SEC Baseball: Weekend Preview
Seven big SEC baseball series’ highlight the eighth weekend of conference play this week.
In the east, after seven weekends of play, Florida is 15-6, with South Carolina three games behind, at 12-9. Following those two are Vanderbilt at 11-10, Kentucky at 9-12, Tennessee at 8-13, Georgia at 7-13, and Missouri at 6-15.
In the west, Alabama and Ole Miss are both 13-8, followed by LSU at 12-8-1, Mississippi St. at 11-10, Arkansas and Texas A&M at 10-11, and Auburn at 9-12.
Let’s take a look at the respective conference series’ schedule for this weekend, with the statistics entering play earlier in the week:
#6 LSU (34-11-1, 12-8-1) at TEXAS A&M (27-18, 10-11)
This is a big series for LSU, who trails Alabama and Ole Miss by only one-half game in the SEC West.
In the hitting department, LSU ranks tied for eighth in the conference (.277), with Texas A&M third (.287).
In terms of pitching, the Tigers, led by right-hander Aaron Nola, who is first in the conference with a sparkling 1.40 ERA., currently rank fifth as a team (2.48), while the Aggies rank 11th with a 3.58 ERA.
Scheduled game times are 6:30 pm (cdt) on Friday, noon on Saturday, and 1 o'clock on Sunday.
#7 SOUTH CAROLINA (34-11, 12-9) at GEORGIA (21-22, 7-13)
This match-up will feature a second place team in the SEC East, taking on the sixth place squad in the same division.
In the pitching department, South Carolina ranks first (2.05 ERA.) in the SEC, while Georgia ranks last (4.25)
The Gamecocks feature Jack Wynkoop, who is 5-3, with a 2.14 ERA., while the Bulldogs feature Robert Tyler, who is 4-4, with a 2.85 ERA.
Offensively, South Carolina ranks fourth in hitting, at a .286, while Georgia ranks 13th in hitting, at a .256
Game times are scheduled for 6 pm, noon on Saturday, and noon on Sunday.
#9 VANDERBILT (33-12, 11-10) at MISSOURI (19-24, 6-15)
Vanderbilt is only one game out of second place in the SEC East, while missouri is struggling, but still only two games out of fifth place in the SEC West.
In the hitting department, Vanderbilt ranks seventh (.280), with Missouri ranking last (.253).
Neither team hits the long ball, with Vanderbilt ranking tenth in the league in homers, with 14, and Missouri ranking at the bottom, with 7.
In terms of pitching, the Commodores, who feature Walker Beuhler, who is currently second in the SEC in ERA., at a 1.56, ranks fourth (2.45 ERA.), while the Tigers rank 12th (3.97).
Scheduled game times are 6pm (cdt) on Friday, 2 o'clock on Saturday, and 1 pm on Sunday.
#12 FLORIDA (30-15, 15-6) at #20 ALABAMA (29-15, 13-8)
This is a prime series, with two first place teams colliding.
Alabama ranks sixth in team batting average, at a .281, and sixth in pitching, with a 2.85 ERA., while Florida ranks 11th in hitting (.269) and eighth in pitching (3.23).
The two teams will play on Friday night at 6:35 pm (cdt), and then on Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock, and on Sunday at 2:05.
ARKANSAS (28-18, 10-11) at #16 OLE MISS (33-12, 13-8)
This match-up will feature Arkansas, who is one game out of fourth place in the SEC West, and Ole Miss, who is tied for first place in the same division.
In the hitting department, Arkansas ranks 12th (.263), with Ole Miss second (.307).
Auston Bousfield leads the Rebels, and is second in the conference, batting a .371, three percentage points in back of Kentucky's A.J. Reed, who leads the lead with a .374 average.
In terms of pitching, the Rebels, who feature Chris Ellis, who ranks sixth with a 1.72 ERA., rank second (2.10 ERA.), while the Razorbacks, who feature Jalen Beeks, who is third in the league with a 1.60 ERA., rank second (2.31).
Scheduled game times are 6:30 pm (cdt) on Friday, 2:15 pm on Saturday, and 1:30 pm on Sunday.
#23 MISSISSIPPI ST. (28-17, 11-10) at AUBURN (25-20, 9-12)
Both of these teams are looking to make up some ground in the SEC West over the final few weeks of the season, but will likely have to get started this weekend to do that.
Offensively, Mississippi St. ranks tenth in hitting (.275), while Auburn is tied for eight (.277).
Pitching-wise the Bulldogs rank ninth in ERA. (3.30), while the Tigers currently rank seventh (2.86).
Game times are set for 6 pm, 6 pm, and 1 pm, Thursday-Saturday.
KENTUCKY (27-17, 9-12) at TENNESSEE (26-16, 8-13)
Neither one of these teams are currently over the .500 mark in league play, but they are a combined 20 games over .500, overall.
Kentucky leads the league in hitting (.311) and 13th in pitching (4.10 ERA.), while Tennessee ranks fifth in hitting (.282) and tenth in pitching (3.57).
A.J. Reed, of the Wildcats, leads the conference in all three Triple Crown categories, hitting a .374, along with 19 home runs and 59 runs batted in.
Games times for this series are scheduled for 6:30 pm on Thursday night, 6 pm on Friday night, and 11 am on Saturday morning.