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SEC Baseball Central

February 20, 2013


No. 5 Mississippi State Holds Off Grambling

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Sophomore right-hander Brandon Woodruff opened his 2013 season on a strong note as Mississippi State blanked Grambling State 2-0 in a college baseball game Tuesday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
Woodruff matched a career high with eight strikeouts over six innings of work. In the end, a set of six Bulldog hurlers combined for the squad's second shutout as MSU moved to 5-0 for the second time in three seasons.
"It was a well pitched game by both teams," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "It's hard to score runs when the wind is from the north here. This was a lot like several of our intersquad games. It was well pitched by both teams and local scoring."
Through five games, MSU pitching has allowed 26 hits and three earned runs for a 0.60 earned run average. Bulldog hurlers have not allowed a run in 18 straight innings.
MSU opened the scoring with a lone run in the second inning. After a leadoff walk to Alex Detz, Brett Pirtle followed with a sacrifice bunt. Following a lineout, Demarcus Henderson lined an RBI-single.
Henderson also had a hand in the Bulldogs' other run in the fifth inning. Daryl Norris began things with a leadoff single. Again, the Maroon and White used the bunting game to perfection as Henderson sacrificed Norris to second base. A two-out RBI-single by C.T. Bradford extended the lead to 2-0.
"Demarcus really hung in there well," Cohen said. "He got a hit, got a sacrifice bunt and drew a walk for us. We had some key two-out hits."
Myles Gentry, Bradford, Preston Brown, Ross Mitchell and Jonathan Holder all saw action on the mound. Holder got a critical strikeout with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to snuff the last Grambling State (0-3) threat. Holder retired the side in order one at-bat later for his second save this season and 11th career save.
MSU resumes its season-opening 19-homestand by playing host to The Diamond Classic presented by Polk's Meat Products. The three-day, six-game event begins with Samford playing Purdue at 2:30 p.m. Friday, followed by MSU and Purdue playing at 6 p.m.

No. 2 Vanderbilt Cruises Past Belmont

Nashville, Tenn. - No. 2 Vanderbilt used an outstanding start from sophomore Philip Pfeifer to beat crosstown rival Belmont 9-3 Tuesday night at Rose Park. 
The left-hander dominated from the outset on a cold, windy night facing the minimum through the first three innings allowing only one hit with four strikeouts. Pfeifer was finally touched for a run in the fifth inning when Belmont (3-1) outfielder Drew Turner hit a solo home run to lead off the inning. However, Pfeifer responded by striking out the next four batters he faced. The Knoxville, Tenn. native worked into the seventh recording his 10th strikeout to become the first Commodore hurler to post double digit strikeouts in a game since Taylor Hill punched out 15 Belmont players in the NCAA Regional at Hawkins Field. Pfeifer (1-0) finished the night allowing one run on four hits with three walks over 6.2 innings to earn his first collegiate win. 
While Pfeifer was carving up the Bruins' offense Tony Kemp was doing the same to the Bruins' pitching, posting his second career five-hit game to become the first Dore to collect five hits in a game since he did it at South Carolina in 2011. Kemp led off the game with a double down the left field line and came around to score on a RBI-groundout from Conrad Gregor as the Commodores put two runs on the board in the first for an early lead. After a single in the third, Kemp followed up in the fourth with a RBI-single and added another base hit in the sixth. The speedy infielder finished his night by roping a double off the right field wall to finish a perfect 5-for-5. Kemp teamed up with freshman Xavier Turner to go 8-for-10 from the top two spots in the Vandy lineup with the first six spots in the lineup going a combined 17-for-23 (.739) and driving in nine runs. Turner's three-hit night set a new career-best for the freshman, who now has two multi-hit games in his first four games of his career. 
Spencer Navin, Mike Yastrzemski, Connor Harrell and Vince Conde all had two-hit nights for the Dores in the victory. Drew Turner paced Belmont with two hits and two RBI. Belmont starter Dan Ludwig (0-1) was pinned with the loss giving up five runs on seven hits over four innings. 
Vanderbilt returns to action tomorrow afternoon at Hawkins Field with the first-ever meeting with Central Arkansas. Freshman Walker Buehler is scheduled to make his collegiate debut against UCA's right-hander Clint Green. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. 

Top-Ranked Razorbacks Sweep New Orleans in Doubleheader

FAYETTEVILLE – The top-ranked Arkansas baseball team posted a pair of shutouts on Tuesday as it swept a doubleheader from New Orleans. The Razorbacks won game one, 14-0, and completed the sweep with a 3-0 victory in game two of the twinbill.
With the two victories, the Razorbacks improve to 4-1, while the Privateers drop to 0-5 with the loss.
Tyler Spoon was Arkansas’ top offensive performer in the doubleheader, going 3-for-8 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Matt Vinson also had three hits and scored a run, while Brian Anderson crossed home plate five times in the two games. 
On the mound, six Arkansas pitchers combined to allow five hits in 16 shutout innings. The Razorbacks combined for 15 strikeouts over the two games.
Game 1 Recap
Arkansas put together its best offensive performance of the young season, while Colin Poche and Cade Lynch combined on a one-hit shutout as the Razorbacks defeated New Orleans, 14-0, in a run-rule shortened game.
The Razorbacks scored 10 runs in the first three innings of the game, including a five-run first inning. Eight of Arkansas’ nine starters had at least one hit in the win.
Jacob Mahan drove in a game-high four runs and went 3-for-5, while Tyler Spoon hit the first home run of his collegiate career and went 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Willie Schwanke also hit the first home run of his Razorback career and had three RBI and three runs scored. Brian Anderson scored four runs in the win.
On the mound, Poche made his collegiate debut and earned the win. The Flower Mound, Texas, native allowed just one hit and struck out six over his five innings. Lynch finished up the game by striking out three and throwing two shutout frames in his season debut.
New Orleans starter Daniel Martinez took the loss after giving up eight runs on eight hits in 1.2 innings.
At the plate, Dan Perkins managed the only hit of the game for the Privateers.
Arkansas wasted little time jumping on Martinez, putting together a five-run first inning. Vinson led off the inning with a single to left field. With one out, Spoon launched an opposite field home run over the wall in right field to put the Razorbacks in front 2-0. Eric Fisher followed with a single and back-to-back walks to Anderson and Schwanke loaded the bases with one out. Mahan drove in the third run of the inning on a groundout. A wild pitch scored Anderson and a two-out single by Brett McAfee plated Schwanke to close the scoring in the inning.
The Razorbacks continued the onslaught in the bottom of the second. Joe Serrano started the inning with a single and then took second on a wild pitch. Spoon drove in his third run of the game with a line drive single to center field, scoring Serrano. A one-out single by Anderson advanced Spoon to second. After a fly out by Schwanke, Mahan lined a single up the middle to score Spoon. A walk to Wise loaded the bases and a walk to McAfee scored Wise from third.
Arkansas added two more runs in the home half of the third. Serrano reached on a fielding error by the UNO third baseman to begin the inning. With one out, Fisher hit a ground ball to the shortstop, who tried to start a double play, but his throw to second was high and went down the right field line, allowing Fisher to reach and advancing Serrano to third. Anderson was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Schwanke, who drew a walk to score Serrano. Mahan brought home fisher with a RBI single through the right side of the infield to give Arkansas a 10-run lead.
The Razorbacks added two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Mahan drove in a run on a RBI groundout and McAfee doubled to left center to score Schwanke. In the sixth, Schwanke launched a two-run homer over the bullpen in right field for the first home run of his collegiate career to close the scoring.
Game 2 Recap
Four Arkansas pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout as the Razorbacks completed a doubleheader sweep of New Orleans with a 3-0 victory.
Landon Simpson started on the mound for his first collegiate appearance and earned the victory, tossing three scoreless innings and allowing three hits. Colby Suggs, Michael Gunn and Jalen Beeks came in in relief of Simpson and preserved the shutout. Suggs tossed a hitless inning, while Gunn was sensational, striking out six and allowing just one hit in four innings. Beeks earned the first save of his Razorback career with a perfect ninth inning.
New Orleans starter Blake Prest took his first loss of the season after giving up a run on five hits and striking out one in five innings.
Matt Vinson had two hits to lead the Razorback offense in the game. Jake Wise drove in two runs and had a hit, while Gunn and Jacob Morris each had a hit and a run scored.
Arkansas got on the scoreboard first with a run in the bottom of the second. With one out, Gunn doubled to the gap in left center and came around to score on a two-out single up the middle by Wise.
The Razorbacks added another run in the bottom of the sixth. Brian Anderson walked to begin the inning and advanced to second on a ground out by Gunn. After Jordan Farris walked, each runner moved up a base on a wild pitch. Wise drove home Anderson with a RBI ground out to short to give Arkansas a 2-0 lead.
Arkansas plated its third run of the game in the seventh. Morris reached on a bunt single with one out and then stole second. Fisher walked with two out to put two runners on base. Morris and Fisher executed a double steal attempt and the throw to second by the UNO catcher went into center field, allowing Morris to score on the play.
Gunn and Beeks pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to seal the win and give Arkansas a doubleheader sweep.
Arkansas concludes its season-opening home stand this weekend with a three-game series vs. Evansville. Game times are set for 3:05 p.m. on Friday and 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Single-game tickets are $10 for reserved and $8 for general admission, while season tickets are $190 for adults and $140 for University of Arkansas staff, youth and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased by calling  1-800-982-HOGS (4647) or by visiting the online ticket center at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

Gators Use Balanced Effort to Pick Up Win at UCF

Orlando, Fla. -- Four different players turned in multiple-hit efforts to lead No. 13 Florida (3-1) to a 5-3 victory over UCF (2-2) in front of a record crowd of 3,678 fans on Tuesday night at Jay Bergman Field. Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) continued his torrid start by going 3-for-4 with his third home run in the past two games and senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-5) belted his first round-tripper of the season and scored twice. The Gators’ top two hitters in the lineup were a combined 5-for-10 (.500), as freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (3-for-5) had a career-high three hits and freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) went 2-for-5. Freshman left-hander Parker Danciu (Delray Beach, Fla.) (2-0) worked 3.1 innings, scattering five hits and yielding two runs, to earn the win, while sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) retired all five Knights he faced to record his second save.

The Gators used a sacrifice fly by sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) in the first inning off senior Brian Adkins (0-1) to open the scoring. Martin had legged out an infield single with one down and sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) followed with a base-hit through the left side to advance his teammate to third. Shafer lofted a fly ball into right field to bring home Martin and collect his first RBI of the campaign.
Ramjit put the visitors ahead, 2-0, with a leadoff homer on the first pitch of the second inning to left field. It was his first dinger since May 18 last season at Auburn. After Powers followed with a base-hit into left field, Adkins recorded the next two outs. However, Bader and Martin loaded the bags with two down courtesy of singles. Adkins had Turgeon fly out on a full count to center field to hold the Knights’ deficit at two runs.
UCF threatened in the home part of the inning, as sophomore James Vasquez (2-for-4) began the inning with a sharp single up the middle and junior Parker Webster drew a one-out walk. Making his first collegiate start, freshman catcher Kevin Stypulkowski (Lake Worth, Fla.) picked Webster off first base and junior Keenan Kish (Worcester, Pa.) fanned sophomore Tommy Williams to keep the hosts scoreless.
Kish worked the first two innings, allowing two hits with a season-high three strikeouts, before giving way to Danciu. Sophomore JoMarcos Woods led off with a single into left field but was erased on a fielder’s choice by senior Ryan Breen. Danciu had redshirt senior Erik Hempe hit into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play that was started by Powers.
Powers led off the fourth inning with a shot to right field to give the Gators a 3-0 lead. His 10 RBI, all in the past two outings, lead the squad.
UCF loaded the bases with two down in the home part of the frame but came away empty-handed. Danciu set down the first two Knights before Vasquez reached on a fielding error by Turgeon. Senior Austin Johnston (2-for-4) doubled into the left-field corner to advance Vasquez to third base and Webster earned a free pass to fill the sacks. Danciu punched out Williams to end the inning.
Helped by a pair of UCF errors in the sixth, Florida expanded its margin to 5-0. The Gators put their first two runners in scoring position, as Ramjit reached on an error by senior third baseman Chris Taladay and Powers blooped a single into left field. Adkins struck out Stypulkowski and senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and was replaced by freshman Zac Favre. Over 5.2 innings, Adkins surrendered 10 hits and five runs (three earned), with three strikeouts and zero walks. Favre had Bader in the hole at 0-2 but a throwing miscue by Williams at shortstop enabled Ramjit and Powers to come home.
The Knights pulled with 5-2 in the bottom of the inning on a solo homer by Vasquez and a two-out RBI single by Williams. Vasquez connected on UCF’s first homer of the season to right field for a 5-1 score. A double to straightaway center field by Johnston prompted a pitching change, as sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) came in for Danciu (3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R). The reliever had Webster ground out and Williams stroked a base-knock up the middle to score Johnston and narrow the hosts’ deficit to three runs.
A one-out single by Hempe in the seventh brought junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) into the contest for Harris (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R). A wild pitch by the southpaw enabled Hempe to reach third base and Taladay’s RBI grounder to second base resulted in a 5-3 score. Gibson had senior Jeramy Matos ground out to end the stanza.
Powers drew a leadoff walk in the eighth from senior Jimmy Reed and moved into scoring position with his second stolen base of the year with one down. Another free pass to Dent caused a pitching move, with redshirt sophomore Spencer Davis taking over on the mound for Reed (1.1 IP). Powers was thrown out at third for the second out and Bader reached on an infield single for runners on the corners with two down. Davis retired Martin on a comebacker to the mound to prevent the Gators from adding to their lead.
Gibson struck out Vasquez and Magliozzi entered the game. The righty had Webster fly out to right field then froze Webster looking at strike three to complete the eighth and set down the Knights 1-2-3 in the ninth to nail down the Gators’ third-straight win. Florida had a 13-9 advantage in hits, as seven of nine starters chipped in with at least one.
The Gators begin an eight-game homestand at McKethan Stadium tomorrow night at 7 p.m. by hosting Georgia Southern (2-1). Shafer (0-0, 6.75) will be on the mound tomorrow night against Eagle freshman left-hander Evan Challenger (0-0, 0.00). GSU opened its campaign by taking two of three games from Georgia. The game will be carried live on Sun Sports/FOX Sports Florida with Nick Belmonte and Mick Hubert and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell. 

Crimson Tide Holds On to Down Southern Miss

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama earned its biggest win of the season as the Crimson Tide defeated No. 21 Southern Mississippi, 10-8, Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Starting pitcher Taylor Guilbeau (1-0) threw five innings to earn the win, giving Alabama its first 4-0 start since 2011. The losing pitcher for Southern Miss was freshman starter Jake Winston (0-1), as the Golden Eagles dropped to 3-1 on the season.
Senior catcher Brett Booth continued to provide veteran leadership for the club, going 3-for-3 with a single, a double, a home run, a walk, two runs scored and two RBIs. It marks Booth’s fourth straight game with at least one RBI. The newcomers played an important role again, as freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, was hit by a pitch and had two RBIs. Freshman shortstop Mikey White was 1-for-4 with a single, a hit by pitch, two runs scored and two RBIs. 
Sophomore lefty Taylor Guilbeau got the start for the Tide, going five innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts, tying his career-high. Sophomore lefty Justin Kamplain closed out the game for the Tide, allowing a three runs in the ninth before striking out Blake Brown to end the game.
The Alabama Crimson Tide returns to action at Florida Atlantic on Friday, February 22, with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT, from the FAU Baseball Stadium.
Follow the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team on Facebook at Alabama-Baseball and on Twitter at @AlabamaBSB.

Texas A&M Wins Third Straight

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 24 Texas A&M Aggies had their most productive game on offense in the young season with 12 hits, seven walks and six stolen bases in a 9-2 win over the Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks in non-conference action Tuesday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Mikey Reynolds marshaled the Aggie hit parade going 4-for-5 with one run, two RBI and three stolen bases. Charlie Curl was 2-for-3 with one run, two doubles, three RBI and one stolen base. Troy Stein went 3-for-5 and Daniel Mengden added two hits and a pair of walks.
After a shaky first inning, Corey Ray (1-0) dulled the Lumberjacks' axes with a career-high eight strikeouts for the win. He allowed two runs on three hits and two walks over 5.1 innings.
Texas A&M was solid in relief again. Matt Kent got the only batter he faced to ground into an inning-ending double play, the second time he has accomplished the feat this season. Jason Freeman retired all three batters he faced in the seventh inning, including one strikeout. Parker Ray pitched two shutout innings to end the game, scattering one hit and one walk while striking out two.
The Lumberjacks drew first blood in the top of the first inning. Ricardo Sanchez hit a leadoff double to leftfield and eventually scored on a pair of wild pitches by Corey Ray.
The Aggies got runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, but weren't able to break the scoring seal until the bottom of the fourth. Stein laced a single to the gap in right centerfield to start the frame and Brandon Wood was hit by a pitch. A&M loaded the bases when SFA starting pitcher dropped Blake Allemand's sacrifice bunt attempt for the error. Curl roped a single to centerfield to drive in a pair of runs and stake the Aggies to a 2-1 lead. Reynolds capped off the rally with a single to centerfield, driving in Allemand for the 3-1 advantage.
Stephen F Austin (0-4) shaved a run off the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Sanchez doubled again to start a frame, this time to the wall in right centerfield. With one out, Hunter Dozier plated Sanchez with a single to centerfield, cutting the margin to 3-2.
Texas A&M (3-1) responded immediately with four runs in the home half of the sixth. Wood and Allemand were both issued walks to start the frame. An error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Curl allowed Wood to come around to score. With one out, Reynolds and Krey Bratsen each bounced a single through the left side of the infield to drive in a run apiece for the 6-1 edge. After Mengden received a base on balls to load the bases, Cole Lankford was hit by a pitch to cap off the cavalcade of runs.
The Aggies tacked on insurance runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Curl deposited a double down the rightfield line and Jace Statum drew a walk. The pair pulled off a double-steal and Curl scored when the throw to third base sailed down the leftfield line. Curl was issued a bases-loaded walk in the eighth for the game's final run.
Sanchez led SFA's offense going 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs.
Cameron Gann (0-1) was strapped with the loss for the Lumberjacks. He yielded three runs, two earned, on seven hits and one walk while striking out three over 5.0 innings.
Texas A&M returns to action on Wednesday when the Aggies host the Texas Southern Tigers in a 6:35 pm contest on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

LSU Drops Lamar 8-1

BATON ROUGE, La. - Third-ranked LSU improved to 4-0 on the season by beating Lamar (4-1) by a score of 8-1 Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium.
Lamar took an early lead with an unearned run in the first inning; however, the Tigers quickly answered in the second inning with a solo home run to left field from LSU second baseman JaCoby Jones. It was Jones' second home run of the season and his second in two games.
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning with an RBI double from first baseman Mason Katz.
LSU was quiet on offense until the eighth inning, when the Tigers drew six walks and scored six runs to build a big lead.
"I thought we played a good ball game tonight against a solid Lamar ball club," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "(Starting pitcher) Cody Glenn did exactly what we asked him to do and gave us five strong innings. Our relief pitching and defense were excellent again tonight, and we were finally able to pull away in the eighth inning.
Glenn provided solid work through the first five innings, allowing zero earned runs on three hits while striking out five. Hunter Devall (1-0) struck out one batter through 1.1 innings and was credited with the win. 
Left-hander Chris Cotton took the mound with two outs in the eighth inning and worked the final 1.1 frames to record his second save of the season.
The Tigers committed an error in the first inning that allowed a Lamar base runner to score. However, the Tigers settled down defensively and kept Lamar batters in check.   
LSU showcased its glove work again with numerous stellar plays in the field, including a diving stop from Katz at first base on a hard hit grounder in the eighth inning.  
The Tigers now move ahead to a three-team series this weekend at Alex Box Stadium. LSU will host BYU and Southeastern Louisiana in Baton Rouge. The Tigers will face BYU Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates  (98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and in the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net.

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