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SEC Weekly Roundup (April 18-21): A Power Struggle is Brewing Between the Top 4

This SEC season is shaping up to be a fun finish at the top between Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Texas A&M. 

It was the matchup of the weekend in Lexington, Ky with Tennessee traveling to face Kentucky in a top 5 affair that lived up to the hype. 

The first game was a good pitching matchup between Kentucky’s Trey Pooser (6 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 ER, 4 Ks) and Tennessee’s AJ Causey (6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 4 ER, 7 Ks). 

With the Wildcats down a run in the seventh, Emilien Pitre had this clutch 2-RBI hit to propel Kentucky to an eventual 5-3 win. 

Tennessee put up 5 runs in the first inning of game two on their way to a 9-4 win. Christian Moore, Blake Burke, Kavares Tears, and Dylan Dreiling all went deep for the Volunteers. Aaron Combs was great in relief tossing 4.2 shutout innings with 7 strikeouts. 

Game three was a back-and-forth slugfest with the lead changing four times. Moore helped put the game away for good with a solo shot in the 7th and a 3-run homer in the 8th as Tennessee would go on to win 13-11. 

The Alabama Crimson Tide have hosted the number one team in the country in back-to-back weeks and have gone 3-3 in those contests after dropping the series to Texas A&M this past weekend. 

Alabama jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game one the series, but Texas A&M scored 10 unanswered to win 10-5. 

Caden Sorrell had a big game for the Aggies driving in 5 with a grand slam in a 6-run fifth inning. Shane Sdao was big in relief tossing 3.2 scoreless innings with 5 strikeouts to close out the game. 

You don’t want to get in a slugfest with Texas A&M, which is what Alabama tried to do in the second game of a doubleheader on Friday. The Aggies put up 8 runs in the second inning and went on to win 18-9. 

Jace LaViolette, Braden Montgomery, and Hayden Schott each drove in 4 runs. 

Alabama jumped out to another 5-0 lead in game three only to see Texas A&M come back and take the lead. However, the Crimson Tide wouldn’t let this one slip away as Bryce Eblin had a 2-run single in the 7th to give them a 10-9 lead. 

Alton Davis II pitched 3.1 to finish it off for Alabama. And stranded runners at 2nd and 3rd in the 9th. 

After suffering their first series loss of the year, Arkansas bounced back by winning two games over Texas Tech in the midweek and then getting a series win over South Carolina on the road this past weekend. 

It started as most weekends do for Arkansas with a brilliant performance by Hagen Smith who allowed just 1 run on 2 hits over 6 innings with 11 strikeouts. The offense scratched across 2 runs in the sixth and that was enough for the 2-1 win. 

South Carolina strung together 5 singles and a walk as part of a 4-run sixth inning in the second game – leading to a 6-3 win. South Carolina pitching was able to work around 12 hits and 3 walks allowed to just give up the 3 runs. 

Brady Tygart (6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 6 Ks) pitched well in game three for Arkansas in a 9-6 win. The offense scored 5 runs in the seventh to put the game away; although, the Gamecocks did score 4 runs in the eighth and 1 run in the ninth to make it a little closer. 

In the seventh inning, Arkansas got a walk, single, wild pitch, single, single, double, wild pitch, single, and walk. 

Vanderbilt was looking for a bounceback weekend after getting swept and they got it against the struggling Florida Gators. 

They won the first game 10-5 as Bryce Cunningham gave them a quality start on the mound while RJ Austin had 3 hits, 3 runs, and 3 RBI. 

Carter Holton was fantastic for Vanderbilt in 5-2 win allowing just 2 earned runs on 4 hits over 7 innings with no walks and 10 strikeouts. 

Jac Caglianone and Tyler Shelnut helped Florida avoid the sweep with a 6-2 win in the finale. Cags gave up just 2 runs over 5 innings, while Shelnut drove in 5 of the 6 runs for the Gators. 

There was a little bit of drama in the series as well with a Vanderbilt pitcher getting ejected after being accused of having an illegal substance on his arm

Mississippi State was looking to shake off a frustrating series loss to it’s rival against an Auburn team that has been disappointing, to say the least, this year. 

The Bulldogs took the first game 8-1 behind another strong start from Khal Stephen who went 7 innings and allowed just 1 unearned run with 11 strikeouts. 

Because of the weather, the two teams played a couple of 7-inning games on Sunday. Mississippi State took the first one 3-1 to clinch the series. 

After having his shortest outing of the year last weekend, Jurrangelo Cijntje got back on track going 6.2 innings allowed just 1 earned run on 3 hits with 5 strikeouts. 

The Bulldogs finished off the sweep in dramatic fashion with a walk-off hit by Connor Hujsak. 

LSU needed a series win in the worst way against Missouri this past weekend and they were able to get it done. 

In game one, they run-ruled Missouri 12-1. Gage Jump gave up just 1 earned run on 3 hits and a walk over 7 innings with 14 strikeouts. 

All but two LSU starters drove in a run with Hayden Travinski leading the way with 4 RBI. 

Luke Holman got roughed up in the second game leading to a Missouri 7-1 lead through 5 innings. Missouri’s starter, Javyn Pimental, threw a great game allowing just 1 run on 2 hits through 5 innings. 

LSU got homers from Jared Jones, Travinski, and Tommy White late to make it close, but Missouri held on for the 8-7 win. 

Missouri jumped out a 2-0 lead on Sunday, but Nate Ackenhausen and Griffin Herring shut it down from there allowing just 2 baserunners past the third inning. 

The LSU offense tied it up with 2 runs in the fifth and then added single runs in every frame the rest of the way for a 6-2 win. 

LSU plays the only team below them in the standings next week in Auburn – another chance to get back in the mix. 

Slate Alford powered Georgia to a 17-6 (8) win over Ole Miss in game one of their series this past weekend. He drove in 8 runs total with a 3-run homer and a grand slam. 

Brian Zeldin pitched the final 3 innings for Georgia without allowing a hit. 

In game two, it was Charlie Condon’s turn to be the hero again as he went 4-5 with 2 home runs, a double, and 4 RBI in a 7-2 win for the Bulldogs. Georgia reliever Kolten Smith tossed 3.1 hitless, scoreless innings to end the game with 6 strikeouts. 

Ole Miss did escape the road trip with a 3-2 victory in the second game of a double-header on Saturday night. 

SEC Power Rankings

Tier 1

  1. Texas A&M

  2. Arkansas

  3. Tennessee

Tier 2

  1. Kentucky

Tier 3

  1. Vanderbilt

  2. Mississippi State

  3. South Carolina

  4. Alabama

  5. Georgia

  6. Florida

  7. LSU

  8. Ole Miss

Tier 4

  1. Missouri

  2. Auburn


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