SEC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
Pitching lifts Vandy, Arkansas into next round
The Associated Press
HOOVER — Lefthander David Price was perfect for six innings and received a big assist from centerfielder David Macias that helped Vanderbilt hold on for a 3-2 victory over Mississippi State Thursday in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Vanderbilt (47-11) advanced to play either Tennessee or Ole Miss at 6:30 p.m. Friday, while Mississippi State (33-20) was knocked out of the double-elimination tournament.
Price (11-0), the unanimous selection as SEC pitcher of the year, set down the Bulldogs in order in each of the first six innings, as the top-ranked Commodores built a seemingly comfortable 3-0 lead.
That suddenly changed in the seventh. Jeffrey Rea became the Bulldogs' first baserunner with a single to left field. That was quickly followed by RBI doubles to right field from both Joseph McCaskill and Mitch Moreland, making the score 3-2.
It appeared Mississippi State was about to tie the game when Brandon Turner laced a hit to center field. But Marcias rifled a one-hopper that beat Moreland to the plate for the second out of the inning.
Price then settled down and retired seven of the final eight batters for a complete-game five-hitter. He finished with 11 strikeouts and no walks.
Arkansas 6, South Carolina 0: Jess Todd struck out 17 batters, including the first nine he faced, and Logan Forsythe went 3-for-3 and belted a three-run homer as Arkansas cruised past South Carolina on Thursday.
Todd (9-2) broke both the SEC tournament record (15) and Arkansas team record (16) for strikeouts in a game. He fell well short of the regular-season SEC record of 24 strikeouts, set by LSUs Butch Mixon in 1959.
Through five innings, 14 of the Gamecocks 15 outs had been by strikeout. Four South Carolina batters struck out twice in the game and two players fanned three times.
It was the second straight shutout for Arkansas (40-18), which beat Alabama in Wednesdays first round by the same 6-0 score. The Razorbacks now have a bye on Friday and will not play again until Saturday morning.
South Carolina (41-17) will face Florida in an elimination game at 3 p.m. Friday.
The Arkansas offense gave Todd all the help he would need in the first inning, scoring two runs on RBI singles by Forsythe and Danny Hamblin.
The Razorbacks increased their lead to 5-0 in the third inning when Forsythe drilled a home run to left field off South Carolina starter Arik Hempy (5-3).
Ole Miss 6, Tennessee 3: Ole Miss scored five runs in the first inning and then held on for a 6-3 victory over Tennessee.
Ole Miss sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning and scored three times before the Vols recorded their initial out. Tennessee starter Craig Cobb (8-6) was replaced by Lance McClain after facing only seven batters.
The Rebels (37-21) increased their lead to 6-0 with a run in the fourth, before Tennessee (34-24) attempted to rally.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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