The fourth weekend of conference play is concluded and it was another exciting weekend in SEC play that included some shuffling in the standings. We’ll recap the highlights of the weekend as well as look ahead to this week’s top midweek battles.
The discrepancy between the East and West divisions stretched even further this weekend after SEC West teams went 7-2 against the East. Georgia establishes itself as the team to beat in the East, and A&M relinquishes their lead over the SEC West after a rough weekend against LSU. The race remains tight with a three way tie for first.
Georgia Remains on Top
All eyes were on this weekend matchup pitting one of the top rotations in the SEC in Georgia against one of the top offenses of Vanderbilt. Georgia was up to the task, holding Vanderbilt to a total of seven runs all weekend.
After dropping a close one Friday 2-3 in 11 innings, Georgia’s pitching dominated the Commodores. The Bulldogs held Vanderbilt to six more hits the rest of the weekend. SEC Pitcher of the Week Tony Locey helped hold Vanderbilt to just one hit in the final game. It is Georgia’s second team one-hitter of the year.
The Bulldogs earned their first series win against Vanderbilt in 11 years, dating back to the 2008 season. At 27-6 overall, 9-3 in the SEC, Georgia is having its best start since 2009. They are now two games ahead of Vanderbilt in the East and stand alone atop the SEC by one game.
Offense Explodes for Rebels
Ole Miss quickly put the midweek hiccup behind them and dominated Florida in Oxford over the weekend. The Rebels outscored Florida 40-18 and had six players hit over .400 over the three games.
It required a come from behind effort in the final game after lopsided scores in the first two games. Facing an 8-0 deficit after three and a half innings, the Rebels put up 12 runs over the next four home frames. Junior closer Parker Caracci pitched the final 3.2 innings to record the save.
The offense tied a school record for most runs scored in an SEC series. As a team the Rebels hit .415 throughout the series. Freshman Doug Nikhazy earned SEC Freshman of the Week for his six innings of one run baseball on Saturday. Since joining the weekend rotation Ole Miss is 3-0 in his starts.
The Rebels are now tied with Arkansas and LSU for first place in the West at 8-4. They are 5-1 in their last two weekends of conference play.
Midweeks to Watch For
Florida 21-13 (4-8) @ Florida State 19-12 (7-8), Tuesday 6pm CT
For the third time this season Florida and Florida State will face off. In each meeting, the two Florida schools have been lower in the rankings than the last, with both being unranked in this final meeting.
Florida has dominated the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown beating then ranked #6 FSU 20-7 at home in the first game, following up with a 4-2 win on a neutral field.
Florida State has lost six of their last eight and 10 straight to the Gators. They’ll try to flip the script against a Florida team coming off an 0-3 weekend. Both teams need this win to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Southern Miss 20-9 (10-2) vs #15 Ole Miss 23-10 (8-4), Tuesday 7pm CT
The Golden Eagles will meet the Rebels in the first of two games this season. Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi will be the neutral site for game 1. Junior Zach Phillips will take the mound for Ole Miss. Phillips has had his share of struggles this season with a 5.04 ERA. Southern Miss will likely be doing an assortment of pitchers for their midweek again.
Ole Miss leads the all-time series 76-50 and are winners of the last four meetings of the rivalry.
#22 Georgia Tech 22-10 (9-6) vs #2 Georgia 27-6 (9-3), Tuesday 7pm CT
The only ranked matchup of the midweek for SEC teams is another big rivalry. Georgia Tech snapped a six game losing streak against Georgia earlier this season with an 11-2 thumping of the Bulldogs.
Junior Tim Elliott will take the mound for Georgia and has been lights out in the midweek posting a 4-1 record with a 1.04 ERA. He pitched 4.1 innings and gave up two runs, one earned in the last appearance against Georgia Tech.
Both teams come into the game off successful weekends with Georgia taking two out of three from Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech taking two out of three from UNC.
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