The race for best overall record in the SEC is still up for grabs along with the individual team winners of the SEC West and East divisions heading into week eight of conference play.
For one day South Carolina has moved into the first place spot in the SEC East after Kentucky lost at home to Florida 5-3. The Gamecocks’ ability to hold onto first depends on the Arkansas Razorbacks along with their ace pitcher Ryne Stanek.
Stanek is seventh in the SEC in ERA (2.52) and tied for third most wins with six. He takes on USC senior left handed pitcher Michael Roth (4-0, 2.57 ERA).
USC pitcher Colby Holmes will miss another spot in the weekend rotation. Holmes missed last week’s games after posting a win against Auburnin week six.
The Hogs are fighting to stay in contention in the West and are playing for a national regional. The Gamecocks could play their way into a Super Regional bid if they win out their remaining three SEC series.
The Bulldog fans have to hope for bullpen help in 2013.Georgia’s starting rotation is strong, especially with staff ace Alex Wood on Friday. The Bulldogs’ bullpen cost Woods a win against LSU last weekend but held on to win their first SEC Sunday game of the season against the Tigers.
Over the weekend take note of Georgia third baseman Curt Powell. Powell (.355) looks to extend his 16-game hitting streak against Auburn. He is hitting .400 (22-55) during his impressive run.
Alabama might as well raise a white flag Friday night with Mississippi State’s Chris Stratton (8-0, 2.39) on the mound. Stratton has thrown nine innings in back-to-back starts, one for a complete game victory.
MSU’s offense will be aided by Alabama’s duo of freshman starters, Spencer Turnbull (2-3, 4.54 ERA) and Joe Keller (1-4, 4.37 ERA). Bama fans can only hope that the hard knocks received this year by the young pitching staff will turn into a veteran rotation in 2013.
Anything goes when in-state rivals Vanderbilt and Tennessee square off this weekend. Vanderbilt, the 2011 SEC Champions, got a big boost to their season last weekend by taking two of three fromKentucky. If Vandy can continue that momentum against the Vols they should escape missing the SEC Tournament later this month at the expense of the Vols.
Florida (34-12, 13-9) at Kentucky (36-10, 14-8)
Florida, Sophomore, RHP, Karsten Whitson (3-0, 3.86 ERA)
Kentucky, Junior, LHP, Jerad Grundy (4-1, 4.29 ERA)
Florida, Junior, LHP, Brian Johnson (5-2, 4.04 ERA)
Kentucky, Sophomore, LHP, Corey Littrell (6-0, 2.51 ERA)
Auburn (25-19, 10-11) at Georgia (25-20, 9-12)
Auburn, Senior, RHP, Jon Luke Jacobs (5-1, 3.21 ERA)
Georgia, Sophomore, LHP, Alex Wood (5-1, 2.69 ERA)
Auburn, Freshman, LHP, Daniel Koger (2-4, 2.95 ERA)
Georgia, Senior, RHP, Michael Palazzone (2-5, 5.40 ERA)
Georgia, Freshman, RHP, Kuke Crumley (1-2, 4.44 ERA)
Vanderbilt (21-23, 9-12) at Tennessee (22-22, 7-14)
Vandy, Sophomore, RHP, T.J. Pecoraro (0-2, 5.30 ERA)
Tennessee, Sophomore, RHP, Nick Williams (2-4, 3.93 ERA)
Vandy, Freshman, RHP, Tyler Beede (1-4, 4.18 ERA)
Tennessee, Freshman, RHP, Robbie Kidd (2-1, 5.01 ERA)
Vandy, Sophomore, LHP, Kevin Ziomek (3-6, 4.89 ERA)
Mississippi State (27-17, 10-11) at Alabama (17-28, 6-15)
MSU, Junior, RHP, Chris Stratton (8-0, 2.39)
Alabama, Freshman, RHP, Spencer Turnbull (2-3, 4.54 ERA)
MSU, Junior, RHP, Kendall Graveman (3-2, 2.92 ERA)
Alabama, Freshman, LHP, Joe Keller (1-4, 4.37 ERA)
LSU (36-10, 14-7) at Ole Miss (30-16, 10-11)
LSU, Sophomore, RHP, Kevin Gausman (7-1, 3.00 ERA)
Ole Miss, Sophomore, RHP, Bobby Wahl (5-0, 2.15 ERA)
LSU, Sophomore, RHP, Ryan Eades (5-2, 3.26 ERA)
Ole Miss, Sophomore, RHP, Mike Mayers (4-2, 3.70 ERA)
LSU, Freshman, RHP, Aaron Nola (5-1, 3.15 ERA)
Ole Miss, TBA
South Carolina (34-11, 14-7) at Arkansas (31-13, 11-10)
USC, Senior, LHP, Michael Roth (4-0, 2.57 ERA)
Arkansas, Sophomore, Ryne Stanek (6-3, 2.52 ERA)
Arkansas, Junior, LHP, Randall Fant (2-2, 4.05 ERA)
USC, Freshman, LHP, Jordan Montgomery (4-0, 3.47)
Arkansas, Junior, RHP, D.J. Baxendale (6-2, 3.47 ERA)
Top SEC Pitching Matchup
Ole Miss right handed pitcher Bobby Wahl looks to add to his impressive season by beating No. 5 LSU on Friday night. Wahl has quality wins against TCU, Florida, and Auburn while twice being named SEC Pitcher of the Week.
LSU counters with Kevin Gausman (7-1, 3.00 ERA). Gausman has been excellent for the Tigers as their Friday starter through the 2012 college baseball season.
SEC Thursday Game of the Week
No. 8 Florida at No. 3 Kentucky,Florida won 5-3
SEC Weekend Series: May 3-6
No. 4 South Carolina at No. 13 Arkansas
Auburn at Georgia
Vanderbilt at Tennessee
No. 5 LSU at Ole Miss
No. 29 Mississippi State at Alabama
No. 8 Florida at No. 3 Kentucky
Baseball America Rankings
No. 4 LSU
No. 5 South Carolina
No. 7 Florida
No. 18 Arkansas
No. 24 Ole Miss
Collegiate Baseball Rankings
No. 3 Kentucky
No. 4 South Carolina
No. 5 LSU
No. 8 Florida
No. 13 Arkansas
No. 29 Mississippi State
SEC East (Overall Record, SEC Record)
South Carolina 34-11, 14-7
Kentucky 36-10, 14-8
Florida 34-12, 13-9
Georgia 25-20, 9-12
Vanderbilt 21-23, 9-12
Tennessee 22-22, 7-14
SEC West (Overall Record, SEC Record)
LSU 36-10, 14-7
Arkansas 31-13, 11-10
Auburn 25-19, 10-11
Mississippi State 27-17, 10-11
Ole Miss 30-16, 10-11
Alabama 17-28, 6-15
* Standings and records through May 4
Topics: Alabama, Alex Wood, Arkansas, Arkansas Razorbacks, Auburn, Baseball, Bobby Wahl, Chris Stratton, College Baseball, D.J. Baxendale, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky Wildcats, Kevin Gausman, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Randall Fant, Ryne Stanek, SEC Baseball, SEC Pitching Rotations, SEC Pitching Rotations Week Eight, Vanderbilt