By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Auburn Week 9 Review
Auburn dropped a home series against No. 7 Georgia after losing the series finale, 10-8. The Tigers overcame a 7-2 deficit and tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the seventh inning but the Bulldogs scored three additional runs in the top of the eighth to take the lead for good. Georgia dominated the first game, 11-2, but Auburn responded with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings in the second game. The Tigers fell to 31-21 overall and 13-14 in league play. Auburn travels to Baton Rouge this weekend (May 16-18) for its final series of the regular season.
Alabama Week 9 Review
The three games between Alabama and Texas A&M all were decided by one run, and the Crimson Tide lost two of those games to remain tied for last place in the conference. Alabama lost the opener, 3-2, but rebounded with a 2-1 victory in the second behind seven solid innings from local product Brock Love. The junior from Southside allowed only six hits, one walk and one earned run as he earned his fifth win of the season. In the series finale, the Aggies edged the Tide, 6-5, after building an early 5-0 lead in the first inning. Alabama made a late rally and cut the deficit to a run in the bottom of the ninth but could not bring the tying run home. The Tide dropped to 30-23 overall and 7-20 in conference play. UA finishes the regular season with a road series at Georgia.
SEC baseball rankings
1. Vanderbilt (42-10, 20-7)
2. Arkansas (39-13, 19-8)
3. Mississippi State (43-10, 18-9)
4. Georgia (39-14, 18-9)
5. Ole Miss (32-21, 15-12)
6. Texas A&M (34-18-1, 14-12-1)
7. LSU (32-21, 15-12)
8. Auburn (31-21, 13-14)
9. Missouri (34-18-1, 13-13-1)
10. Florida (30-23, 10-17)
11. Tennessee (36-17, 12-15)
12. Kentucky (26-26, 7-20)
13. Alabama (30-23, 7-20)
14. South Carolina (27-25, 7-20)
Week 10 Previews and Predictions
Series of the Week: Arkansas at Texas A&M. Both the Razorbacks and Aggies are solidly in the NCAA Tournament field, and the Hogs are in position to win the SEC West Division and possibly the conference overall. Arkansas is only a game behind Vanderbilt for the top overall sees in the SEC, though the Commodores have an easier series this weekend. Texas A&M currently is projected as a No. 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament and is coming off of a series victory on the road over Alabama. Series Prediction: Arkansas 2, Texas A&M 1.
Vanderbilt at Kentucky. The Wildcats had an opportunity to create separation from Alabama and South Carolina in the SEC standings but lost two of three games on the road against the Gamecocks. Now, there is a three-way tie for last place in the league, and only one team will advance to the SEC Tournament. Ken-tucky will need at least one win against Vanderbilt, a tough task considering the Commodores might be the best team in college baseball. Series Prediction: Vanderbilt 3, Kentucky 0.
Ole Miss at Tennessee. While neither of these teams can win the SEC or a division title, both remain in position to make the NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss is comfortably in the field, while Tennessee has some work to do to ensure a postseason berth. The Vo-lunteers need at least one win this weekend, and a series win certainly would certainly help their cause. Series Prediction: Ole Miss 2, Tennessee 1.
Alabama at Georgia. Alabama needs at least one win this weekend at Georgia to make the SEC Tournament, but that will be challenging as the Tide faces a very talented Georgia team. One win might be enough, but UA would be in trouble if it is swept. The Bulldogs likely have already locked up a top seed for the NCAA Tournament and are in position to potentially host a Super Regional if they advance. Series Prediction: Georgia 2, Alabama 1.
Florida at Missouri. Unless the Gators finish the season on a tear, the Bull-dogs are in jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Florida has been one of the top programs in the country for the last decade but has struggled for most of this season. Meanwhile, Missouri likely will make the tournament for the first time since joining the SEC in 2012, and it has been a very impressive season for the Tigers. Series Prediction: Missouri 2, Florida 1.
South Carolina at Mississippi State. The Gamecocks helped their cause for making the SEC Tournament by beating Kentucky twice but there is still work to be done. They need at least one win in Starkville this weekend, a difficult task considering the Bulldogs currently are projected to be the No. 4 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. If South Carolina win one game and either Alabama or Kentucky is swept, the Gamecocks will advance to the SEC Tournament. Mississippi State can still win the SEC West if the Bulldogs sweep the Gamecocks and Arkansas loses its series at Texas A&M. Series Prediction: Mississippi State 3, South Carolina 0.
Auburn at LSU. LSU has not been as strong this season as in previous years but could still host in the regionals of the NCAA Tournament. On the other hand, Auburn currently is on the right side of the tournament bubble but probably cannot afford a sweep this weekend in Baton Rouge. A .500 record in the SEC would be enough to earn a tournament bid, but a 13-17 record – even with a high RPI – would put a lot of pressure on Auburn heading into the SEC Tournament. Series Prediction: LSU 2, Auburn 1.