SEC Baseball: Weekend Preview
Seven big SEC baseball series’ highlight the ninth weekend of conference play this week.
In the east, after eight weekends of play, Florida is 18-6, with Vanderbilt four games behind, at 14-10. Following those two are South Carolina at 13-11, Kentucky and Tennessee at 10-14, Georgia at 9-14, and Missouri at 6-18.
In the west, Ole Miss is 15-9, followed by Mississippi St. at 14-10, LSU at 13-10-1, Alabama at 13-11, Texas A&M at 12-12, Arkansas at 11-13, and Auburn at 9-15.
Let’s take a look at the respective conference series’ schedule for this weekend, with the statistics entering play earlier in the week:
#22 ALABAMA (30-18, 13-11) at #6 LSU (35-13-1, 13-10-1)
Both teams remain in contention for the top spot in the SEC West, with LSU currently in third place, one-and-a-half games behind first-place Ole Miss, while Alabama, currently in fourth place, is two games back.
In the hitting department, LSU ranks tied for eighth in the conference (.274), with Alabama fourth (.281).
In terms of pitching, the Tigers, led by right-hander Aaron Nola, who is second in the conference with a 1.58 ERA., currently rank fourth as a team (2.63), while the Crimson Tide rank eighth with a 3.16 ERA.
Scheduled game times are 7 pm (cdt) on Friday, noon on Saturday, and 1 o’clock on Sunday.
#10 VANDERBILT (36-12, 14-10) at #8 FLORIDA (33-15, 18-6)
Currently, these are the top two teams in the SEC East, with Florida leading Vanderbilt by two games with two weekends remaining in the regular season.
In the hitting department, Vanderbilt ranks tied for fifth (.280), with Florida ranking tenth (.252).
Vanderbilt ranks second in the league in stolen bases, with 73, while Florida ranks sixth in home runs with 21.
In terms of pitching, the Commodores, who feature Walker Beuhler, who is currently first in the SEC in ERA., at a 1.49, rank third (2.38 ERA.), while the Gators rank ninth (3.21).
Games times are 7:30 pm on Thursday night, 6 o’clock on Friday night, and 11 am on Saturday morning.
MISSOURI (20-27, 6-18) at #11 SOUTH CAROLINA (35-13, 13-11)
This match-up will feature the second place team in the SEC East, taking on the seventh place squad in the same division.
In the pitching department, South Carolina ranks first (2.09 ERA.) in the SEC, while Missouri ranks 12th (3.94)
The Gamecocks feature Jack Wynkoop, who is 6-3, with a 2.21 ERA., while the Tigers feature Brett Graves, who is 3-4, with a 3.25 ERA.
Offensively, South Carolina ranks tied for fifth in hitting, at a .280, while Missouri ranks last in hitting, at a .249.
Game times are scheduled for 6 o’clock on Friday, 2:15 pm on Saturday, and 12:30 pm on Sunday.
GEORGIA (23-23, 9-14) at OLE MISS (35-14, 15-9)
This match-up will feature Georgia, who is one-half game out of third place in the SEC East, and Ole Miss, who leads Mississippi St. by one game for first place in the SEC West.
In the hitting department, Georgia ranks 13th (.263), with Ole Miss leading the way (.307).
Auston Bousfield leads the Rebels, and the conference, batting a .368, nine percentage points ahead of teammate Will Allen, who enters the weekend with a .259 average.
In terms of pitching, the Rebels, who feature Chris Ellis, who ranks fifth with a 1.90 ERA., rank fifth (2.65 ERA.), while the Bulldogs, who feature Robert Tyler, who is has a 2.92 ERA., rank 13th (4.17).
Scheduled game times are 6:30 pm (cdt) on Friday, 4 o’clock on Saturday, and 1:30 pm on Sunday.
TENNESSEE (28-17, 10-14) at #21 MISSISSIPPI ST. (31-18, 14-10)
Both of these teams are looking to make up some ground in their respective divisions, with Mississippi St. one game behind Ole Miss in the SEC West, and Tennessee tied for fourth place in the SEC East.
Offensively, Mississippi St. ranks tied for eighth in hitting (.274), while Tennessee is tied for fifth (.280).
Pitching-wise the Bulldogs rank sixth in ERA. (3.05), while the Volunteers currently rank tenth (3.48).
Game times are set for 6:30 pm, 6 pm, and 1:30 pm, Friday-Sunday.
AUBURN (25-23, 9-15) at KENTUCKY (28-19, 10-14)
Neither one of these teams are currently over the .500 mark in league play, but they are a combined 11 games over .500, overall.
Kentucky is currently second in the league in hitting (.305) and 13th in pitching (4.15 ERA.), while Auburn ranks 11th in hitting (.269) and seventh in pitching (3.06).
A.J. Reed, of the Wildcats, is second in the conference in hitting, at a .358, while leading the league in homers, with 20, and runs batted, with 62.
Games times for this series are scheduled for 5:30 pm on Friday night, 6 pm on Saturday night, and TBA on Sunday.
TEXAS A&M (30-19, 12-12) at ARKANSAS (30-20, 11-13)
This is a big series for both teams, with both looking to climb over the .500 mark in league play.
Texas A&M ranks third in team batting average, at a .292, and 11th in pitching, with a 3.52 ERA., while Arkansas ranks 12th in hitting (.266) and second in pitching (2.35).
The two teams will play on Friday night at 6:35 pm (cdt), and then on Saturday afternoon at 6:05 pm, and on Sunday at 1:05.