South Alabama’s hitters did a number on Florida today in a jaw-dropping 19-1 victory that eliminated the Gators — once the nation’s No. 1 team — from the Gainesville Regional. Also due some major props is Miles Smith, a former Pearl River Community College standout from Laurel who pitched the first six innings and limited the Gators to one run on five hits with five strikeouts. Smith departed after the Jaguars scored 10 runs in the sixth inning to take a 14-1 lead. Smith (7-1 this season) won 15 games over his two seasons at PRCC, including a 9-3 mark on the 2019 club that went to the juco World Series. … While Reed Trimble and Christopher Sargent were fueling an eye-popping offensive assault by Southern Miss on Southeast Missouri State today in the Oxford Regional, Walker Powell was getting it done on the mound. Powell pitched six dominant innings, holding SEMO to four hits while fanning four in the Golden Eagles’ 21-0 win in an elimination game. Powell, C-USA’s pitcher of the year, improved to 10-2 on the year.
As a middle reliever on a bad team, Chris Stratton isn’t going to get many headlines. The Mississippi State alum from Tupelo deserved one on Friday, though a couple of other players with Mississippi connections likely stole them. Stratton retired all 11 batters he faced in Pittsburgh’s 9-2 win over Miami and earned his first save of the season, second career. The veteran right-hander, a converted starter, has a 2.90 ERA, a win and five holds in 22 games for the Pirates, who are 22-34. Don’t blame Adam Frazier for that poor record. Frazier, a teammate of Stratton’s at MSU years ago, went 2-for-3 with two walks, three runs and two RBIs on Friday. Bidding for the All-Star Game, he has 22 multi-hit games and is batting .338 (.402 OBP) with 21 RBIs as the Pirates’ leadoff batter. Even Frazier’s big night might have been overshadowed by Ke’Bryan Hayes’. With his father Charlie, the Hattiesburg native and former big leaguer, in the house at PNC Park, the younger Hayes went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in his second game since coming off the 60-day injured list. The rookie third baseman is 5-for-13 with two homers on the season. His dad got to see him homer in the majors in person for the first time. P.S. Down in Triple-A, ex-Petal High star Anthony Alford, who opened 2021 as the Bucs’ center fielder, enjoyed a good night: 4-for-5 with his third homer of the year in Indianapolis’ twinbill sweep against Columbus. Alford, hoping for a return to The Show, is hitting .226 for the Indianapolis club. He was batting .083 when the Pirates designated him for assignment and sent him down.