Friday recaps; Vandy, MSU and Auburn post rivalry wins

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

Photo courtesy of MIss. State Athletics

TEAM OF THE DAY:

Mississippi State won its SEC-leading ninth straight game with a 5-2 win over Ole Miss. The Bulldogs are 15-2 in the last 17 games with the Rebels, including a seven-game winning streak. MSU has also won seven straight SEC games, its longest streak since winning 10 straight games in 2016.

PLAYER OF THE DAY:

Mississippi State third baseman Kamren James supplied most of the offense in the 5-2 win over rival Ole Miss. James was 2-for-2 with a home run, four RBIs and two sac flies in the win. He drove in a run in four different innings. He put the Bulldogs on the board with a first-inning RBI single for a 1-0 lead. After Ole Miss had taken a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, James hit a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the frame. He put MSU ahead to stay with his first of two sac flies in the sixth inning. He capped the night with a sack fly in the eighth inning.

Florida catcher Nathan Hickey went 4-for-4 with two doubles, one run scored and one RBI in the win over Missouri.

PITCHER OF THE DAY:

Vanderbilt right-hander Kumar Rocker took a no-hitter into the fifth inning in the Commodores 5-0 win at Tennessee. Rocker held the Vols to two hits over seven scoreless innings. He also added eight strikeouts en route to his eighth win of the season.

Florida reliever Christian Scott retired the first 11 batters he faced in the Gators 8-5 win over Missouri. He entered the game with two outs in the fourth inning and thwarted a Tigers rally. Scott limited the Tigers to only one hit and struck out three over the final 5 2/3 innings.

FRIDAY RECAPS:

Vanderbilt 5, Tennessee 0 (Knoxville)

Records: Vanderbilt (27-5, 10-3 SEC); Tennessee (28-7, 9-4 SEC)

Series: Vanderbilt leads, 1-0

Kumar Rocker and Nick Maldonado combined on two-hit shutout as Vanderbilt blanked rival Tennessee 5-0.

Rocker (8-1) tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed only two singles. He struck out eight and walked one.

Maldonado retired all six batters he faced with two strikeouts.

Tennessee shortstop Logan Steenstra had a fifth-inning single and catcher Connor Pavolony stroked a seventh-inning double to account for the Vols only hits.

Vanderbilt got home runs from third baseman Jayson Gonzalez and shortstop Carter Young in the win.

The Commodores also took advantage of three UT errors to plate two more runs.

Mississippi State 5, Ole Miss 2 (Starkville)

Records: Mississippi State (26-7, 9-4 SEC); Ole Miss (25-9, 8-5 SEC)]

Series: MSU leads series, 1-0

Mississippi State continued its dominance over in-state rival Ole Miss with a 5-2 at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs own a 15-2 record against the Rebels dating back to 2016. MSU also owns a 7-game winning streak over Ole Miss.

MSU third baseman Kamren James supplied the offense, while Preston Johnson and Landon Sims posted four scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

James was 2-for-2 with a home run, four RBIs and two sac flies. He drove in run in four different innings. He put the Bulldogs on the board with a first-inning RBI single for a 1-0 lead. After Ole Miss had taken a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, James hit a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the frame. He put MSU ahead to stay with his first of two sac flies in the sixth inning. He capped the night with a sack fly in the eighth inning.

MSU centerfielder Rowdey Jordan had an RBI single in the eighth to account for MSU’s other run in the game.

Ole Miss centerfielder Thomas McCants hit a go-ahead, solo home run in the fourth to put the Rebels in front 2-1.

MSU starter Christian McLeod allowed two runs and five hits in five innings in the no-decision.

Johnson and Sims retired 12 of the 13 batters they faced with seven strikeouts. Johnson picked up his first win. Sims logged his fourth save.

Ole Miss starter Gunnar Hogland allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings as he took the loss. He added nine strikeouts.

MSU has won nine straight games, the second-longest active streak among Power 5 teams. Texas has won 11 straight games to lead all Power 5 clubs.

MSU has also won seven straight SEC games, the longest streak since winning 10 straight SEC games in 2016.

Auburn 5, Alabama 4 (Tuscaloosa)

Records: Alabama (21-13, 6-8 SEC); Auburn (14-17; 2-12 SEC)

Series: Series tied, 1-1

Auburn belted three home runs and snapped a six-five game SEC losing streak with a 5-4 win at Alabama.

First baseman Tyler Miller, right fielder Bryson Ware and catcher Steven Williams all homered off UA starter Dylan Smith in the win.  Miller crushed a 1-0 fastball to give the Tigers 1-0 lead just two batters into the game. Ware mashed a two-run homer in the second inning to push the lead to 3-0. Williams smacked a solo homer in the fourth inning to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

Auburn pitchers Jack Owen and Carson Swilling kept the Crimson Tide offense off balance all night.  The Crimson Tide managed nine hits, but struck out 11 times and hit into one double play.

Owen held the Crimson Tide to three runs on eight hits over seven innings. He finished with eight strikeouts. At one point, Owen recorded five straight strikeouts in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. He fanned Owen Diodati to close out the fifth inning and struck out the side in the sixth. Owen opened the seventh with a punch out of Jim Jarvis.

Swilling worked the final two innings for the save as he pitched out a jam in the ninth inning. Swilling struck William Hamiter, who represented the winning run, to end the game.

Kentucky 6, Georgia 1 (Athens)

Records: Kentucky (22-9, 7-6 SEC); Georgia (21-12, 5-8 SEC)

Series: Kentucky leads series, 1-0

Kentucky starter Cole Strupp scattered 10 hits over eight innings in the Wildcats 6-1 series-opening win at Georgia.

Strupp held the Bulldogs to one run through eight innings and added eight strikeouts.

Georgia recoded 11 hits in Friday’s loss, but stranded 11 runners on base.The Bulldogs were 4-for-19 with runners on base and 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Kentucky led 2-0 after six innings before scoring two runs in the seventh inning and two more runs in the ninth. UK took advantage of an error and a pair of bases-loaded walks in the seventh inning.

Georgia starter Ryan Webb allowed three runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings in the loss. He added eight strikeouts.

Florida 8, Missouri 5 (Gainesville)

Records: Florida (23-11, 7-6 SEC); Missouri (11-21, 4-9 SEC)

Series: Florida leads series, 1-0

Florida catcher Nathan Hickey had four hits and reliever Christian Scott tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings as the Gators opened with an 8-5 win over Missouri.

Despite a nearly three-hour rain delay to start the game, both teams got off to fast starts.

The Gators raced out to a 7-1 lead by scoring six runs in the third inning. Third baseman Kirby McMullen blasted a three-run homer in the six-run frame.

Missouri answered with four runs in the fourth inning to close the gap to 7-5. Third baseman Luke Mann ripped a two-run double in the inning.

While neither starter last past the fifth inning, the bullpens put on a show.

Scott worked 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Gators. He allowed only one hit and struck out three. He retired the first 11 batters he faced and 17 of the 19 overall for his second win.

Missouri’s Konnor Ash held the Gators to one run one four hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Centerfielder Jud Fabain homered in the win for the Gators.