After Tennessee nudged the door open a tiny bit with a couple of losses, Arkansas took the opportunity to jump back in with a sweep of LSU.
We now, pretty clearly, have a two-team race in the SEC between Tennessee and Arkansas with five weeks left to go.
Arkansas With a Smooth Sweep Over LSU
The Tigers came into Fayetteville after an impressive sweep over Mississippi State, and were humbled by the new number three team in the country, Arkansas.
It wasn’t an overly dominant performance by the Razorbacks with scores of 5-4, 4-0, and 6-2, but they did all the little things well that good teams need to do to win a baseball game.
Freshman Hagen Smith had his best start of the year on Friday tossing 7 shutout innings allowing just 2 hits and 1 walk with 7 strikeouts.
Arkansas was out-hit by LSU 11-6 on Sunday, but they were able to come up with some key hits – especially in that 4-run fifth.
The Razorbacks are still three games behind the Vols for the top spot in the SEC, but have a pretty favorable schedule the rest of the way.
Tennessee Bends But Doesn’t Break with Another Series Win
The Volunteers had their worst week of the season going 2-2 with losses to Tennessee Tech and Alabama – that’s how high they’ve set the bar with an incredible start to the season.
And they still came away with an SEC series win after dropping the first game to Alabama 6-3.
A huge win for the Crimson Tide who continue to build their tournament resume and hold on to a winning SEC record. Owen Diodati had a big game in the win for Alabama going 2-for-4 with 2 runs, 2 RI, and a home run.
But the Volunteer bats broke out in the final two games winning 9-2 and 15-4. Jorel Ortega was 4-for-5 on Sunday with 4 RBI, while Trey Lipscomb was 3-for-5 with 5 RBI.
Worth noting, Tennessee ace Chase Burns has now failed to get past the third inning in his last two starts. And their number two starter, Chase Dollander, took a line drive off his right arm in the first inning of Saturday’s game and had to leave.
The Aggies are back … Again!
After starting off SEC play with a top-10 series win over LSU, Texas A&M followed that by losing a couple of series. Now they have back-to-back series wins and took down another ranked opponent in Georgia.
Nathan Dettmer was great for A&M on Thursday allowing 1 unearned run on 5 hits and no walks over 8 innings with 9 strikeouts. Dylan Rock had a big 3-run home run in that game as the Aggies won 8-1.
After dropping the middle game 4-3, the offense put up 23 on Friday, which included a 10-run ninth inning. In that game, Texas A&M had innings of 6, 6, and 10 runs scored.
Jordan Thompson had the big game at the plate going 3-for-4 with 3 runs and 4 RBI.
Georgia remains second in the SEC East behind Tennessee, but they’re still without their top pitcher in Jonathan Cannon.
As for the Aggies, they’re tied for second in the SEC West, three games behind Arkansas.
Vanderbilt and Florida Play Tightest Series of the Year
A couple of teams who are very good on paper but haven’t really lived up to expectations played about as tight a three-game series as anyone can play with all three games decided by a total of four runs. Vanderbilt came out on top in the first two with Florida winning the last one in extra innings.
Jack Bulger had 3 hits on Thursday with the last one being a walk-off.
Florida was up 4-0 in game two, but Vanderbilt came back to win 8-6. Enrique Bradfield Jr. had a bases-clearing 3-run triple in the 6th that gave Vanderbilt the lead.
The Gators almost blew another game late on Saturday giving up two in the ninth as the Commodores tied it up. But a Deric Fabian solo shot in the top of the 10th gave them the lead and they were able to hold on this time and avoid the sweep.
This was a very fun series between two teams looking to get on track.
Missouri, Mississippi State, and South Carolina Come Away With Series Wins
Missouri needed a series win in a bad way and got one against Kentucky. Both of those teams are now tied for last place in the SEC East.
And they’re also tied for the worst record in the SEC along with Ole Miss, who dropped a series to South Carolina.
The Gamecocks are only one game ahead of Missouri and Kentucky – as is Mississippi State who won a series against Auburn this past weekend.
The bottom two teams in the league will not make the SEC Tournament in Hoover, so it will be interesting to see which of these teams breaks free from the bottom in the coming weeks to remain relevant in the SEC.