Ole Miss Starts 5-0; Hogs Beat MSU; Leiter Unhittable

 Barry Allen and Chris Lee   in Baseball

A recap of Friday's SEC action

Ole Miss has raced out to a 5-0 start in SEC play for the first time since 1972. Vanderbilt’s Jack Leiter threw seven no-hit innings and the Commodores came within one out of a combined no-hitter at Missouri. South Carolina and Kentucky posted extra-inning wins, with the Gamecocks beating previously undefeated Florida with a walk off rally in the bottom of the 14th inning. Arkansas belted four home runs in a win at Miss. State. Tennessee and Texas A&M also had big home wins.

TEAM OF THE DAY:

Ole Miss swept a double header at Alabama and is the SEC’s lone undefeated team through five games. Ole Miss is 5-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1972. The Rebels are looking for their first 6-0 start in league play for the first time since 1964 when they close the series at Alabama today. Ole Miss used an 8-run ninth inning to win the opener 9-6. Ole Miss won the nightcap 2-0.

GAME OF THE DAY:

South Carolina overcame two deficits to defeat Florida 9-8 in 14 innings. Florida designated hitter Nathan Hickey an 8-7 lead with a solo home run in the top of the 14th inning. Down to its last strike, South Carolina posted three straight hits in the bottom of the inning for the walk off win. Right fielder Andrew Eyster hit a solo home run to tie the game. Third baseman Jeff Heinrich followed with a single up the middle and catcher Colin Burgess followed with a game-winning double to right center field for the walk off. The teams combined for 17 runs and 29 hits in the five-hour and 31-minute game. South Carolina had 20 hits in the win. Florida had nine hits, but took advantage of 13 walks, two hit batters and two errors.

PITCHER OF THE DAY:

Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter threw seven no-hit innings and struck out 10 batters in the Commodores series-clinching win at Missouri. Leiter no-hit South Carolina with 16 strikeouts last Saturday in Nashville. He has 16 consecutive hitless innings with 26 strikeouts in his last two starts.

PLAYER OF THE DAY:

Arkansas centerfielder Christian Franklin belted two home runs as the Razorbacks made a statement with an 8-2 win at Mississippi State. Franklin hit a solo home run in the first inning, one of three homers in the inning off MSU ace Christian MacLeod. He also homered in the fourth inning and made a highlight-reel, diving catch in centerfield to take away an extra base hit.

FRIDAY RECAPS:

Ole Miss 9, Alabama 6 (Game 1)

Ole Miss 2, Alabama 0 (Game 2) (Tuscaloosa)

Records: Ole Miss (17-4, 5-0 SEC); Alabama (15-8, 1-4 SEC)

Series: Ole Miss leads series, 2-0

Ole Miss scored eight runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat Alabama 9-6 in the first game of Friday’s double header. The Rebels trailed 3-1 heading into the final inning before sending 11 batters to plate in the decisive inning. Second baseman Peyton Chatagnier hit a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth inning. He went 4-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs in the win.  Third baseman Tim Elko had an RBI single, catcher Hayden Dunhurst followed with a two-run single and right fielder Hayden Leatherwood added a two-run double.

All eight runs came against Landon Green, Brock Guffey and Eli Giles. UA did not use its closer Chase Lee in the game.

Alabama’s six runs all came via the home run. Designated hitter Owen Diodati, catcher Sam Praytor and first baseman Drew Williamson all hit solo home runs. Second baseman Peyton Wilson hit a three-run homer in the ninth.

Ole Miss lefty Doug Nikhazy and right-handers Chad McDaniel and Taylor Broadway combined on a five-hit shutout in the night cap. Nikhazy, who missed the last two weeks with a strained chest muscle, struck out seven in five scoreless innings. McDaniel tossed three scoreless innings and Broadway added scoreless ninth. He recorded saves in both games, giving him six for the season.

Centerfielder TJ McCants went 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the fifth inning. Dunhurst added an RBI single in the eighth inning. Dunhurst was 3-for-8 with a home run and four RBIs in the two games.

Wilson was 5-for-9 with one run scored, two doubles, one home run and three RBIs to lead the UA offense.

Vanderbilt 11, Missouri 3

Records: Vanderbilt (18-3, 4-1 SEC); Missouri (8-14, 1-4 SEC)

Series: Vanderbilt leads series, 2-0

Vanderbilt right hander Jack Leiter threw seven no-hit innings and struck out 10 batters in the Commodores 11-3 win over Missouri.

The Commodores came within one out of combined no-hitter to clinch the series.  Chris McElvain worked a perfect eighth inning and Nelson Berkwich retired the first two batters in the ninth before Mizzou pinch-hitter Tre Morris broke up the no-hitter with a single to right field. After an error prolonged the inning, Mizzou pinch-hitter Tom Montgomery hit a three-run home run to spoil the shutout.

Leiter left after throwing 101 pitches in seven innings. He had a nine-inning no-hitter with 16 strikeouts in last Saturday’s start against South Carolina. Leiter has recorded 16 consecutive hitless innings and recorded 26 strikeouts. He has retired 48 of his last 51 batters faced, including 33 consecutive hitters over 11 innings against the Gamecocks and Tigers.

Enrique Bradfield, Jr., Dominic Keegan and Jack Bulger all had three hits for the Commodores. Keegan hit a solo home run in the fifth inning.

Arkansas 8, Miss. State 2

Records: Arkansas (17-3, 3-1 SEC); Mississippi State (17-5, 2-2 SEC)

Series: Arkansas leads series, 1-0

The Razorbacks made a statement with an 8-2 win at Mississippi State.

Designated hitter Matt Goodheart, right fielder Cayden Wallace and Franklin all homered in the first inning off MSU ace Christian MacLeod. Franklin also homered in the fourth inning and made a highlight-reel, diving catch in centerfield to take away an extra base hit. 

Arkansas starter Patrick Wicklander allowed one run in five innings of work in his first Friday night starter. Peyton Pallette tossed four innings for his first save.

South Carolina 9, Florida 8 (14) (Columbia)

Records: Florida (16-5, 3-1 SEC); South Carolina (14-6, 2-2 SEC)

Series: South Carolina leads series, 1-0

South Carolina overcame two deficits to defeat Florida 9-8 in 14 innings. Florida designated hitter Nathan Hickey an 8-7 lead with a solo home run in the top of the 14th inning.

Down to its last strike, South Carolina posted three straight hits in the bottom of the inning for the walk off win. Right fielder Andrew Eyster hit a solo home run to tie the game. Third baseman Jeff Heinrich followed with a single up the middle and catcher Colin Burgess followed with a game-winning double to right center field for the walk off.

The teams combined for 17 runs and 29 hits in the five-hour and 31-minute game. South Carolina had 20 hits in the win. Florida had nine hits, but took advantage of 13 walks, two hit batters and two errors.

Florida centerfielder Jud Fabain and South Carolina designated hitter Wes Clarke were a combined 0-for-12 with eight strikeouts in the game. Fabain was 0-for-6 with five strikeouts, including four strikeouts in last four at-bats. Clarke was 0-for-6 with three strikeouts.

Tennessee 3, LSU 1 (Knoxville)

Records: LSU (16-6, 1-3 SEC); Tennessee (19-4, 3-1 SEC)

Series: Tennessee leads series, 1-0

Tennessee pitcher Chad Dallas struck out 11 in seven innings, scattering five hits as the Vols took the series opener from LSU in Knoxville. Sean Hunley pitched two perfect innings to finish, while Liam Spence extended his on-base streak to 26 games.

Texas A&M 6, Georgia 3 College Station)

Records: Georgia (15-6, 1-3 SEC); Texas A&M (16-8, 1-3 SEC)

Series: Texas A&M leads series, 1-0

Brothers Ty and Hunter Coleman combined for five RBIs for the Aggies, while starter Dustin Saenz went 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs. 

Kentucky 8, Auburn 6 (11) (Auburn)

Records: Kentucky (15-4, 3-1 SEC); Auburn (11-9, 0-4 SEC)

Series: Kentucky leads series, 1-0

Kentucky starter Cole Strupp gave up two runs in seven innings, as the Wildcats picked up a road win. Chase Estep had a game-winning, RBI double.