We’ve got a full plate of baseball to dig into today. Let’s dive in.
Perhaps a little surprisingly, there’ll be only one game on SEC Network proper this evening. That matchup features the 4th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores and 21st-ranked Auburn Tigers. Vandy is currently one game behind Georgia in the loss column for the lead in the SEC East, while Auburn sits at 10-9 in SEC play and sixth place in the SEC West. They’ll have to somehow crack the code in Nashville, as the Commodores are a robust 22-4 at home this year.
Speaking of Georgia, UGA will play at Mississippi State this weekend. The 5th-ranked Dawgs and 8th-ranked... well, Bulldogs, will be colliding in a pretty terrific weekend series. State’s still on the heels of being swept by Arkansas last weekend, but there’s still plenty of talent on that Bulldog team that should pose a big threat to UGA. But the Dawgs have certainly been playing very well lately. They’ve won five of their last six, the lone loss coming to Georgia Tech this past week, and have the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week in Emerson Hancock. What might help them out this weekend? They have the best road record in the conference with an 11-5 mark away from Athens.
Those Arkansas Razorbacks we mentioned will be playing the Tennessee Volunteers this weekend. UT is riding high on a five-game winning streak, including a road sweep of Kentucky, their first since all the way back in 2010. They beat Gardner-Webb earlier this week, many thanks to Andre Lipcius, who went liftoff for his 10th homer of the season. The Hogs did get clipped by Northwestern State earlier this week, but not after they beat them down 19-2 in the first of their two midweek encounters. The Vols will certainly have to beware the hot bat of Casey Martin, the reigning SEC Player of the Week.
The fourth and final ranked-vs.-ranked matchup of the weekend pits Texas A&M against Ole Miss. The 10th-ranked Aggies and 19th-ranked Rebels will play one another in Oxford in a matchup of importance as it pertains to seeding in the West. A&M sits in second place in the division behind Arkansas, with a mark of 11-7-1, while the Rebels are at 11-8. With little separation between the two, these games will surely be enticing enough to keep your eyes on them. A&M’s mere 7-6 record away from College Station could spell some doom against a Rebels squad that’s 21-7 at home.
16th-ranked LSU will be hitting the road to play Alabama this weekend. This should be pretty easy pickens for the Fighting Tigers, as they face the last-place Crimson Tide, who are 4-14 against their fellow SEC peers. The Bayou Bengals are on the heels of a three-game winning streak, which included two routs of rival Florida. ‘Bama, meanwhile, was dusted up by Vanderbilt last weekend but did beat Jacksonville State on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, South Carolina and Mizzou will face off at Taylor Stadium in CoMO. The Tigers and Gamecocks are both under .500 this season, with marks of 7-10-1 and 5-13 respectively. It hasn’t been the best year for each, but the Gamecocks will hope to not fall further down the rungs, as they sit sixth in the SEC East, only in front of Kentucky. The Tigers are 4th, but still are behind Tennessee by two games or so.
Finally, Florida and Kentucky are set to do battle against one another. The Gators have disappointed a bit, but will welcome a Wildcats team that is 21-20 overall and 4-14 in the SEC. In other words, this is a very winnable series for Florida, and one that they should probably attempt to knock down with as much ease as it should take them.