Saturday recap: Walk-off wins

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

Six Southeastern Conference teams posted walk-off wins on Saturday

SIX WALK-OFF WINS:

Georgia, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State all posted walk-off wins on Saturday. 

Georgia, LSU and Mississippi State all won with walk-off home runs, while Alabama and South Carolina needed extra innings. 

Georgia second baseman Josh McAlister belted a walk-off solo home run in bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Bulldogs to a 3-2 win over Gardner-Webb in the series opener. It was his first career homer for the Bulldogs.

LSU second baseman Cade Doughty walk-off 2-run homer run in bottom of the ninth to give LSU a 5-3 win over Youngstown State. The Penguins had tied the game with two runs in the top of the eighth inning. Doughty finished 3-for-5 with one home run and three RBIs. He homered in both games against YSU. He was 4-for-9 with two homers and five RBIs in two games with the Penguins.

Mississippi State DH Luke Hancock belted a walk-off grand slam to cap a six-run ninth inning to lift MSU past Tulane 9-5. The Bulldogs trailed 5-3 entering the bottom of the ninth. MSU right fielder LoganTanner started the comeback with a 2-run single. After first baseman Chris Hatcher walked to load the bases, Hancock dropped a grand slam over the right field wall for the walk-off win. The grand slam is his only hit in the first two games of the series.

South Carolina left fielder Andrew Eyster stroked a walk-off double in bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Gamecocks to a 3-2 win over in-state rival Clemson. Right fielder Brady Allen doubled to lead off the inning and after an unsuccessful bunt attempt that resulted in strikeout, Wes Clarke was intentionally walked. Eyster stepped to the plate a doubled to center field for the game-winning. Clemson scored a run in the ninth to force extra innings.

Alabama left fielder William Hamiter hit a walk-off RBI single in bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Crimson Tide an 8-7 come-from-behind win over Wright State. Hamiter’s RBI single scored first baseman Drew Williamson with the winning run. Alabama led 4-0 after three innings but watched to Raiders storm back to take a 7-5 lead. Second baseman Peyton Wilson ad had a game-tying 2-run single in the eighth inning for the Crimson Tide.

Ole Miss third baseman Tim Elko walk-off RBI single to cap 3-run ninth inning and lift the Rebels to 6-5 win. Ole Miss trailed 5-3 entering the ninth inning. First baseman Trey LaFleur started the rally with a solo home run. Second baseman Justin Bench plated the tying run with an infield single. Elko’s game-winner scored Bench with the winning run. UCF had taken a 5-3 lead on Brett McCabe’s 3-run homer in the eighth inning.

 21 GAMES; LATE-INNING HEROICS; ACTION-PACKED DAY:

It was an action packed Saturday in the Southeastern Conference as the league played 21 baseball games, clearly one the busiest days in conference history. 

The day’s schedule consisted of 228 total runs, 189 innings, seven double headers, six walk-off wins, six one-run games and two extra-inning affairs. 

Florida scored the most runs of any team on Saturday with an 18-2 win over Samford. UF designated hitter Nathan Hickey had a huge day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored, one triple, one home run and six RBIs. Omaha and Missouri combined for 38 runs in their doubles header in Columbia. Omaha won the first game 17-11, while Missouri won the nightcap 10-1. Mizzou won the series opener 12-10 on Friday. The Mavericks and Tigers have combined for 60 runs in three games.

The SEC finished with a 16-5 record on Saturday, with Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and LSU all collecting two wins.

AGGIES HITTING STRIDE IN ROUND ROCK:

Texas A&M struggled in its first five games of the season the Aggies have seemed to have hit their stride in Round Rock. 

After an impressive win over Baylor on Friday, Texas A&M continued its assault on Saturday night with an 8-1 win over Oklahoma to remain the only undefeated team in the field.

The Aggies roughed up OU starter Dexter Fowler with seven runs in the first inning. The Aggies sent 12 men to the plate and got RBI singles from designated hitter third baseman Austin Bost and Zane Schmidt and second baseman Bryce Baum. Third baseman Logan Britt delivered the big blow in the inning a 3-run homer run homer. In all Fowler allowed seven runs on four hits and walked four in the 50-pitch inning.

A&M starter Bryce Miller was dialed in from the start and finished with five scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out five but he did issue three walks.

Bosh, Schmidt and Britt were a combined 5-for-10 with four runs scored and five RBIs.

The Aggies close out the weekend on Sunday against Auburn. 

The Tigers have not fared as well this weekend in Round Rock. Auburn fell to 0-2 in the tournament after Saturday’s 12-6 loss to Baylor. The Bears chased AU starter Richard Fitts in the fifth inning. He allowed seven runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. Auburn scored four runs in its last two at-bats to make the score respectable.

OMAHA, MISSOURI CONTINUE SLUGFEST SERIES:

Omaha and Missouri have combined for 60 runs and 61 hits in the first three games of their 4-game series in Columbia. The Tigers posted a 12-10 win in Friday’s series opener, while the two teams split Saturday’s twin bill. Omaha posted a 17-11 win in game one, while Missouri rebounded with a 10-2 win in the nightcap.

Omaha right fielder Chris Esposito belted two home runs and had seven RBIs in the Mavericks 17-11 win in game one. He stroked a 3-run home run in the first inning and added an RBI single in the fourth. He hit his second home run of the game in the seventh inning when he smacked a two-run blast. He had an RBI fielder’s choice in the eighth inning. Omaha third baseman Brandon Eckhout went 3-for-5 and scored four runs. Esposito and Jack Lombardi both homered in the Mavericks seven-run, seventh inning. The Mavericks have scored five or more runs in an inning three times in the series.

Shortstop Joshua Day, right fielder Andrew Keefer and catcher Mike Coletta all homered in the Tigers 10-1 win in the nightcap. Coletta and Day both stroked 2-run home runs in the second inning. Keefer added a 2-run homer in the fourth inning.

After allowed 27 runs in the first two games, Missouri pitches held the Mavericks bats in check in Saturday’s nightcap. Redshirt sophomore Seth Halvorsen and freshman Ian Lohse held the Mavericks to one run and three hits and struck out 13 batters. Halvorsen pitched five scoreless innings and struck out seven for the win. Lohse allowed one run and two hits and fanned six batters for the save.

Day has been the table-setter at the top of the order for the Tigers. He has reached base 11 times (.786 on-base percentage) on 14 plate appearances in the series. He is 4-for-7 (.571) with four runs scored, one home run, four RBIs and seven walks.

TIGER POWER AT THE PLATE AND ON THE MOUND:

LSU showed off its power this weekend against Youngstown State and Nicholls State.

The Tigers hit eight home runs in the three games against the Penguins and Colonels. Second baseman Cade Doughty two homers on the weekend, including a walk-off homer in the 5-3 win over Youngstown State on Saturday. LSU hit four home runs, which accounted for all six runs in Friday’s win over YSU.  

According to LSU, the Tigers 14 home runs through seven games are the most since 2009. LSU hit 15 homers in the first seven games that season. LSU had 22 home runs through seven games in the “gorilla ball” era in 1997.

LSU also showed it power on the mound.

The Tigers three starters, Jaden Hill, AJ Labas and Brandon Marceaux, were untouchable this weekend.

The trio worked 17 innings and did not allow an earned run. They also amassed 20 strikeouts. YSU and Nicholls hit .105 against the three Tigers starters.

SATURDAY SEC SCOREBOARD:

Alabama 8, Wright State 7 (11)

Alabama 1, Wright State 0

Arkansas 9, SE Missouri State 3

Baylor 12, Auburn 6

Florida 18, Samford 2

Georgia 3, Gardner Webb 2

Georgia 5, Gardner Webb 1

Kentucky 9, Milwaukee 3

Kentucky 4, Milwaukee 2

LSU 5, Youngstown State 3

LSU 14, Nicholl State 0

Mississippi State 9, Tulane 5

Omaha 17, Missouri 11

Missouri 10, Omaha 1

Ole Miss 6, UCF 5

UCF 7, Ole Miss 2

South Carolina 3, Clemson 2

Indiana State 3, Tennessee 1

Indiana State 7, Tennessee 5

Texas A&M 8, Oklahoma 1

Vanderbilt 5, Georgia State 4