Weekend three is in the books. Most teams cruised through their schedule this week with a few more slip ups. Teams are preparing for the final weekend of non conference games before gearing up for the grueling SEC schedule. This is the last slate of games to shape up and fix lineups and rotations for coaches.
Another week is down and just two SEC teams remain undefeated. It was a rough week for some teams who lost their series. But overall the SEC solidified it’s place as the nation’s best conference once again in the rankings this week.
- Alabama: 3-1
- Midweek: 1-0 vs Troy
- Weekend: 2-1 @ Charleston
- No.1 Arkansas: 3-0 vs Murray State
- Auburn: 1-2 vs No.17 Boston College
- No.5 Florida: 3-1
- Midweek: 0-1 vs Florida Atlantic
- Weekend: 3-0 vs Florida A&M
- Georgia: 2-2
- Midweek: 0-1 vs Kennesaw State
- Weekend: 2-1 vs North Florida
- Kentucky: 3-2
- Midweek: 2-0 vs Eastern Kentucky, Evansville
- Weekend: 1-2 vs Ball State
- No.21 LSU: 2-2
- Midweek: 1-0 vs Southern
- Weekend: 1-2 vs Oral Roberts
- No.4 Ole Miss: 5-0
- Midweek: 2-0 vs Memphis, Jackson State
- Weekend: 3-0 vs Belmont
- No.3 Mississippi State: 3-1
- Midweek: 1-0 vs Southern Miss
- Weekend: 2-1 vs Kent State
- Missouri: 0-4 (Frisco Classic)
- Weekend: Dallas Baptist (2 games), Oklahoma, No.24 Arizona
- No.12 South Carolina: 4-0
- Midweek: 1-0 vs Winthrop
- Weekend: 3-0 vs Mercer
- No.15 Tennessee: 4-0
- Midweek: 1-0 vs Austin Peay
- Weekend: 3-0 vs Georgia State
- Texas A&M: 5-0
- Midweek: 2-0 vs Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word
- Weekend: 3-0 vs New Mexico State
- No.2 Vanderbilt: 3-0 vs University of Illinois at Chicago
Six teams turned in undefeated weeks including Arkansas, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Arkansas remains the lone undefeated team in the West while South Carolina is the last undefeated team in the East.
.@HailStateBB records its first no-hitter since 1985 in a win over Kent State today. Jackson Fristoe is a really good looking young lefty — and he dealt today in six innings of work. https://t.co/K93Ggq6Vdn
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) March 7, 2021
Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Missouri finished .500 or below on the week. Auburn dropped a disappointing series to Boston College in unusual fashion. Georgia lost their midweek but won the weekend series. LSU got embarrassed by Oral Roberts. And Missouri’s early season struggles continue. We’ll look more in depth on some of the series below.
As if the conference wasn’t already dominating the rankings, this week is even more impressive than last’s. The SEC now holds the top five rankings in the nation with Florida moving up to No.5. And they now have seven of the top 15 spots in the rankings with Tennessee moving up to No.15.
- No.1 Arkansas: 10-0
- No.2 Vanderbilt: 9-1
- No.3 Mississippi State: 8-3
- No.4 Ole Miss: 10-2
- No.5 Florida: 9-3 +1
- No.12 South Carolina: 10-0 +2
- No.15 Tennessee: 11-2 +3
- No.21 LSU: 9-3 -10
Auburn Blows Series to Boston College
In a last-second schedule change due to COVID the weekend got it’s best series with Auburn hosting Boston College. The Eagles’ series against Wake Forest got canceled late due to COVID issues with the Demon Deacons.
The series was largely uneventful with both teams blowing each other out for about 27 of the 28 innings played. Boston College got all over Auburn’s Richard Fitts in game one winning 8-1. The Tigers returned the favor the following day winning 16-1.
Game three was one neither team will forget. Auburn led Boston College 9-1 entering the ninth inning after retiring 18 of 21 batters from the third inning on. With two outs and down 9-1, the Eagles scored eight runs to tie the game. They scored two more in the tenth to win the game and series. Head coach Butch Thompson was a little distraught after the game.
“There’s some guys who played great baseball today that are kind of puzzled and shocked and have to figure out how to pick up the pieces and move forward, which we will,” Thompson said. “That’s what you do with baseball. We’ll turn the page and get into next week.”
Friday Night Ace Problems in Young Season
A somewhat quiet but growing concern is the early weaknesses of highly touted Friday night aces across the conference. As stated, Auburn’s ace Richard Fitts has struggled heavily this year. Fitts hasn’t made it past the fifth inning yet this season and has been dominated in his last two starts. He’s allowed 17 hits, five homeruns and 12 runs in the two losses.
LSU’s Jaden Hill – largely agreed to be one of the top five college pitchers in the country – was unable to get two batters out over the weekend. Oral Roberts entered the series 2-6 and put up eight runs on the Tigers’ ace before running him out of the game in the first inning. LSU would eventually lose the series 2-1.
Jaden Hill allowed four straight hits, plunked a batter and then gave up another hit. Oral Roberts leads, 3-0, and Hill hasn't recorded an out.
— Wilson Alexander (@whalexander_) March 5, 2021
Alabama’s Connor Preilipp – one of the top arms for the 2022 draft – has started just one game this season due to an undisclosed medical issue. Tyler Ras has done very well filling his shoes, but the Crimson Tide will need to get him back for SEC play if they want to have a shot at a postseason.
What’s Wrong With Missouri?
Missouri was expected to finish at the bottom of the SEC this season but still be respectable and potentially a troublesome series for teams. After all, head coach Steve Bieser is the winningest coach through the first three years in Missouri’s history. The Tigers have enjoyed moderate success with 34 wins or more during that span.
And yet, this season already seems over. It has been a disaster from the start. The Tigers dropped a four game series to Grand Canyon three games to one. They followed with a series split to Omaha. And this past weekend in the Frisco College Classic Missouri finished 0-4 and were only truly competitive in the opener.
Steve Bieser’s ball club now sits at 3-9 with five games remaining before the schedule gets truly difficult. The problem is the pitching. They are by far the worst in the league with an 8.48 ERA. They’ve allowed eight or more runs in nine games. Half of the pitching staff sits at a 9.00 ERA or higher, including two starters.
Regardless of what the offense is capable of, and so far it’s looked respectable, it’s impossible to provide consistent run support to that poor of pitching. The Tigers host a bad 2-9 St. Louis team before a four game series with Illinois State. Bieser’s arms need to figure this out fast or Missouri will be in for a long spring.
“From Our Haus to Yours”