By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Alabama Week 9 review
The Crimson Tide could not capitalize on the success of sweeping Auburn. Alabama followed up its unlikely sweep of the Tigers with the opposite result against Florida last weekend. The Gators won the series opener, 2-1, and dominated the second game, 13-6. Florida took the series finale, 10-5, to complete the sweep. The Tide fell to 19-32 overall and 5-22 in conference play. Alabama finishes the regular season this weekend (May 18-20) with a road series at Vanderbilt.
Auburn Week 9 review
For the second consecutive weekend, a division rival swept Auburn. The Tigers lost three games against LSU, including a 9-1 thumping in the series finale. LSU won the opening game, 4-0, and took the second game, 5-3. Less than three weeks ago, Auburn was leading the SEC West. The Tigers are now in fifth place in the division. Auburn dropped to 32-21 overall and 14-13 in league play. The Tigers host Ole Miss to end the regular season.
SEC baseball rankings
1. Florida (38-14, 19-8)
2. LSU (36-17, 17-10)
3. Mississippi State (34-19, 17-10)
4. Kentucky (37-16, 18-9)
5. Arkansas (37-14, 16-10)
6. Texas A&M(35-18, 15-12)
7. Auburn (32-21, 14-13)
8. Vanderbilt (31-21, 13-13)
9. Ole Miss (31-22, 13-14)
10. South Carolina (31-21, 12-15)
11. Missouri (32-21, 11-16)
12. Georgia (23-30, 9-18)
13. Tennessee (27-22, 7-18)
14. Alabama (19-32, 5-22)
Week 10 preview and predictions
Series of the Week: LSU at Mississippi State. The Tigers and Bulldogs square off this weekend with the SEC West Division title on the line. Depending on what happens in the Kentucky-Florida series, the outright regular season title could also be up for grabs. These two programs are no strangers to dominance in baseball, and both have the potential to make a deep run into the postseason. Series Prediction: Mississippi State 2, LSU 1.
Kentucky at Florida. The SEC East title will be decided when these two teams meet this weekend in Gainesville. Florida has a one-game lead on Ken-tucky heading into the series, and they have been playing as well as anyone in the country over the last few weeks. The outright SEC regular season title is also on the line, and the winner of this series will have a good chance at being the top seed in the SEC Tournament. Prediction: Florida 2, Kentucky 1.
Missouri at Tennessee. The Volunteers are on the outside looking in as far as the SEC Tournament is concerned and need some help if they want to make the 12-team field. Tennessee is a game back of Georgia in the standings, so the Vols will need at least two wins – and possibly a sweep of Missouri – to make the conference tournament. Series Prediction: Tennessee 2, Missouri 1.
Ole Miss at Auburn. Auburn was ranked in the top 10 a few weeks ago, but the Tigers stumbled in recent weeks and now find themselves in the middle of the pack in the SEC. It’s now unlikely that Auburn will even host a regional, but a late-season surge could change things. Ole Miss is in the same predicament as the Tigers, but the Rebels will likely be traveling in the NCAA Tournament. Series Prediction: Auburn 2, Ole Miss 1.
Georgia at South Carolina. The Bulldogs must fight off Tennessee for the last spot in the SEC Tournament field but do have a one-game lead on the Vols entering this weekend. One win could secure a spot in the conference tournament, but two wins would certainly do the trick. Series Prediction: South Carolina 2, Georgia 1.
Alabama at Vanderbilt. Alabama has been eliminated from postseason contention, so the Crimson Tide’s season will come to an end this weekend. It has been a difficult season for UA in Greg Goff’s first season, but next year should be much better. The highlight of the season for Alabama was sweeping Auburn and possibly derailing the Tigers’ season. Series Prediction: Vanderbilt 3, Alabama 0.
Arkansas at Texas A&M. The Razorbacks and the Aggies are in similar positions as far as the postseason is concerned. Both teams could possibly host a regional, but a No. 2 seed is far more likely unless they go on a run to end the season. Series Prediction: Texas A&M 2, Arkansas 1.
In & around SEC baseball
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent