Tuesday recap: A tough day for the SEC
Barry Allen and Chris Lee • 3/16/2021 in Baseball
The SEC limped to a 6-4 mark on Tuesday.
Jordan Beck photo courtesy of the University of Tennessee
It was a difficult Tuesday night for several Southeastern Conference teams, as Florida and Ole Miss absorbed blowout losses. Kentucky and Arkansas suffered home losses and three teams were rained out. In all, the league went 6-4 on Tuesday.
Florida suffered a 10-2 loss at rival Florida State. The Gators have lost two straight to the Seminoles. UF’s only loss last season came to FSU in the final game before the pandemic.
Ole Miss suffered a 10-1 loss at the hands of Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs have beaten Arkansas and Ole Miss in the last two games. The teams were scheduled to play on Wednesday, but that game was canceled on Monday due to “covid” issues. The cancellation might have saved the Rebels another midweek loss.
Kentucky allowed two big innings in its 13-8 home loss to Murray State. The Racers scored four runs in the third inning and seven runs in the sixth inning against a pitching staff that led the SEC with 1.99 ERA entering the game. Kentucky belted five home runs in the loss, including a pair of solo home runs by TJ Collett.
Oklahoma scored five runs in the third inning and held off Arkansas for an 8-5 win in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks have lost two straight games after opening the season with 12 straight wins.
South Carolina (vs. Davidson), Alabama (at Troy) and Georgia (vs. Wofford) were all rained out.
GATORS OFFENSE NO MATCH FOR FSU
The Gators offense was no match for freshman starter Carson Montgomery, who took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. He left after he allowed two runs and two hits in the fifth inning. He finished with nine strikeouts. The FSU bullpen limited the Gators to one hit over the final 4 1/3 innings.
Florida matched its season-low run total in the loss. FAU defeated Florida 3-2 in 10 innings back on March 3. The Gators offense struck out a season-high 16 times in the loss. Ten different Gators had at least one strikeout and six Gators struck out twice in the loss. Florida is 0-3 this season when they have 10 or more strikeouts on offense.
UF starter Garrett Milchin was roughed up for seven runs and eight hits in 1 2/3 innings. The Gators used six pitchers in the loss.
The 10 runs are the most the Seminoles have scored against the Gators since 2010. It was the Gators worst loss to the Seminoles since a 10-2 setback in 2008.
HOGS DROP SECOND-STRAIGHT GAME
Arkansas will take a two-game losing streak into its SEC opener with Alabama on Friday. One recurring theme in the two losses is the Razorbacks struggle on offense.
Arkansas managed only two hits in the loss to Louisiana Tech on Sunday.
Redshirt sophomore left-hander Braden Carmichael made it difficult in the Hogs on Tuesday before his pitch count crept towards 100 pitches in the sixth inning. Arkansas scored two runs in the sixth inning to cut into the lead. Carmichael allowed four runs and four hits in six innings with seven strikeouts.
Arkansas trailed 8-5 entering the ninth inning but put the first two runners on base against OU closer Jason Ruffcorn. Brady Slavens opened the inning with a single and Casey Opitz reached on fielder’s choice that resulted in an error.
Both hitters made contact against Ruffcorn’s slider. He then went exclusively to his fastball, which touched 99 mph on several occasions, and struck out Cullen Smith, pinch-hitter Ethan Bates and Zack Gregory to end the game. He needed only 12 pitches for the three straight strikeouts.
VOLS' POWER SURGE
Tennessee right fielder Jordan Beck started and finished the Vols scoring in the 9-6, 10-inning win over East Tennessee State.
Beck hit a solo home run in the second inning for the Vols first run of the game. Nine innings later, he blasted a walk-off 3-run homer in the 10th inning to lift Tennessee to the win.
He finished 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs in the win. In addition to his two home runs, he stroked an RBI double down the left field line in the seventh inning.
Beck is the second UT player in as many games to slug two home runs.
In Sunday’s 9-3 win over UNC Greensboro, center fielder Drew Gilbert belted two homers in the win. Gilbert hit a solo home run in the third inning and capped the scoring with an eighth-inning grand slam.
DOUGHTY HOMERS AGAIN
LSU third baseman Cady Doughty homered in his fourth straight game to lead LSU to a 10-7 win over SE Louisiana.
Doughty has five home runs in his last four games, giving him eight home runs on the second. He ranks second in the SEC in home runs. All eight homers have come in his last nine games.
Doughty and catcher Hayden Travinski combined for two home runs and eight RBIs in the win.
LSU has won six straight games.
The Tigers snapped SE Louisiana’s eight-game winning streak.
FITTS SHINES IN AU PEN
Auburn posted a 9-7 win at Lipscomb on Tuesday, but the story was the return of right-hander Richard Fitts on the mound.
Fitts, who had allowed five home runs in his last two starts against Baylor and Boston College, made a two-inning relief stint against the Bison. He worked two hitless innings with three strikeouts and two walks. He threw 33 pitches with 21 strikes.
AU first baseman Tyler Miller had two home runs and four RBIs in the win. Shortstop Ryan Bliss also homered for the Tigers.
VANDY'S LITTLE HAS HIS BEST COLLEGIATE OUTING
Christian Little could probably have been a top-10 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. But Little chose to enroll at Vanderbilt in January instead, and though the freshman right-hander was hit hard at times in his first few appearances, Little took a big step in his development in Vanderbilt's 4-1 win over Belmont on Wednesday night.
Little started threw four scoreless innings and struck out seven on Tuesday as he picked up the win. His fastball sat around 94-95, and was also effective with his slider and a change-up that's quickly developing as an out pitch, too.
The Commodores left 13 men on base and didn't knock the ball around the yard the way they did at Oklahoma State. But third baseman Jayson Gonzalez, who's having a terrific senior year at the plate, hit an impressive line-drive home run to dead-center that hit about 15 feet up on the batter's eye, which is about five feet behind the 400-foot fence at Hawkins Field.
HANCOCK POWERS MSU PAST SAMFORD
MSU catcher Luke Hancock belted two home runs in the Bulldogs 10-2 win over Samford. He hit a two-run in the fourth inning and solo home run in the sixth inning.
First baseman Josh Hatcher also homered for the Bulldogs.
MSU used seven different pitchers in the win but only recorded nine strikeouts. Right-hander Brandon Smith retired all five batters he faced with one strikeout for his third win.
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE LEAGUE
Texas A&M (9-4 over Houston) and LSU (10-7 over Southeastern Louisiana) also posted wins.
The Aggies have now won 11 straight, the SEC's longest winning streak.
LSU is now riding a six-game winning streak, tied with Georgia as the third-longest in the league behind MSU (seven).