SEC Baseball: Florida, Kentucky, LSU, South Carolina Still Alive on Season's Final Day

Aroundthebases2010_medium

All you can ask on the last day is that several teams are still jockeying for position. Well, several teams will still be jockeying for position throughout Saturday.

SEC EAST SEC WEST
Overall SEC GB Overall SEC GB
South Carolina
39-14 18-10 -- z-LSU 41-14 18-11 --
Kentucky
41-14 18-11 0.5 Arkansas 38-17 15-14 x
Florida 40-15 18-11 0.5 Mississippi State
33-21 15-14 x
Vanderbilt 28-25 15-14 x Ole Miss
34-21 14-15 x
Georgia
31-23 14-14 x Auburn 29-26 12-17 x
y-Tennessee
24-30 8-21 x y-Alabama 20-34 8-21 x

"x" denotes elimination from division contention; "y" denotes elimination from Hoover; "z" denotes clinched division

Here's your handy guide to the teams with the most on the line and what they need for what they're after.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Up for: No. 1 seed, SEC East title, SEC regular-season championship
What they need: The Gamecocks clinch everything with a win. Their 19-10 record would be the best winning percentage in the league and the best in their division -- giving them all the titles and the No. 1 seed. If they lose, they need losses by Kentucky and Florida to win the SEC East; South Carolina would be out of the hunt for the No. 1 seed and the conference championship.

LSU
Already clinched: SEC West title
Up for: No. 1 seed, SEC regular-season championship
What they need: A win guarantees the Tigers a share of the regular-season SEC championship, and they've already locked up at least the No. 2 seed by winning the SEC West. They also need a Kentucky loss to get the No. 1 seed, because they have the tiebreaker if Florida also ends up 19-11. If both Kentucky and Florida lose while the Tigers win, LSU is the regular-season SEC champion.

KENTUCKY
Up for: No. 1 seed, SEC East title, SEC regular-season championship
What they need: A win and some other things to happen. First, they need South Carolina to lose because a Gamecocks win makes the result of the Wildcats' final game against Mississippi State moot. Then, they need a Florida loss because the Gators have the tiebreaker by defeating Kentucky during the season. All of that would give Kentucky the SEC East, a share of the regular-season league championship and, because they hold the tiebreaker over LSU, the No. 1 seed.

FLORIDA
Up for: No. 2 seed, SEC East title, SEC regular-season championship
What they need: A win and and LSU win would give the Gators the SEC East (or at least the seeding) on the tiebreaker with Kentucky and a share of the SEC championship. That would give Florida the No. 2 seed, because LSU defeated the Gators head-to-head and would get the No. 1 seed among the division winners.

VANDERBILT
Up for: Guaranteed NCAA eligibility despite the results in Hoover
What they need: A win. That would make the Commodores 29-25 and ensure that, even with two straight losses, they exit the SEC tournament with a 29-27 record. A loss in the final game against Ole Miss would leave the 'Dores 28-26 and needing a win in Hoover to make sure they leave with a winning record -- required for an at-large bid to the NCAA field.

AUBURN
Up for: Guaranteed NCAA eligibility despite the results in Hoover
What they need: A win, though the Tigers will probably need a deep run in Hoover to have any chance at making the field regardless of their record. In any case, a victory on Saturday would give Auburn a 30-26 record, meaning the worst they could end the season would be 30-28. But a loss would mean that two straight losses in Hoover would give the Tigers a final record of 29-29 -- and it would also leave their resume even thinner on quality wins for the selection committee to consider.

And, of course, all the teams in the middle need to win just to give themselves the best possible seed in Hoover.

Friday results:

LSU 5, South Carolina 2 (Game 1)
South Carolina 5, LSU 4 (Game 2)

Five was the lucky number Friday in Columbia. LSU took Game 1 with a 10-hit barrage, tagging Michael Roth with his first loss of the season and then adding on two more in the ninth for good measure. Christian Walker of South Carolina helped win the nightcap with a three-run home run as part of a four-run sixth inning that gave the Gamecocks a 4-3 lead; they added on one more in the seventh for some badly-needed insurance. But South Carolina also needed Matt Price to throw three innings -- after 45 pitches on Friday, it's unlikely he would be able to handle much if any work on Saturday.

Mississippi State 4, Kentucky 3
The Wildcats' folding act continued on Friday, with a three-run home run by Daryl Norris the difference in this game. The Western Division Bulldogs, who are in a battle of their own for seeding, used six different pitchers to nail down the win; they could end up as high as the No. 5 seed depending on how Saturday's games play out.

Florida 10, Auburn 1
The Gators had 12 hits in this one while Auburn got only two. That's generally not a recipe for a successful game. Yet another three-run homer, this one by Vickash Ramjit, was part of a four-run first inning that would have been enough on its own.

Vanderbilt 6, Ole Miss 2
Again, the Commodores are an extremely hot and extremely dangerous team right now, as the Rebel Black Bears are finding out the hard way. In an odd twist, this game was scoreless until a four-run seventh for Vanderbilt, followed by a one-run eighth for Ole Miss, a two-run eighth for Vanderbilt and a one-run ninth for Ole Miss. In case you need another reason to realize that wins and losses are a terrible way to measure a pitcher: Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers gave up one run in a bit more than six innings and ended up with the loss.

Alabama 4, Georgia 0
Yes, the Dawgs got shutout by the worst team in the SEC. Jon Keller scattered five hits over seven innings to get the win and Jake Hubbard followed that up with two hitless innings. Meanwhile, Michael Palazzone got knocked around for 10 hits and four earned runs over eight innings. Five of the hits and all four runs came in Bama's halves of the third and fourth.

Arkansas 10, Tennessee 3
Wes Walker was 3-for-3 for the Vols in this one and Tennessee got 10 hits, but the reason they've already been eliminated from Hoover is that they just aren't a very good team this year. Bo Bigham did one better for Arkansas, going 4-for-4, and a huge sixth inning put the game out of reach.

Saturday:

LSU at South Carolina, 1 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Florida at Auburn, 2 p.m. ET
Georgia at Alabama, 2 p.m. ET
Kentucky at Mississippi State, 3 p.m. ET
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, 3 p.m. ET
Arkansas at Tennessee, 4 p.m. ET

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