In a highly unpredictable SEC baseball season, Texas A&M is starting to look like a top team in the conference after a terrible start.
There are only four weeks left in the regular season and at this point, all we really know in the SEC is that Tennessee is really good – the rest of the field remains wide open.
What a Turnaround for Texas A&M
Coming into SEC play it looked like Texas A&M might be one of the worst teams in the conference. They were just 10-6 with a series loss to Penn on their resume.
Then they took down LSU to begin SEC play, but then lost series to Auburn and Alabama making you think the LSU series win was a mirage.
Now they’ve won three straight series including series wins over top 10 teams in Georgia and Arkansas.
Friday was a great pitching matchup between Connor Noland and Nathan Dettmer. Noland allowed 2 unearned runs on 2 hits and 3 walks with 7 strikeouts over 6 innings, while Dettmer allowed 1 earned run on 3 hits and a walk with 7 strikeouts over 5 innings in what ended up as a 2-1 win for Texas A&M.
On the day, Aggie pitchers struckout 14 Arkansas batters.
In game two, Arkansas jumped out to a 3-0 lead aided by a pair of solo home runs from Brady Slavens. A&M scored one late but it wasn’t enough in a 3-1 loss.
Sunday’s game was a wild one as Texas A&M jumped out to a 9-1 lead after five, but Arkansas kept chipping away and a 5-run eighth brought them within a run, but that’s as close as they would get as the Aggies hung on for the 11-10 win to secure the series.
Austin Bost was 3-4 with 4 RBI for Texas A&M, while Jack Moss was 4-5 with 3 RBI.
LSU Continues Seesaw of a Season
LSU could be the best team in the country or they could be the worst – it just depends on the weekend. They started conference play with a series loss, followed by a series win, followed by a series loss, followed by a sweep, followed by getting swept, and this past weekend they came back with a sweep of Missouri.
It was a close series with Missouri, but unfortunately for the Tigers in yellow and black, they lost all three and now have the worst record in the conference.
Jacob Berry powered the LSU offense on Thursday going 3-4 with 3 runs and a couple of solo home runs. Ma’Khail Hilliard was solid on the mound allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits and no walks over 7 innings with 5 strikeouts.
Friday’s game went back-and-forth and needed extras to be decided. That’s when Cade Doughty delivered the dramatics.
LSU jumped out to a 7-3 lead on Saturday and held on for an 8-6 victory. Berry was 2-3 with another home run, while Tyler McManus was 3-3 with 3 runs and 2 RBI.
Missouri’s Trevor Austin had 4 RBI in the game including a 2-run homer.
Mississippi State Comes Back to Take Down In-state Rival Ole Miss
Southern Miss may be the best team in the state this year, but that didn’t take anything away from the fierce rivalry between Mississippi State and Ole Miss. In fact, Ole Miss broke their attendance record for the weekend.
Unfortunately for the home faithful, they witnessed a series loss to their rivals and now find themselves at the bottom of the SEC West.
Kevin Graham set the tone on Thursday with a 3-run homer in the first inning for Ole Miss. They would ride that to a 4-2 victory – all 6 runs in the game were scored on home runs.
Dylan DeLucia pitched a complete game for Ole Miss allowing just 2 earned runs on 5 hits and no walks with 8 strikeouts.
Ole Miss jumped out to a 4-1 lead on Friday, but the Bulldog bats went to work late scoring two in the sixth, four in the seventh, and three in the eighth coming back for a 10-7 win.
Brad Cumbest was 4-5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI for Mississippi State.
Saturday’s game was the best of the weekend as a Jacob Gonzalez 2-run homer in the bottom of the ninth tied it up to send the game to extras.
Brad Cumbest homered in the top of the 11th and Mississippi State was able to hold on for the win.
A Rough Week for the Florida Gators Who Were Swept by Tennessee
It had already been a disappointing year for the Florida Gators, but earlier this week they learned their staff ace Hunter Barco would be shut down indefinitely with an elbow injury.
With that somber news, they then had to face the number one team in the country and it did not go well as they were swept, including an extra innings loss on Sunday.
Chase Burns looked more like himself on Friday for Tennessee giving up just 1 earned run on 2 hits and 3 walks over 6.1 innings with 5 strikeouts.
Barco’s replacement, Ryan Slater, did not fare as well, giving up 8 earned runs on 7 hits and 4 walks over 4.1 innings.
Trey Lipscomb had a pair of hits, including a 3-run homer.
Blade Tidwell continued his comeback and was stellar on Saturday, going 4.2 innings and giving up just 2 hits and a walk with 5 strikeouts. He and Camden Sewell combined to allow just 2 hits and 2 walks with 8 strikeouts in a shutout.
Drew Gilbert and Luc Lipcius provided the offense with a couple of home runs that led to a 3-0 win for the Volunteers.
It looked like the Gators were going to salvage a game on the weekend as they were up 4-0 after six innings on Sunday, but Tennessee rallied for one in the seventh and three in the ninth to send the game to extra innings where they won 6-4 in 11.
Christian Moore was the star at the plate for Tennessee on Sunday as he had the 2-RBI single in the ninth to tie it up and then a 2-run homer in the 11th that won the game.
There was also this crazy play to end the game, just pouring more salt in the Gators wounds.
Auburn and Georgia Remain Next in Line
Tennessee and, for now, Arkansas remain the leaders atop the two divisions. But behind them are a couple of teams trying to prove they belong among the best in the country in Georgia and Auburn.
The pitching was outstanding for the Bulldogs on the weekend. Nolan Crips pitched 5.2 shoutout innings on Friday, while Cole Wagner delivered at the plate with a 3-run homer in a 4-2 win.
A 3-RBI double by Parks Harber – part of a 3-hit game – was all the Bulldogs needed on Saturday as Jonathan Cannon returned to toss 5 perfect innings with 6 strikeouts and the bullpen kept the shutout intact.
Alabama flipped the script on Sunday with a 3-0 win of their own to get a much-needed win for their NCAA Tournament hopes. Grayson Hitt went 6 innings for Alabama allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks with 7 strikeouts.
Auburn might be one of the biggest surprises in the conference, and they were able to get just enough pitching and just enough offense over the weekend to take down South Carolina.
A home run by Bobby Peirce broke a 3-3 tie in the 7th on Friday, and then Sonny DiChiara put the game away with a 2-run homer the following inning.
South Carolina led 6-3 after six-and-a-half innings on Saturday, but then Auburn rattled off five unanswered runs for an 8-6 win. DiChiara and Brooks Carlson each had 3 hits in the middle of the lineup.
Auburn finished off the sweep with a 2-0 win on Sunday. Joseph Gonzalez gave scattered 7 hits over 7 innings but didn’t walk anyone, and with that, was able to hold the Gamecocks scoreless.
Blake Rambusch went 4-4 with an RBI and is hitting .382 on the season atop the Auburn lineup.