#6 Florida 6 #1 Vanderbilt 3 (12 innings)
Sophomore Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) delivered a three-run homer in the 12th to lift No. 5 Florida (39-13/20-7 SEC) over No. 2 Vanderbilt (42-8/20-7 SEC), 6-3, on Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field. With the dramatic victory, the Gators are now locked into a three-way tie for the league lead with the Commodores and No. 3 South Carolina (41-11/20-7 SEC) entering the final weekend of the regular season. UF will host Kentucky (24-28/7-20 SEC) starting on Thursday night at McKethan Stadium, while the Gamecocks finish at Alabama (31-22/13-14 SEC) and Vanderbilt travels to Georgia (26-26/15-12 SEC).
Deadlocked at 3-3, sophomore Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) (3-for-5, two runs) walked to open the 12th and was sacrificed to second on a two-strike bunt by senior Bryson Smith (Watkinsville, Ga.). The Commodores elected to walk junior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) (1-for-4) intentionally and that free pass ended the day for junior Jack Armstrong (0-1). Over 3.2 innings, the righty did not allow any hits, with four walks and three strikeouts. Zunino (2-for-5, five RBI, two HR) greeted junior Navery Moore with his second homer of the day, a three-run shot into the right-field bleachers that gave the Gators their first lead of the afternoon at 6-3. Zunino had blasted a solo homer in the seventh to pull UF within 3-2.
#3 South Carolina 7 #16 Arkansas 1
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Sophomore righthander Colby Holmes came within one pitch of a complete-game shutout, and South Carolina clinched the series victory over Arkansas with a 7-1 win Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium.
Holmes (5-2) pitched 8.2 innings – the longest outing by a South Carolina pitcher this season – giving up just one run on six hits while tying a career-high with seven strikeouts and walking just one Razorback hitter. A solo home run by Arkansas (33-17, 13-14 SEC) with two strikes and two outs in the ninth broke up what would have been South Carolina’s first complete-game shutout of the season, giving way to Tyler Webb and John Taylor to close out the victory.
Steven Neff was once again the offensive star for the Gamecocks (41-11, 20-7 SEC) as he went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBI. The Gamecock lefthander, who had a total of five career hits coming into the weekend, finished the series 6-for-8 with three home runs, a double and five RBI. Robert Beary was also 3-for-4, scoring and driving in one run apiece. Peter Mooney and Scott Wingo both finished the day 2-for-3.
Alabama 7 Auburn 6
AUBURN, Ala. – The Alabama baseball team used a three-run ninth inning to post a 7-6 win over Auburn, and salvaged the final game of the Southeastern Conference series from Plainsman Park on Sunday. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Tucker Hawley got the final six outs to earn the win out of the bullpen, as the Crimson Tide improved to 31-22 overall and 13-14 in SEC play. Auburn falls to 28-24 overall and 13-14 in conference play.
With the score tied 4-4 heading into the ninth inning, Alabama scored three times to take a 7-4 lead. The Tide got the go-ahead run on a double down the left field line by Taylor Dugas. RBI singles off the bats of Jared Reaves and Brett Whitaker extended the lead to three (7-4), as the Tide would need every run in the ninth to preserve the win.
Auburn rallied for a pair of runs in the ninth off Hawley (6-2), who pitched for the first time since April 3. Creede Simpson homered to lead off the Auburn ninth to cut the deficit to 7-5. Tony Caldwell doubled off the wall in left-center with two outs to trim the lead to 7-6, then Hawley struck out Tony Caldwell to end the game with the tying run on second base.
Georgia 7 Kentucky 6
LEXINGTON, KY.—–Levi Hyams hit two home runs and drove in four while Tyler Maloof collected his NCAA-leading 16th save to lift Georgia past Kentucky 7-6 Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
With the victory, Georgia (26-26, 15-12 SEC) clinched a spot in the eight-team Southeastern Conference Tournament, May 25-29 in Hoover, Alabama.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs grabbed their first lead of the series in the second inning, exploding for four runs on four hits. Junior right fielder Chase Davidson got it started with a leadoff double. He went to third on a base hit by designated hitter Brett DeLoach. First baseman Jonathan Hester made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly. After freshman catcher Brandon Stephens struck out, sophomore third baseman Curt Powell delivered an RBI-single. On a 1-0 pitch, Hyams extended the lead to 4-0 with a two-run blast to right field.
LSU 15 Tennessee 5
BATON ROUGE — LSU erupted for 15 runs off 17 hits, and center fielder Mikie Mahtook launched a three-run homer and tied his career high with four RBI en route to a 15-5 victory and series sweep of Tennessee Sunday at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU (33-19, 11-16 SEC) took control of the game with a six-run sixth inning, highlighted by Mahtook’s blast. The Tigers scored 32 runs and collected 50 hits over the weekend while posting their second straight series sweep of the Volunteers (23-27, 5-22 SEC) dating back to last season.
The Tigers return to action Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CDT when they travel to New Orleans to face UNO in their final non-conference regular season game.