It was rivalry week with some key matchups between the SEC and ACC. Also, LSU and Tennessee took part in the 2022 Shriners Children's College Classic where they took on some of the top Big 12 teams, including number one Texas.
As we move closer to conference play starting in the SEC, several teams tested themselves this past weekend in preparation.
SEC Mostly Falters in Three Big Rivalries
There were three big rivalry series this past weekend between the SEC and ACC with Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, South Carolina vs. Clemson, and Florida vs. Miami.
South Carolina blew a late lead on Friday night and ended up getting swept on the weekend by Clemson.
Georgia was able to salvage a game on Sunday with a 12-3 win to avoid being swept.
Florida was the lone SEC team to take a series in these rivalries, but that came with some difficulty as Hunter Barco was out-dueled on Friday night by Carson Palmquist in a 5-2 loss. The Gators had their chances in that game as well leaving 12 men on base.
They came back to win the next two games by scores of 8-1 and 11-3.
Another Rough Weekend for Mississippi State and a Possible Devastating Injury to Landon Sims
It’s notably been a tough start for the defending champs but it looked like Friday was the start of a turnaround as ace Landon Sims had a perfect game going through 3.2 innings retiring 10-of-11 hitters by strikeout while piling up a 6-0 lead on a very good Tulane team.
But then Sims said he felt something off in his arm and was removed from the game. We still don’t know the extent of the injury, but needless to say, the Bulldogs need him healthy – and so does college baseball as he’s one of the best arms in the sport.
Mississippi State would go on to win the game on Friday 19-2.
On Saturday the Bulldogs had a 10-3 lead going into the bottom of the 7th before giving up 5 runs in that frame and two more in the 9th to allow the Green Wave to tie it up.
And this is how they tied it up…
Tulane went to walk it off in the 10th.
It was a back-and-forth game on Sunday with Tulane taking the 5-4 lead in the 8th and holding on after out-hitting Mississippi State 10-4 in the game.
The Bulldogs are now 6-6 on the year with two mid-weeks games against Texas Tech coming up.
Tennessee and LSU Have Their Bats Silenced by Texas Pitching
It was the two most anticipated matchups of the weekend – and possibly the entire non-conference schedule – with the hot bats of Tennessee and LSU, who both rank in the top 10 in offense, going up against a top-ranked Texas team with the best pitching staff in the country.
And it was the Texas pitching that won this round holding Tennessee and LSU to a combined 3 runs.
The two SEC schools had plenty of chances to score. Tennessee and LSU combined to have 27 batters reach base against Texas in two games, but only three of those runners came around to score.
The Volunteers were able to handedly win their other two games on the weekend over Oklahoma and Baylor.
LSU had a dramatic comeback win over Oklahoma on Friday but then dropped their next two games against Texas and Baylor. The Tigers defense struggled on the weekend, including a five-error affair against Baylor.
Kentucky Gets an Impressive Series Win Over a Ranked TCU Team
The Wildcats are out to an impressively good start and they added to their resume with a series win over No. 23 TCU.
Friday’s game was wild as each team scored in bunches. TCU scored three in the first but Kentucky answered back with five.
They’d add two in the second but then the Horned Frogs had a five-run inning of their own in the 5th. Again, Kentucky answered right back with four in the bottom of the fifth to take an 11-8 lead.
TCU tied it up with three in the sixth, but Kentucky got the final tally with two in the 8th for the 13-11 win.
They played a double-header on Saturday with the first game only scheduled for 7 innings. Kentucky took that one rather easily 5-1.
After falling behind 7-0 in the third game of the series, Kentucky scored six runs in the 7th and another in the 8th to tie it up. But TCU put up five in the top of the 9th to break the tie and avoid the sweep.
Game of the Weekend
Night one of the 2022 Shriners Children's College Classic was riveting with some highly entertaining games, but none of them beat the LSU-Oklahoma game on Friday night.
The Tigers offense was silent all night against the Sooners and they found themselves down 3-0 going into the bottom of the seventh where they finally were able to push a run across to make it 3-1.
With one on and twos in the 8th, Cade Doughty sent a laser shot out to right field for a two-run homer to tie the game at three.
Again with a runner on and two outs – this time in the 10th down by 1 run – Doughty delivered with an RBI double.
That sent us to the 11th where Jordan Thompson did this…
Top Performers of the Weekend
Impressive performances were littered across the SEC this weekend.
Will Sanders was sharp for South Carolina on Friday striking out 14 batters in 7 innings while allowing just 1 run. It was a great battle in a rivalry game against Clemson, and Sanders put on a show.
Chase Burns for Tennessee might have opened the most eyes in the country on Friday as he struck out 10 Texas batters over 5 innings allowing just 1 run on 2 hits and a walk.
The freshman featured a fastball in the upper 90s and a cutter in the low 90s that was diving away from righties. Burns, a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher, also threw a slider in the mid-80s. He will be an arm to watch going forward.
Vanderbilt went out to Hawaii this past weekend and picked up four wins. Chris McElvain was brilliant on Friday striking out 13 over 7 innings allowing just 3 hits and a walk.
The Commodores had a couple of bats get hot in Honolulu with Davis Diaz racking up 9 hits including 3 doubles with 7 runs scored, while Dominic Keegan also had 9 hits with a home run.
Brandon Sproat for Florida showed why he could become one of the top college pitchers in that nation with a great game on Saturday against Miami. He tossed 6.1 shutout innings allowing 4 hits and 2 walks with 8 strikeouts.
The sophomore was reaching the high-90s with his fastball and paired that with a devastating change-up as witnessed here…
Also for Florida, Jud Fabian walked seven times over the weekend, scored 6 runs, and had a big two-run homer on Saturday.
Ole Miss took their first loss of the year over the weekend in a 1-0 extra-inning loss to UCF. But in that game, John Gaddis was brilliant, giving up just 4 hits over 7 innings with 8 strikeouts.
Ole Miss would ultimately win the weekend series against the Golden Knights.
Sonny DiChiara hit another home run over the weekend for Auburn and now has 5 on the season. The Samford transfer is leading the Tigers with a .472 average and 16 runs scored in 12 games.