Midweek recap: Hawgs sweep Memphis, Vandy has a key injury

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

Recapping what happened in midweek baseball in the SEC

Tate Kolwyck photo courtesy of Vanderbilt athletics

The SEC posted a 9-2 record during midweek non-conference action. Arkansas swept a two-game series Memphis and has won four straight games. Georgia posted its SEC-leading sixth walk off win on Tuesday night with a comeback win over Kennesaw State. Alabama and Texas A&M absorbed the two losses to Conference USA foes. Alabama suffered its third straight loss with a 5-4 setback to Southern Miss. Texas A&M has a four-game losing streak after its 2-1 loss to Rice.

HOGS SWEEP MEMPHIS

Arkansas picked up two midweek wins over Memphis at Baum Stadium.  The Razorbacks posted a 14-1 win on Tuesday and 9-4 victory on Wednesday. Arkansas piled up 23 runs and 27 hits in the two-game series. 

Arkansas smacked five home runs in the two games. Left fielder Brayden Webb, third baseman Cayden Wallace and second baseman Jacob Nesbitt all homered in game one. UA first baseman Matt Goodheart and left fielder Zach Gregory both homered in the win on Wednesday.

Webb reached base five times in Tuesday’s series opener. He smacked a solo home run in the eighth inning. He also drew four walks and scored three runs. Wallace and Nesbitt both homered in the 9-run eighth inning. Wallace (3-5, HR, 3 RBI) hit a two-run homer and Nesbitt (2-5, R, HR, 5 RBI) added a grand slam.

Goodheart went 4-for-5 with one run scored and two RBIs in the finale on Wednesday. Gregory and Nesbitt combined for four hits and three RBIs. Gregory hit a solo homer run in the eighth inning.

STRICKLIN SIDELINED

Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin tested positive for Covid-19 and has missed the Bulldogs last four games with Tennessee and Kennesaw State. Associate head coach Scott Daeley is serving as the acting head coach in Strickln’s absence. No other baseball players or coaches will be subjected to quarantine protocols. The Georgia gymnastics team did not participate in last weekend’s SEC Gymnastics Championships due to Covid-19.

KOLWYCK INJURED

Vanderbilt junior second baseman Tate Kolwyck broke a hamate bone in his hand on Tuesday night and will likely miss three to six weeks following surgery. Kolwyck was hitting .262 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 19 games this season. He belted two home runs and four RBIs in the 5-0 win over South Carolina last Saturday.

Vanderbilt replaced Kolwyck with Parker Noland, who started at third and moved to second, while throwing Jayson Gonzalez (on a rare day off) from the bench and into the hot corner. Noland and Gonzalez have been full-time starters this year, with each playing some at third and some at DH. 

HARBER BELTS WALK-OFF HOMER:

Georgia posted its league-leading sixth walk off win with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Kennesaw State at Foley Field. Third baseman Parks Harber blasted a one-out, solo home run to left field in the bottom of the ninth for the win. The Bulldogs six walk off wins have been recorded by six different players.

Kennesaw State scored both runs in the first inning of Georgia starter Charlie Goldstein, who lasted only two-thirds of an inning. The Bulldogs bullpen took over and held the Owls scoreless over the final 9 1/3 innings. Seven different relievers recorded at least three outs. Nolan Crisp retired all six batters he faced for his second win of the season.

Georgia trailed 2-0 in the seventh inning before Cole Tate scored an unearned run to cut the lead to 2-1. Riley King stroked a game-tying, one-out RBI double in the ninth inning.

Alabama and LSU are second in the SEC with four walk off wins this season. 

 Here is a look at Georgia’s walk off wins.

 Result                                                                    Walk Off Result (Date)

Georgia 6, Evansville 5                                      Riley King RBI Single (Feb. 21, 2021)

Georgia 3, Gardner Webb 2                            Josh McAllister Solo HR (Feb. 27, 2021)

Georgia 7, North Florida 4                               Chaney Rogers 3-run HR  (March 7, 2021)

Georgia 3, Lipscomb 2                                      Connor Tate RBI single (13) (March 14, 2021)

Georgia 5, Tennessee 4                                    Cole Tate 2-run single (March 20, 2021)

Georgia 3, Kennesaw State 2                          Parks Harber solo HR (March 23, 2021)

UK SCORES FOUR IN NINTH

Kentucky scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally past Butler 6-5 on Tuesday night at Kentucky Proud Park. The Wildcats recorded its second walk off win of the season.

Trailing 5-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, UK sent five batters the plate and scored four runs on three hits, one walk and one hit batter for the win. Designated hitter Trae Harmon stroked a two-run single to center to cut the deficit to 5-4. Catcher Coltyn Kessler followed with a two-run double to left-center to cap the comeback.

Kentucky led 2-0 entering the sixth inning, but Butler scored five runs over the next three innings to take a 5-3 lead.

Kessler finished the night 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Shortstop Bryan Ritter added three hits for UK.

AROUND THE SEC

Alabama suffered its third straight loss with a 5-4 setback to Southern Miss. The Crimson Tide has managed only six runs and 12 hits in its last three games. Will Patota had a pinch-hit, two-run double in the sixth inning on Tuesday. Alabama led 2-0 I the sixth inning and 4-3 in the seventh inning but could not hold the leads.

Mississippi State clobbered North Alabama 18-1 on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs scored at least three runs in each of the first five innings. MSU had 14 hits in the game and benefitted from 10 walks and five UNA errors. The Bulldogs had six players score two or more runs, five players with two or more hits and four players with two or more RBIs. Right fielder Tanner Allen went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, one double and three RBIs. Catcher Luke Hancock reached base five times with two hits, two walks and three RBIs. Second baseman Tanner Leggett had two hits and scored three runs. MSU used 10 different pitchers in the game and they combined for 15 strikeouts.

Ole Miss got home runs from shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, third baseman Tim Elko and designated hitter Hayden Dunhurst in the 5-2 win over Central Arkansas. Gonzalez belted a 2-run home run in the first inning. Elko hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and Dunhurst added a solo home run in the fifth inning.

South Carolina right-hander Will Sanders took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and the Gamecock offense scored in each of the first five innings in the 8-3 win over The Citadel. Sanders allowed one run and one hit through five innings for the win. He struck out a season-high 10 batters. Designated hitter Wes Clarke belted a two-run homer in the first inning. Clarke leads the NCAA with 11 home runs this season.

Tennessee scored seven runs in the fifth inning en route to a 13-5 win over Eastern Kentucky. Seven of UT’s nine starters had at least one hit against the Colonels. Third baseman Trey Lipscomb went 3-for-5 with one double, one home run and four RBIs. 

Texas A&M managed only two hits in 2-1 loss to Rice on Tuesday. The Aggies have lost four straight games after an 11-game winning streak. Hunter Coleman hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning as the Aggies avoided the shutout.

Vanderbilt scored 11 unanswered runs in an 11-3 win over Lipscomb at Hawkins Field. The Commodores trailed 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning but scored four runs to take the lead. The Commodores added four more runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth inning. Centerfielder Enrique Bradfield, Jr. (3-4, 2 R, 3B, RBI), infielder Parker Noland (2-3, R, HR, 3 RBI) and right fielder Isaiah Thomas (2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI) led the Commodores on offense. Patrick Reilly picked up his second win wit 2 2/3 scoreless innings.