By School Reports
Ole Miss 10, South Carolina 2
OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebel offense was in full swing from the start on Saturday, using home runs in the first two innings to take an early lead that would never be relinquished as Ole Miss (26-21, 10-13 SEC) defeated No. 1 South Carolina (37-9, 18-5 SEC) by a score of 10-2.
The win evened the weekend series at a game each with Sunday’s rubber game to be played at 1:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Five Ole Miss players tallied multiple-hits on the afternoon, led by three hit days from Austin Anderson and Miles Hamblin, while Hamblin and Alex Yarbrough both hit home runs in the first two frames to give momentum to the Rebels.
“Today was terrific for our team,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We were finally able to control a game all the way through and have consistent outings from all our pitchers. David Goforth was spectacular for us, and the guys behind him were able to hold them scoreless from the fifth inning on. Alex Yarbrough’s homer in the first was huge, and really allowed us to take command early on. It’s encouraging to see us respond like this.”
Goforth (4-6) picked up the win as he allowed only two runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Colby Holmes (4-2) took the loss for the Gamecocks as he allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work.
Ole Miss got on the board first with a two-run home run from Alex Yarbrough that scored Tanner Mathis. Mathis opened the inning with a single before Yarbrough’s sixth home run of the season gave the Rebels the 2-0 lead.
Miles Hamblin extended the lead in the second inning with a solo shot to right center as he took the first pitch of the inning over the fence to put Ole Miss on top 3-0. That sent the Gamecocks to the bullpen for Tyler Webb, the second of seven pitchers used on the afternoon.
Ole Miss added a run in the third inning on a Matt Tracy single to left field that scored Yarbrough from second. Yarbrough walked to open the inning before stealing second to set up the score on the Tracy hit that put the Rebels up 4-0.
South Carolina got two runs back in the fourth with a walk and single to start things off, before a passed ball put both runners in scoring position. The Gamecocks then got a sac fly and a triple to get two runs home before the Rebels got out of the inning up 4-2.
The Rebels pushed three more runs across in the sixth inning, loading the bases before Tanner Mathis hit a grounder to short that pushed Hamblin home from third. The Gamecocks attempted to get the out at second, but the fielder dropped the ball and kept the bases loaded. Yarbrough then came up with a two-RBI single up the middle to extend the lead to 7-2.
Back-to-back singles opened the seventh before a double from Miles Hamblin scored the first of three runs in the inning. With one out on the board and Hamblin and Will Allen at second and third, Anderson came up with his third hit of the day, lacing a shot back up the middle on a pulled in infield that caught Carolina’s Scott Wingo by surprise and allowed both runners to score. The runs put the Rebels on top 10-2, marking the final margin of victory as neither team would score again.
Miss. State 5, Tennessee 3
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Nick Routt picked up his first win as Mississippi State led from start to finish in a 5-3 Southeastern Conference baseball win over Tennessee Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Coupled with Friday’s 16-5 victory, the Bulldogs clinched the weekend series with Saturday’s victory. For MSU, it is their second conference victory of the season. The Bulldogs also claimed their first conference road series since winning twice at Ole Miss in 2009. MSU also takes a road series in Knoxville for the first time since 2001. Granted, MSU did win one game in a rain-shortened series in 2007.
With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 28-18 overall and 10-13 in league play. Tennessee fell to 22-22 and 5-18. MSU remains tied with Ole Miss for fourth place in the Western Division standings and eighth place in the overall league standings. For the Bulldogs, this marks their most league wins since 2007.
In his longest start of the season, Routt was lifted after a leadoff walk in the Tennessee seventh inning. Routt (1-2) allowed five hits and three runs (all earned), with three strikeouts and five walks. Tim Statz faced three batters in relief. Taylor Stark worked the final 2.2 innings of hitless relief to earn his second save. Stark struck out four and walked one.
“Nick did not have his best control but for the most part, he pitched well,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “I can’t say enough about what Taylor Stark did for our ballclub. He was great out of the bullpen. We really needed that lift.”
The Bulldogs built an early 4-0 lead with single scores in the first and third innings and two scores in the fourth inning.
In the first inning, Ryan Collins started things with a one-out single. After a steal of second base and a walk to Cody Freeman, Nick Vickerson delivered an RBI-double. That hit scored Collins but Freeman was retired at home.
In the third inning, Hunter Renfroe hit a leadoff double – his first hit with the Maroon and White. After a sacrifice bunt, Renfroe came home on RBI-groundout hit by Collins. In the fourth inning, Vickerson and Jaron Shepherd hit back-to-back solo home runs. For Vickerson, it was his fourth, while Shepherd has now hit three.
“Normally solo home runs are a curse,” Cohen said. “However, on this afternoon they certainly turned out to be a blessing.”
The Volunteers broke up the shutout with a single score in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, each team scored a single run. The Bulldogs tallied when C.T. Bradford doubled and later scored on a sacrifice-fly by Collins.
In the seventh inning, the Volunteers had that last shot. Tennessee loaded the bases thanks to two walks and a fielding error. However, UT only plated one score.
From there, Stark closed the door – only allowing one base runner, on a ninth inning one-out walk.
“This team came to Tennessee and needed to make a statement,” Cohen said. “We have been able to do that this weekend.”
The Bulldogs finished with nine hits – snapping a streak of three straight games with double-digit hits. Collins and Vickerson had multiple hits. Vickerson remains on fire with 16 hits in his last 29 at-bats. Third baseman Jarrod Parks ran his hit streak to 19 games.
Matt Duffy had two of Tennessee’s five hits.
UT starter Nick Blount (1-3) worked four innings, while taking the loss. Blount allowed six hits and four runs (all earned), with one strikeout and two walks.
The Mother’s Day series finale is set for 1 p.m. CT Sunday and will be televised regionally by SportSouth. MSU is scheduled to start sophomore right-hander Chris Stratton (4-5, 4.98 ERA), while the UT starter has not been announced.
Gulf Coast 8, Itawamba Community College 7
Memphis 101, Oklahoma City 93 OT