Sunday Recaps; SEC Making History Again; Georgia, MSU and Vandy Get Series Wins

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

Once again, SEC Baseball is making history. For the first time in the 30-game schedule era, the SEC has five teams with 10 or more wins at the midpoint of the conference schedule. Arkansas (11-4), Vanderbilt (11-4), Mississippi State (10-5), South Carolina (10-5) and Tennessee (10-5) all have 10 wins at the midway point of the schedule. Four teams had 10 or more wins at the midpoint of the SEC schedule in 1996, 2010, 2015 and 2017. On Sunday, Georgia, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt posted series wins, while Texas A&M salvaged its series-finale in a high-scoring game in Fayetteville.

 GAME OF THE DAY:

Texas A&M outlasted Arkansas 11-10 to salvage the series finale at Baum-Walker Stadium. In a back-and-forth game, the Aggies appeared to take control of the game when Hunter Coleman blasted a three-run home run to left field to give the A&M a 10-4 lead in the top of the sixth inning. Arkansas, as it has done all season, came roaring back. Matt Goodheart hit a three-run homer in the sixth to make it 10-7. After the Aggies added another run in the seventh, Zack Gregory smacked a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to make an 11-10 game. The Razorbacks were poised for another comeback win in the ninth as they loaded the bases with one out, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat.

TEAM OF THE DAY:

Mississippi State scored five runs the sixth inning, capped by right fielder Tanner Allen’s bases-loaded triple to defeat rival Ole Miss 7-5 at Dudy Noble Field. The five-run inning clinched the Bulldogs fifth straight series win over the Rebels. MSU owns a 16-3 record against Ole Miss in the last 19 meetings.

PLAYER OF THE DAY:

Vanderbilt centerfielder Enrique Bradfield, Jr., was a one-man wrecking crew Sunday in the series-clinching win at Tennessee. Bradfield went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, one double, two walks and four stolen bases in the win. He singled, stole two bases and scored a run as part of two-out rally in the third inning to put the Commodores ahead to stay at 3-2. He tallied an RBI single and scored a run in the three-run fourth inning. His greatest mark came in the sixth inning as Vandy extended its lead to 10-4. Bradfield walked, stole second and third and scored on sac fly to UT shortstop Liam Spence, showing off his speed.

PITCHER OF THE DAY:

Texas A&M left hander Chandler Jozwiak struck out Matt Goodheart and Cayden Wallace in the ninth inning to preserve the Aggies 11-10 win at Arkansas. Jozwiak entered the game with the bases loaded and one out. He struck out Goodheart on three pitches, including a check swing on a nasty breaking ball. Jozwiak need four pitches to dispose of Wallace in similar fashion, getting a check swing on another breaking ball to end the game. Jozwiak, who gave up the winning run in the 10th inning in Saturday’s extra inning loss, redeemed himself on Sunday with his fifth save.

SUNDAY RECAPS:

Vanderbilt 10, Tennessee 4 (Knoxville)

Records: Vanderbilt (28-6, 11-4 SEC); Tennessee (29-8, 10-5 SEC)

Series: Vanderbilt won series, 2-1

Vanderbilt used a heavy dose of Enrique Bradfield, Jr., and a lot of two-out offense to post a 10-4 series-clinching win at Tennessee on Sunday.

Bradfield went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, one double, two walks and four stolen bases in the win. The Commodores were 8-for-16 with two outs and had seven two out RBIs.

The VU centerfielder triggered a two-out rally in the third inning that put the Commodores ahead to stay.

Bradfield singled up the middle with two outs, then stole second and third, before scoring on shortstop Carter Young’s base hit to tie the game at 3-3. DH Jack Bulger added an RBI single to score Young and give the Commodores a 4-3 lead.

In the three-run fourth inning, Bradfield stroked a two-out single up the middle to score Isaiah Thomas. Young followed with a two-run homer to push the lead to 6-2.

Bradfield utilized his speed in the sixth inning as the Commodores plated two more runs for a 10-3 lead. Bradfield drew a one out walk, stole second and third, and scored on Dominic Keegan’s pop up to shortstop.

Keegan homered in the first inning to give Vandy a 1-0 lead.

Tennessee’s four runs came on solo home runs.

Tennessee got back-to-back home runs from Max Ferguson and Jake Rucker in the first inning to take a 2-1 lead. Left fielder Evan Russell homered in the fourth inning and catcher Jackson Greer homered in the seventh inning.

Mississippi State 7, Ole Miss 5 (Starkville)

Records: Mississippi State (27-8, 10-5 SEC); Ole Miss (26-10, 9-6 SEC)

Series: MSU won series, 2-1

The number five was significant on Sunday at Dudy Noble Field.

MSU scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to post a come-from-behind, series-clinching win over rival Ole Miss.

Right fielder Tanner Allen’s bases-loaded triple off Ole Miss closer Taylor Broadway capped the five-run inning and lifted the Bulldogs to their fifth straight series win over the Rebels.

Oh, speaking of Allen, he wears the No. 5.

Ole Miss led 4-2 headed to the bottom of the sixth inning on the strength of two solo home runs by right fielder Hayden Leatherwood.

MSU centerfielder Rowdey Jordan collected four hits in the series finale, including a solo home run in the fifth inning.

Landon Sims closed things out in the ninth inning for his fifth save. He retired three of the four batters he faced, with one strikeout.

MSU is 16-3 in its last 19 games against Ole Miss.

Texas A&M 11, Arkansas 10 (Fayetteville)

Records: Arkansas (30-6, 11-4 SEC); Texas A&M (21-17, 4-11 SEC)

Series: Arkansas won series, 2-1

Texas A&M left hander Chandler Jozwiak struck out Matt Goodheart and Cayden Wallace in the ninth inning to preserve the Aggies 11-10 win at Arkansas.

Jozwiak entered the game with the bases loaded and one out. He struck out Goodheart on three pitches, including a check swing on a nasty breaking ball. Jozwiak need only four pitches to dispose of Wallace in similar fashion, getting a check swing on another breaking ball to end the game.

Jozwiak, who gave up the winning run in the 10th inning in Saturday’s extra inning loss, redeemed himself on Sunday with his fifth save.

In a back-and-forth game, the Aggies appeared to take control of the game when Hunter Coleman blasted a three-run home run to left field to give the A&M a 10-4 lead in the top of the sixth inning.

Arkansas, as it has done all season, came roaring back. Goodheart hit a three-run homer in the sixth to make it 10-7.

After the Aggies added another run in the seventh, Zack Gregory smacked a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to make an 11-10 game.

The Razorbacks were poised for another comeback win in the ninth as they loaded the bases with one out, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat.

Texas A&M first baseman Will Frizzell belted two solo home runs in the win. He led the Aggies with three hits and three RBIs. Third baseman Bryce Blaum, catcher Mikey Hoehner and shortstop Kalea Harrison all had two hits for the Aggies. Hoehner also had two RBIs.

Goodheart (2-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBIs) homered in all three games in the series, and has five home runs in his last four games. He leads the Razorbacks with 11 home runs this season.

Gregory went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, one double, one home run and three RBIs.

Georgia 17, Kentucky 6 (Athens)

Records: Kentucky (22-11, 7-8 SEC); Georgia (23-12, 7-8 SEC)

Series: Georgia won series, 2-1

Georgia used a pair of five-run innings to post a 17-6 series-clinching win over Kentucky at Foley Field.

It was the Bulldogs first series win over UK in Athens since 2010.

Trailing 4-3, Georgia scored five times in the bottom of the fourth to take an 8-4 lead. Centerfielder Ben Anderson’s two-run triple put the Dogs in front 6-4. Left fielder Riley King capped the inning with a two-run homer.

The Bulldogs padded its lead with five more runs in the eighth inning.

Georgia catcher Fernando Gonzalez smacked a three-run homer in the second inning.

UK answered with four runs in the third inning. Left fielder Oraj Anu had a two-run double and third baseman Jason Plastiak added a two-run single.