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Aaron Nola fires first career complete game shutout in win over Cardinals
04/18/2021 10:55pm

PHILADELPHIA -- &mdash&nbspAaron Nola&nbsplaughed when he said he was ready to fight if Phillies manager Joe Girardi didnt let him start the ninth inning.No rumble needed.I knew he had never had a nine-inning shutout and that was important to him and thats why I let him go, Girardi said.Nola struck out 10 and threw a two-hitter for his first nine-inning shutout in the majors, leading the&nbspPhiladelphia Phillies&nbspto a 2-0 win over the&nbspSt. Louis Cardinals&nbspon Sunday.Bryce Harper&nbsphomered and had three hits for the Phillies.Nola threw a pair of doubleheader-shortened complete games last season, including a shutout. But he never pitched into the ninth inning over his first 142 career starts.First baseman&nbspRhys Hoskins&nbsptossed Nola the ball and saluted the righty after the final out. Nola 1-1 threw 109 pitches and did little more than give a small fist bump when he completed the milestone.Nola pitched like the ace the Phillies need if they want to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Nola allowed only two singles and retired 13 straight going into the eighth. He did not walk a batter.Nolan needed to become a stopper -- and he came up big a day after the Cardinals 9-4 win, shutting down for a day the critics that say hes not a true ace in a division loaded with stars like&nbspMax Scherzer&nbspand&nbspJacob deGrom.For sure I hear it and, no it doesnt bother me, Nola said.He took no-decisions in his first two starts and lost his last outing, when he needed 92 pitches to get through five innings against the&nbspNew York Mets. Nola had a nine-pitch first on Sunday, and struck out two in the second, setting the tone for one of the more dominant starts of his career.Harper sat out Saturdays loss after waking up with tightness in his lower back. The Phillies star outfielder looked fine when he crushed his third homer of the year into the second deck in right. His 111.8 mph shot off righty&nbspJohn Gant&nbsp0-1 went 425 feet.Harper came in batting .238 &mdash yet ranked a solid 11th with a .994 OPS. He also walked and doubled off Gant, and Harper singled off reliever&nbspGiovanny Gallegos&nbspin the seventh.Because of the balky back, Harper said he might need a game or two a month off the rest of the year to protect his health for the long haul and would be smarter and more cautious off the field.September, October, absolutely, Im going to go out there and do my job to win games, Harper said.Gant struck out five and walked five in five innings.&nbspAlec Bohm&nbsptouched him for a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning for a 2-0 lead.Nola has long been considered Philadelphias ace, often by success like his 17-win season in 2018. Sometimes by default, when he won 17 games combined over the last two seasons at the top of an underwhelming staff. Nola was the seventh overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft and quickly reached the majors the following year.I think of you look at his numbers every year, it says ace, Girardi said.Yadier Molina&nbspled off the second with a single and that was the Cardinals only hit until&nbspPaul DeJong&nbspsingled to open the eighth. Nola struck out&nbspAustin Dean&nbspto end the eighth and earned a rousing ovation from 10,876 fans at Citizens Bank Park. It was Nolas 10th strikeout, his 17th career double-digit game.The Cardinals fell to 7-8 with a team batting average of .221.Its not, &lsquoKumbaya, everythings OK. Thats not it, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.HAPPY BIRTHDAYThe Phillies celebrated the Phillie Phanatics birthday with cake, a card signed by fans, high-fives from the other city mascots such as Gritty, and videotaped well-wishes from Harper and other Philadelphia athletes and entertainment stars. The Phanatic made his debut &mdash rather, was born &mdash in 1978.HR STREAK SNAPPEDThe Cardinals had homered in 17 straight games at Citizens Bank Park.I think its too early to press the panic button on this offense, Cardinals second baseman&nbspMatt Carpenter&nbspsaid. No one is more disappointed with the way this is going than me.UP NEXTThe Cardinals send RHP Jack Flaherty&nbsp2-0, 4.11 ERA to the mound Monday against Washington. The Nationals have not named a starter. Flaherty has allowed four hits and struck out 12 over his last 11 innings.Former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler returns for the first time since he was fired after the 2019 season to lead the Giants in for a three-game set. The Giants send RHP&nbspKevin Gausman&nbsp0-0, 3.20 ERA to the mound against Philadelphia RHP&nbspChase Anderson&nbsp0-1, 4.00 ERA.The Phillies went 80-82 in 2018 and 81-81 in 2019 with two September collapses under Kapler.I plan on getting a little bit of time with some people I grew close to during my time in Philly, he said Sunday.Permalink Comments

Southeastern baseball sweeps third Southland series with series sweep of SFA
04/18/2021 10:44pm

NACOGDOCHES, Texas &ndash&nbspSoutheastern Louisiana swept a Southland Conference doubleheader from Stephen F. Austin, 9-6 in eight innings and 5-3 in seven innings, Sunday at Jaycees Field to maintain its hold on first place in the Southland Conference standings.&nbspThe Lions 24-12, 17-7 SLC sit two games up on both Sam Houston 19-16, 15-9 SLC as well as upcoming opponent New Orleans 20-16, 15-9 SLC. SFA 12-20, 9-11 SLC falls into a tie for ninth with Lamar 17-13, 9-11 SLC, six games back.&nbspGAME ONE &ndash Southeastern 9, SFA 6 8 inningsBoth teams stranded a multitude of runners over the first three innings before Southeastern broke the scoreless tie in the fourth.&nbspJacob Burke&nbspled off the fourth with a double into the left-center field gap. One out later the Lions strung together four consecutive singles by&nbspChamp Artigues&nbspRBI,&nbspEli Johnson&nbspRBI,&nbspRhett Rosevear&nbspand&nbspEvan Keller&nbspRBI to generate three runs.&nbspPreston Faulkner&nbspled off the fifth with a solo home run to left field, pushing the lead to 4-0. It was his team-leading fifth homer of the season.&nbspIn the bottom of the inning, the Lumberjacks cut into the lead with three runs of their own.&nbspThe Lions responded immediately.&nbspEli Johnson&nbspled off the sixth with a solo homer, his second of the season, giving Southeastern a 5-3 lead. The next batter,&nbspRhett Rosevear, was hit by a pitch. Breaking on the pitch, he went first-to-third on a groundout and then scored on&nbspTyler Finkes&nbspsacrifice fly to center.&nbspIn a game scheduled to go seven innings, Southeastern entered the bottom of the seventh with a 6-3 lead. The Lumberjacks scored three off a pair of Lion relievers to tie the game and force extra innings.&nbspSoutheastern wasted little time in regaining the lead. Rosevear drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Finke worked a one-out walk and then stole second base, forcing SFA to intentionally walk&nbspChristian Garcia&nbspto load the bases. Faulkner followed with a sacrifice fly to right, plating Rosevear with the go-ahead run.&nbspJoe Delaney&nbspdrew a walk and the catcher&nbspGaby Cruz&nbsppulled a bases-loaded single through the left side, driving in two.&nbspKyle Flettrich&nbspworked a perfect eighth inning to earn his second save of the season.&nbspTrey Harrington&nbsp1-0 earned the win in relief, getting the final out of the seventh. SFA reliever Tod Gauthe 1-1 suffered the loss, allowing three runs &ndash all earned &ndash in one inning pitched.&nbspJohnson 2-for-4, Keller 2-for-4 and Rosevear 2-for-2 picked up a pair of hits each with Rosevear reaching base in all four trips to the plate.&nbspGAME TWO &ndash Southeastern 5, SFA 3 7 inningsThe Lions struck early, picking up three runs in the second inning.&nbspArtigues laced a one-out single to left and Johnson worked a walk. Rosevear pulled an RBI single through the right side and&nbspBryce Grizzaffi&nbspfollowed with an RBI double to left. Finked drove in another run with a two-out infield single.&nbspGrizzaffi singled and came around to score another run in the fourth.&nbspSoutheastern extended its lead to 5-0 in the fifth. Burke and Artigues were hit by pitches to open up the inning, chasing SFA starter Joseph Sgambelluri 2-2 from the game. Grizzaffi ripped a two-out single to left, scoring Burke.&nbspThe Lumberjacks reached&nbspBrennan Stuprich&nbsp4-1 for an unearned run in the sixth, snapping his scoreless streak at 14.1 innings. SFA threatened to tie up the game in the seventh, picking up a pair of runs.&nbspStuprich earned the win, allowing three runs &ndash one earned &ndash in a complete-game effort. He scattered eight hits and three walks, striking out five. Sgambelluri suffered the loss, allowing all five Lion runs in four innings pitched.Permalink Comments

LSU baseball drops Saturday doubleheader, series to South Carolina
04/17/2021 10:54pm

BATON ROUGE, La. &ndash Fifth-ranked South Carolina posted two seven-inning wins over LSU Saturday in Alex Box Stadium, as the Gamecocks defeated the Tigers by scores of 4-2 and 9-0 in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.South Carolina is 24-10 overall and 10-5 in the SEC, while LSU is 21-14 overall and 4-11 in conference play.The Tigers are back in action on Tuesday when they face the ULM Warhawks at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed on SEC Network and will be carried on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates.LSU held a 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning of the first game, but the Gamecocks struck for four runs and held on for the 4-2 victory.In the nightcap, South Carolina starting pitcher&nbspWill Sanders 6-1 worked six shutout innings to lead the Gamecocks to the win.We were very close to having a great series win against the No. 5 team in the country, said LSU coach&nbspPaul Mainieri, but we werent able to close out the first game. Obviously, it was a tough day for us. You have a chance to win the first game and win the series, and it turns out to be a heartbreaking loss.We tried to put that loss behind us in between games, but its easier said than done. We were trying to piece our pitching together in the second game and trying to figure out how to adjust to the loss of a great starting pitcher Jaden Hill. We just didnt get off to a good start and got ourselves in a hole right away. From here, weve just got to keeping taking one game at a time and get ready for the next challenges.LSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning of Game 1 when third baseman&nbspCade Doughty&nbsplined an RBI double, and the Tigers extended the advantage to 2-0 in the second on second baseman&nbspZach Arnolds&nbspsacrifice fly.Meanwhile LSU starting pitcher&nbspAJ Labas&nbspblanked South Carolina through the first six innings before the Gamecocks rallied in the seventh. First baseman David Mendham and catcher Colin Burgess hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, and pinch hitter Noah Myers bunted the runners to second and third.Devin Fontenot&nbsprelieved Labas and gave up a two-run double to second baseman Braylen Wimmer to tie the game 2-2. Fontenot hit shortstop George Callil with a pitch before centerfielder Brady Allen broke the tie with a two-RBI double.South Carolina right-hander Brett Kerry retired the Tigers in order in the bottom of the seventh to earn his third save of the season. Reliever Andrew Peters 3-1, who worked the fifth and sixth innings for the Gamecocks, was credited with the win as he allowed on runs on one hit with one walk and two strikeouts.Fontenot 1-2 was charged with the loss as he allowed two runs on two hits in 0.2 inning with one strikeout. Labas worked 6.1 innings and was charged with two runs on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts.Sanders 6-1 walked one and recorded four strikeouts in Game 2, limiting the Tigers to no run on five hits in six innings.LSU starter&nbspBlake Money&nbsp1-2&nbspwas charged with the loss, as he allowed five runs on five hits in one inning with one walk and one strikeout.Mendhams two-run homer in the first inning gave the Gamecocks and early lead they would not relinquish. South Carolina collected 14 hits in the contest, including a 3-for-4 effort by rightfielder Andrew Eyster, who drove in a run and scored twice.Permalink Comments

Pass heavy offensive attack gives White Team a victory over Purple Team in LSU spring game
04/17/2021 4:02pm

BATON ROUGE &ndash LSU freshman quarterback&nbspGarrett Nussmeier&nbspfound wide receiver&nbspKoy Moore&nbspfrom 4 yards out in the waning seconds of the 2021 National L Club LSU Spring Game presented by Tony Chacheres to secure the White team a 23-14 win over the Purple team on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium.LSUs four quarterbacks combined for 512 yards in passing offense as they rotated between the two teams and combined for four touchdowns. Senior&nbspMyles Brennan&nbspcompleted 12-of-20 attempts for 116 yards with one touchdown pass. Sophomore&nbspMax Johnson&nbspwas 11-of-17 passing for 180 yards and a game-high two touchdown passes, while sophomore&nbspTJ Finley&nbspwas 10-of-18 for 84 yards. Nussmeier finished 15-for-25 passing for 132 yards and the final touchdown pass of the game.The White team struck first on its second drive of the afternoon, capping off an eight-play, 38-yard drive with a 50-yard field goal from placekicker&nbspCade York&nbspto lead 3-0. Whites defense continued the strong start to the game on the following drive when cornerback&nbspRaydarious Jones&nbspintercepted Finleys pass on 3rd-and-7 to register the first turnover in the game.With 8:14 left in the second quarter, York once again got the White team on the board by finishing an eight-play, 51-yard drive with a 47-yard field goal to extend the lead to 6-0. The White team once again followed up a scoring drive with a defensive turnover, this time with linebacker&nbspAntoine Sampah&nbspintercepting Nussmeier on third-and-6. On the ensuing drive, placekicker&nbspPreston Stafford&nbsppushed Whites lead to 9-0 with a 27-yard field goal with 1:38 left to play in the half.Three plays after Staffords field goal, Team White outside linebacker&nbspSoni Fonua&nbspforced a fumble in open field that saw freshman defensive back&nbspDerrick Davis Jr.&nbsprecover the ball for White. Brennan led an eight-play, 52-yard drive that ended with a 39-yard touchdown to wide receiver&nbspKayshon Boutte&nbspto score the first touchdown of the game and give White a 16-0 lead at halftime.The Purple team began the second half strongly, stopping White on fourth-and-1 to force a turnover on downs. Purple followed the defensive stop with a five-play, 50-yard drive that was capped off by a 47-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to wide receiver&nbspJontre Kirklin&nbspthat cut Purples deficit to 16-7 with 6:29 left in the third quarter.Following a defensive stop from Purple, Johnson once again found Kirklin in the endzone, this time from 19 yards out to end a five-play, 61-yard drive and bring the score to 16-14. On the following drive, cornerback&nbspDerek Stingley Jr.&nbspintercepted a deep pass from Finley along the left sideline to give Purple its first turnover of the game.Defense shined in the fourth quarter, with both White and Purple holding their offensive foes to limited yards.&nbspJay Ward&nbspgot Purples second turnover of the afternoon, picking off Nussmeier at Whites 43-yard line. Following a three-and-out drive for Purple, linebacker&nbspJared Small&nbspsecured the final turnover of the game after intercepting Nussmeier and returning the ball 34 yards into the red zone. Following three unsuccessful plays, Staffords field goal from 48 sailed wide of the mark and the score remained 16-14 in favor of White.Nussmeier recovered quickly, leading an eight-play, 70-yard drive that ended with his touchdown pass to Moore that gave White a 23-14 walk off win.Running back&nbspTyrion Davis-Price&nbspled the afternoon in rushing yards, with 76 yards on 15 attempts. In the receiving game, Boutte and Kirklin both had strong days, with Kirklin leading with 166 yards and two touchdowns on 10 catches while Boutte had 162 yards and one touchdown on 11 catches.The Tigers now will concentrate on the end of the spring semester team turns their attention to the start of the 2021 football season on Saturday, September 4, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.Postgame QuotesLSU Head Coach Ed OgeronOpening Statement&hellipIn the beginning of spring we asked our guys to give us 15 great days and they did, as did our coaching staff. Our coaching staff has gelled and done a great job of creating a positive energy and culture. We have had some tremendous practices. We put in a lot of offense and defense. Obviously, we were limited today in what we were going to do. We didnt do a lot offensively and obviously a whole lot of defense and none of our special teams. I thought that we gave the quarterbacks a very good shot today. Each one of them had a shot. It was a struggle for offense today. It was a good job on defense. I think when you look at our secondary, theyre probably the most improved out of everybody on our football team.&nbspDaronte Jones&nbsphas done a tremendous job. Those guys were playing solid football today. Today we played maybe two coverages, and didnt blitz. I thought the front played well. For the linebackers, the tackles went well. Offense has shown a better production than they showed today. Im just going to give it to the defense. Overall, a great spring game.On&nbspJared Small&nbspand&nbspJontre Kirklin&nbspshowing out today &hellipYeah, its good to see. To be honest with you,&nbspJared Small&nbsphas had a great spring. I havent mentioned him much, but he is going to play for us. He has played very well. Jontre has had a good spring as well. He was limited for some days that he was hurt. I am very proud of those guys. Both guys are fifth year seniors. Theyre very experienced and both of them had a good game. It was good to see. But that is what we have been seeing every day in practice.On what he saw today in regard to the quarterbacks &hellipI have to look at it on film, but I am looking at Miles Brennan 11 for 15, 106 passing yard. I think Max Johnson was 8 of 13, with 77 passing. Garrett Nussmeier 7 of 12, TJ Finley 4 of 9. I think what you saw out there today is what you will see in spring ball. We come off the field and one day Garrett could be the best quarterback, then the next day it was TJ and, then the next day it was Miles, then the next day it was Max. I think that when we come back to camp, we are going to have to designate a certain amount of reps for certain guys. We will give the first and second guy more reps. I think that is going to be a process during camp.LSU Offensive Lineman&nbspEd IngramOn LSUs offense resembling the 2019 team&hellipIts good to show people we can be that same kind of offense again. We could possibly be better, but we have some stuff to work on. We did not do everything we wanted to do today, we made a few mistakes, but this offense is looking great. We had some signs of life and a few big plays and the stuff we did today was amazing.On the offense and defense feeding of each others momentum&hellipI mean we feed off each others energy. You have the defense playing well one week and then it fires up the offense and the next week we go at it again. It kind of correlated with the scrimmage today. We are cheering on each other. We may get beat, but we still cheer each other on. That is the DNA we are building here right now. Im proud of the guys for encouraging each other. At the end of the day, we are all one team, and this is the best team we will play, so if we can do it against each other, we can definitely do that to an opponent.&nbspOn what to expect from the offense during the season&hellip&nbspWe have a lot of stuff coming. We wanted to hold some stuff back today, but that was just a taste of what the offense will look life. Yall are in for a show when the season comes.&nbspLSU Wide Receiver&nbspKayshon BoutteOn how the new offense with&nbspJake Peetz&nbspfelt&hellipI feel like it was good today, he showed a little bit, but not too much because its just a spring game. We practiced hard all spring for it, and we showed out today. We could improve in some areas, but I think all together we did good as an offense and defense theres always room for improvement.On the battles between receivers and corner backs in the spring&hellipIts been like that every day, all day, every practice. Everybody talks their noise, its all about the one-on-ones, and you have to win yours.On what he saw from the quarterbacks&hellipI feel like we honestly have the best quarterback room in the country. All of them are getting better at times, were all working on things, running routes and everything, but altogether I think they played good as a quarterback room.Permalink Comments

Southern wins third straight Bayou Classic in rout of Grambling 49-7
04/17/2021 3:40pm

Thanks to a high flying offense and an even better defense Southern takes down Grambling 49-7 to push their Bayou Classic winning streak to three. Quarterback Ladarius Skelton with almost 200 yards of total offense all by himself. Skelton was named game MVP for third straight time. Jags now lead Bayou Classic series 24-23.&nbspPermalink Comments

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