SEC Baseball Week 6 Preview

The second half of the SEC baseball schedule began Thursday night as Florida hosted South Carolina and Miss. State hosting Alabama. The other five series begin today.

South Carolina and Florida is the marquee series in the SEC Eastern Division this weekend. The Gators were the preseason favorite, along with LSU, to win the 2017 SEC Championship. Florida was the preseason favorite to win the SEC Eastern Division championship, while South Carolina was picked second in the division.

The marquee series in the league this weekend is SEC Western Division leader Arkansas at Auburn. Neither team qualified for the SEC Tournament last year, and both teams were picked near the bottom of the standings this year. Arkansas was tabbed fifth in the SEC Western Division, while Auburn (tied with Alabama) was picked sixth in the division.

SEC Eastern Division leader Kentucky hosts LSU in another headline series this weekend in the SEC.

The weekend has also seen a couple of schedule changes.  Due to impending weather, LSU and Kentucky, and Alabama and Miss. State will play double headers on Friday. LSU and UK will being at 2 p.m. (ET) with game two starting one hour following the conclusion on game one.  Alabama and Miss. State will play two, nine-inning games beginning at 4 p.m. (CT).

Arkansas (31-8, 11-4 SEC) at Auburn (28-11, 10-5 SEC)
The marquee series among SEC Western Division teams this weekend
Arkansas owns one-half game lead over Miss. State for first place in standings
Auburn and Kentucky tied for third place, one-game behind the Hogs
Arkansas has won the last two series; UA has won three of last five series in Auburn
Arkansas leads SEC in home runs (53) and ranks second in batting average (.298)Arkansas only SEC team with a .300 batting average in conference play
Chad Spanberger: 12-game hitting streak; .471 (24-51), 16 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 27 RBIs
AU RHP Casey Mize listed as doubtful for weekend series
Mize (1.23 ERA) and RHP Keegan Thompson (1.29 ERA) rank 1-2 in SEC in ERA
Arkansas ranks second in SEC with a .298 batting average
Arkansas ranks fifth in SEC with 3.36 ERA
Arkansas is tied for third in SEC with .977 fielding percentage
Auburn ranks ninth in SEC with a .281 batting average
Auburn ranks 10th in SEC with 3.86 ERA
Auburn is tied for sixth in SEC with .975 fielding percentage
Sunday’s game televised by SEC Network at 4 p.m. (ET)

LSU (26-12, 9-6 SEC) at Kentucky (26-12, 10-5 SEC)
Teams will play double header on Friday beginning at 2 p.m. (ET)
The series finale will be Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET)
The six starting pitchers have 30 combined wins this season
Game 2 starters Jared Poche’ (6-2) and Zach Logue (5-3) have 11 combined wins
Kentucky two straight series wins in Lexington; UK won 3 of last 5 series overall
Kentucky leads SEC in eight different offensive categories
UK sophomore Tristan Pompey (.466) is SEC leading hitter in conference play
LSU ranks third in SEC with a .296 batting average
LSU ranks sixth in SEC with 3.51 ERA
LSU leads SEC with .978 fielding percentage
LSU 25 errors are fewest in SEC
Kentucky leads SEC with a .308 batting average (only team hitting .300 or higher)
Kentucky ranks eighth in SEC with 3.56 ERA
Kentucky ranks 11th in SEC with .970 fielding percentage

Tennessee (19-15, 4-11 SEC) at Texas A&M (26-12, 8-7 SEC)
Texas A&M is 8-2 in last 10 SEC games (started season 0-5)
Tennessee is making first-ever visit to College Station, Texas
Texas A&M has won both series (2013, 2015) in Knoxville
TAMU Braden Shewmake leads all SEC freshmen with a .350 batting average
UT senior Jordan Rodgers ranks third in SEC with a .385 batting average
Tennessee ranks seventh in SEC with a .251 batting average
Tennessee ranks 12th in SEC with a 4.07 ERA
Tennessee is next-to-last in ERA (4.60) in SEC games
Tennessee ranks 10th in SEC with .971 fielding percentage
Texas A&M ranks second in fielding percentage (.983) in SEC games
Texas A&M ranks fifth in SEC with a .285 batting average
Texas A&M ranks seventh in SEC with a 3.55 ERA
Tennessee is tied for fifth in SEC with a .976 fielding percentage

Vanderbilt (23-15, 7-8 SEC) at Georgia (15-23, 4-11 SEC)
Vanderbilt owns 11-game series winning streak
Vandy three straight sweeps (2014, 2015 and 2016) over Georgia
Vandy has won 8 straight series and 10 of last 11 series with Georgia
Vanderbilt last five SEC opponents are combined 28-48 (.368)
Georgia last in SEC in ERA (5.05) and fielding (.953)
Georgia Michael Curry ranks sixth in SEC games with a .385 batting average
Vanderbilt ranks eighth in SEC with a .282 batting average
Vanderbilt ranks ninth in SEC with 3.85 ERA
Vanderbilt tied for sixth in SEC with .975 fielding percentage
Georgia ranks 12th in SEC with a .263 batting average
Georgia last in SEC with 5.05 ERA (6.14 ERA in SEC games)
Georgia last in SEC in .953 fielding percentage

Missouri (26-12, 7-8 SEC) at Ole Miss (23-14, 7-8 SEC)
Third SEC series since Missouri joined the SEC
Ole Miss swept Mizzou in Oxford in 2014
Missouri won two of three games from Ole Miss on 2015
Ole Miss 16-14 in last 30 games (started season 7-0)
Missouri 6-11 since 20-game winning streak
Ole Miss has scored the fewest runs (171) of any team in SEC
Mizzou freshman TJ Sikkema leads SEC with .161 opponent average
Missouri tied for fifth in SEC with a .285 batting average
Missouri ranks fourth in SEC with 3.25 ERA
Missouri ranks 13th in SEC with .963 fielding percentage
Ole Miss last in SEC with a .246 batting average
Ole Miss leads SEC with a 2.90 ERA
Ole Miss ranks 12th in SEC with .969 fielding percentage

Florida 1, South Carolina 0
Florida leads series, 1-0
Alex Faedo and Michael Byrne combine on 3-hit shutout
Faedo works 8.2 scoreless innings with 9 Ks
Byrne gets Madison Stokes (F8) to record seventh save
Florida improves o 13-7 in 1-run games this season
UF has four 1-0 wins this season, three of them coming in starts by Faedo (Miami, LSU and SC)
Florida’s seventh shutout
Keenan Bell game-winning single in fifth inning (Christian Hicks scored winning run)South Carolina has lost five straight SEC openers
Florida improves to 26-12; 9-7 SEC
South Carolina falls to 23-14; 8-8 SEC
Game 2 on Friday at 7 p.m. (ET) on SEC Network

Miss. State 6, Alabama 5
MSU leads series, 1-0
Josh Lovelady RBI single and Harrison Bragg RBI double in 3-run fifth inning
Tanner Poole led MSU with three hits
Ryan Gridley 2-for-4, 2 R for MSU
Jake Mangum and Brent Rooker combined 0-for-7 (0-for-13 in last 2 games)
MSU bullpen 3.1 scoreless innings; 5 Ks; Spencer Price NCAA leading 14th save
Sam Finnerty career high three hits for Alabama
UA 8-game SEC losing streak
Miss. State improves to 26-14; 11-5 SEC
Alabama falls to 15-23; 2-14 SEC
Game 2 and 3 on Friday at 4 p.m. (CT)

 

 

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