Hunter’s aim shoots down Georgia rally
South Carolina rips Auburn
By Josh Cooper
TUSCALOOSA — When Alabama reliever Tommy Hunter enters the game, the stadium speakers blare the Metallica song “Enter Sandman.”
Hunter didn’t exactly lull Georgia to sleep. It wasn’t even lights out, but Hunter picked up the final four outs in Alabama’s 5-3 comeback win.
The victory moves the Tide (22-15, 7-8 SEC) into one of the top eight slots in conference, high enough to make the SEC tournament in Hoover.
The SEC tournament begins May 23 at Regions Park.
“Anything positive is good,” said Alabama coach Jim Wells. “If it ended today, we would be in.”
Hunter entered the game with Alabama winning 5-2 in the top of the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs and got Georgia third baseman Ryan Peisel to ground into a fielder’s choice.
The ninth inning was a little more adventurous. Hunter struck out Gordon Beckham to start the inning, but gave up a single a walk and an RBI single to the next three batters.
After a Jake Smith error, the bases were loaded with two outs, but Hunter struck out first baseman Luke Stewart and catcher Joey Lewis to close out the Bulldogs (13-23, 5-10 SEC).
Georgia’s other runs came in the top of the first inning.
“We’ve won three of our last four close ballgames,” Hunter said. “It’s a confidence builder to go down in the first and come back.”
Shortstop Greg Paiml finished 3-for-4 and had a go-ahead RBI in the fourth inning.
South Carolina 18, Auburn 4: For the second game in a row, Travis Jones and James Darnell each hit three-run homers to lead South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
Each had two hits and four RBIs as the Gamecocks (28-8, 9-6 SEC) pounded out 16 hits.
The pair also hit three-run homers in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Tigers (25-14, 4-11) to lead South Carolina to a 10-1 victory.
Reliever Jeff Jeffords (4-0) picked up the win, pitching 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. He struck out four batters and gave up just one hit. Justin Bristow (1-4) gave up seven runs and five hits to take the loss.
Tigers left fielder Mike Bianucci had a two-run homer in the fourth and tallied three RBIs for the game.
The Gamecocks won the weekend series with Auburn 2-1.
Vanderbilt 6-9, Kentucky 8-4: Ryan Davis homered and earned two RBIs to lift Vandy.
Vanderbilt (32-6, 9-6 Southeastern Conference) had 14 hits with nine RBIs. Pedro Alvarez made four hits and one RBI, while Brad French contributed three hits and three RBIs.
Pitcher Mike Minor (6-0) took the win, allowing one run and two hits in five innings.
Kentucky (26-9-1, 6-8-1 SEC) made six hits, including three RBIs. Sawyer Carroll homered and contributed two RBIs.
Andrew Albers (5-1) took the loss, allowing seven hits and four runs in five innings.
In Sunday’s first game, Sean Couglin hit three RBIs and made one home run.
Kentucky had nine hits, including six RBIs with Carroll contributing two.
Couglin homered in the sixth inning, bringing in Carroll to seal the win. Pitcher Duran Ferguson (2-1) took the win, allowing only one hit.
Vanderbilt made nine hits, with David Macias and Pedro Alvarez contributing two runs.
Stephen Shao (0-1) took the loss, allowing three hits and three runs in one inning.
Arkansas 10, Florida 7: Logan Forsythe’s bat scored six of Arkansas’ runs to help the Razorbacks complete a three-game sweep of Florida.
Forsythe finished 4-for-5 at the plate. A Forsythe double in the bottom of the eighth inning, with the Gators leading 7-6, scored three runs to put Arkansas on top, and — after stealing third — he later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Nutt.
Earlier in the game, Forsythe sent home two runs on a double, and one RBI with a single.
Arkansas reliever Travis Hill (2-1) got the win.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
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AP contributed to this report.
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