Mother’s Day was a busy day in the world of SEC baseball, as there were six games on the ledger. Two ranked teams went down on the day, including one who dropped a pivotal series.
The first game of the day was between Mississippi State and Georgia. The Bulldogs upset State at home to take the three-game series 2-1. UGA was led by hurler Chase Adkins, who fired six shutout innings in the 4-1 victory. The ‘Dawgs have now pulled off consecutive series wins against Top 10 teams for the first time since 2008. Mississippi State with the loss, fell to second place in the SEC West, a full game behind LSU. Both teams will take the field on Tuesday, facing teams from outside the SEC at home.
The second ranked team to go down on Sunday was No. 22 Texas A&M, who fell on the road to Ole Miss, 6-3. The win moves the Rebels to an impressive 24-8 record at home this season. Rebs starter David Parkinson got the win in the game, tossing six innings while only allowing one run. The loss dropped A&M to three games back of first place in the SEC West behind LSU.
In another showdown that impacts the SEC West, Arkansas defeated Vanderbilt 7-1. The 16th-ranked Razorbacks improved to 37-14 overall on the year and 16-10 in the SEC. That record keeps them one game behind LSU in the loss column but two wins behind them in the win column, as the Tigers are 18-9 against SEC opponents. Arkansas used the long ball to power themselves to victory as three home runs were hit in the win. Dominic Fletcher, Chad Spanberger and Grant Koch all went deep, with Spanberger and Koch each hitting two-run shots while Fletcher ‘settled’ for one of the solo variety. Julian Infante, the Commodores’ leading hitter, also hit a homer in the contest.
No. 8 Kentucky completed its three-game sweep of Tennessee on Sunday, defeating the Volunteers 7-2 in front of 3,085 fans at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The player of the weekend for the Wildcats had to be Riley Mahan, who went 9-13 at the plate with three home runs, six runs scored and eight RBI. The win sets up the Wildcats’ crucial series with Florida next weekend, in which Kentucky will have to win at least two of three to claim at least a part of the SEC East Division title.
Speaking of, the Gators capped off a sweep of Alabama with a 10-5 win. The victory keeps them atop the SEC East with a 19-8 record in conference, one game better than aforementioned Kentucky. Dalton Guthrie, JJ Schwarz and Nelson Maldonado all hit homers in the victory, as Schwarz blasted a two-run shot while Guthrie and Maldonado each hit solo dingers. Jackson Kowar was a bit shaky despite getting to 6.2 innings pitched on the day. Kowar issued six walks to three strikeouts and allowed four earned runs and four hits. Luckily, the Gator offense gave him enough support. Nick Horvath and Garrett Milchin pitched 2.2 scoreless innings to cap off the win, with Horvath allowing the only hit between the two.
Finally, Mizzou got back on track with a 5-3 win over South Carolina. The Tigers now sit at 11-16, but still trial the Gamecocks in the SEC East standings, with South Carolina holding a 12-15 conference record. Brett Bond hit his 10th home run of the year, a two-run shot in the first inning that got the scoring started for the Tigers. South Carolina would respond with two in the third and then one more in the fifth and brought that lead with them into the eighth. A three-run rally carried Mizzou to a win as they posted the three spot in the bottom frame of the eighth.