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SEC Weekly Roundup (Apr. 27-30): Now or Never

After this week’s action, there are only three weekends left in the regular season. It’s go time for those SEC teams looking to boost their resume for the NCAA Tournament.


That’s exactly what Auburn did as they went on the road to win a series against a top five team in South Carolina, boosting their chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament with a strong finish.


Tennessee continues to look like the team many thought they could be with their second straight sweep.


Time is running out for teams at the bottom of the conference like Missouri, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss.


Auburn (25-18-1, 9-12) at South Carolina (35-8, 14-6)

Coming off a huge sweep over Florida, the Gamecocks were humbled a bit by Auburn this past weekend. South Carolina had only lost one game at home all year coming into the weekend before Auburn won the first two games of the series.


Tommy Vail continues to be a nice surprise for Auburn on Friday nights with a strong performance in game one allowing just 2 earned runs in 5 innings with 7 strikeouts.


The Auburn offense is getting healthy at the right time as well. Cole Foster had a big 2-run homer early in game one leading to the 8-3 victory.


A wild pitch, walk, hit batter, and error helped Auburn get out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning of game two. Home runs by Nate LaRue and Bobby Peirce in the second inning extended that to 6-0.


Cooper McMurray hit a pair of home runs later in the game to seal the 9-5 win for Auburn.


Auburn took another big, early lead in game three. But South Carolina refused to get swept at home and mounted a comeback capped off by a 3-run homer from Will Tippett in the seventh inning.


The Gamecocks would win a close one, 8-7.


South Carolina will travel to face a Kentucky team that has taken some lumps recently. Auburn hopes to keep the good vibes going at home against the number one team in the country in LSU.

Texas A&M (25-19, 9-12) at Arkansas (33-11, 14-7)

It was a nice bounceback weekend for the Razorbacks. After getting swept the weekend before, they got a sweep of their own against a Texas A&M team that had won their previous four SEC series.


Jace Bohrofen finished off a 3-hit day in game one with a go-ahead 2-run homer to help Arkansas to a 7-5 win. Peyton Stovall hit a grand slam earlier in the game.


Bohrofen had another 3-hit game on Friday with a pair driven in. Will McEntire was solid in relief for Arkansas striking out 8 over 5.2 innings as the Razorbacks got the 10-4 win.


Game three was a game of two halves with Arkansas scoring the first 8 runs of the game and then hanging on as Texas A&M scored the final 7 runs with a comeback that fell just short.


A walk and a couple of errors by Texas A&M aided Arkansas in a big 5-run fifth inning.


The Razorbacks will go to Mississippi State next weekend and Texas A&M will have a tough time picking things back up at home against Florida.


Mississippi State (24-20, 6-15) at Tennessee (30-14, 11-10)

Don’t look now, but Tennessee is in a groove with six straight conference wins after sweeping Mississippi State at home this past weekend. With that, they have a winning record in SEC play, which seemed like a long shot just two weeks ago.


Andrew Lindsey had another solid start in game one for Tennessee, but the bullpen blew it allowing Mississippi State to tie it up in the ninth as Hunter Hines hit a home run for the Bulldogs.


Griffin Merritt saved the day with this walk-off home run.

Mississippi State got to Chase Dollander in game two, but then Blake Burke (3-3, 3 R, 3 RBI) and the Tennessee offense went to work scoring 12 runs in innings four through seven.


Camden Sewell was great in relief for Tennessee pitching the final 3.1 innings without allowing a run or a hit and striking out seven.


Jared Dickey and Christian Scott each hit a 3-run homer in the first inning as Tennessee cruised to a 13-2 win in game three. Drew Beam gave up just 1 earned run on 3 hits and 1 walk with 7 strikeouts in 7 innings.


The Volunteers will look to keep the streak alive as they head to Athens next weekend where Georgia has won their last five SEC games. Mississippi State will host Arkansas as they try to make sure they don’t miss the SEC Tournament for a second straight season.


Missouri (24-19, 5-16) at Florida (35-10, 14-7)

The hard times continue for Missouri who looked like a sleeper early in the season but are now in jeopardy of missing the SEC Tournament after getting swept for the second straight weekend.


They’ve won just two SEC games since sweeping Tennessee in the first weekend of conference play.


The Gators were recovering from getting swept themselves last weekend.


Brandon Sproat looked more like himself in game one allowing just 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walks with 7 strikeouts in 7 innings. The offense showed its power as Jac Caglianone, BT Riopelle, Tyler Shelnut, and Michael Robertson all went deep in an 11-1 win.


Missouri had some good at-bats against Hurston Waldrep and were able to take a 4-0 lead early in game two.


Then, the Florida bats went to work scoring 4 runs in the third, 5 runs in the sixth, and 2 more runs in the seventh for an 11-7 win. All those runs without the aid of a home run, showing this lineup can be dangerous in multiple ways.


Wyatt Langford had a 4-hit game in the finale, including a pair of doubles in a home to help Florida put 8 runs on the board.


The Florida bullpen nearly blew it, giving up 2 runs in the seventh and 4 runs in the eighth but then held on for the 8-7 win.


Florida heads to College Station next weekend, while Missouri and Ole Miss battle to see who can make it to Hoover.

Alabama (30-15, 9-12) at LSU (35-8, 15-5)

It was a sweep for LSU over Alabama this past weekend, but it was one they had to really fight for.


Homers from Tommy White and Dylan Crews helped LSU jump out to an early lead in game one.


Alabama scored 4 runs in the 9th and had the go-ahead run at the plate, but the Tigers held on for the 8-6 win.


The Crimson Tide carried a 7-4 lead into the sixth inning of game two before a 3-run homer by Hayden Travinski put LSU in front and carried them to a 12-8 win.


In game three, Alabama had a 7-3 going into the fifth inning where they gave up 6 runs to LSU. The inning started with an error, and then Alabama pitching issued 5 walks and 3 singles.


Still, Alabama fought back to tie it in the seventh inning. LSU answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the seventh and then hit a pair of home runs in the 8th to make it 13-9.


It still wasn’t easy as a Tommy Seidl 2-run homer cut the deficit in half in the ninth inning, and an error on a pop-up into the sun kept the inning alive and brought the tying run to the plate.


Cooper Riley was able to get the final out in a really solid 2.1 innings of relief.


Things don’t get easier for Alabama next weekend as they go from facing the SEC West leader to the SEC East leader in Vanderbilt. LSU will travel to face Auburn.

Kentucky (30-13, 11-10) at Vanderbilt (32-11, 16-5)

Vanderbilt was able to pick themselves off the mat after getting swept at home by their rivals to get a sweep of a Kentucky team that is on a bit of a downfall having lost four straight SEC series now.


A 2-run homer by RJ Schreck broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth inning of game one and lifted Vanderbilt to a 6-4 win. Patrick Reilly was outstanding in relief of Carter Holton going 4.1 innings and striking out 10 batters.


RJ Austin had a 4 RBI day for Vanderbilt in game two in a 9-3 win.


Devin Futrell had the best start of the weekend for Vanderbilt and continues to be one of their more consistent (healthy) starters.


However, it looked like Kentucky was going to survive the weekend with a win up 2-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth, but Vanderbilt didn’t record an out as they went single, double, single, and single to walk it off with a 3-2 win.


Alan Espinal had the game-winning hit.

Kentucky will now have to try and get going and against the other top team in the East in South Carolina. Vanderbilt will travel to Tuscaloosa.


Georgia (24-20, 8-13) at Ole Miss (23-21, 5-16)

Georgia had a great opportunity to back up their sweep at home over Arkansas with another series win against a struggling Ole Miss team, but they failed to capitalize.


Instead, the defending College World Series champions finally got their first conference series win of the year as they try to get out of the basement and at least make it to Hoover.


It was a 3-3 game in the opener before a home run by Peyton Chatagnier put Ole Miss in front for good in the 7-3 win.


Georgia won game two by the exact same score as Charlie Goldstein had another great start for the Bulldogs going 7 innings and allowing just 3 runs.


Game three ended with a lot of fireworks as a 2-run homer by Ben Anderson in the top of the ninth tied the game at 7.


Then, TJ McCants walked it off in the bottom half on this scary play at the plate.

Ole Miss has a pretty favorable schedule the rest of the way, starting with Missouri next weekend. Perhaps this is the momentum they need for a strong finish.


Georgia has some work to do the rest of the way to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The road gets tough as they host Tennessee this weekend who is suddenly the hottest team in the conference.


SEC Power Rankings Week 11

Tier 1

1. LSU

2. Vanderbilt (up 1)

3. South Carolina (down 1)

4. Florida

5. Arkansas

Tier 2

6. Tennessee

Tier 3

7. Texas A&M

8. Kentucky

9. Auburn (up 2)

10. Alabama (down 1)

11. Georgia (down 1)

Tier 4

12. Mississippi State

13. Ole Miss (up 1)

14. Missouri (down 1)

 

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