While Wednesday’s baseball schedule is light, Tuesday’s was anything but. 11 teams took the field for midweek action and for the most part, everything went to script.
That is, unless you’re the Louisville Cardinals. The second-ranked Cards were taken down by the Kentucky Wildcats in what is one of the biggest wins of the year for UK. The ‘Cats won 11-7 over their in-state rival from the Commonwealth and were hardly fazed. From the jump, UK pounced right on them, pouring out five runs in the first inning. They followed that up with four two innings later and two in the ensuing inning, as they led 11-0 after four innings of action. While Louisville chipped away, plating home five runs in the sixth after a two-run outburst in the fifth, the hole that Kentucky dug them in was too deep for them to climb out. In turn, Kentucky improved to 26-12 and moves to 23-7 in their last 30 games.
Missouri, however, did not see their plan go according to script. Instead, the Tigers dropped one to Missouri State in a loss the Tigers might not soon forget. Despite all their success at the start of the season, Mizzou missed out on a huge opportunity to grab a big nonconference victory. The Bears, of course, were ranked 22nd in the RPI entering Tuesday and the Tigers were hunting for their second nonconference Top 25 RPI victory of the year (the other being Houston). They’ve only made it harder on themselves now as they look to make it to the NCAA Tournament.
Six other ranked teams from the SEC went to battle and much to their delight, all were victorious except for Mississippi State, who lost a tough road game to South Alabama. The Jaguars were set to be a tough opponent who, now at 22-15, remains a force in the Sun Belt. Mississippi State had been rolling of late, so the Jags were able to knock them back down to earth. It will be intriguing to see how State responds going forward after this brief trip up.
On the flipside, Auburn, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas and LSU all proved victorious in their matchups. Auburn defeated Kennesaw State 15-7 and Arkansas one-upped them by winning 16-7 over Memphis. That proved to be the most lopsided win by a ranked team on Tuesday, with Florida edging out North Florida 2-1, South Carolina squeaking out a 3-2 win over Davidson and LSU besting Lamar 10-4.
Speaking of lopsided... hello Alabama and Vanderbilt. The Crimson Tide thumped Alcorn State 18-1 on Tuesday night in a game that got out of hand quickly. And elsewhere, the Commodores romped the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 21-2 in which the ‘Dores scored those 21 runs on 21 hints. How’s that for efficiency?
Not all could be successful however as Texas A&M fell to UT Arlington 3-2. The Aggies couldn’t grab a road win that they likely would’ve needed and were snuffed out by their opponents despite holding a lead at one point in the game. They only managed six hits in the contest and were held scoreless in eight of the nine innings that they played. At 26-12, the Aggies aren’t ranked but are in need of some wins going down the stretch to improve their chances.
Today’s Baseball Schedule
|Arkansas vs. Texas A&M||Noon||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Kentucky vs. Florida||1 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Ole Miss vs. Auburn||2 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Alabama vs. Vanderbilt||2 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Missouri vs. Tennessee||2 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Georgia vs. South Carolina||3 p.m.||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|LSU vs. Mississippi State||4:30 p.m.||ESPNU||WatchESPN|
Four games are on the docket on Wednesday with none more important and eye-popping than Georgia-Clemson. Sitting at 15-22, the Bulldogs’ postseason chances are rather grim and unrealistic, but a win against the Tigers would certainly suit them for the spoiler role. Clemson ranks as one of the best teams in the country, checking in at 5th in the RPI, 4th in the Coaches Poll and 3rd in the Baseball America, D1Baseball and NCBWA polls. By all measures, the 30-7 Tigers are vaunted, so we’ll see if UGA has the muster to make it happen.