In & around SEC baseball

May 25, 2017 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Alabama Week 10 Review
Alabama’s rebuilding season ended with two los-ses and a tie against Vanderbilt last weekend. The Commodores dominated the first game, 18-1, and cruised to a 13-1 victory in the nightcap. Alabama led the series finale 3-1 late but Vandy stormed back to tie the game before storms brought the game to a halt at 3-3. The Crimson Tide finished the season at 19-34-1 overall and 5-19-1 in league play. Alabama wasn’t expected to be a great team in Greg Goff’s first season, but the program needs to take a big step forward in 2018.
Auburn Week 10 Review
After being swept in back-to-back series, Auburn finally ended its losing streak by winning two games in the season finale series against Ole Miss. The Tigers won the opener, 4-1, and their bats came alive in a 9-1 victory in the second game. The Rebels bounced back to take the final game, 8-4.
The Rebels and the Tigers finished their series last Saturday (May 20) and then squared off in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover. Auburn defeated Ole Miss, 5-4, behind a solid pitching performance from Casey Mize, who struck out nine batters in the win. Auburn advanced to the double elimination portion of the tournament. Blake Logan blasted a home run to give the Tigers the lead late in the game. Auburn improved to 35-22 overall and 16-14 in conference play.
SEC baseball rankings
1. Florida (40-15, 21-9)
2. LSU (39-17, 21-19)
3. Kentucky (38-18,19-11)
4. Arkansas (39-15, 18-11)
5. Mississippi State (35-22, 17-13)
6. Auburn (35-22, 16-14)
7. Texas A&M (36-21, 16-14)
8. Vanderbilt (33-22-1, 15-13-1)
9. Ole Miss (32-25, 14-16)
10.Missouri (36-21, 14-16)
11. South Carolina (33-23, 13-17)
12.Georgia (25-32, 11-19)
13. Tennessee (27-25, 7-21)
14. Alabama (19-34-1, 5-24-1)
SEC Tournament Preview
There are two teams clearly ahead of the rest in the SEC entering the annual conference tournament in Hoover.
Over the last half of the conference schedule, Florida and LSU separated themselves from the rest of the league. The Gators and Tigers have a share of the conference regular season title after winning the SEC East and SEC West divisions, respectively. These two programs are no strangers to success in baseball. Since 2008, LSU has won five SEC Tournament championships, while Florida has won two. Florida earned the No. 1 seed for this year’s tournament, while LSU is No. 2.
While those two powerhouses are the favorites, several other teams are capable of vying for the tournament championship. Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi State have each shown flashes of do-minance throughout the season but they haven’t been as consistent as LSU or Florida.
Auburn is also capable of making a run, though the Tigers stumbled down the stretch after an impressive start to the season.
Four teams already have been eliminated – Ole Miss, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M. The Rebels, Commodores and Aggies all should make the NCAA Tournament, but the Bulldogs’ season has come to an end.
The remainder of the tournament is double elimination, and it will be difficult for anyone to knock off Florida or LSU twice. Stranger things have happened, but the Gators and Tigers are prohibitive favorites to meet in the SEC championship game.
SEC Tournament championship prediction: Florida over LSU