SEC Baseball April 14, 2012

By School reports

Ole Miss uses 20 hits to down Georgia in series finale

Ole Miss Media Relations
ATHENS, Ga. – The offense roared to life on Saturday with the Rebels pounding out 20 hits on the afternoon as No. 18 Ole Miss (24-12 7-8 SEC) defeated Georgia (22-14, 7-8 SEC) by a score of 8-3 in the finale of the weekend series.

Six Rebels notched multiple hits on the afternoon, paced by a 4-for-6 performance from Tanner Mathis and four of the top five hitters in the lineup recorded multiple-hits in the outing to help grab the win.

Chris Ellis (3-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Mike Mayers, working 0.2 innings with one hit. Ellis entered in the fifth inning with two outs and two men on base and the score at 5-3 with Georgia in the middle of a rally that had plated two runs. Ellis got the next batter faced to ground out to end the inning and squash the Bulldog comeback bid.

Blake Dieterich (3-2) took the loss for the Bulldogs in his first start of the season after moving from the closer role. The left-hander allowed five runs on nine hits with a walk in 3.1 innings of work. He was the first of seven Georgia pitchers to take the mound on Saturday.

“We played very well today,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “The real turning point of the ballgame was when Georgia had the bases loaded with no outs after already getting a run home in the second inning, and Mike (Mayers) struck out the next three batters to get us out of the inning. What a gutsy performance. It was not an easy day, but he hung in there.

“The bullpen really hung in there as well,” Bianco said. “Chris (Ellis) got some big outs for us and Dylan Chavez gave us some really good innings before Brett (Huber) came out and closed things out for us in the ninth.”

Ole Miss got on the board in the first, using three straight hits from Alex Yarbrough, Matt Snyder and Will Allen to take the 2-0 lead out of the gates. Yarbrough and Snyder delivered back-to-back singles with two outs before Allen hit a triple to right center to drive in both men. Georgia would get out of the inning a batter later with a groundout to short, but Ole Miss was on the board.

Georgia got on the board in the second inning, putting the first three men on base thanks to a single, a walk and a single. Connor Welton then delivered a bloop single to shallow left to bring the first run home and keep the bases loaded with no outs for the Bulldogs. Mayers then struck out the next three batters to end the rally and keep the Rebels on top 2-1.

Ole Miss moved the lead back out to two runs in the fourth inning when John Gatlin hit a double to the wall in left center that scored Andrew Mistone from second. Mistone opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a ground out to third from Preston Overbey to set up the RBI hit from Gatlin.

A single from Blake Newalu put men at the corners and Georgia had seen enough, going to the bullpen for left-hander Chase Hawkins. Mathis then singled through the right side to bring in Gatlin, before a throwing error to second on a double steal allowed Mathis to move to third and Newalu to score. Ole Miss held a 5-1 lead after the fourth.

The Bulldogs bit back in the fifth, pushing two runs across the board with a two-out rally. Kyle Farmer doubled down the first base line to reach with one out before Mayers would strike out Hunter Cole. With two outs on the board, the Bulldogs got an RBI single from Brett DeLoach to bring Farmer home. A walk and another single in the next two batters pushed home the second run and Ole Miss turned to the bullpen for Chris Ellis.

Ellis then got a groundout to short from Jonathan Hester to end the inning with the Rebels still up 5-3.

Ole Miss loaded the bases in the sixth, but came up empty as Georgia was able to get out of the jam. The Rebels capitalized on a bases loaded situation in the seventh when Austin Anderson drew a one-out walk to score Mistone and send Georgia to the bullpen for its sixth pitcher of the day.

Tanner Mathis then chopped an infield single to short to score a second run in the inning and keep the bases loaded with Rebels. Georgia would get a line out and a fly out to end things, however Ole Miss lead 7-3 at the stretch.

Ole Miss added to the lead in the eighth when Will Jamison followed up a single from Mistone with a triple down the first base line to give the Rebels the 8-3 advantage.

Brett Huber then held the Bulldogs off the board in the ninth to seal the win for the Rebels.

Ole Miss will return to action on Tuesday night with a non-conference contest against in-state rival and Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State in the annual Governor’s Cup game at Trustmark Park.

Mississippi State falls to South Carolina in Saturday affair

MSU Media Relations
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Mississippi State allowed five two-out runs and that was the difference Saturday afternoon as the Bulldogs dropped a 5-3 decision to No. 7 South Carolina in a Southeastern Conference baseball game played at Carolina Stadium.

With the victory, South Carolina clinched the weekend series, while improving to 26-10 overall and 7-7 in league play. MSU dropped its fourth series in five weekends of league play, while falling to 21-14 and 5-9.

“We have not had a lot of luck lately,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “At the same time, you need to make your own luck by putting more players in a position to score. We need to execute better on the offensive side of things.”

The Bulldogs received another strong pitching start from Kendall Graveman. A junior right-hander, Graveman (2-2) allowed eight hits and five runs (all earned) in 5.2 innings of work, with seven strikeouts and a pair of walks. Nick Routt and Jonathan Holder combined for 2.1 innings of shutout relief as the Maroon and White tried to rally.

Down 5-0, MSU broke up the shutout by scoring three times in the seventh inning.

USC starter Jordan Montgomery (3-0) was lifted after a one-out home run by Trey Porter – his fifth of the season. New pitcher Tyler Webb was greeted by a single from Tyler Fullerton and ground-rule double by Sam Frost. Adam Frazier lined a sacrifice fly, scoring Fullerton. Frost later scored on a wild pitch.

The Bulldogs reached two runners in the eighth inning but failed to score, as Matt Price earned his second save in the series.

“Kendall pitched well,” Cohen said. “There were just a couple of players here and there. The triple (by Tanner English) may be the big hit for them. C.T. (Bradford) makes a tremendous effort and the ball bounces off his glove because he really can’t get a full extension because of the injury.”

That RBI-triple highlighted a two-run sixth inning. The follow-up RBI-single by Joey Pankake ran the Gamecocks’ advantage to 5-0.

South Carolina built its early lead with two runs in the third inning and another score in the fifth inning.

Each team finished with nine hits. Frazier, Porter and Wes Rea had multiple hits for the Bulldogs. Rea now has 14 multi-hit games for the Bulldogs, while Frazier has hit safely in 30 games.

English led USC with three hits, while Pankake and LB Dantzler each added two hits.

The series finale is at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

After completing the USC series, the Bulldogs head to Pearl for a Tuesday night Governor’s Cup matchup with Ole Miss. Game time is 6:30 p.m. at Trustmark Park. The contest will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast.

Thursday, the Bulldogs return to SEC play with the opening-game of a three-game Super Bulldog Weekend Series with Tennessee. Fans are encouraged to wear white for the contest, which will be televised nationally by ESPNU as part of its Thursday Night SEC Game of the Week package.

Grandstand seating will be open to all who attend the game Thursday night. However, regular season ticket holders will have first claim to their seats.