Friday SEC recaps: Vols get a big win, Mizzou surprises

 Barry Allen and Chris Lee   in Baseball

Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt all recorded wins on Friday night. LSU had an SEC-high 15 runs and 17 hits in the win at Kentucky. Missouri posted its first-ever win at Founders Park. The anticipated battle between SEC Western Division leaders Arkansas and Ole Miss was rained out in Oxford. Here is a look at Friday’s SEC Baseball action.

TEAM OF THE DAY:

Missouri cooled off red-hot South Carolina with the first-ever win at Founders Park. The Tigers overcame a 2-0 deficit en route to a 7-2 win to snap a 9-game losing streak at Founders Park. Designated hitter Garrett Rice gave the Tigers the lead with a three-run double in the fifth inning. Missouri has won three straight SEC games and has now won the last four meetings with South Carolina. The Tigers swept the Gamecocks in Columbia, Mo., in 2019.

GAME OF THE DAY:

Tennessee scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to edge Florida 6-4 in a back-and-forth game at Lindsay Nelson Stadium. The lead changed hand three times before Tennessee third baseman Jake Rucker lifted a go-ahead sac fly in the seventh inning. Left fielder Evan Russell had two hits and three RBIs, including a two-run double in the forth and solo home run in the eighth inning.

PLAYER OF THE DAY:

LSU designated hitter Cade Beloso had two hits and four RBIs to lead LSU to a 15-2 win at Kentucky. Beloso was one of seven LSU players with two or more hit and one of four Tigers with two or more RBIs in the series-opening win. Beloso had a two-run single in the Tigers five-run fifth inning that increased the lead to 8-0. He also added a two-run single in the six-run ninth inning.

PITCHER OF THE DAY:

Alabama sophomore right hander Tyler Ras overcame a bumpy start to record his fifth win of the season at Texas A&M. Ras allowed double and two-run home run in the first five pitches of the game then settled down and stymied the Aggies into the eighth inning giving the Crimson Tide a much-needed road win. Ras held the Aggies to three runs and eight hits in a career-high 7 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk. After the two-run homer in the first, Ras blanked the Aggies until he allowed a solo home run with one out in the eighth inning before exiting the game.

FRIDAY RECAPS:

Vanderbilt 5, Georgia 2 (Nashville)

Records: Vanderbilt (25-4, 9-2 SEC); Georgia 19-11, 4-7 SEC)

Series: Series tied, 1-1

Vanderbilt's Parker Noland lifted a three-run homer over the left-field wall off Georgia reliever Jack Gowen, helping Vanderbilt to a 5-2 win over the Bulldogs at Nashille's Hawkins Field. 

Both starting pitchers--Vandy's Jack Leiter (7 IP, 1 R, 13 Ks) and Georgia's Ryan Webb (6 IP, 1 R, 13 Ks) were tremendous. Leiter's fastball sat 94-96 most of the night and gave the Bulldogs fits, while Webb's curve and fastball that sat 93-94 in the first inning were just as troublesome for Vanderbilt. 

But the Bulldog bullpen couldn't match Webb's efforts. Vanderbilt strung together a pair of singles against Darryn Pasqua, then, catcher C.J. Rodriguez hammered a double to left to put Vandy up 2-1 in the eighth. 

Noland, the next hitter, slammed his homer next. That turned out to be important as former Commodore Garrett Blaylock hit a solo shot off Vandy closer Luke Murphy in the ninth.

That evened the series at one after Georgia obliterated Vandy in Thursday's Game One. Three of UGA's season-high seven home runs came off Kumar Rocker, who allowed a season-high six runs. Blaylock had two home runs on Thursday, and Connor Tate also had two.

Tennessee 6, Florida 4 (Knoxville)

Records: Tennessee (26-5, 8-2 SEC); Florida (20-10, 5-5)

Series: Tennessee leads series, 1-0

Tennessee left fielder Evan Russell had two hits and three RBIs to lead Tennessee to a 6-4 win over Florida in a back-and-forth game at Lindsay Nelson Stadium.

The lead changed hand three times before Tennessee third baseman Jake Rucker lifted a go-ahead sac fly in the seventh inning to give the Vols a 5-4 lead.

Rucker’s sac fly came after the Gators put two runs on the board in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at 4-4. Centerfielder Jud Fabian cracked his 12th home run the season and second baseman Colby Halter tied the game with an RBI single.

Florida belted three home runs in the game, including back-to-back homers by catcher Nathan Hickey and third baseman Kirby McMullen in the third inning to give the Gators a 2-1 lead.

Russell stroked a two-run double in the fourth inning to give the Vols a 3-2 lead. Centerfielder Drew Gilbert added an RBI single in the fifth to push the lead to 4-3.

Russell capped the scoring with a solo homer in the eighth inning.

UT starter Chad Dallas pitched seven innings and fanned 11 batters to improve to 5-0. Sean Hunley retired all six batters he faced for his fourth save.

Missouri 7, South Carolina 2 (Columbia, SC)

Records: Missouri (11-17, 4-6 SEC); South Carolina (19-9, 6-4 SEC)

Series: Missouri leads series, 1-0

Missouri cooled off red-hot South Carolina and in the process won its first-ever game at Founders Park with a 7-2 win over South Carolina.

The start of the game was delayed 90 minutes due to weather issues and the Tigers themselves in a familiar spot headed into the fifth inning.

South Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when centerfielder Brady Allen delivered an RBI single and third baseman Jack Mahoney scored on a wild pitch.

 Thomas Farr blanked the Tigers through four innings, but things changed in the fifth.

Designated hitter Garrett Rice gave the Tigers the lead with a three-run double in the fifth inning. The Tigers added three more runs in the sixth to take a 6-2 lead. Left fielder Brandt Belk had an RBI double and the Tigers scored two more runs on an error. Belk finished 3-for-4 with three doubles, two runs scored and one RBI.

Farr was charged with the loss after he allowed four runs and five hits in five-plus innings. He struck out nine but walked five batters. The Gamecocks also made three errors.

The Tigers got five scoreless innings from reliever Lukas Veinbergs to seal the win. He allowed two hits and struck out five.

Missouri has won three straight SEC games and has now won the last four meetings with South Carolina. The Tigers swept the Gamecocks in Columbia, Mo., in 2019.

LSU 15, Kentucky 2 (Lexington)

Records: LSU (19-11, 2-8 SEC); Kentucky (19-8, 5-5 SEC)

Series: LSU leads series, 1-0

LSU had a breakout game in its season-opening 15-2 win at Kentucky.

The 15 runs and 17 hits are the most by the Tigers in SEC play this season. LSU has scored 29 runs (29 hits) in two games this week.

First baseman Tre Morgan, right fielder Dylan Crews and left fielder Gavin Dugas all homered for the Tigers.

LSU had seven players with two or more hits and four players with two or more RBIs.

Designated hitter Cade Beloso and catcher Hayden Travinski both had two hits and four RBIs in the win. Beloso had a two-run single in the five-run fifth inning and added a two-run single in the six-run ninth inning.

Landon Marceaux held UK to one earned run and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings for the win. He recorded eight strikeouts.

UK shortstop Ryan Ritter homered in the loss. He has homered in back-to-back games for the Wildcats.

Alabama 5, Texas A&M 3 (College Station)

Records: Alabama (17-12, 3-7 SEC); Texas A&M (19-13, 3-7 SEC)

Series: Alabama leads series, 1-0

Two teams headed in the wrong direction met in College Station.

Alabama entered the series with a 1-9 record in its last 10 games. Texas A&M was 3-9 in its last 12 games.

Alabama sophomore right hander Tyler Ras pitched the Crimson Tide to a much-needed 5-3 win over the Aggies in the series opener.

Ras overcame a bumpy start to record his fifth win of the season. He allowed a lead-off double and two-run home run in the first five pitches of the game then settled down and stymied the Aggies into the eighth inning giving the Crimson Tide its third series-opening win of the season.

A&M centerfielder Ray Alejo stroked a leadoff double and scored on first baseman Will Frizzell’s two-run homer in the bottom of the first to stake Aggies to a 2-0 lead.

The Aggies wouldn’t score again until the eighth inning when Frizzell hit his second homer of the night.

In between, Ras and second baseman Peyton Wilson proved too much for the Aggies.

Ras held the Aggies to three runs and eight hits in a career-high 7 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk.

Chase Lee recorded the final five outs, stranding the tying runs in scoring position in the ninth inning, for his third save.

Wilson had four hits and two RBIs to lead the UA comeback. He stroked a game-tying two-run single in the third inning and scored an insurance run in the ninth.

Alabama designated hitter Owen Diodati had a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning and third baseman Zane Denton added a sac fly in the seventh.

Mississippi State 6, Auburn 5 (Auburn)

Records: Mississippi State (22-7, 6-4 SEC); Auburn (12-14, 1-9 SEC)

Series: MSU leads series, 1-0

Mississippi State scratched out a 6-5 win in the series opener at Auburn.

After a shaky seventh inning, the MSU bullpen settled down and held off the Tigers over the final two frames.

Auburn scored three runs off three MSU relievers in the seventh inning to tie the game at 5-5. AU first baseman Tyler Miller stroked a two-run single and the Tigers tied the game on a MSU error.

The Bulldogs regained the lead 6-5 when second baseman Tyler Leggett scored on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth inning.

Landon Sims retried all six batters he faced with four strikeouts for his third save.

Brandon Smith, who recorded the final two outs in the seventh inning, picked up his fourth win.

Carson Skipper took the loss for the Tigers.

Centerfielder Rowdey Jordan, right fielder Tanner Allen and third baseman Kamren James combined for six hits, four extra base hits, four runs scored and four RBIs to lead the Bulldogs offense. Allen had a double and home run and three RBIs. James also homered for MSU.