC) had a chance to climb back in the contest, loading the bases with one out in the fourth. However, it managed just one run on a two-out walk to Jonathan Hester that made it 8-1. Benzor provided a solid relief effort, pitching a career-high 3.1 shutout innings before the Bulldogs turned to senior John Herman to start the Tiger fifth. Also, Georgia junior catcher Carson Schilling entered the game at that point. The Tigers got the run back in that inning. Herman issued a two-out walk to Cullen Wacker and then Justin Hargett smashed an RBI-double to center. Then, Georgia brought in sophomore Earl Daniels.
Alabama 9 LSU 0
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Senior left-hander Jonathan Smart pitched 8.1 scoreless innings, striking out four while scattering eight hits to lift the Alabama baseball team to a 9-0 series clinching win over the LSU Tigers on Sunday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 30-20 overall and 12-12 in Southeastern Conference play while LSU falls to 30-19 (8-16 SEC) on the year.
In addition to the sterling performance from Smart (4-1), who was making just his third start of the year, the Alabama bats pounded out an SEC-high 15 hits on the day, including a season-high three home runs.
“This was probably our best game all year,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Jonathan Smart was just tremendous all day long. We had really good offense early on and Austen Smith capped off the second with a grand slam. We had a lot of good swings throughout the day. Offense, defense and pitching were just tremendous all day. It was a complete game and one that we needed.”
Mississippi State 5 Tennessee 2
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Chris Stratton and Caleb Reed combined on a splendid Sunday afternoon pitching performance as Mississippi State completed a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series sweep of Tennessee with a 5-2 victory at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Stratton (5-5) worked the first 5.2 innings to garner the win. Reed completed the contest to secure his ninth save of the season. The duo allowed eight hits and two earned runs, with two walks and 13 strikeouts. The 13 punchouts were the most for the MSU pitching staff in a conference game this season.
“Chris Stratton did exactly what we needed him to do today – he threw strikes,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “This was the Chris Stratton that we’ve come to know and love. It is good to get him back in form. Caleb Reed was a flat-out warrior on the mound for us in relief again. He pitched his heart out for us today.”