It was the calm before the storm as most SEC teams saw a dip in competition this weekend in order to prepare for conference play.
The conference picked up 36 wins on the weekend with just six losses, and only one SEC team lost their series with Auburn dropping two-of-three against Middle Tennessee.
Gamecocks Bounce Back in a Big Way with Series Win Over Texas
After getting swept by rival Clemson a weekend ago, losing a mid-week game to Xavier, and then dropping the first game of the weekend, South Carolina swept a double-header on Sunday to win the series against the top-ranked Texas Longhorns.
Starting pitcher Will Sanders was great in the first game on Sunday giving up just 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 3 walks with 6 strikeouts, picking up the win in a 7-inning game. Sanders will enter conference play with a 2.52 ERA in 25 innings with 28 strikeouts.
A 5-run fourth inning in the finale highlighted by a 2-RBI single from Michael Braswell helped the Gamecocks take a commanding 6-1 lead.
That’s all South Carolina starter Matthew Becker would need as he gave up just 1 earned run on 1 hit and 3 walks in 6 innings with 11 strikeouts.
Cayden Wallace Carries Arkansas to 4-0 Weekend
There were some big numbers put up in the SEC this weekend, but Arkansas infielder Cayden Wallace took things to another level during a four-game sweep over UIC.
On Thursday he went 3-5 with 3 runs, 3 RBI, and a home run. He was just 1-4 in the second game on Thursday. Then on Saturday he was 1-4 with 2 runs scored and a grand slam. In the finale on Sunday, he again just had one hit, but he made it count with another grand slam as he finished the game with 6 RBI.
The grand slam on Sunday was crucial for Arkansas as the Razorbacks were trailing 6-4 in the eighth inning.
Overall on the weekend, he was 6-17 with 6 runs scored, 11 RBI, and 3 home runs, including 2 grand slams.
Arkansas freshman starter Hagen Smith had another solid start giving up just 1 earned run on 4 hits and 3 walks over 5 innings with 8 strikeouts on Saturday. He leads Arkansas starters with a 2.66 ERA in 20.1 innings with 25 strikeouts.
Alabama With Another Weekend Sweep
Outside of getting swept in Austin, Texas by the number one team in the country – a series that was really competitive – the Alabama Crimson Tide have been solid in the first four weeks.
Alabama has swept their other three weekend series, including this past weekend over Binghamton.
The Crimson Tide may have found a new weapon at the plate in the process with Harvard transfer Tommy Seidl. After starting the season hitting at the bottom of the lineup, he’s worked his way up with big production at the plate.
Seidl leads Alabama with a .450 average and a 1.094 OPS; he already has nine multi-hit games on the year, including six three-hit games.
On the weekend against Binghamton Seidl was 7-13 with 3 doubles, 5 runs, and 7 RBI.
Also on the weekend for Bama, Garrett McMillan was fantastic on Friday giving up just 1 earned run on 2 hits with no walks over 7 innings with 7 strikeouts.
Best Game of the Weekend
Things did not look great for the Razorbacks on Sunday as they tried to finish off a four-game sweep of UIC.
After taking an early 2-0 lead they gave up 6 runs in the fourth and remained down 6-2 going into the seventh where they tacked on a couple to make it a 6-4 game.
That setup the Cayden Wallace grand slam in the eighth to make it an 8-6 game.
But UIC plated a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to tie it up, and then came this moment from Chris Lanzilli:
Other Notable Performances from the Weekend
Corey Collins for Georgia had a two-homer game on Friday and finished the weekend with 6 hits in the Bulldogs sweep over Lipscomb.
Starter Jonathan Cannon played a part in that sweep for the Bulldogs striking out 11 over 6 innings on Friday, allowing just 1 earned run on 5 hits.
Two players had 7 RBI in one game this past weekend and both came on Friday night and both came from the state of Mississippi. Tim Elko did it for Ole Miss and Kellum Clark for Mississippi State.
Tennessee continues to find some big arms, and this time it was Chase Dollander who impressed with 12 strikeouts over 7 innings.
Top MLB Draft prospect Jacob Berry had an explosive weekend for LSU in their sweep of Bethune-Cookman going 7-13 at the plate with a pair of home runs.
Carter Holton had another great start for Vanderbilt with 13 strikeouts over over 6 innings while allowing just a hit and a walk.
Michael Turner for Arkansas and Ross Lovich for Missouri both were 4-4 at the plate on Saturday.
Jud Fabian helped the Gators to a series win over Seton Hall by going 4-8 at the plate with 6 runs scored, 7 RbI, 2 home runs, and 4 walks.
Wyatt Langford also had a great weekend for Florida going 7-12 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI.
Injury notes for Florida, LSU, and Auburn
Florida leadoff hitter Colby Halter left Saturday’s game with a quad injury and did not play on Sunday.
LSU starter Blake Mooney left with an injury on Friday. Head coach Jay Johnson said it was his wrist and didn’t think it was serious.
Auburn slugger Sonny DiChiara returned to the lineup as the DH in the second game of Sunday’s double-header.