#9 Tennessee vs #8 Auburn
- Tuesday - Game 3: 5-3 W
Where in the world has that been the past couple of weeks?? Auburn did everything well, with the exception of a weird hop to Will Holland early in the game, a couple of wild pitches from Elliott Anderson and a missed fast ball in the 9th from Bailey Horn, but literally, everything else was perfect! Auburn got the start that it needed from Anderson, who went 4+ innings and ended up giving up 2 runs on 3 hits while walking 4 and striking out 6 on his evening. He was relieved by Will Morrison for a one pitch one out situation who then gave way to Bailey Horn who was superb, going 4 innings himself and only giving up one hit, a home run in the top of the 9th and was lifted for Cody Greenhill. On the offensive side, the Tigers didn’t bash the cover off of the ball, but they didn’t have to, they were able to take advantage of Tennessee miscues that directly led to Auburn taking the early 2-1 lead, and then Auburn executing a perfect safety squeeze to reclaim the lead after the Vols had tied things up in the top half of the inning. The Tigers were able to add some insurance in the 7th with this 2-run bomb from Judd Ward…
Add it all up and the Tigers, for the second year in a row, advance to the double elimination days of the SEC Baseball Tournament and in doing so, seemingly remove all doubt that there will be June baseball for the 3rd straight season for the Tigers. The bad news for the Tigers is that they now take on top seed Vanderbilt tomorrow afternoon around 4ish. The good news is that they are staying in Hoover for at least two more games, and with today’s result, I think it’s a sure thing that they will be playing next weekend as well.
Game 1: #11 Florida vs #6 Texas A&M – 8-7 A&M/10
What a back and forth battle this one was. Florida jumped out on top only to see the Aggies tie and then overtake then, only for Florida to fight back in the 9th and then finally fall in 10 innings to Asa Lacy and the Aggies. As the Gators head back home now, it will be a long 5ish day wait till Monday and the selection show to see if Florida’s sweep of Missouri last week was enough to push them over the edge. If you want the SEC in the tournament, pull for teams like Creighton and Fresno State to win their conference tournaments because stolen bids might be the thing that seals the lid shut on the Gators. Meanwhile the Aggies put another notch on their hosting resume although tomorrow’s game against Georgia would look muuuch better to the committee.
Game 2: #10 Missouri vs #7 Ole Miss – 2-1 OM
In another “need this one to lock up a bid” game, Missouri just couldn’t break the code of the Ole Miss pitching staff and take it on the chin in Hoover. I think they’ve done enough with some impressive series wins over the likes of Arkansas, LSU and Tennessee but that sweep at home against Florida gives reason for pause. Much like the Gators, there will be some white knuckle waiting in CoMo till Monday morning. Meanwhile the Rebs, the reigning, defending, undisputed SEC Tournament Champions (from last year), live to fight another day, and get Co-Western Division Champions Arkansas, who they went 2-1 against and that was in Fayetteville.
Game 4: #12 South Carolina vs #5 LSU – 8-6 LSU
A bit too close for comfort but LSU will take it as they sneak past the Gamecocks, effectively ending South Carolina’s season. Carolina jumped out to the early 5-1 lead as we went to the bottom of the 2nd inning but LSU chipped away from there, scoring 2 in the bottom half, 3 in the 4th and 2 in the 5th and held on from there. The Tigers now get Mississippi State who they took the series from at the Dude way back in week two of the conference season.
On Deck (with Updated Bracket)
- Game 5: #6 Texas A&M vs #3 Georgia, 9:30 AM
- Game 6: #7 Ole Miss vs #2 Arkansas, after Game 5
- Game 7: #8 Auburn vs #1 Vanderbilt, 4:30 PM or after Game 6
- Game 8: #5 LSU vs #4 Mississippi State, after Game 7
With a little bit of the pressure off, Auburn sets off to play the top seed and probably #2 National Seed Vanderbilt. There isn’t a whole lot for either team to play for in this one except pride. Auburn is in the Tournament and really can’t make enough hay this week to get back in the hosting discussion, at least I don’t think, but an even higher RPI would at least force a discussion (Auburn wakes up this morning with a #17 RPI after the Tennessee win). For Vanderbilt, there truly is even less to play for. The Dores will host, will be a Top 8 seed and will probably only be looking up at one team when the selections are handed out Monday morning and it would take both Vandy winning the whole thing in runaway fashion and UCLA getting swept this weekend which isn’t going to happen. No word on who either team will start but I wouldn’t be shocked if Auburn goes with Richard Fitts, Garrett Wade or Brooks Fuller in an attempt to not rush Jack Owen or Tanner Burns who felt some discomfort in his shoulder Saturday against LSU.