Friday recap: Florida's Young ties record, A&M's Childress gets No. 600
Barry Allen and Chris Lee • 3/5/2021 in Baseball
Colby Halter photo courtesy of Florida athletics
Young ties record as Gators sweep FAMU
Florida third-year sophomore Jacob Young recorded two hits in each game of Friday’s double header sweep of Florida A&M. Young extended his hitting streak to 29 games to equal Tim Olson’s 21-year old school record.
Young went 4-for-9 with one run scored, one RBI and one walk in the two games. He leads the Gators with seven multiple hit games this season.
Florida opened the doubleheader with a 10-2 victory on the strength of a season-high 15 hits. Freshman third baseman Colby Halter led the offense by going 3-for-5. The Gators scored in five of the first six innings, including four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning in Halter’s grand slam. The Gators won the nightcap 5-1. Florida scored four runs in the third inning as seven straight Gators reached base.
Florida starters Tommy Mace and Jack Leftwich were solid on the mound. Mace allowed two runs and four hits with five strikeouts and no walks in seven innings in the opener. Leftwich allowed one run on four hits in eight innings with eight strikeouts and no walks.
The teams played a double header on Friday due to weather concerns on Saturday. The series finale is set for Sunday.
Childress notches No. 600
Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress won his 600th game as the Aggies defeated New Mexico State 4-1 in College Station. Among active head coaches, he's the second-fastest SEC coach and eighth-fastest NCAA coach to earn 600 wins, needing only 915 games.
The southpaw duo of Dustin Saenz and Joseph Menefee stymied the NMSU offense. Saenz allowed one unearned run and three hits in a career-high 7 2/3 innings. He added a career best 11 strikeouts. Menefee stranded two inherited runners in the eighth inning to earn the save. He had two strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings.
Will Frizzell and Ray Alejo sparked the Aggies offense. Frizzell recorded two hits and three RBIs, while Alejo went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, one double and one walk.
Arkansas, South Carolina stay unbeaten
Arkansas and South Carolina are the only two undefeated SEC baseball teams after Friday night’s action.
Arkansas posted another come-from-behind win to defeat Murray State 7-6 in the series opener. Arkansas is 8-0 for the fifth time (2003, 2004, 2005, 2016 and 2021) in the Dave Van Horn era.
Arkansas second baseman Robert Moore hit two home runs, including the game-winning homer in the bottom of the eighth inning. UA starter Payton Pallette, making his first Friday night start on the mound, struck out 10 batters in four innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and walked three.
South Carolina is 8-0 for the first time since 2016 following its 5-1 win over Mercer.
Second baseman Braylen Wimmer belted a two-run home run, his fourth of the season, to lead the Gamecocks offense. Andrew Eyster had two hits, while Wes Clarke reached base three times with a single and two walks. Thomas Farr picked up the win on the mound.
LSU's Hill can't get out of first inning
LSU All-American Jaden Hill didn’t make it out of the first inning in a 22-7 loss at the hands of Oral Roberts at Alex Box Stadium. Hill was charged with eight runs and five hits in one-third of an inning. He walked two and did not record a strikeout. He only faced nine batters and eight scored a run.
The 22 runs were the most runs allowed by LSU since a 23-10 loss to Ole Miss on April 14, 2001.
LSU scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and added four more in the second to close the gap to 8-7. Oral Roberts erupted for 11 runs against four different LSU pitchers in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach.
LSU first baseman Tre’ Morgan went 2-for-3 with three RBIs to pace the Tigers offense.
Cade Doughty is out for the Oral Roberts series with a shoulder injury. He is hitting .321 with two home runs and 10 RBIs this season.
Alabama's Ras shines
Alabama third-year sophomore Tyler Ras tossed six scoreless innings in the Crimson Tide’s 8-0 win at the College of Charleston. Ras was making his second straight Friday night start filling in for All-American Connor Prielipp, who has missed the last two weeks with a “medical condition”.
Ras held the Cougars to three hits and fanned six for the win.
Prielipp and Ras have allowed only one run in 17 innings in three Friday starts this season.
Alabama got home runs from second baseman Peyton Wilson and centerfielder Caden Rose. Wilson hit his fifth homer of the season in the third inning. Rose hit his first career home run in the seventh inning.
According to the Tuscaloosa News, Alabama third-year sophomore outfielder is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on his hand. He suffered the injury in Wednesday’s win over Troy. Reeves has also been limited this season with a hamstring injury. He has played in only four games this season, going 6-for-12 with one home run and one RBI.
Vanderbilt routs Illinois Chicago in opener
Vanderbilt got five innings and eight strikeouts out of starter Thomas Schultz in its 15-0 shellacking of Illinois-Chicago on Friday night.
The Commodores' two hottest hitters, first baseman Dominic Keegan and shortstop Carter Young, each belted home runs, their third and fourth respectively. Young, a switch-hitting sophomore, hadn't homered before this year, but now has one in three of his last four games, with two coming from the left side.
Vanderbilt is still adjusting its rotation from a seven-game-in-seven-days stretch, which was prompted by a three-day delay to the opening of its season and an ensuing Monday doubleheader two weeks ago. No. 1 and 2 starters Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter are scheduled to throw the second and third games as the Commodores are trying to ease them each back into their normal rotation slots.
Around the rest of the SEC
Auburn right-hander Richard Fitts (0-2) struggled for the second straight week in an 8-2 loss to Boston College. He allowed five runs on seven hits in five innings with two strikeouts and one walk. In his last two starts against Baylor and Boston College, Fitts has yielded 12 runs on 16 hits in 9 1/3 innings.
Georgia dropped its series opener to North Florida, 7-4. CJ Smith (0-2) was charged with the loss after he allowed four runs and four hits in four innings. Riley King, Corey Collins and Shane Marshall all had two hits for the Bulldogs.
Kentucky (6-1) suffered its first loss of the season losing to Ball State 3-2 in the series opener in Lexington. UK scored both runs in the third inning.
Mississippi State (7-2) scored six runs in the fifth inning to rally past Kent State 7-3 in the series opener in Starkville. Rowdey Jordan went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and Luke Hancock had two RBIs. The MSU bullpen retired 19 straight batters from the second through the eighth innings. Brandon Smith retired all 13 batters he faced with five strikeouts. Will Bednar made his season debut and struck out two batters in one inning of work.
Ole Miss (8-2) third baseman Tim Elko drove in five runs to lead the Rebels to a 12-4 win over Belmont. Elko went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, one double, one home run and five RBIs. Ole Miss scored all 12 runs in the first three innings.
Missouri (3-7) managed only two hits in an 8-0 loss to Dallas Baptist.
Tennessee (9-2) got seven solid innings from starter Will Heflin in its 6-1 win over Georgia State. Heflin (2-0) held the Panthers to one run and six hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. Shortstop Liam Spence, DH Pete Derkay and third baseman Jake Rucker combined for six hits and four RBIs in the win.