When they say there are no easy weeks in the SEC that’s not just a cute phrase to highlight the strength of the conference. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the bottom like Mississippi State or the top like LSU, if you don’t come to play on a given weekend you can be had.
That’s especially true when playing on the road in the SEC as only two teams in the entire conference have a winning road record.
Georgia may have just cost themselves a chance at the postseason because after getting swept at Missouri. But when you can pull off a road upset like Alabama did over Texas A&M, that can help boost your resume in a big way in the final weeks.
Auburn (30-19-1, 14-13) at Ole Miss (25-26, 6-21)
There may not be a hotter team in the country right now than the Auburn Tigers. After their sweep of Ole Miss this past weekend they’ve now won their past four SEC series – including series wins over South Carolina and LSU.
The offense powered Auburn to a 16-4 win in game one of their series against Ole Miss in 8 innings. Cole Foster was 4-5 with 2 home runs and a double. Kason Howell was 4-4 with 3 doubles.
Tommy Vail, who has stepped up big in the rotation, allowed just 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk over 8 innings in game two with 6 strikeouts. Ike Irish drove in 3 runs in Auburn’s 8-2 win.
In game three, Auburn piled up 13 runs on 20 hits and 5 walks in a 13-5 win. Five of Auburn’s top six batters in the lineup had 3 hits each. Cooper McMurray was the only one who didn’t and he had a grand slam and led the team with 5 RBI.
The Tigers are playing their best baseball at the right time and are now a virtual lock for the NCAA Tournament as they host Missouri next weekend before the SEC Tournament.
Ole Miss will see their 2023 season come to an end next weekend in Tuscaloosa.
South Carolina (37-14, 15-11) at Arkansas (38-13, 19-8)
This was one of the better played series on the weekend between two really good teams.
Eli Jones struck out 10 in 5 innings for South Carolina in game one, but Hagen Smith and Gage Wood combined to allow just 1 run on 6 hits to help Arkansas take the first game 4-1.
Kendall Diggs had 2 hits and 3 RBI for the Razorbacks in the win.
After giving up a combined 10 runs in his last two starts for South Carolina, Jack Mahoney got back on track throwing a gem in game two. He tossed 7 shutout innings allowing just 5 hits and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts.
Arkansas pitching slipped up in just 1 innings as South Carolina scored 3 runs in the top of the fourth, which is all they would need in a 3-1 win to even the series.
Hunter Hollan was brilliant on the mound for Arkansas in game three throwing a complete game on 113 pitches, striking out 10, retiring 20 of the last 21 batters he faced, and allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk.
Caleb Cali and Peyton Holt each had 3 hits for Arkansas in the 5-1 win.
Arkansas finishes the regular season at Vanderbilt next weekend, while South Carolina hosts Tennessee.
Vanderbilt (35-16, 17-10) at Florida (40-12, 18-9)
It was a battle for the top spot in the SEC East, and Florida delivered a big blow.
Florida threw a haymaker in game one as they run-ruled the Commodores 10-0 in 7 innings. Brandon Sproat tossed 6 shutout innings and Deric Fabian drove in 4 runs for the Gators.
The stars at the top of the Florida order got it done in game two as Cade Kurland, Wyatt Langford, Jac Caglianone, and Josh Rivera drove in all 6 runs in a 6-2 win.
Florida finished off the sweep with the same 6-2 score. Caglianone got it done on the mound this time tossing 6.2 innings and allowing just 1 run on 1 hit and 1 walk with 9 strikeouts.
Langford hit a pair of home runs to lead the offense.
Florida will travel to face Kentucky next weekend, while Vanderbilt heads home to face the top team in the SEC West in Arkansas.
Kentucky (35-15, 15-12) at Tennessee (35-17, 14-13)
After a series loss on the road to Georgia last weekend, Tennessee got back on track at home with a much-needed series win over Kentucky.
Hunter Ensley, Jared Dickey, and Griffin Merritt all homered in a 7-run third inning for Tennessee in game one leading to a 10-6 win.
It was a pair of 4-run innings in game two that lifted the Volunteers to a 10-7 win. Dickey hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to make it an 8-1 game. Zane Denton chipped in with 3 RBI.
Kentucky tried to make a late comeback, but then Tennessee turned to their new weapon out of the bullpen in Chase Burns who tossed 2.2 scoreless innings to end the game with 5 strikeouts and a save.
The Wildcats were able to salvage a game in Knoxville by winning the finale 10-0. Devin Burkes had 3 hits, 4 RBI, and a home run. Five Kentucky pitchers combined to throw a shutout.
Tennessee will have another opportunity to solve their road issues next weekend in South Carolina. Kentucky will finish the regular season by hosting Florida who is coming off a big sweep of Vanderbilt.
Georgia (28-24, 10-17) at Missouri (30-20, 10-17)
Georgia’s road struggles continued as they got swept at Missouri, which likely ended their chances of an at-large bid.
Missouri hit 5 home runs in a 13-3 win in game one. Luke Mann had 2 home runs and 3 RBI, while Ty Wilmsmeyer had a home run and 4 RBI.
Game two was a wild game with baseballs flying out of the ballpark. The two teams combined for 8 home runs.
Dylan Leach had the final blow hitting a 2-run walk-off homer to secure the series for Missouri.
The dramatics weren’t over for Missouri on the weekend as they erased a 4-1 deficit in game three and had another walk-off. This time it was Cam Chick who had the big hit – a 2-RBI single.
Both teams are a pretty safe bet to make Hoover, but they’d have to make a magical run there to earn an at-large bid. Missouri faces Auburn next weekend while Georgia faces an angry LSU team.
Mississippi State (26-24, 8-19) at LSU (39-12, 17-9)
While LSU’s record might not show it, they have some serious concerns heading into the postseason – particularly on the mound behind Paul Skenes – and that showed in this shocking series loss to the Bulldogs.
Skenes did his thing in game one allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and 1 walk over 7 innings with 13 strikeouts. That ended up being a completed game as the offense put up 12 runs. Gavin Dugas was 4-4 with 3 runs while Tommy White drove in three.
In game two, Ty Floyd had a good start striking out 10 in 6 innings while only allowing 1 run. As they tried to find a spot for Thatcher Hurd to get going, he stumbled in this one allowing 5 runs without recording an out.
Mississippi State scored 6 runs in that 8th inning that Hurd started and wound up winning 9-4.
It looked like LSU was going to restore order in game three as they had a 13-4 lead after five innings of play. Many thought this game wouldn’t last past the seventh inning.
Credit to Mississippi State who has had a couple of uncharacteristically bad seasons, but didn’t give up.
They scored 4 runs in the sixth led by a 3-run homer from Dakota Jordan. And then they scored another 5 runs in the seventh. Slate Alford had the 2-run homer in the seventh to tie it up.
Tyler Davis did a fantastic job for Mississippi State tossing 4 scoreless innings of relief.
Amani Larry scored the go-ahead run for Mississippi State in the 10th inning as LSU went for the double-play and didn’t get it, and then the Bulldogs held on to win 14-13.
LSU has a couple of weekends left to figure out the pitching staff, and that begins next weekend at Georgia. Mississippi State has to sweep Texas A&M and hope either Missouri or Georgia gets swept just to make it to Hoover for the SEC Tournament.
Alabama (35-17, 13-14) at Texas A&M (30-22, 12-15)
Every game is crucial for both of these teams down the stretch as they try to improve their NCAA Tournament and avoid the bubble.
Trevor Werner hit 3 home runs for Texas A&M in game one and drove in 6 as the Aggies won 11-5.
Alabama responded in game two by run-ruling Texas A&M in 7 innings 12-1 in large part to an 8-run fifth inning that included a 3-run homer by Andrew Pinckney and a 2-run homer by Colby Shelton.
Garrett McMillan did a great job eating innings for Alabama in game two tossing 6 innings and just allowing 1 run.
Jacob McNairy carried that good pitching for Alabama into game three tossing 7 shutout innings with 9 strikeouts in part of a shutout.
Tommy Seidl led the offensive attack with 3 hits, 5 RBI, and a home run as the Crimson Tide took the series with a 11-0 win.
Alabama has a great chance to rack up some more wins for the resume at home next weekend against an Ole Miss team that is done for the year. The same can be said for Texas A&M as they head to Starkville.
SEC Power Rankings Week 13
1. Florida (up 3)
3. LSU (down 2)
4. Vanderbilt (down 1)
5. South Carolina
8. Auburn (up 1)
9. Alabama (up 1)
10. Texas A&M (down 2)
13. Mississippi State (up 1)
14. Ole Miss (down 1)