SEC baseball made national news this past week, and when that happens, it’s typically not a good thing as was the case when Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon was fired amid an investigation on bets placed in last week’s series against LSU.
If that wasn’t enough, the team was trying to bounce back after getting swept and now had to host Vanderbilt. They responded with a huge series win that could change the direction of their season while the program as a whole has a cloudy future.
It wasn’t just Alabama with the upsets this weekend. This conference continues to show its depth and how hard it is to win on the road. Auburn, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama all won at home against LSU, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt respectively.
There are now 11 SEC teams with double-digit conference wins that have a legit chance at making the NCAA Tournament.
Vanderbilt (34-13, 17-7) at Alabama (32-16, 11-13)
With all the Alabama baseball team was going through – reports show there was no indication any players were involved – they came out with some fire in game one taking down Carter Holton and Vanderbilt 11-2.
Andrew Pinckney had a huge grand slam in the second inning that set the tone. Luke Holman allowed just 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 1 walks over 7 innings with 7 strikeouts.
In game two, Hunter Owen was dominant on the mound for Vanderbilt, striking out 9 batters in 7 innings and allowing just 1 run on 2 hits with no walks. The Commodore pitching staff as a whole allowed just 2 hits and 1 walk on the game.
Davis Diaz had a pair of RBI in the 4-1 win.
Game three was another well pitched game for both sides. Devin Futrell allowed just 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk over 7 innings for Vandy, while Jacob McNairy gave up 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk over 6 innings with 7 strikeouts.
Alabama catcher Mac Guscette – who had to leave a game last weekend after taking a wild pitch to the neck – had the go-ahead home run in the eighth to give the Crimson Tide the 2-1 win.
Vanderbilt’s spot atop the SEC East is secure as they head into a huge series with Florida next weekend. The series win for Alabama really improves their chances of making the NCAA Tournament, but a trip to College Station awaits them.
LSU (37-10, 16-7) at Auburn (27-19-1, 11-13)
Similar to their in-state rival, Auburn was looking for an upset series win to boost their NCAA Tournament resume.
Paul Skenes halted those thoughts as he struck out 15 batters in game one over 7.1 scoreless innings allowing 6 hits and 1 walk.
Tre’ Morgan delivered the only offense needed with a solo home run and RBI single in a 2-0 win for LSU.
In game two, Auburn came from behind on two separate occasions early before breaking it open with a 4-run sixth inning that led to an 8-6 victory. Bryson Ware scored 3 runs and had a home run in the win for Auburn.
Tommy White had a 4-hit game for LSU.
In game three, Auburn jumped all over LSU starter Christian Little who didn’t record an out and gave up 5 earned runs on 1 hit and 4 walks before a first-inning exit.
The home team would go on to run-rule the former number one team in the country 12-2 in eight innings.
Cooper McMurray had 3 hits and 3 RBI, while Kason Howell had a pair of triples and 5 RBI.
Auburn has a favorable schedule the rest of the way to try and get their conference record to .500 with Ole Miss next weekend and Missouri to end the regular season.
LSU has no concerns about their tournament resume as they host Mississippi State next weekend.
South Carolina (36-11, 14-9) at Kentucky (33-13, 14-10)
Kentucky’s season seemed to be fading after losing three straight series, but they’re right back in the mix now after a huge sweep against South Carolina.
Travis Smith had a great start for Kentucky in game one allowing just a single run on 4 hits and 3 walks over 6 innings. Mason Moore came on in the seventh to put out a fire and then finished the game.
Hunter Gilliam had 3 RBI on the day, including a 2-run homer to power the Cats to a 7-3 win.
Game two went back-and-forth early, but a 3-run triple by Jase Felker in the fifth and then a 3-run homer by James McCoy in the sixth broke it open for Kentucky who would go on to win 14-7.
In typical Kentucky fashion, they took advantage of some mistakes by South Carolina in game three and finished off the sweep with a 9-2 victory. They scored 3 runs in the third inning to take a 5-2 lead thanks to 3 walks, a hit batter, and an error by South Carolina.
The Wildcats also got another great pitching performance on the weekend as starter Zack Lee struck out 12 batters in 6.2 innings with no walks.
Kentucky can breathe a little easier now when it comes to their tournament resume as they head to Knoxville next weekend. South Carolina’s tournament spot is secure, but they’d like to get healthy and start playing good ball starting against Arkansas this upcoming weekend.
Florida (37-12, 15-9) at Texas A&M (28-20, 11-13)
It looked like Texas A&M had turned a corner before they got swept at Arkansas last weekend. Well, they turned things around again back at home with a big series win over Florida.
Game one went back-and-forth with Trevor Werner hitting a game-tying 3-run homer in the fifth. The two teams exchanged single runs in the sixth. Then Cade Kurland hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh to give Florida the 6-5 win.
BT Riopelle homered twice for Florida in the win.
Texas A&M responded in a big way in game two with a 15-2 win in 7 innings. Hunter Haas had a double, homer, and 3 RBI. The Aggies scored 15 runs on 12 hits and 10 walks.
Offense was hard to come by in game three as the two teams were tied at 2 going into the ninth inning when the Aggies won a walk-off balk.
Texas A&M finishes the season at home against Alabama and then at Mississippi State, while Florida hosts Vanderbilt and goes to Kentucky.
Tennessee (32-16, 12-12) at Georgia (27-21, 10-14)
Georgia needs a strong finish to the season if they’re going to have any chance of getting into the NCAA Tournament. And they continued their good play at home with a series win over Tennessee.
Tennessee had a pair of 5-run innings in game one that led to a 12-3 win. Christian Moore hit a pair of home runs and drove in 3 for the Volunteers.
Georgia starter Charlie Goldstein, who has pitched so well for the Bulldogs lately, left with a pulled hamstring after just one batter in game two.
However, relievers Jarvis Evans, Chandler Marsh, and Leighton Finley came in to hold Tennessee to just 1 run and struck out 13 batters. Charlie Condon and Connor Tate provided the offense for the Bulldogs who won 3-1.
The Bulldogs took an early 4-1 lead in game three, but Tennessee tied it up in the fourth inning. Georgia responded in the fifth inning with a pair of 2-run homers by Condon and Parks Harber. They’d add another run late to complete the 9-4 win.
Georgia will face Missouri next weekend in a pivotal series for their season, while Tennessee hosts Kentucky.
Arkansas (36-12, 17-7) at Mississippi State (24-23, 6-18)
After surprisingly getting swept at Georgia, Arkansas has swept its last two series including this past weekend against Mississippi State to take back the top spot in the SEC West.
Hagan Smith moved back to the starting rotation and struck out 8 batters over 5 innings in game one allowing just 1 earned run on 2 hits. But he did walk five batters.
Brady Slavens hit a 2-run homer in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie and help the Razorbacks to a 6-2 win.
Brady Tygart returned to the mound for Arkansas and looked good in 2 innings of work in game two.
The Razorback offense piled up 14 runs on 11 hits and 8 walks in a 14-2 win in 7 innings. Kendall Diggs had 5 RBI atop the lineup.
Diggs had four more RBI in game three – as did Jace Bohrofen to help lift Arkansas to the 11-6 victory.
Arkansas finishes the season against South Carolina and Vanderbilt as they try to wrap up a bid for a national seed. Mississippi State is in real danger of missing the SEC Tournament for the second straight year with a trip to Alex Box Stadium ahead of them this weekend.
Ole Miss (25-23, 6-18) at Missouri (27-20, 7-17)
Missouri won this battle to get to Hoover as both teams are trying to avoid being one of the two teams who don’t make the SEC Tournament.
Missouri delivered Ole Miss a brutal blow game one erasing a 9-2 deficit by scoring 6 runs in the sixth, a Luke Mann home run in the seventh tied it, and then a 2-run homer by Matt Garcia in the eighth gave Missouri the 11-9 win.
They carried that momentum into game two where they run-ruled Ole Miss 13-3 in 7 innings. Trevor Austin, Mann, Hank Zeisler, and Ty Wilmsmeyer all homered.
In game three, Ole Miss picked themselves off the mat and scored 20 runs and were able to hold Missouri to 14 runs for the win to avoid the sweep.
Calvin Harris had the game of his life for Ole Miss going 4-6 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI.
Ole Miss faces the two Alabama teams in the final two weeks and needs to get going if they want to avoid suffering the same fate as their in-state rivals from last year. Missouri hosts Georgia next weekend as they try to get going again.
SEC Power Rankings Week 12
2. Arkansas (up 3)
3. Vanderbilt (down 1)
5. South Carolina (down two)
7. Kentucky (up 1)
8. Texas A&M (down 1)
12. Missouri (up 2)
13. Ole Miss
14. Mississippi State (down 2)