Thursday recaps: Auburn gets first league win; Ole Miss suffers first league loss

 Barry Allen and Chris Lee   in Baseball

Auburn picked up its first SEC win and Ole Miss suffered its first SEC loss on Thursday night. Auburn knocked off Arkansas 2-1 ad Ole Miss suffered a 4-1 loss at Florida. Texas A&M and Vanderbilt both posted lopsided wins.

TEAM OF THE DAY:

Florida snapped a three-game SEC losing streak and handed Ole Miss its first loss of the season with a 4-1 win in Gainesville. Franco Aleman and Tommy Mace limited the Rebels to one run on four hits. Aleman made his first career SEC start and allowed one unearned run. Tommy Mace, the normal game one starter, added five scoreless innings in relief. UF left fielder Jacob Young had a double, triple and one RBI in the win. Designated hitter Nathan Hickey had two RBIs in the win.

GAME OF THE DAY:

Auburn notched its first SEC win of the season with a 2-1 victory at Arkansas. AU starter Cody Greenhill limited the Razorbacks to one run and three hits in seven innings, with five strikeouts and no walks. Auburn second baseman Brody Moore had two hits, including a solo home run, and made two superb defensive plays for the Tigers.

PLAYER OF THE DAY:

Texas A&M centerfielder Ray Alejo had three doubles and three RBIs in the Aggies 16-2 blowout win at Missouri. Alejo had an RBI double in the first inning and added a two-run double in the Aggies nine-run sixth inning.

PITCHER OF THE DAY:

Mississippi State left-hander Christian MacLeod limited to Kentucky to two hits through six scoreless innings. He matched his season-high with 11 strikeouts and did not walk a batter en route to his third win of the season. MacLeod retired the Wildcats in order four times in six innings.

THURSDAY RECAPS:

Florida 4, Ole Miss 1 (Gainesville)

Records: Ole Miss (20-5, 6-1 SEC); Florida (17-8, 4-3 SEC)

Series: Florida leads series, 1-0

Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan looked to shake things up in Gainesville.

O’Sullivan started his closer Franco Aleman on the mound against Ole Miss, and then planned to use his No.1 starter Tommy Mace out of the bullpen

The plan was nearly flawless as the duo handed Ole Miss its first SEC loss of the season in a 4-1 win at Florida Ballpark.

Aleman made his first career SEC start and allowed one unearned run and three through four innings. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.

Mace followed with five scoreless innings in relief. He limited the Rebels to two hits and struck out seven batters.

Young had a double, triple and one RBI in the win. Hickey also had two RBIs in the win.

Auburn 2, Arkansas 1 (Fayetteville)

Records: Arkansas (20-4, 5-2 SEC); Auburn (12-11, 1-6 SEC)

Series: Auburn leads series, 1-0

Not many folks gave Auburn much of chance in the series with Arkansas.

Auburn right-hander Cody Greenhill and second baseman Brody Moore gave the Tigers more than chance. The duo lifted Auburn to its first SEC win of the season with a 2-1 win over the Razorbacks.

Greenhill limited the Razorbacks to one run and three hits in seven innings, with five strikeouts and no walks. He retired the first nine batters he faced in the game and exited the game after he retired the last eight batters he faced.

Moore had two hits and made two highlight reels plays in the field. He gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the third inning.

Auburn pushed the lead to 2-0 on catcher Nate LaRue’s sac fly in the fourth inning.

Arkansas’ lone run came on left fielder Braydon Webb’s solo home run in the fourth inning.

Patrick Wicklander was the tough-luck loser for the Razorbacks. He allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. Kevin Kopps added three scoreless innings. The duo combined for 16 strikeouts.

Arkansas also made three errors in the loss.

Vanderbilt 13, LSU 1 (Baton Rouge)

Records: Vanderbilt (21-3, 6-1 SEC); LSU (17-9, 1-6 SEC)

Series: Vanderbilt leads series, 1-0

The much-anticipated Landon Marceau-Kumar Rocker pitching matchup didn't materialize the way we expected. as Vanderbilt went to Baton Rouge and thrashed LSU, 13-1, in the opener at Alex Box Stadium.

Rocker did his part, striking out eight over six innings before departing after 89 pitches. Rocker, who's now won all seven of his starts, allowed just four base runners (one double, three singles) and left with an 11-1 lead, with Sam Hliboki picking up a three-inning save. 

As for Marceau, he wasn't as bad as his line (5 1/3 innings, nine runs, eight earned) suggested. But the Commodores did a good job laying off unhittable pitches and putting the ball in play as Marceaux had just three strikeouts. 

The biggest hit of the game came when, with the Commodores' lead at just 2-0 in the fifth, first baseman Domnic Keegan punched an off-speed pitch away and out of the zone into right field for a two-RBI single. 

With the way Rocker was pitching, it felt like an insurmountable lead, and that's how it played out. 

Keegan's four RBI's led Vandy, while Jayson Gonzalez and Enrique Bradfield each had three hits, with Gonzalez driving in two. 

LSU is 1-6 in SEC play for the first time since 1969. The Tigers have scored two runs or less in five of its six SEC losses.

Texas A&M 16, Missouri 2 (Columbia)

Records: Texas A&M (19-9, 3-4 SEC); Missouri (8-17, 1-6 SEC)

Series: Texas A&M leads series, 1-0

Texas A&M clobbered Missouri 16-2 in the series opener in Columbia.

The Aggies collected 13 hits and took advantage of 12 walks against the Tigers.

Alejo went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, three doubles and three RBIs.

Shortstop Bryce Blaum and first baseman Will Frizzell both scored three runs for the Aggies.

While the offense clicked all night, A&M starter Dustin Saenz was equally impressive.

Saenz worked seven scoreless innings and struck out 10 batters for his fifth win.

Missouri has been outscored 36-6 in its three SEC series openers.

Mississippi State 8, Kentucky 1 (Starkville)

Records: Kentucky (18-5, 5-2 SEC); MSU (18-7, 3-4 SEC)

Series: MSU leads series, 1-0

MacLeod and a trio of relievers combined for 15 strikeouts in 8-1 series-opening win over Kentucky.

MacLeod limited to UK to two hits through six scoreless innings. He matched his season-high with 11 strikeouts and did not walk a batter en route to his third win of the season. MacLeod retired the Wildcats in order four times in six innings.

Third baseman Kamren James provided most of the offense for the Bulldogs. He went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. James gave MSU a 3-0 lead with a bases-loaded walk in the third inning. He blew the game open with a three-run double in the eighth inning.

Kentucky catcher Coltyn Kessler had three hits to lead the Wildcats.