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An SEC Baseball Weekend Recap: February 21-23

How did things shake out in the second week of action?

College World Series - Michigan v Vanderbilt - Game Three Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE

Series Result:
W vs. UNLV 8-0
W vs. UNLV 5-4
W vs. UNLV 5-1

The Tide rolled through UNLV over the weekend to improve to 7-0. They aced their doubleheader on Friday and capped off the series with a decisive 5-1 win on Sunday. Sam Praytor clubbed two homers in the 8-0 victory and Brett Auerbach added one of his own. The second game needed some dramatics, and those were brought by Jackson Tate, who hit a go-ahead solo blast in the 9th. Tyler Gentry hit two homers in Sunday’s win, and Praytor added another blast as well. Connor Prielipp struck out eight batters in five innings of work in the 8-0 win, one of the better pitching performances of the weekend for the Tide.

— Chris Novak

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS

Series Result:
W vs. Gonzaga 7-5
W vs. Gonzaga 9-3
W vs. Gonzaga 5-0
W vs. Gonzaga 9-5

Dave van Horn’s Razorbacks cruised to a four-game sweep over Gonzaga to remain undefeated on the young season. The Arkansas offense and defense was powered by a big weekend from freshman infielder Robert Moore, who snagged SEC Player of the Week after going 8-for-12 at the plate with nine RBIs against the Bulldogs. It’s the first time in program history the Hogs have won player of the week in back-to-back weeks. Arkansas is off to its best start since 2016, when the Razorbacks opened the year 8-0

— Chris Turner

AUBURN TIGERS

Series Result:
L vs. UCF 3-1
L vs. UCF 7-3
L vs. UCF 12-2

It was far from a good weekend for Auburn. The Tigers were swept at the hands of the UCF Knights, who beat them down in the final game 12-2. Auburn’s offense was held down to say the least, as they only amounted 21 hits and six total runs in the series. By comparison, UCF posted 22 runs and 34 hits. Ryan Bliss, the team’s leading hitter, was 4-for-13 in the series, but couldn’t get much help from anyone else beyond Matt Scheffler hitting a homer on Friday.

— Chris Novak

FLORIDA GATORS

Series Result:
W vs. Miami (FL) 2-1
W vs. Miami (FL) 7-4
W vs. Miami (FL) 5-3

The Gators were mighty successful over the weekend. UF swept Sunshine State rival Miami in a decisive manner to say the least. The Gators won in 11 innings on Friday night at Alex Rodriguez Park in Coral Gables. This thanks to an RBI single by leading hitter Jacob Young. Young brought Austin Langworthy home to score the go-ahead run, as they celebrated a 2-1 victory. The teams went to extras tied up at 2 runs again on Saturday. The Gators then dropped a big old 5-spot on the ‘Canes in the top of the 10th. Kirby McMullen went deep to give them the lead, and Kris Armstrong would then tack on another run. Josh Rivera added to the lead with an RBI single, and then Ben Specht clubbed one in and Rivera would later score off an error. Although Miami tacked on more runs, they would not be enough. UF held a 4-1 lead going into the 8th inning on Sunday, and while Miami put up two runs, they were able to add another in the 9th and then won 5-3 to clinch a sweep.

— Chris Novak

GEORGIA BULLDOGS

Series Result:
W vs. Santa Clara 9-0
W vs. Santa Clara 5-4 (12 inn.)
W vs. Santa Clara 6-1
L vs. Santa Clara 8-4

Despite a loss Sunday, Georgia is still impressing on the diamond to open the 2019 season. Emerson Hancock shined in the series opener on Friday, shutting out Santa Clara over seven innings while striking out eight Bronco batters. In the first game of a Saturday doubleheader, Tucker Bradley hit a walk-off home run in the 12th to give the Bulldogs the victory, and guarantee a series split. The Broncos avoided a sweep with a 8-4 win on Sunday. The Bulldogs are 7-1 for the third straight season under Scott Stricklin. Another fun fact, they are 17-for-18 in stolen bases this year.

— Chris Turner

KENTUCKY WILDCATS

Series Result:
W vs. Appalachian State 7-3
W vs. Appalachian State 21-4
W vs. Appalachian State 8-7

Kentucky’s 0-3 start looks like a thing of the past already. After taking down SEMO earlier in the week, the Wildcats swept Appalachian State. And did so with almost little drama involved. They defeated the Mountaineers 7-3 on Friday and then trounced them 21-4 on Saturday. The Wildcats got to 21 runs on just 13 hits, They drilled 3 home runs in the game from 3 different batters — Trae Harmon, Elliott Curtis and Jaren Shelby — and collected RBI from 11 different batters.

— Chris Novak

LSU TIGERS

Series Result:
L vs. Eastern Kentucky 2-0
W vs. Eastern Kentucky 6-3
W vs. Eastern Kentucky 10-2

LSU was knocked on their heels a bit by Nicholls in midweek, and it looked like they’d be in some trouble after dropping their opener to EKU. But the Tigers fought back and won 6-3 on Saturday and clinched a series win on Sunday with their 10-2 win. Daniel Cabrera clubbed a homer in Saturday’s 6-3 win, and five different Tigers drove in runs in the 10-2 rout. Landon Marceaux struck out six batters in Saturday’s win, going eight innings with four hits allowed.

— Chris Novak

MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS

Series Result:
W vs. Oregon State 6-2
W vs. Oregon State 7-4
L vs. Oregon State 7-2

The Bulldogs took a series from a ranked Oregon State squad to move to 5-1 on the year. State took the first two games 6-2 and 7-4, but failed to complete the sweep as they were defeated 7-2 on Sunday. Brandon Pimentel went deep for the first time all season in Friday’s win and drove in three runs in the process. On Saturday, it was Josh Hatcher’s turn, as Hatcher knocked one out of the yard in the 7-4 win. Christian McLeod struck out seven in the win on Saturday in five innings of work.

— Chris Novak

MISSOURI TIGERS

Series Result:
L vs. Kansas State 5-1
W vs. Utah 3-2
W vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 8-4

Mizzou continues to open 2019 on the road, (I mean, have you been to mid-Missouri in February?) taking part in the Kleberg Bank College Classic in Corpus Christi. The Tigers opened with a loss to Kansas State on Friday, managing just four hits in a 5-1 loss to the Wildcats. Pitching led the Tigers over the rest of the weekend, starting with a strong start for Konnor Ash against Utah on Saturday. The junior right-hander went seven innings and struck out nine Utes to pick up his first win of 2019. Sunday, the bullpen picked up the slack, with Spencer Miles and Andrew Vail throwing a combined seven shutout innings in relief against TAMU-CC. The two earned their first career save and victory, respectively.

— Chris Turner

OLE MISS REBELS

Series Result:
W vs. Xavier 13-0
W vs. Xavier 9-0
W vs. Xavier 13-3

The Diamond Rebs are still rolling after opening the season with a series victory over a top-ranked Louisville squad in Oxford. Ole Miss didn’t need to break much of a sweat in its sweep over Xavier at Swayze Field, winning by a combined margin of 35-3. The Rebels started the weekend with a combined no-hitter from Doug Nikhazy, Drew McDaniel, and Jackson Kimbrell. It was the first nine-inning no-hitter for Ole Miss since 1966, and the first combined no-hitter in program history. Junior shortstop Anthony Servideo was named Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Week after posting a 7-for-14 weekend where he hit three home runs with seven RBIs.

— Chris Turner

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS

Series Result:
L vs. Northwestern 5-2
W vs. Northwestern 12-3
L vs. Northwestern 4-3

South Carolina couldn’t tame the Northwestern Wildcats enough to earn a series win. The Wildcats defeated the Gamecocks 5-2 on Friday and then 4-3 on Sunday to send South Carolina to 4-2. The lone win was a dominant one for SC, as the Gamecocks earned a 12-3 victory on Saturday. They collected 13 hits in the win, including a pair of homers from Wes Clarke. Clarke had seven RBI in the game, as he got them all on his homers, with a grand slam in the 6th and a 3-run bomb in the 2nd.

— Chris Novak

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS

Series Result:
W vs. Texas Tech 6-2
W vs. Houston 8-4
W vs. Stanford 7-2

The Vols took care of business this weekend, opening the Round Rock Classic with a victory over #1 Texas Tech, and finishing off the weekend with wins over Houston and #25 Stanford. Jake Rucker led the way offensively, going 5-12 with a home run on the weekend. Chad Dallas and Jackson Leath each struck out eight betters in a combined 9.2 innings of work in the three games.

Robert O’Neill

TEXAS A&M AGGIES

Series Result:
W vs. Army 12-3
W vs. Army 6-5
W vs. Army 14-12

A&M picked up a sweep of Army to improve to 8-0 on the year. Bryce Blaum had a big week for the Aggies, scoring 12 runs and picking up 10 RBI, while stealing five bases and walking nine times in A&M’s five games. The big numbers netted Blaum an SEC Co-Player of the Week award.

Robert O’Neill

VANDERBILT COMMODORES

Series Result:
W vs. UIC 9-0
W vs. UIC 9-3
W vs. UIC 5-2

Pitching continues to be the name of the game for Vanderbilt, as ‘Dores pitchers allowed held opponents to a .107 batting average and posted a 1.00 ERA in their five wins last week. Freshman Jack Leiter was particularly sharp as he made his collegiate debut against South Alabama earlier in the week and struck out 12 hitters in five innings. Over the weekend, it was Mason Hickman and Kumar Rocker doing the heavy lifting, as the two combined for 24 strikeouts and allowed just five hits over 14 innings of work on Friday and Saturday.

Robert O’Neill