Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
Killian stout again, doesn’t give up run
Arkansas pitcher Trey Killian fires a pitch in the second inning of Tuesday afternoon's game against Texas A&M in the 2014 SEC baseball tournament at the Hoover Met in Hoover, Ala.
HOOVER, Ala. -- Trey Killian found a way to make sure he didn't suffer another hard-luck loss.
Just don't allow the other team to score.
ARKANSAS VS. OLE MISS
WHEN Approximately 12:30 p.m.
WHERE Hoover (Ala.) Metropolitan Stadium.
SEEDS Ole Miss is a No. 2 seed. Arkansas is a No. 7 seed.
RECORDS Arkansas 36-21, 17-14 SEC. Ole Miss 40-16, 19-11
RANKINGS Arkansas is No. 23 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. Ole Miss is No. 10 in Baseball America poll and No. 13 in Collegiate Baseball poll.
SERIES Arkansas leads 41-36
RADIO Razorbacks Sports Network statewide network. Not all games will be carried by all affiliates. Check local listings.
TELEVISION Fox Sports South in Northwest Arkansas, Comcast Sports in Little Rock.
PITCHING MATCHUP Arkansas: Chris Oliver (RHP 7-4, 2.63 ERA). Ole Miss: Chris Ellis (RHP 9-0, 2.12 ERA)
SHORT HOPS Arkansas improved to 24-33 all time in SEC Tournament games, including 9-11 in openers. … The Razorbacks are 3-1 against Texas A&M this season, which included winning 2 of 3 in Fayetteville. … The Razorbacks are 5-2 against the Aggies since Texas A&M joined the SEC. … Arkansas was 1-2 against Ole Miss in the regular season, losing 3-2 and 7-4 and winning 11-1 at Oxford, Miss. … Ole Miss had a first-round bye after winning the SEC West and having one of the top four overall SEC records.
Killian, with some relief help from Zach Jackson, pitched Arkansas to a 4-0 victory over Texas A&M on Tuesday at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in a first-round SEC Tournament elimination game.
The Razorbacks (36-21, 17-14 SEC) advanced to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and will play Ole Miss (40-16, 19-11) at 12:30 p.m. today.
Killian, a sophomore righthander from Mountain Home, went six innings while allowing 4 hits and 2 walks with 4 strikeouts. He threw 96 pitches.
“Honestly, I would be comfortable blindfolding myself and holding my glove out,” Arkansas freshman catcher Alex Gosser said of Killian’s control. “He makes me look good.”
Killian (4-8) lowered his season earned run average to 2.05 while holding an SEC team to three or fewer runs for the 10th time.
“Trey came out and did pretty much what Trey does every time he gets on the mound, and that’s just pepper the strike zone on both sides of the plate with his fastball mixed in with some change- ups and sliders,” Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. “He just did a terrific job on a short week of rest.”
Killian went six innings in the Razorbacks’ 9-4 victory at Missouri last Thursday when he held the Tigers to 4 hits, 2 runs and 2 walks with 9 strikeouts on 98 pitches.
“I was fine,” Killian said. “Our trainers got with me and we did some running and rehab to get my arm ready to come back on that short rest. I felt pretty good out there. I’m just glad we came out with a win.”
First baseman Eric Fisher hit a home run leading off the bottom of the second inning against Aggies starter Daniel Mengden (4-8) to give the Razorbacks a 1-0 lead.
“It’s a lot easier to pitch with a lead, even if it’s only one run,” Killian said.
Arkansas pushed its lead to 4-0 in the seventh inning when the Razorbacks knocked out Mengden with 3 runs on 2 hits, 2 hit batters and 1 walk.
Bobby Wernes started Arkansas’ three-run rally with a one-out walk and went to third on Tyler Spoon’s hit-andrun single. Gosser singled in Wernes, then Michael Bernal and Eagan were hit by pitches and Alex Benintendi walked to score Spoon and Gosser.
“We found a way to punch in some runs and kind of take control of the game,” Van Horn said.
The Aggies (33-24, 14-17) left eight runners on base, including two in the fifth inning when Killian worked out of jam with a double-play groundout. Texas A&M couldn’t advance runners from second base in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth innings.
“We had our chances, but we couldn’t get a big hit with runners in scoring position,” Texas A&M Coach Rob Childress said. “Then Arkansas took it away from us in the bottom half of the seventh.”
Jackson, a freshman righthander, pitched three scoreless innings to earn his second save of the season. He held the Aggies to three hits without a walk and had four strikeouts.
“What those guys really do well is locate their fastball,” Texas A&M catcher Troy Stein said of Killian and Jackson. “They make you hit their pitch, not the pitches we want to hit. They did a nice job of keeping us off balance.”
The Razorbacks have combined to score 35 runs in Killian’s 12 starts, and that includes 15 against Vanderbilt and Missouri.
“Looking at Killian’s record, you think, ‘Well, he’s just OK,’ but a lot of that’s because the wins and losses are out of his control,” Childress said. “You look at his innings pitched, his hits, walks and strikeouts, and he’s fabulous.”
VANDERBILT 3, TENNESSEE 2
Walker Buehler allowed two runs in eight-plus innings to lead Vanderbilt (41-15) past Tennessee (30-23).
Carson Fulmer replaced Buehler (10-2) after Nick Senzel led off the ninth with a double. Senzel reached third on a balk but was tagged out on Taylor Smart’s grounder. Fulmer picked off Smart at first and struck out Vincent Jackson for his 10th save.
Jackson and Derek Lance had RBI singles for Tennessee. Vanderbilt’s Ro Coleman singled home the go-ahead run in the second after Rhett Wiseman tripled.
KENTUCKY 7, ALABAMA 1
Kentucky (33-22) used a relentless offense and good pitching performances from A.J. Reed and Andrew Nelson to beat Alabama (34-22).
Reed (11-2) gave up one run over five innings. Nelson threw four scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits to earn his first save of the year. Storm Wilson, Matt Reida and JaVon Shelby all had two hits for the Wildcats.
MISSISSIPPI ST. 5, GEORGIA 4
Mississippi State blew a 4-2 lead in the ninth but won it in the 10th when Georgia catcher Brandon Stephens committed a throwing error that allowed Gavin Collins to score the winning run. Gavin Collins led off the bottom of the 10th with a single and Derrick Armstrong was hit by a pitch to move Collins to second. Jake Vickerson put down a sacrifice bunt, but Stephen’s errant throw allowed Collins to come around and score the winning run.
Vanderbilt 3, Tenneessee 2
Arkansas 4, Texas A&M 0
Kentucky 7, Alabama 1 Mississippi State 5, Georgia 4 (10)
TODAY’S GAMES All times Central
LSU vs. Vanderbilt, 9:30 a.m.
Ole Miss vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m.
Florida vs. Kentucky, 4:30 p.m. South Carolina vs. Mississippi St., 8 p.m.
Sports on 05/21/2014