It was the final weekend before the SEC grind and most teams breezed through it against inferior competition, but a couple of teams got caught sleeping.
Alabama entered the weekend as one the few undefeated teams left, but they got handed a series loss by Columbia from the Ivy League – their first ever series win against an SEC opponent.
Meanwhile, the top teams in the conference got to showcase their superiority with flawless weekends.
Top teams dominate in final prep for SEC play
LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Florida, and Arkansas are considered to be among the favorites in the SEC and they showed why by absolutely dominating their opponent over the weekend.
Top ranked LSU run-ruled a strong Samford team in all three games. Paul Skenes continued his brilliant work with 12 strikeouts in 6 innings. On Saturday, all 12 LSU runs came on home runs, showing their tremendous power.
Freshman Jared Jones had a monster weekend for LSU going 6-10 with 4 home runs and 11 RBI and now leads the team in home runs.
Chase Dollander and Chase Burns for Tennessee continue to pile up the strikeouts with 11 and 13 respectively in their wins over Morehead State.
Zane Denton hit for the cycle on Friday for the Volunteers going 4-5 with 6 RBI.
Florida had a close win to open their series against Siena – the same game they lost Wyatt Langford who will be out for at least a month with a lower body injury.
But then the Gators run-ruled Siena in the next two games. Jac Caglianone had another solid start on the mound Sunday and was 3-3 at the plate with 2 home runs and 4 RBI.
The Razorbacks played a quality opponent in Louisiana Tech but were able to get the sweep at home.
Will McEntire threw a complete game on Saturday allowing just 1 unearned run on 3 hits and a walk with 6 strikeouts.
Arkansas had some interesting stats on Sunday as Jared Wegner was 1-1 with a home run, 3 RBI, and 5 walks. Peyton Stovall was 0-4 at the plate but still drove in 3 runs.
And even after losing their Friday night starter, the defending College World Series champion continued to be impressive with a sweep over a solid Big Ten team in Purdue.
Kemp Alderman was 5-8 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI in the first two games of the series before Purdue had enough and walked him all five times he came to the plate on Sunday, which also ended his 10-game hit streak.
Taking care of business
Mississippi State (Lipscomb), South Carolina (Bethune-Cookman), Kentucky (Southern Illinois), and Texas A&M (Northern Kentucky) all dispatched their opponents rather easily.
Ross Highfill hit 3 home runs on Sunday for Mississippi State.
Kentucky had a close call to start the weekend but Emilien Pitre delivered a go-head hit in the 10th inning for the 5-4 win.
South Carolina got solid pitching performances from Will Sanders and Jack Mahoney, while Texas A&M’s Nathan Dettmer and Troy Wansing also impressed on the mound in their sweep.
Almost, but not quite
Georgia, Missouri, and Vanderbilt all won their series and had some close losses that prevented them from getting the sweep like many of their SEC counterparts.
Liam Sullivan pitched 5 scoreless and hitless innings for Georgia in game two of their series against Charleston Southern. The no hitter got snapped with 1 out in what ultimately was a 7-inning game.
The pitching was impressive for Missouri against a solid NJIT team. Chandler Murphy went 7 innings in game one allowing just 1 earned run with 8 strikeouts. In the final game of the series the Mizzou pitching staff combined to strike out 16 batters.
Vanderbilt is still struggling to figure things out offensively, but their star player - Enrique Bradfield Jr. - looks to be waking up as he had the game-winning hit in game one and 5 RBI on the weekend.
Caught Sleeping in the Heart of Dixie
Both Alabama and Auburn were upset at home over the weekend by some solid mid-major teams in Columbia and Southeastern Louisiana, respectively.
For Columbia, an Ivy League school, it was their first series win over an SEC team in program history.
They took the first game 10-7 and then split a double-header on Saturday thanks to an 11-run fourth inning in game three.
Ben Hess was solid on the mound in Alabama’s lone win, which included another home run from freshman Colby Shelton who now has 10 on the year.
Auburn took the first game of their series with Southeastern Louisiana comfortably 7-1 with Cole Foster going 4-5 at the plate with a home run and 4 RBI.
The Tigers then dropped the next two, including a close 8-7 contest in game three despite 2 doubles and 3 RBI from freshman Ike Irish.
SEC Power Rankings Week 4
2. Tennessee (up one spot – see below)
3. Florida (down one spot because of the loss of Langford)
4. Ole MIss
7. South Carolina
8. Texas A&M
9. Georgia (up three spots – pitching continues to come together)
10. Alabama (down one spot – worried Grayson Hitt isn’t that dominate Friday guy)
12. Auburn (down two spots - still worried about pitching)
13. Mississippi State