In & around SEC baseball


By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent

Auburn Week 4 Review
The Tigers lost their first series of the season on the road at Texas A&M last weekend. Auburn took the first game of the series, 2-1, but dropped the second game, 6-3, and the rubber match, 3-1. Despite the series loss, Auburn (24-10, 8-4) is still tied for first in the SEC West Division and currently is ranked No. 11 in the country. The Tigers travel to Knoxville to take on Tennessee this weekend (April 13-15).
Alabama Week 4 Review
Alabama has struggled mightily for the majority of the season, and the Crimson Tide have fared worse in conference play than they did in non-conference action. Alabama was swept on the road at Ole Miss, losing the first game, 7-2, the second game, 5-4 and the finale, 8-2. The Tide (13-19, 2-10) host Texas A&M this weekend.
SEC baseball rankings
1. Auburn (24-10, 8-4)
2. Kentucky (22-11, 8-4)
3. Arkansas (25-8, 8-4)
4. LSU (22-11, 7-5)
5. Mississippi State (22-12, 8-4)
6. South Carolina (21-10, 7-5)
7. Ole Miss (20-12, 6-6)
8. Texas A&M (22-11, 5-7)
9. Florida (21-11, 6-6)
10. Vanderbilt (21-12, 6-6)
11. Missouri (23-9, 6-6)
12. Tennessee (17-12, 3-9)
13. Georgia (14-19, 4-8)
14. Alabama (13-19, 2-10)
Week 5 preview and predictions
Series of the Week
Mississippi State at South Carolina. The Gamecocks have been among the best programs in the SEC and in the country over the last several years and remain near the top of the league standings despite losing two series in a row. South Carolina has an opportunity to get back on the right track this weekend against a Mississippi State team that has won three straight series, including last weekend’s series win over Kentucky. Series Prediction: Mississippi State 2, South Carolina 1.
Auburn at Tennessee. Auburn’s emergence as one of the best teams in the SEC has been one of the most surprising storylines of the season thus far. The Tigers gradually have improved under coach Butch Thompson, and while the season is still young, they look like an NCAA Tournament team. However, losing a series at Tennessee would thwart some of the progress they’ve made this year. Series Prediction: Auburn 2, Tennessee 1.
Georgia at Arkansas. Despite last weekend’s series loss to LSU, Arkansas has still been one of the best teams in the SEC and the country this year. The Hogs have a good opportunity to get back on track against a Georgia team that is near the bottom of the conference. Series Prediction: Arkansas 3, Georgia 0.
Texas A&M at Alabama. Alabama’s struggles so far haven’t necessarily been a surprise. First-year coach Greg Goff didn’t exactly inherit the best roster, and the team is in transition. Still, the Tide should make some improvement over the remainder of the year. That being said, finishing last in the conference wouldn’t be a good look moving forward for the program. Series Prediction: Texas A&M 2, Alabama 1.
Florida at Vanderbilt. Florida and Vanderbilt both have been dynamic baseball programs in recent years, but right now the two squads are in the middle of the pack in a loaded SEC. The Gators have struggled more recently, losing a series to a lackluster Tennessee squad. The Commodores took a series against South Carolina, and now both the Gators and Vandy are two games back in the SEC East. Series Prediction: Vanderbilt 2, Florida 1.
Kentucky at Missouri. After several seasons of finishing near the bottom of the league, Missouri baseball finally has turned things around. The Tigers are still .500 in conference play, but that mark is a drastic improvement over the last few years. Kentucky is leading the SEC East at the moment, though the Wildcats just dropped a series to Mississippi State. Series Prediction: Kentucky 2, Missouri 1.
Ole Miss at LSU. The Rebels and the Tigers are two of the biggest rivals in the SEC and have been two of the best programs in the conference over the past decade. Ole Miss recently swept Alabama to end a series losing streak in the SEC, while LSU just took two of three games against SEC West leader Arkansas. The Rebels are fur-ther behind in the standings than LSU, so it would be a great accomplishment to win a series on the road at the No. 9 ranked Tigers. Series Prediction: LSU 2, Ole Miss 1.

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