In & around SEC baseball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

Week 8 review
Auburn

The Tigers won a pivotal series over SEC West foe Ole Miss last weekend. After losing the first game of the series, Auburn rallied and won the next two games. The Tigers have 18 come-from-behind victories this season. Auburn improved to 28-19 overall and 9-15 in conference play. Head coach John Pawlowski’s team travels to Gainesville this weekend to take on Florida.

Alabama

The Crimson Tide lost two heartbreaking games in extra innings as they were swept by Mississippi State last weekend in Starkville. Alabama dropped to 28-21 overall and 11-12 in league play. The Crimson Tide will return home this weekend to take on Missouri.

SEC baseball rankings
 1. Vanderbilt (41-6, 21-2)
 2. LSU (43-6, 19-5)
 3. Arkansas (32-16, 15-8)
 4. South Carolina (33-14, 13-10)
 5. Mississippi State (36-13, 13-11)
 6. Florida (27-23, 12-12)
 7. Ole Miss (33-16, 12-12)
 8. Kentucky (28-19, 10-14)
 9. Alabama (28-21, 11-12)
 10. Texas A&M (26-22, 10-13)
 11. Auburn (28-19, 9-15)
 12. Missouri (15-28, 7-17)
 13. Georgia (17-28, 5-16)
 14. Tennessee (18-26, 6-16)

Week 9 Previews and Predictions
Thursday, May 9 – Sunday, May 12

LSU at Texas A&M. Both the Aggies and Tigers are coming off of impressive sweeps from last weekend. Texas A&M swept former Big 12 rival Missouri, while LSU convincingly beat Florida in three straight. The Tigers are close to wrapping up the SEC West, and they will likely be the No. 2 seed in the SEC tournament. The Aggies currently are ninth overall in the league. Series prediction: LSU 3, Texas A&M 0.

Auburn at Florida. While the Tigers are coming off of possibly their best series win of the season, the Gators are fresh off of an embarrassing performance in Baton Rouge. Florida has been dominant at home during conference play, however, which does not bode well for an Auburn team that has stru-ggled mightily on the road. Series prediction: Florida 3, Auburn 0.

Missouri at Alabama. Missouri and Alabama both were swept last weekend, but the Tigers’ performance was much more da-maging. Missouri is only one game ahead of Tennessee for the No. 12 seed in the SEC tournament.The Tigers might be in trouble if they cannot pick up at least one win this weekend in Tuscaloosa. Series prediction: Alabama 3, Missouri 0.

Tennessee at Arkansas. Tennessee lost one game to Georgia over the weekend, and the other two games were canceled due to rain. Unfortunately for the Volunteers, that may have been their best chance for a series win for the rest of the season. The Vols currently are a game behind Missouri in the race for the No. 12 seed. On the other hand, Arkansas won a crucial series on the road at Kentucky. The Hogs are playing great baseball right now and are a contender to win the SEC tournament in a few weeks. Series prediction: Arkansas 3, Tennessee 0.

Georgia at South Carolina. The Bulldogs picked up one win over the weekend and are now only two games out of 12th place. However, Georgia must travel and play one of the league’s best teams this weekend. South Carolina lost to Vanderbilt twice last weekend. The losses did not necessarily hurt the Gamecocks, but a win over the conference’s best team would have been a huge momentum boost.     Series prediction: South Carolina 3, Georgia 0.

Vanderbilt at Kentucky. The Commodores clinched the SEC East after beating South Carolina twice last weekend. Vandy lost only two conference games all season. Kentucky lost a home series to Arkansas. The Wildcats could potentially steal a game this weekend, but their hitting will have to be dynamic. Series prediction: Vanderbilt 2, Kentucky 1.

Series of the Week

Mississippi State at Ole Miss. While the stakes for this series are not necessarily high given each team’s placement in the SEC West, both teams desperately want to win for bragging rights. The Bulldogs beat the Rebels once earlier in the season, although that game did not count in the league standings. Mississippi State swept Alabama over the weekend, while the Rebels somehow managed to lose two games to Auburn. There is a chance both of these teams could meet in the SEC tournament. Series prediction: Ole Miss 2, Mississippi State 1.
    

 
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