Archive | May, 2015

Hogs Top Oral Roberts in Stillwater Regional

Hogs Top Oral Roberts in Stillwater Regional

Posted on 30 May 2015 by Allen


The second-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks (36-22) opened the Stillwater Regional with an 8-6 come-from-behind victory over three-seed Oral Roberts (41-15).

No. 2 Arkansas advances to the winner’s bracket and will play on Saturday at 6 p.m. against the winner of the Oklahoma State/St. John’s game. Television will be determined after matchups are set later tonight.

Trailing 3-2 in the sixth, Arkansas busted through with a four-run inning to take a lead they would not relinquish.

Joe Serrano and Bobby Wernes opened the sixth with back-to-back singles to set the stage for National Player of the Year Andrew Benintendi, who showed once again why he is the best player in the country. The sophomore smoked a two-run double, giving the Razorbacks their first lead of the game.

Tyler Spoon and Rick Nomura also drove in runs in the sixth. Clark Eagan hit a two-run triple in the eighth to extend the Razorback lead.

Jackson Lowery and Zach Jackson were impressive in relief, combining for three scoreless innings. Lowery retired the first six hitters he faced and picked up his seventh win of the season.

Arkansas has now won five of its past seven NCAA Regional openers. The Stillwater Regional marks the 14th consecutive season the Razorbacks have played in the NCAA Tournament.

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Pitching Shines As Sounds Win Opener

Pitching Shines As Sounds Win Opener

Posted on 30 May 2015 by Allen


In a game that had just seven hits, Nashville walked away with the series opener against Las Vegas on Friday night at First Tennessee Park, 2-1.

Combining yesterday’s 3-2 victory with tonight’s win marked the first time the Sounds won back-to-back one-run games this season. Nashville moved to 7-10 in one-run affairs and got their 10th win at home.

Nashville’s three hits were a season-low, but the home team got on the scoreboard first with a run in the second inning. With two away, Nate Freiman was hit by a pitch, Bryan Anderson walked and Niuman Romero singled. Anthony Aliotti, who was 8-for-16 during the series in Sacramento, drew a bases loaded walk. Nashville would leave the bags packed to end the frame, but claimed the 1-0 lead.

They carried the momentum to the third and Joey Wendle showed off his speed and aggressiveness. The second baseman singled on a bunt to the left side to start the inning and moved to second after a wild pitch. He proceeded to tag up on a deep fly to left field, barely beating the ball to third base with a late slide. Jason Pridie followed with a sacrifice fly to left, his team-leading 30th RBI of the year, to back starter Chris Bassitt with a 2-0 advantage.

Bassitt had his best stuff in the series opener and was able to notch his second win of the season. While the right-hander struggled with finding his breaking ball early, he located the fastball with ease and ended the night with four strikeouts. The 26-year old finished his night by delivering 5.2 innings with four hits, one run and no walks.

He left with runners at the corners and two away in the sixth, as Jim Fuller entered in relief. The lefty specialist threw just four pitches and concluded the frame with a strikeout. The hurler has started the first Triple-A stint of his career with scoreless outings in nine of his 10 games.

Brock Huntzinger fanned four of his six batters over two scoreless frames. R.J. Alvarez then entered in the ninth and recorded his second save of the year. Nashville’s team ERA dropped to 3.14 in May, while Bassitt’s win improved the starter’s record to 10-8 during the month.

The series continues Saturday night with a 6:35 p.m. contest. The second game of the set will feature a battle of the lefties, as Sean Nolin (0-0, 0.71) and Duane Below will compete at First Tennessee Park.

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Vandy Week 2 Showdown against UGA to air Nationally on CBS

Vandy Week 2 Showdown against UGA to air Nationally on CBS

Posted on 30 May 2015 by Allen

Chubb Georgia

The SEC sent out a press release late last week hyping their TV schedule. It got lost in the shuffle when Commissioner Slive stepped down a few months early. The SEC will kick off their season on CBS when Louisville plays Auburn in Atlanta at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Sept. 5th. The next week CBS will be in Nashville for Georgia vs. Vandy. Verne Lundquist is coming to town!

After UGA handled the Dores in Athens, 44-17 this isn’t exactly the Iron Bowl but considering there aren’t a lot of conference matchups in week 2 CBS picked Georgia at Vandy over Kentucky at South Carolina, and LSU at Mississippi State. Tennessee plays Oklahoma out of conference and that game will likely air on ESPN or ABC. LSU vs Miss State could have some serious SEC West implications, especially with Dak Prescott coming back to Starkville for his senior season and it will likely air on ESPN.

Georgia is the favorite to win the SEC East this year. Nick Chubb will be the featured back at Georgia this year and will look to continue the success he had taking for Todd Gurley last year.

Vanderbilt will open against Western Kentucky on Sept. 5th in a game that is not an easy win. If the Dores can start 1-0 we will get a week of hype about Derek Mason’s defense shutting down Chubb and the Georgia offense.

The SEC hasn’t announced anymore info on Vanderbilt football gametimes or broadcasts. That will come out once the season gets going.

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Fulmer shuts down Lipscomb, 9-1

Fulmer shuts down Lipscomb, 9-1

Posted on 30 May 2015 by Allen


Playing in its second-ever NCAA regional the Lipscomb baseball team came out fired up but ultimately dropped a 9-1 decision to the reigning national champion and host Vanderbilt Friday night in front of an announced sellout crowd of 3,626 at Hawkins Field.

Lipscomb will now put its season on the line Saturday when it will go into the loser’s bracket and try to knock off second-seeded Radford at 3:05 p.m. in an elimination game. Radford (43-15) lost to Indiana earlier in the day on Friday.

The Bisons (39-19) entered the sixth inning within striking distance, but a five-run frame from Vanderbilt broke the game wide open and pushed the ‘Dores lead to 8-1.

“When you play a team like Vanderbilt, the best thing you can do is do what we did in the first four innings,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “We had a great situation and the game was there for us to take, but we ran into trouble in the sixth.

“We gave up four hits and three freebies with two hit by pitches and a walk, so they were able to get seven out of eight batters on base. Anytime you give up five runs in an inning, it is going to put you in a tough spot, especially with the guy Vandy had on the mound.”

Vanderbilt (43-19) hung the game’s first runs on the board in the bottom of the second when seven-hole hitter Jeren Kendall launched a 2-run home run to right centerfield, his sixth of the season. Bryan Reynolds, who reached on a leadoff single, scored on the play to give the Commodores an early 2-0 lead.

Lipscomb answered right back in the top of the third with a run of its own.

Sophomore third baseman Hunter Hanks led off the frame with a single back up the middle and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later redshirt junior first baseman Adam Lee dropped a single into shallow center field to plate Hanks and cut VU’s lead to 2-1.

“I just had a long at bat and saw a lot of pitches and fortunately I think he made a mistake on a 3-2 pitch with a slider and I was able to put a good swing on it and get a base hit,” Adam Lee said.

It was the first run Vanderbilt’s Carson Fulmer had given up at home since March 14 against Arkansas, a streak of 37.2 scoreless innings.

After recording four base knocks through the first three innings, Lipscomb’s offense finished the night with just five hits. Senior left fielder Jonathan Allison’s two-out double in the eighth was the only hit for the Bisons over the final six frames.

“There were a lot of opportunities for us in the beginning,” Adam Lee said. “We had a lot of guys on base and we were moving them, but we just never got that big hit to propel the offense.

“We knew Fulmer was a great pitcher, but we were still confident because we had faith in what we have been doing all year, but tonight we just fell a little bit short.”

Senior knuckleballer Ian Martinez-McGraw took the loss for Lipscomb on the mound, falling to 7-4 on the year. He worked 4.1 frames, giving up three runs on seven hits. He struck out two and walked four.

“My approach didn’t change at all,” Martinez-McGraw said. “I tried to get ahead with the fastball and fell behind a couple times. I factored in the knuckleball a little bit more. I haven’t thrown it as much this season as I did in this game.

“They just executed when they had to. You have to give all the credit to their offense. They just clicked on all cylinders today. I think they played with a chip on their shoulder because of what happened earlier this season. Basically my approach just stayed the same that it has been all season.”

The loss was Martinez-McGraw’s first in five outings.

Senior lefty Nick Andros took over in the fifth and surrendered five earned runs on five hits in 1.2 innings pitched.

Leadoff man Ro Coleman and Kendall each tallied three hits to pace a Vanderbilt offense that saw five players get multiple hits. Coleman reached base five times on the night after going 3-for-3 with a walk and a fielder’s choice.

Fulmer improved to 12-2 after tossing seven complete innings. He scattered four hits, gave up one run and punched out 11 with three walks.

”We have to turn the page pretty quick after this one so we can get ready for a good Radford team tomorrow,” Forehand said. “We don’t have much time because now we have to go back and get some rest and be right back here at noon tomorrow. Although it is easier said than done sometimes, this game needs to be flushed because if you don’t do it, you will put yourself behind the eight ball again tomorrow.”

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SEC brings in $455.8 million for all 14 schools

SEC brings in $455.8 million for all 14 schools

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Allen


Commissioner Mike Slive announced Friday that approximately $455.8 million of total distributions will be divided among the 14 institutions of the Southeastern Conference. The distributions are calculated based on the revenue sharing plan for the 2014-15 fiscal year which ends August 31, 2015.

The total distribution of $455.8 million is the highest in SEC history. The total includes $436.8 million distributed from the conference office, as well as $19.0 million dollars of revenue retained by institutions that participated in 2014-15 bowl games.

The average amount distributed from the conference office, excluding bowl money retained by participants, is slightly over $31.2 million per school.

“The ability to provide a significant distribution of revenue is more critical than ever for our institutions as they offer more financial and educational benefits to current and former student-athletes,” said Slive. “Beginning this year, our schools will fund new costs associated with providing scholarships based on full cost of attendance, enhance lifetime educational opportunities to former student-athletes and they are developing new facilities such as athletic nutrition centers to the benefit of student-athletes.”

Slive emphasized the importance that conference revenue distribution plays in offering scholarship opportunities to student-athletes in a wide array of women’ s and men’s sports and the continued ability to compete for championships in those sports. With more than 6,500 student-athletes receiving financial aid on an annual basis in 21 sports sponsored by the SEC, conference schools have won 81 national titles in 19 different sports in Slive’s 13 years as commissioner.

“This increased revenue is important for our athletics programs to continue to fully support broad-based athletics programs for both male and female student-athletes and to give them the opportunity to compete at the highest level, both in the classroom and in competition,” Slive said.

The total distribution amount is comprised of revenue generated from television agreements, post-season bowl games, the College Football Playoff, the SEC Football Championship, the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, NCAA Championships and a supplemental surplus distribution.

The distribution amount does not include approximately $1 million of academic enhancement payments that is paid directly from the NCAA and divided among the 14 member institutions. Revenues derived by member institutions from their local media packages are also not included in the total amount.

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Sepulveda ends season ranked 29th in singles

Sepulveda ends season ranked 29th in singles

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Allen


Cumberland junior Angelica Sepulveda ended the season ranked 29th nationally in singles in the final Oracle/ITA National NAIA Rankings of the 2014-15 season published Thursday, unveiling the top 50 national singles players and top 25 national doubles teams in NAIA men’s and women’s tennis.

The Bucaramanga, Colombia, native finished the 2014-15 academic year 13-10 overall in singles, including 9-9 in dual matches, with victories over Lindsey Wilson’s Alicia Rodriguez and Northwestern Ohio’s Melena Lopez. She was 16-7 overall in doubles, including 10-3 with Alena Gizdić and 6-3 with Tarsha de Souza.

Sepulveda was named a Second Team NAIA All-American two weeks ago and was also a Second Team All-America selection as a freshman in 2013 for the Bulldogs.

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5Dimes sets Vandy 2015 Win Total at Three

5Dimes sets Vandy 2015 Win Total at Three

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Allen

freebeck vanderbilt

According to it’s going to be a long year in Nashville. The popular offshore wagering site recently released their prop win totals for the 2015 season. Vanderbilt’s over/under is three games. Last year in Coach Derek Mason’s first year the team finished 3-9 after winning 9 games in 2013.

Vandy’s schedule is pretty tough. They open the season against Western Kentucky who is bringing back fifth year senior Brandon Doughty. Last year Doughty lit up the opposition throwing for 4830 yards with 49 touchdowns.

On Sept. 12th the Dores open SEC play by hosting Georgia. Last season in Athens the Dawgs rolled Vanderbilt 44-17. Luckily the Commodores get Austin Peay the following week and should be able to get an easy win at Dudley Field.

Unfortunately Mason’s squad has to head to Oxford Sept. 26th to face Ole Miss. Last year the Rebels dominated Vandy at LP Field 41-3 in a game that wasn’t even close.

On Oct. 3rd the Dores head to Murfreesboro to face MTSU. The Raiders have had Vandy’s number in recent meetings and this game is one that Coach Stockstill has circled on his calender.

Two weeks later Vandy heads to Columbia, South Carolina to play against “The Old Ball Coach”. Last year the Dores played the Gamecocks pretty close but still came up short 48-34.

On Oct. 24th Vandy heads back home to play Missouri. Last season the Commodores gave Maty Mauk fits and came close to pulling an upset on the road. This year it will be interesting to see what Missouri does.

Halloween night the Dores will play Houston on the road. The last time these two teams played Vandy won a thriller in the Compass Bowl. Last year the Cougars finished 8-5 and ended the year by beating Pitt in the Armed Forces Bowl.

On Nov. 7th Vandy heads to the Swamp to play Florida. Two years ago Vanderbilt won in Gainesville but that was under former head coach James Franklin. Last year Florida was pretty dominant in Nashville and beat the Dores 34-10.

On Nov 14th Kentucky comes to Nashville. The Wildcats have shown improvement and even defeated Vanderbilt last year in Lexington, 17-7. It was a pretty game to watch and if the Dores had any offense they could’ve easily won. It should be a close game in Nashville.

The following week Texas A&M makes their first trip to Dudley Field. The Aggies are always good on offense and you can expect them to come out throwing the ball.

The last game of the season will be in Knoxville on Nov. 28th. Last season the Vols came to Nashville a double digit favorite but held on to win by 7. The Dores came to play on defense and gave Tennessee all they wanted.

Three wins seems a little low. Austin Peay is the only game on the schedule that I would be my house on as a guaranteed win. Western Kentucky, MTSU, Houston and Kentucky are winnable but aren’t a sure thing. Games against Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee could be close if you look at what happened last year.

The defense should be much improved next year. Derek Mason is calling the defense this year and the team did really well against UT last year when he did it for the first time. Caleb Azubike is poised for a big year in his senior season and Nigel Bowden and Nifae Lealao are getting a lot of buzz for their play last year as freshmen. If Mason can keep SEC teams from scoring into the 20s Vandy could have a shot at winning 5 or 6 games.

The only thing that really worries me is the offense. Andy Ludwig is taking over for Karl Dorrell. Ludwig had some decent seasons at Wisconsin but when you have Melvin Gordon running the ball a lot of that takes care of itself. Vandy has to find a reliable QB. Wade Freebeck struggled as a true freshman in Karl Dorrell’s offense. Johnny McCrary looked like a legit SEC QB against Missouri and Old Dominion last year but against Mississsippi State he looked lost. If Ludwig can utilize Ralph Webb at running back and develop some receivers for whoever is under center Vandy could be able to hang with SEC competition, provided the defense plays up to par.

Three wins is where the sportsbooks think Vandy is this year. I’d take the over. The Commodores will find a way to win at least four.

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Vandy Hoops add permanent home and home with UK, Florida, and UT

Vandy Hoops add permanent home and home with UK, Florida, and UT

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Allen

ky wildcats hoops

The SEC office has announced that Kentucky, Florida, and Tennessee have been named Vanderbilt’s permanent men’s basketball home and home opponents.

The Southeastern Conference announced a men’s basketball scheduling model beginning in 2015-16 that features three permanent opponents.

Each SEC team will play the other 13 teams at least one time during league play. They will then play their three permanent opponents a second time and the remaining two games will be scheduled on a rotating basis.

The 2016 men’s basketball schedule will be announced in August.

By picking up Kentucky twice it really gives the Dores a bump in RPI which is always nice to have at the end of the season when the selection committee is picking teams for the NCAA Tournament.

Permanent Opponents
Alabama — Auburn / Mississippi State / LSU
Arkansas — Missouri / Texas A&M / LSU
Auburn — Alabama / Ole Miss / Georgia
Florida — Kentucky / Georgia / Vanderbilt
Georgia — South Carolina / Florida / Auburn
Kentucky — Florida / Tennessee / Vanderbilt
LSU — Texas A&M / Alabama / Arkansas
Ole Miss — Mississippi State / Auburn / Missouri
Mississippi State — Ole Miss / Alabama / South Carolina
Missouri — Arkansas / Texas A&M / Ole Miss
South Carolina — Georgia / Tennessee / Mississippi State
Tennessee — Vanderbilt / Kentucky / South Carolina
Texas A&M — LSU / Arkansas / Missouri
Vanderbilt — Tennessee / Kentucky / Florida

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EKU Football Starts Summer with Mission Trip to Haiti

EKU Football Starts Summer with Mission Trip to Haiti

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Allen


For the third consecutive year, select members of the Eastern Kentucky University football team took a mission trip to Haiti to serve with the Hands and Feet Project in Jacmel. The group left Kentucky on May 17 and returned to the States on May 23.

This year, 20 players along with head coach Dean Hood and assistant coaches Garry Fisher and Jake Johnson took time out of their summer break to visit Haiti.

“The trip is always a humongous dose of perspective,” Hood said. “When you get down there, you realize we are very blessed to have the things we have in America. Haiti is the poorest of the poor.”

Many of the players were making their first-ever trip outside of the United States, while some others like Jon Floyd were making a return trip to Haiti.

“Last year made such a big impact on me,” Floyd said. “I had never seen anything that poor before. This was a huge eye-opener for me.”

The Colonels’ assigned project for this year was to help the orphanage piece together the beginning stages of an aquaponics farm, with the goal of making the orphanage self-sustaining with food consisting of fish, vegetables and fruit.

“What we accomplished in one week they said would have taken seven weeks,” Floyd said. “They called us the Haitian Bulldozers.”

Besides work on the aquaponics farm, the EKU travel party assisted in painting, moving cement and moving rocks. The majority of last year’s trip was spent moving rock in preparation for a foundation for a second boys building, which is now complete.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the work our guys did and their interaction with the kids,” Hood said. “Lots of people take mission trips to the orphanage in the summer, but not many of the people can handle the physicality of some of the projects like our guys can. What they accomplished was unbelievable.”

When not helping via physical labor, the Colonels spent a large portion of time just hanging out with the kids living at the orphanage. Soccer and basketball were huge hits with the boys while jump rope was a favorite for many of the girls.

The EKU football team has a personal connection with the Jacmel orphanage as the squad has been sponsoring a boy named Stevenson for the past three years. Each month, the coaching staff takes up a voluntary collection from the players and sends that donation to the Hands and Feet Project. That money has been used to provide school uniforms, medicine and food for Stevenson.

“You go down there to work, but you really go down there for the kids,” Floyd said. “There are more than 70 kids on the compound, and they all love you and hang on you.”

On one of the free mornings, several Colonels took advantage of an opportunity to swim in a coral reef. The week wrapped up on Friday with a tour around the city of Jacmel, which was ravaged by the 2010 earthquake.

Stanley Absanon, Jalen Allen, Jared Bowling, Zack Burgy-VanHoose, Floyd, Vincent Green, Raynaldy Gustave, Robby Irgang, JJ Jude, Alex Klingel, Cameron Kowalewski, Tyler Malone, Taylor Miller, Marquise Piton, Avery Pitt, ShaQuille Prather, Kagen Skidmore, Tyler Swafford, Trey Thomas and Kamareé Walden took part in the mission trip.

“Being a senior, I really wanted to help and you could see how much we meant to the kids,” said Thomas, who was making his first trip to Haiti. “People say how bad it is over there, but you really can’t tell until you go there yourself.”

The Hands and Feet Project provides holistic, residential care for children in crisis by building and operating Children’s Villages with multiple family-style homes led by Haitian House Mothers.

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Sankey takes SEC Commissioner Role June 1st

Sankey takes SEC Commissioner Role June 1st

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Allen


The Southeastern Conference announced on Friday that SEC Commissioner-Select Greg Sankey will assume the role of SEC Commissioner effective Monday, June 1. SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced his decision to transition his responsibilities to Sankey as the league’s annual Spring Meetings officially concluded.

Slive will remain with the SEC in an advisory role through the length of his contract, which expires on July 31. As previously announced by the SEC, Slive will begin his role as a consultant to the SEC for a period of four years, beginning August 1.

Slive was honored throughout the week at SEC Spring Meetings, culminating with the retiring Commissioner addressing the league membership a final time to close the annual awards banquet on Thursday evening. He originally announced his intentions to retire last October.

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Eight Cumberland baseball players earn NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors

Eight Cumberland baseball players earn NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Allen

Justin Byrd Cumberland

Eight Cumberland baseball players were named 2015 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes on Thursday. Student-athletes must be a junior or senior academically and maintain a 3.50 grade-point-average to be eligible for the award.

Seniors Tyler Alford, Justin Byrd, Clint Meadows and Stevie Smith along with juniors (or redshirt sophomores) Drew Chester, Nick Crawford, Dylan Lannom and Jackson Yates were all honored by the national office during the Avista-NAIA World Series.

Cumberland tied for the second most honorees by any one school along with Siena Heights University and American Institute of Business (AIB) registered the most with 13.

A total of 354 student-athletes from 131 institutions were named.

2015 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes
Tyler Alford – 3.72, Health and Human Performance
Justin Byrd – 3.66, Health and Human Performance
Drew Chester – 3.96, Health and Human Performance
Nick Crawford – 3.51, Marketing
Dylan Lannom – 3.78, Business Administration
Clint Meadows – 3.61, Health and Human Performance
Stevie Smith – 3.91, Management
Jackson Yates – 3.50, History/Business

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Auburn, Florida & South Carolina Set As Permanent UGA Home-and-Home Foes

Auburn, Florida & South Carolina Set As Permanent UGA Home-and-Home Foes

Posted on 28 May 2015 by Allen

Mark Fox UGA

Auburn, Florida and South Carolina have been designated as permanent men’s basketball home-and-home opponents for the Georgia Bulldogs beginning with the 2015-16 season, the SEC office announced on Thursday.

“I’m excited about the each of our permanent SEC opponents,” head coach Mark Fox said. “We are assured of having some of our traditional rivals come to Stegeman Coliseum every year. I think our fans will be excited about knowing that we’ll face those three teams in Athens each season.”

The 18-game conference schedule will feature each SEC team playing the other 13 teams at least one time. They will then play their three permanent opponents a second time and the remaining two games will be scheduled on a rotating basis. The 2016 men’s basketball schedule will be announced in August.

The Bulldogs are coming off of back-to-back 20-win seasons, just the second time Georgia has done so in 107 seasons of competition. The Bulldogs finished 21-12 in 2014-15 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament before falling to Michigan State, an eventual Final Four participant. That followed a 20-14 finish in 2013-14 when Georgia reached the second round of the NIT. The Bulldogs posted three consecutive 20-win seasons in 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98.

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Late Comeback Gives Nashville The Sweep

Late Comeback Gives Nashville The Sweep

Posted on 28 May 2015 by Allen


Brad Mills pitched brilliantly and Jason Pridie smoked a two-run triple in the eighth inning to propel the Sounds over Sacramento and secure the sweep against the River Cats with a 3-2 win at Raley Field on Thursday afternoon.

The four-game series sweep was Nashville’s first since June 9-12, 2014, when the Sounds swept Reno at Greer Stadium. It was also the first time the Sounds have swept the River Cats since the two teams began playing in 2000. The win propelled Nashville to a four-game winning streak, their best mark this season.

The three-run eighth inning began slowly as Nashville started the frame with a groundout, hit by pitch and fielder’s choice. But with two away, the Sounds made their push towards a huge rally. Joey Wendle singled which put Craig Gentry on third base. With runners at the corners, Ryan Roberts stayed perfect at the plate with his fourth single of the game. Gentry scored and Wendle moved to third on the line drive to center. Pridie then stepped in and on a full-count pitch, grounded a ball into the right field corner that went for a two-run triple. The deficit was quickly erased and Nashville held onto the 3-2 lead.

The Sounds were 1-21 when trailing after seven innings, but the three-run eighth was enough to break the chain. The one-run victory improved Nashville’s record to 6-10 in those games, as the Sounds moved to 20-27 overall on the season.

The Grizzlies took a quick 2-0 lead with a pair of solo home runs. Jarrett Parker led off the second with a homer and John Bowker started the third with a blast. The two home runs matched a season-high allowed by Sounds’ starter Brad Mills.

Mills kept his pitch count down through the early portions of the contest and got help by inducing his team-leading 10th groundball double play. The left-hander tossed 7.0 innings for the third consecutive start and pushed his quality start streak to five games by allowing just two runs. He gave up a walk and added a strikeout with his 80 pitches.

Pat Venditte notched a strikeout during a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Angel Castro, making his first appearance since a stint with Oakland, slammed the door to record his first save of the year.

Roberts led the offensive assault and had four of Nashville’s 10 hits in the victory. Anthony Aliotti collected two hits and was 8-for-16 with three doubles and five RBIs in the series at Raley Field.

The Sounds returns to Music City on Friday to face the Las Vegas 51s at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Chris Bassitt (1-3, 4.45) will go against Darin Gorski in the series opener. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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Skyhawks see improvement under Robinson

Skyhawks see improvement under Robinson

Posted on 28 May 2015 by Allen


The 2015 University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team posted several positives in its first season under head coach Rick Robinson.

The Skyhawks played considerably better as the season went on, compiling 17 wins and nine OVC victories this past spring. The 17 victories were the most for the program since 2011 while the nine conference wins rank as the second-highest OVC win total in school history, trailing only the 10-win teams from 2009 and 2011. UT Martin’s six road victories also marked the most for the program since 2010.

UT Martin seemed to have turned a corner in late March, winning 13 of its 17 games from that point forward. The Skyhawks posted a four-game winning streak for the second time since 2012 to begin that span and took three OVC series in that stretch. UT Martin knocked off then-league leader Belmont (March 27-29), won the OVC season series over Austin Peay for the first time since 1993 (May 1-3) and also won the road series at Eastern Illinois (May 8-10).

The Skyhawks also posted one of their most impressive victories in recent memory on April 7, defeating No. 15 Missouri State by a 6-2 margin. That marked the program’s first win over a ranked opponent since April 10, 2009. Despite the series loss, UT Martin played the Bears even on the scoreboard in the three-game series, holding its own against a Missouri State team that is currently 45-10 and enters this week’s NCAA Regionals as the No. 8 overall national seed.

UT Martin also nearly notched another big nonconference win at Memphis on May 12 before falling by a 2-1 margin in 16 innings. The Skyhawks were one strike away from the victory in the bottom of the ninth before the Tigers – who spent significant time in the national polls throughout the season – rallied for the walk-off win.

One area of significant improvement in 2015 was with the leather, as UT Martin posted a .963 fielding percentage. That marked the third-best season fielding percentage in program history, as the Skyhawks’ 72 errors in 52 games were the lowest since the 2009 team committed 63 errors.

The offensive numbers also proved to be a marked improvement from the recent past. UT Martin’s 493 hits were 116 more than last season and were also the most since the 2011 squad banged out 522 hits. The 2015 team also slammed 39 home runs (fourth-most for a single season in UT Martin history), nearly doubling last season’s total of 21.

A veteran-laden pitching staff also clicked throughout the season. The Skyhawk hurlers combined for 10 saves and 331 strikeouts, which ranks second and fourth, respectively, in UT Martin single season history.

Robinson bid farewell to several all-time greats in 2015. Despite only playing for two seasons, Taylor Douglas ranks eighth in program history in home runs (18) and ninth in doubles (33). His 72 hits, 18 doubles, 11 homers, 47 RBI’s and 127 total bases during his senior campaign all rank in the top-10 in UT Martin single season record book. Nico Zych concluded his four-year Skyhawk career ranked third in at-bats (675) and fifth in games played (189), hits (182) and assists (302). On the hill, Carter Smith put the finishing touches on his four-year UT Martin career by ranking fourth in strikeouts (175), seventh in innings pitched (213.1) and eighth in appearances (63).

Junior right-handed pitcher Patrick Bernard shattered the program’s single season and career record with eight saves, ranking second in the OVC in that category. His eight saves are tied for the most in school history and rank as the most in a single season at UT Martin.

Alex Martin’s 72 strikeouts (third), Matt Hirsch’s 32 walks (fifth) and Andrew Castillo’s 15 doubles (ninth) also rank near the top of their respective categories in the Skyhawk single season top-10 lists.

Meanwhile, Dillon Symon became the 10th player and fourth pitcher in UT Martin history to earn OVC All-Freshman accolades. Symon compiled a team-low 3.95 ERA over 20 appearances.

In addition, a pair of Skyhawks were honored as an adidas OVC Pitcher of the Week during the course of the 2015 campaign. Smith earned the award on Feb. 16 while freshman Matt Poteete garnered the accolade on April 20. It marked just the second time in program history that UT Martin accounted for multiple OVC Pitcher of the Week honorees in the same season.

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Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24