It’s the final weekend of the SEC baseball regular season. And Thursday night kicks things off with all 14 teams in action.
Three teams from the conference who’ve pretty much already locked up national seeds in the looming NCAA Baseball Tournament will begin their final series of the weekend. The toughest test will be for the 4th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs will face off with the 19th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies out in College Station. A&M probably isn’t close to the 1-seed line and probably isn’t particularly close to hosting any Regionals, either. But, the Aggies are still a tough threat right now and Arkansas ought to not take them lightly. This is the only ranked-vs.-ranked matchup of the upcoming weekend, so it might be best to keep your eyes peeled on this bad boy.
Meanwhile, 2nd-ranked Vanderbilt will get a crack at Kentucky on the road. The Commodores are pretty secure right now for a national seed, and obviously hosting all the way through to the Super Regionals. UK, meanwhile, is probably completely out of contention for a bid unless they go on a torrid run through the upcoming SEC Baseball Tournament. So the Wildcats will hope to just play spoiler and not let Vandy finish the season out strong.
Elsewhere, Mississippi State will be hosting South Carolina. The Gamecocks also aren’t likely to be fixtures in this upcoming postseason. Their 7-20 mark in SEC play and 27-25 overall record likely has lots to do with that. They will hope to just not finish in last place in the SEC East, as they’re currently tied with aforementioned Kentucky in that category. State, meanwhile, is hoping to claim the SEC West Division. They’re one game back of Arkansas in that department, so all eyes will be on that battle.
D1 Baseball’s projection currently has Georgia as a national seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The Dawgs will hope to keep that fact true as they look to finish out the season on a high note. To do so, they’ll have to dispatch the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama is 7-20 in SEC play and 30-23 on the year. They’re not likely to sniff the postseason, like their aforementioned peers, so the role of spoiler will go to them, too.
Going down the ladder, a fascinating series will begin in Knoxville. The Ole Miss Rebels and Tennessee Volunteers are set to do battle this weekend. Ole Miss is very much safe as far as their postseason aspirations are concerned. D1 Baseball’s current projected Field of 64 has them as a 2 seed playing in Atlanta, headed by Georgia Tech. So the Rebels, no matter what happens this series, are likely to be in. Tennessee, meanwhile, is an interesting case. D1 Baseball has them as one of their last five teams in, so their recent run may very well be keeping them alive. That’s no surprise, as they’ve won four of their last five, having taken down Florida last weekend along with Austin Peay last week, and then Tennessee Tech this past Tuesday. This could be huge for the Vols if they want to secure themselves some more certainty as the postseason inches closer.
20th-ranked LSU and 22nd-ranked Mizzou, meanwhile, will face off with Auburn and Florida this weekend respectively. Neither the Tigers nor the Gators have fared well this year, so this could present opportunities for both sets of Tigers to take care of business. LSU has very much been slipping lately, although right now, D1 Baseball has them still hosting as the 14th national seed.
Mizzou, meanwhile, is currently projected to play in the Stillwater region, headed by Oklahoma State. They can improve their chances and projections as the season finale comes closer.
Florida probably has no real chance of getting into the mix unless they pull off a series win and then a run in the SEC Tournament. Auburn, elsewhere, is set to be a 2 in Corvallis, and has a chance to improve their shot if they get some wins against the Fighting Tigers.
All told, this will be an exciting weekend and conclusion to this SEC baseball season. You’ll want to pay attention. Trust us.