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SEC Baseball Thursday Recap: Little Clinched; Mississippi St. Says Goodbye; S.C. Shocks LSU

Elsewhere, Auburn upends Florida's shot to win the SEC and Georgia clobbers Arkansas. And Carson Fulmer does Carson Fulmer things, which really should be against the rules at this point

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Board

Tennessee 5, Mississippi St. 2
A three-run fourth inning for Tennessee gave the Vols a huge win. Nick Senzel had a HR and three RBIs on a 2-for-4 day; Andy Cox scattered three hits and six walks over seven innings for the win.
Auburn 4, Florida 1 The Tigers scored two in the sixth and two in the eighth, but Florida's offense only managed one run the entire night against Cole Lipscomb and Justin Camp. Melvin Gray was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and picked up his 15th stolen base.
Georgia 10, Arkansas 1 This one was slightly surprising if only for the margin, but that's what happens when you commit four errors, as Arkansas did here -- all of them coming in the only three frames in which Georgia scored, which included a four-run first inning and a five-run seventh.
Kentucky 1, Missouri 0 Do you know how to offense? Kentucky put 11 men on base in this game and only managed to get one of them home, but it helps when Zack Brown only gives up four hits and no walks in nine shutout innings.
South Carolina 10, LSU 7 This is the kind of game you might have expected when LSU and South Carolina played and the Gamecocks were still, you know, consistently good. Back-to-back four-run innings in the sixth and seventh -- the latter featuring five walks and one hit -- propelled South Carolina to the comeback win.
Texas A&M 4,
Ole Miss 0
The Aggies managed to give up fewer than seven runs for the first time in five games. Grayson Long struck out 12 and walked three while allowing two hits in seven innings. Ole Miss never gave up more than a single run in an evening, but that was more than enough with Long on the mound.
Vanderbilt 2, Alabama 1 There are really no words anymore for Carson Fulmer, who struck out 14 while walking four and giving up just two hits in a complete game shutout. Vanderbilt scored both of its runs in the sixth, but when Fulmer's pitching, you don't need much.

South Carolina continues to be inexplicable, though this could just be an "any given day" thing. In any case, those scores give us the following standings.

SEC Overall
LSU 19-8 44-9
Vanderbilt 19-9 38-16
Texas A&M 18-9 43-9
Florida 17-11 38-15
Arkansas 15-12 31-20
Missouri 14-14 28-25
Ole Miss 14-14 29-25
Kentucky 13-14 29-23
Auburn 13-15 34-20
South Carolina 13-15 32-22
Alabama 11-17 29-25
Georgia 10-17 26-26
Tennessee 9-18 22-25
Mississippi State 8-20 24-28

If you're looking for the major takeaway in terms of what changed: Very little. Florida played its way out of the race for the SEC regular-season title, but winning that was already the longest of long-shots for the Gators, and Mississippi State is officially done as far as going to Hoover, but that was also close to inevitable. So all we got rid of Thursday was a little noise.

As far as the NCAA bubble: Auburn is almost certainly in no matter what happens, but they strengthened their resume with the win against Florida. Arkansas is also probably in regardless, but getting shellacked by Georgia won't look good to the committee if it continues. Missouri was probably the biggest loser and is now really going to struggle to make the conversation, and South Carolina was probably the biggest winner. Kendall Rogers thinks another win against LSU will seal the Gamecocks' invitation; South Carolina fans would also probably want at least one win in Hoover to feel completely confident, but Rogers' is a good opinion to take into account.

Getting a Bye and Winning the Conference

RACE FOR THE TOP FOUR
SEC Overall
LSU 19-8 44-9
Vanderbilt 19-9 38-16
Texas A&M 18-9 43-9
Florida 17-11 38-15
Arkansas 15-12 31-20
Missouri 14-14 28-25
Ole Miss 14-14 29-25

The race for one of the top four seeds in the SEC tournament -- which give the teams that hold them first-round byes -- is one of the few places where we did see some actual change Thursday night. The losses by Missouri and Ole Miss knock them out of the running. LSU, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M have all secured first-round byes. It's now down to Florida and Arkansas. Florida's magic number is one; the next win by the Gators or loss by the Razorbacks will give Florida at least the No. 4 seed.

As already mentioned, Florida is out of the hunt for the regular-season SEC title. LSU retains a slender half-game lead over Vanderbilt and a one-game lead over Texas A&M. That means the Tigers' magic number to win the conference is still two. The magic number for a share of the SEC West title and the No. 2 seed in Hoover is one, because LSU holds the tiebreaker over A&M.

Just Getting There

RACE FOR HOOVER
SEC Overall
Alabama 11-17 29-25
Georgia 10-17 26-26
Tennessee 9-18 22-25
Mississippi State 8-20 24-28

Good night, sweet Bulldogs. Mississippi State's season will officially end with their last game against Tennessee, which means the only thing they can do the rest of this weekend is wreck the Vols' season. Alabama's magic number remains stubbornly stuck at one, with the next win by the Tide or loss by Tennessee punching Alabama's ticket to -- remain in Hoover, where the team has played its regular season game this year. With its big win over Arkansas, Georgia has now cut its magic number to one. Basically, Tennessee's only hope is to complete the sweep while Georgia or Alabama drops its last two games; all three of those things are still likely enough to not close the book on this yet.

The Slate

Day Series Time TV/Streaming
Friday Mississippi State at Tennessee 6 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
Auburn at Florida 7 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
Arkansas at Georgia 7 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
Kentucky at Missouri 7 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
Texas A&M at Ole Miss 7:30 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
LSU at South Carolina 8 p.m. ET ESPNU
Vanderbilt at Alabama 8 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
Saturday Auburn at Florida 1 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
Arkansas at Georgia 1 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
Mississippi State at Tennessee 1 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK
Kentucky at Missouri 2 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
Texas A&M at Ole Miss 2:30 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK+
Vanderbilt at Alabama 4:30 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK
LSU at South Carolina 8 p.m. ET SEC NETWORK