SEC Sunday recaps: Kentucky's Collett hits three homers, Vandy takes series from MSU

 Barry Allen and Chris Lee   in Baseball

Sunday wrapped up a weekend in which no SEC team got a sweep.

Kentucky first baseman T.J. Collett smacked three home runs and Zack Lee tossed a complete-game one-hitter as the Wildcats swept Alabama in Sunday double header in Lexington.

 Vanderbilt rallied from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Mississippi State 7-4. Carter Young blasted a go-ahead three-run homer in the fifth inning. 

Florida, Georgia and Tennessee all secured series wins on Sunday. Tennessee scored 20 runs in its win at Texas A&M. The 20 runs are the most scored in an SEC game this season.

 TEAM OF THE DAY:

Tennessee exploded for 15 runs in its final three at-bats to defeat Tennessee 20-7. The Vols hit six home runs in their series-clinching win at Blue Bell Park. UT DH Evan Russell hit two more home runs and now leads the SEC with 10 home runs in conference play. The 20 runs scored are the most by an SEC team in conference play this season. Also, Tennessee scored more runs against the Aggies on Sunday than the football team did in a 34-13 loss to Texas A&M on Dec. 19, 2020 in Knoxville.

 GAME OF THE DAY:

Vanderbilt overcame a 4-0 deficit to defeat Mississippi State 7-4 in Nashville. The Commodores scored all seven runs in the middle three innings for the win. VU second baseman Carter Young had two hits and three RBIs, including the go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning. State scored three runs in the first inning and led 4-0 entering the fourth inning. Chris McElvain and Nick Maldonado held MSU to one run and five hits over the final 8 1/3 innings after VU starter Patrick Reilly only recorded one out.

PLAYER OF THE DAY:

Kentucky first baseman T.J. Collett blasted three home runs in an 11-0 win over Alabama as the Wildcats secured a series win in Lexington. Collett homered in the second, fifth and sixth innings off three different Alabama pitchers. He hit a three-run homer to cap a six-run second inning. He hit solo home runs in the fifth and sixth innings. In the process, Collett tied former UK two-way star A.J. Reed with 40 career home runs. Reed finished the double header 4-for-8 with three runs scored, three home runs and five RBIs. Collett joins Tennessee’s Evan Russell as the only SEC players with three home runs in a game this season. Russell hit three home runs against LSU and Vanderbilt.

PITCHER OF THE DAY:

Kentucky right-hander Zack Lee faced the minimum in a one-hit, complete game shutout over Alabama. Lee allowed a one-out single to Alabama right fielder William Hamiter in the first inning. Hamiter was quickly erased when third baseman Zane Denton hit into a double play. Lee retired the final 19 Alabama batters for the one-hit gem. Lee’s one-hitter was the second by an SEC pitcher this season. Ole Miss’ Doug Nikhazy had a one-hit shutout against Mississippi State on April 17. 

SUNDAY RECAPS:

Vanderbilt 7, Mississippi State 4 (Nashville)

Records: Vanderbilt (31-7, 13-5 SEC); Mississippi State (29-10, 11-7 SEC)

Series: Vanderbilt won series, 2-1

 Vanderbilt's Carter Young bashed a three-run home run in the fifth inning, keying a comeback that resulted in a 7-4 win at Hawkins Field on Sunday afternoon.

 Reliever Chris McElwain went 5 1/3 innings in relief of starter Patrick Reilly, who got just one out, gave up three runs and left the bases loaded. McElwain got him through that jam and gave up just a solo home run to Tanner Allen in the second. Nick Maldonado, threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings for a save. 

 MSU starter Jackson Fristoe dominated Vanderbilt through the first three innings, allowing just one runner. But Young tripled off the top of the center field wall to start a two-run rally in the fourth. 

Allen had three of State's seven hits. The Bulldogs missed another opportunity to extend the lead by leaving the bases loaded in the third.

Tennessee 20, Texas A&M 7 (College Station)

Records: Tennessee (32-9, 12-6 SEC); Texas A&M (23-19, 5-13 SEC)

Series: Tennessee won series, 2-1

Tennessee scored 15 runs in its final three at-bats to post a 20-7 series-clinching win at Texas A&M.

Texas A&M scored five runs in the fifth inning to actually take a 6-5 lead before the Vols erupted in the final three innings.

The 20 runs scored are the most by SEC team in conference play this season. Tennessee scored more runs at Texas A&M on Sunday than the football team scored against the Aggies last December. Texas A&M closed the regular-season with a 34-13 win over the Vols at Neyland Stadium.

The Vols hit six home runs in Sunday’s finale, including two more bombs from designated hitter Evan Russell. The senior leads the SEC with home runs in conference play this season. He has a career-high 12 home runs this season. He entered the 2021 season with 11 career homers, including a season-high nine homers in 2019.

Russell finished 2-for-5 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Second baseman Max Ferguson, first baseman Luc Lipcius, catcher Connor Pavolony and left fielder Pete Derkay also homered for UT.

Tennessee scored four runs in the third inning, five runs in the seventh and eight runs in the eighth inning.

Texas A&M left fielder Austin Bost had a two-run homer and catcher Mikey Hoehner had three hits, including a pair of doubles.

Kentucky 5, Alabama 2 (Game 1)

Kentucky 11, Alabama 0 (Game 2) (Lexington)

Records: Alabama (24-15, 8-10 SEC); Kentucky (24-13, 9-9 SEC)

Series: UK won series, 2-1

Kentucky swept Alabama in a Sunday double header in Lexington to post a series win over the Crimson Tide. The Wildcats won the opener 5-2 and cruised to an 11-0 win in game two.

The Wildcats hit seven home runs in the nightcap, including three homers by first baseman T.J. Collett. He homered in the second, fifth and sixth innings off three different Alabama pitchers. He hit a three-run homer to cap a six-run second inning. He hit solo home runs in the fifth and sixth innings. 

Right fielder John Rhodes hit two homers in the win. DH Oraj Anu and catcher Coltyn Kessler also homered for the Cats.

Three of those home runs came in the fifth inning off UA reliever Chase Lee, who had allowed only one earned run all season entering the weekend.

UK starter Zack Lee faced the minimum in a one-hit, complete game shutout. He allowed a one-out single to Alabama right fielder William Hamiter in the first inning. Hamiter was quickly erased when third baseman Zane Denton hit into a double play. Lee retired the final 19 Alabama batters for the one-hit gem. 

The Wildcats posted a 5-2 win in the opener. The Cats tallied four runs and 11 hits of UA starter Dylan Smith in four-plus innings. Smith dropped to 0-5 on the season.  

Kessler hit a solo home run and shortstop Ryan Ritter added a two-run double in the fifth inning.

Alabama DH Owen Diodati hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to account for the Tide’s only offense on the day.

Auburn 10, Florida 8 (Game 1)

Florida 6, Auburn 4 (Game 2) (Auburn)

Records: Florida (28-12, 11-7 SEC); Auburn (17-20, 3-15 SEC)

Series: Florida won series, 2-1

Auburn snapped a 7-game home SEC losing streak with a 10-8 win over Florida in game one, but the Gators rebounded for its first road series win of the season with a 6-4 win in the nightcap.

The Tigers roughed up Tommy Mace and Jack Leftwich for 10 runs in the opener. Mace allowed five runs in four innings and Leftwich was tagged for five runs and six hits in the fifth inning.

First baseman Ty Miller, right fielder Steven Williams and DH Cam Hill all homered for the Tigers.

Florida got home runs in the fourth inning from catcher Nathan Hickey and centerfielder Jud Fabian to win the second game and take the series.

Georgia 9, Missouri 4 (Columbia)

Records: Missouri (12-25, 5-13 SEC); Georgia (26-13, 9-9 SEC)

Series: Georgia won series, 2-1

Georgia used a pair of four-run innings to post a 9-4 series-clinching win at Missouri.

The Bulldogs have won three straight SEC series and have pulled to .500 (9-9) in league play after a 3-6 start.

First baseman Chaney Rogers and left fielder Connor Tate combined for seven RBIs in Sunday’s win. Rogers had a three-run double in the first inning and added an RBI double in the sixth. Tate hit a solo home run in the third inning and added two-run single in the sixth.

Georgia touched Missouri starter Zach Hiles for eight runs in five-plus innings.

The Georgia bullpen allowed one run seven innings. Michael Polk tossed two scoreless innings for the win.

Second baseman Trevor Austin had two hits, one RBI and scored two runs for the Tigers.