Southern Miss downs UTSA, 5-3, in C-USA tournament

The Southern Miss Golden Eagles choked off a ninth-inning UTSA rally Friday and downed the Roadrunners 5-3 in a winners’ bracket game at the Conference USA tournament.

With the loss, UTSA was sent tumbling into the losers’ bracket, where they will face the Charlotte 49ers tonight. Estimated game time is 9 p.m. The tournament is being played in Biloxi, Miss.

Slugging Matt Wallner hurt the Roadrunners with a home run and a single and two RBI. Hunter Slater also contributed three of the Golden Eagles’ 12 hits.

Tony Beam ripped a two-run homer for UTSA. But Southern Miss pitching held UTSA in check most of the day, allowing eight hits.

Lefthander Stevie Powers (5-1) earned the victory with seven innings of work. He left the game leading 4-2. Trent Driver pitched the last two inninngs for the save.

The Roadrunners made it interesting by scoring a run off Driver in the bottom of the eighth to pull within 4-3. The Golden Eagles retaliated in the top of the ninth with a run to account for the final margin.

In the bottom half, UTSA put two runners on base, only to ground into a game-inning double play. Southern Miss third baseman Luke Reynolds fielded a ground ball, tagged a base runner, executed a spin move and threw to first for the final out.

Starting pitcher Steven Dressler (5-4) worked five innings and took the loss for the Roadrunners.


Southern Miss third baseman Luke Reynolds, the C-USA Player of the Year, executes a sensational game-ending double play.

Records

UTSA 32-22
Southern Miss 41-15

Notebook

UTSA stroked 18 hits in defeating Charlotte 11-1 to open the tournament on Thursday. The bats weren’t quite as hot against Southern Miss.

Golden Eagles pitching limited the Roadrunners to eight hits.

UTSA senior and team RBI leader Ben Brookover hasn’t played in either game. No word yet on the reason for his absence.


UTSA second baseman Aldo Buendia, a former standout at Laredo Alexander, robs Matt Wallner of a hit with a leaping catch in the eighth inning. At the plate, Buendia is 3 for 8 in two games in the tournament. He is 6 for 16, hitting safely in his last four games overall.

Texas A&M pitching dominant again in 4-2 victory over Auburn

Texas A&M held on Thursday night for a 4-2 victory over the Auburn Tigers to remain undefeated at the Southeastern Conference tournament.

The Tigers scored once in the ninth against A&M closer Nolan Hoffman to pull within the eventual final score.

But with two runners on base, Hoffman got Luke Jarvis on a ground ball to end the game.

A&M starter John Doxakis (7-5) outdueled Auburn star Casey Mize (9-5) for the victory.

Doxakis, a lefty, carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before yielding a couple of hits and a run.

Armed with a big curve ball, he struck out 10 and walked none.

Mize, projected as a possible No. 1 overall pick in the amateur draft next month, also worked into the eighth.

But he left the game after giving up four runs on eight hits.

Hoffman, a side-winding, righthander, pitched the final 1 and 2/3 and earned his 14th save.

Texas A&M is now 3-0 in Hoover with victories over Vanderbilt (3-1), Georgia (7-0) and Auburn in the past three days.

In an interview with the SEC Network, Doxakis shrugged off the feeling of coming so close and then falling short of the no hitter.

“All good things come to an end,” he told the SEC Network. “Everybody wants to throw a no-hitter but you know how hard it is.”

With the win, A&M advances to the tournament semifinals. The Aggies will play Saturday against either Auburn or Ole Miss.

The Aggies won the SEC tournament in 2016, and coach Rob Childress likes his team’s competitiveness this time around.

“I’m just proud of the way we play when we come to Hoover, for the most part,” Childress “You know, there’s a ring and a trophy on the line, and everybody’s being competitive.

“I know there’s an (NCAA) regional next week, but to stay in the moment and try to play our best this week is awfully important.”

Records

Texas A&M 39-19
Auburn 39-20

SEC baseball tournament

Thursday’s scores

Ole Miss 5, Georgia 4 (10 innings)
LSU 6, South Carolina 4 (12 innings)
Texas A&M 4, Auburn 2

Friday’s schedule

Florida vs. Arkansas, 10 a.m. (winners bracket)
Ole Miss vs. Auburn, 3 p.m. (elimination)
LSU vs. Florida-Arkansas loser, to follow (elimination)

Saturday’s schedule

(Semifinals)
Texas A&M vs. Auburn or Ole Miss, 2 p.m.
TBD, to follow


(Texas A&M right fielder Allonte Wingate robs Auburn of extra bases and possibly a home run with a leaping catch at the wall in the third inning.)

UTSA starts fast, rolls past Charlotte 11-1 in Biloxi

The UTSA Roadrunners backed Chance Kirby’s dominant pitching with 18 hits — including five by Bryan Arias — in rolling to an 11-1 victory over the Charlotte 49ers Thursday morning at the C-USA baseball tournament.

With the victory, UTSA advanced into the winners’ bracket.

The fifth-seeded Roadrunners are scheduled to play the top-seeded Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Friday at 12:30 p.m. at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Southern Miss advanced with a 2-0 victory over the UAB Blazers.

Quotable

“You never know what’s going to happen at 9 a.m. You don’t know if you’ll be asleep or if you’ll come out swinging.” — UTSA coach Jason Marshall.

Details, details

Bryan Arias is tearing it up at the C-USA tournament.

The UTSA junior from Marshall High School has five hits in five at bats in the tournament opener for both teams.

Highlights include a two-run homer in a nine-run third inning and a single and a stolen base in the seventh.

Kirby’s day

UTSA righthander Chance Kirby exited the game in the seventh inning, but not before he completely befuddled Charlotte’s offense.

Kirby worked 6 and 2/3 innings, giving up only a run on two hits. He no-hit the 49ers from the second through the seventh.

In the beginning

UTSA opened a 9-1 lead on Charlotte with a nine-run third inning.

Arias capped the explosion with a two-run homer over the left field scoreboard, his team-leading eighth of the year.

Charlotte took the lead on Kirby in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Tommy Bullock.

Weather delays

UTSA and Charlotte were scheduled to play Wednesday night, but because of numerous weather delays, the game was scrapped and pushed back to Thursday morning.

Notes

Ben Brookover, who has a team-leading 47 RBI, did not play for UTSA.

Before the schedule change, lefthander Steven Dressler was the expected starter for the Roadrunners against Josh Maciejewski for Charlotte.

Neither player saw action.

UTSA-Charlotte is rescheduled for Thursday morning

Hit with numerous weather delays on Wednesday, the Conference USA baseball tournament in Biloxi, Miss., has been forced to re-schedule, which has resulted in postponement of the first-round game between UTSA and Charlotte.

The Roadrunners and 49ers are now set to play their C-USA opener on Thursday at 9 a.m. at MGM Park.

Florida holds off LSU 4-3 at the SEC tournament

Top-seeded Florida defeated No. 8 LSU 4-3 Wednesday night at the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.

With the win, Florida advances into the winners’ bracket, into a Thursday night slot to face either fourth-seeded Arkansas or No. 5 South Carolina.

SEC baseball tournament

At Hoover, Ala.

Wednesday’s games
(With tournament seeds)
(11) Texas A&M 7, (3) Georgia 0
(7) Auburn 9, (2) Ole Miss 3
(1) Florida 4, (8) LSU 3
(5) South Carolina vs. (4) Arkansas

Thursday’s schedule
Ole Miss vs. Georgia, 9:30 a.m.
LSU vs. South Carolina or Arkansas, to follow
(11) Texas A&M vs. (7) Auburn, 4:30 p.m.
Florida vs. South Carolina or Arkansas, to follow

Kansas holds off top-ranked Texas 3-2 at Big 12 tournament

Jackson Goddard pitched into the seventh inning Wednesday to lead eighth-seeded Kansas past No. 1 Texas 3-2 on opening day at the Big 12 baseball tournament at Oklahoma City. Kansas piching held the regular-season champion Longhorns to only four hits.

Records

Kansas 27-28
Texas 37-20

Baylor blanks Oklahoma

Earlier in the day, Cody Bradford struck out 11 batters in 7 and 2/3 innings as fifth-seeded Baylor shut out No. 4 Oklahoma, 4-0. It was Baylor’s first victory at the Big 12 tournament under third-year coach Steve Rodriguez. Baylor hadn’t won at the tournament since 2015.

Records

Baylor 33-29
Oklahhoma 34-20

Big 12 baseball tournament

Wednesday’s scores

Kansas 3, Texas 2
Baylor 4, Oklahoma 0
Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia
Texas Tech vs. TCU

Thursday’s games

Texas vs. Oklahoma, 9 a.m.
TBA, 12:30 p.m.
Kansas vs. Baylor, 4 p.m.
TBA, 7:30 p.m.

A&M shuts out Georgia, 7-0; Lacy pitches six scoreless innings

Texas A&M and Georgia sat through a lightning delay early in a Wednesday morning game at the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.

All the while, the Aggies were conjuring up some lightning of their own in the form of left-handed pitcher Asa Lacy.

Lacy, a 6-foot-4 freshman from Kerrville Tivy, threw six scoreless innings as the Aggies defeated the Georgia Bulldogs, 7-0, remaining undefeated in the SEC’s postseason event at Hoover, Ala.

Powered by two late home runs from Chris Andritsos, A&M improved to 2-0 after wins over Vanderbilt and Georgia. The Aggies are scheduled to play either Auburn or Ole Miss Thursday afternoon.

“Georgia played really well against us at their place (in March),” A&M coach Rob Childress told SEC Network broadcasters. “(They) got after us in two of those three games. I felt like Asa Lacy was a great matchup for ’em, and he didn’t disappoint.

“Even in the midst of another rain delay, he just had a fabulous performance.”

Lacy was backed by Cason Sherrod, who pitched three scoreless innings of relief, and also by Andritsos, who hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and followed with a solo shot in the ninth.

But Lacy’s performance emerged as the surprise of the day.

In only his second start of the season, Lacy shut out Georgia on three hits. He walked three and struck out eight. Georgia entered its first game of the tournament batting .286 as a team and averaging 6.35 runs.

“I felt pretty locked in, trusting the pitches that are being called, and knowing if they hit it, it’s going to our defense and we’re going to make the play,” Lacy said.

Broadcasters had some fun with Lacy in the post-game interview.

“Do you know how many strikeouts you had today?” one asked.

“No I don’t,” Lacy responded.

“How many do you think you had?” he was asked.

“I think like six,” Lacy said.

Oblivious to the statistical details, Lacy admitted that he was just focused on the task at hand.

“Just locked in on the glove, and it worked out today,” he said.

In his 23rd appearance, Lacy entererd the game with a 2-1 record and a 3.24 earned run average. His only previous start came on May 1 at home against Prairie View A&M.

He has made several appearances in the past few weeks out of the bullpen, including outings against SEC foes Florida, Arkansas and South Carolina.

Last Friday, pitching at home against South Carolina, he worked two innings against the Gamecocks, yielding two hits and a run (none earned), while walking two. He also struck out two.

Lacy grew up in the Texas Hill Country, where he lettered three years for the Kerrville Tivy Antlers.

Last year, he won a school-record 13 games en route to earning Class 5A all-state honors.

He was 13-1 with an 0.93 ERA as a high school senior. Lacy was drafted on the 31st round by the Cleveland Indians, but he elected to attend A&M, where he is majoring in university studies.

Lacy was coached in high school by Chris Russ, who played at A&M from 1998-2001.

SEC baseball tournament

At Hoover, Ala.

Wednesday’s games
(With tournament seeds)
(11) Texas A&M 7, (3) Georgia 0
(7) Auburn 9, (2) Ole Miss 3
(1) Florida 4, (8) LSU 3
(5) South Carolina vs. (4) Arkansas

Thursday’s schedule
Ole Miss vs. Georgia, 9:30 a.m.
LSU vs. South Carolina or Arkansas, to follow
(11) Texas A&M vs. (7) Auburn, 4:30 p.m.
Florida vs. South Carolina or Arkansas, to follow

LSU wins SEC opener, advances to play No. 1 Florida

The LSU Tigers have played inconsistent baseball this season, but they stayed tough when it counted Tuesday night in an 8-5 victory over Mississippi State at the Southeastern Conference tournament.

With the win, the eighth-seeded Tigers eliminated the No. 9 Bulldogs and advanced to the double-elimination round, where they will meet the nation’s No. 1-ranked Florida Gators (41-15) Wednesday night.

Florida won the NCAA title last year when it knocked out six-time champion LSU in the championship round at the College World Series. The SEC tournament is being played in Hoover, Alabama.

Records

LSU 34-23
Mississippi State 31-25

Texas A&M ousts Vandy

Texas A&M upended sixth-seeded Vanderbilt 3-1 in a rain-interrupted SEC tournament opener Tuesday morning.

With the victory, the 11th-seeded Aggies eliminated the Commodores and solidified themselves as an NCAA tournament team.

The Aggies will move to enter the double-elimination phase of the tournament
against the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (37-17) on Wednesday morning.

Records

Texas A&M 37-19
Vanderbilt 31-25

SEC tournament

At Hoover, Alabama

Tuesday’s scores
Texas A&M 3, Vanderbilt 1
Auburn 4, Kentucky 3 (11 innings)
LSU 8, Mississippi State 5
South Carolina 4, Missouri 2

Wednesday’s games
(With tournament seeds)
(11) Texas A&M vs. (3) Georgia, 9:30 a.m.
(7) Auburn vs. (2) Ole Miss, TBD
(8) LSU vs. (1) Florida, 4:30 p.m.
South Carolina vs. (4) Arkansas, TBD

American Athletic Conference

At Clearwater, Florida

Tuesday’s scores

Game 1: East Carolina 8, UCF 4
Game 2: Tulane 11, Houston 6

TLU to open with Wooster, Ohio, in Division III World Series

The Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs will play the College of Wooster, Ohio, on Friday on opening day of the NCAA Division III World Series.

The eight-team baseball tournament, played in a two-bracket, double-elimination format, will take place at Appleton, Wisconsin.

It is TLU’s first trip to the World Series.

On Saturday, Seguin-based TLU will play either either Concordia-Chicago or Swarthmore, Pa., in the double elimination format.

The Bulldogs advanced to the World Series by sweeping four games at the Spokane, Washington, Regional.

On Sunday, TLU beat Willamette, Ore., 6-5 in 10 innings.

NCAA Divsion III World Series

At Appleton, Wisconsin
Friday (May 25) through Wednesday (May 30)

Friday’s schedule

Oswego State, N.Y. (30-12) vs. UT Tyler (35-17), 10 a.m.
Randolph-Macon, Va. (35-7-1) vs. Misericordia, Pa. (36-13), 1:15 p.m.
Concordia-Chicago, Ill. (38-13) vs. Swarthmore, Pa. (37-9), 4:30 p.m.
Wooster, Ohio (40-8) vs. Texas Lutheran (38-9), 7:45 p.m.

Mississippi State on a roll heading into SEC tournament

The Mississippi State Bulldogs surged into the Baseball America Top 25 with a sweep of top-ranked Florida last weekend, according to the poll released Monday.

The Bulldogs, playing at home, downed the Gators 6-3, 12-4 and 13-6 in the biggest surprise of the week in the Southeastern Conference.

Despite the three losses, Florida remained No. 1 in the national rankings leading into the SEC tournament that starts Tuesday at Hoover, Ala.

The Bulldogs open play in the tournament ranked 25th.

Baseball America
Top 25 – May 21

1. Florida 41-15 SEC
2. Oregon State 42-9-1 Pac-12
3. Stanford 43-8 Pac-12
4. Ole Miss 42-14 SEC
5. North Carolina 37-17 ACC
6. Clemson 43-13 ACC
7. Texas Tech 38-15 Big 12
8. Georgia 37-17 SEC
9. Arkansas 37-17 SEC
10. N.C. State 40-14 ACC
11. Minnesota 37-13 Big Ten
12. Duke 39-14 ACC
13. Florida State 39-17 ACC
14. Texas 37-18 Big 12
15. Coastal Carolina 38-17 Sun Belt
16. UCLA 35-17 Pac-12
17. Southern Miss 39-15 Conference USA
18. Houston 33-21 American
19. East Carolina 39-15 American
20. Stetson 41-11 Atlantic Sun
21. Tennessee Tech 46-7 Ohio Valley
22. South Carolina 32-22 SEC
23. Auburn 37-19 SEC
24. Missouri State 35-15 Missouri Valley
25. Mississippi State 31-24 SEC

Conference tournaments

SEC — at Hoover, Ala., Tuesday – Sunday
Big 12 — at Oklahoma City, Wednesday – Sunday
Big Ten — at Omaha, Neb., Wednesday – Sunday
ACC — at Durham, N.C., Tuesday – Sunday
Pac-12 — No tournament
American — at Clearwater, Fla., Tuesday – Sunday
Big East — at Mason, Ohio, Thursday – Sunday
Conference USA — at Biloxi, Miss., Wednesday – Sunday
Sun Belt — at Lafayette, La., Tuesday – Sunday
Southland — at Sugar Land, Wednesday – Saturday

NCAA projections

D1 Baseball, in its weekly projections of the 64-team NCAA tournament, listed four teams from both the SEC and from the Atlantic Coast Conference as No. 1 seeds hosting first-roud regionals.

The website projected that Florida, Georgia, Arkansas and Ole Miss from the SEC and North Carolina, North Carolina State, Florida State and Clemson from the ACC all would host.

Two teams from the Big 12 — both Texas Tech and Texas — are also projected as No. 1s hosting on the first weekend.

Texas won the Big 12 regular-season title last weekend after sweeping a three-game series against TCU.

Other teams from the state projected to make it into the NCAA field include Houston (a No. 2 seed), Texas A&M, Baylor, Dallas Baptist and Sam Houston State (all No. 3s) and Texas Southern (as a No. 4).

Sam Houston State claimed the Southland Conference title in San Antonio last week with a sweep of Incarnate Word.

Incarnate Word head baseball coach Patrick Hallmark (right) talks things over with Sam Houston State coach Matt Deggs during Thursday night's game. - photo by Joe Alexander

Incarnate Word head baseball coach Patrick Hallmark (right) talks things over with Sam Houston State coach Matt Deggs during Thursday night’s game. – photo by Joe Alexander