Hoover, Ala.– Any college baseball fan that has barely followed the SEC this season knows how volatile conference play has been throughout the 2012 campaign. Why would the SEC Tournament be any different? It has not been!
Throughout the regular season teams like Kentucky have shocked college baseball while teams like Arkansas have largely disappointed. That trend has continued during post season play.
Kentucky limped through their final four SEC weekend series after suffering a two-game loss to then last placed Vanderbilt (April 27-29). The Wildcats went on to lose two out of three to Florida, swept last place Alabama, and then was swept by a middle of the pack Mississippi State team.
Following Vanderbilt’s win over then No. 2 Kentucky the ‘Dores have been the shocking surprise of the last half of the conference season supplanting the Wildcats.
Since beating Kentucky the Commodores went on a roll winning their last four weekend series (UK, Tennessee, LSU, and Ole Miss). That hot streak has continued as Vandy powered past Georgia 4-1 and South Carolina 3-2 in the first two games of the SEC Tournament.
Vanderbilt plays Florida Thursday night for the right to slide into the Bracket Two semifinal game undefeated. South Carolina waits in the loser’s bracket to find out who their next opponent will be.
South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt twice in the regular season in Nashville (March 30- April 1) and lost to the Gators twice (March 22-24).
Mississippi State, another SEC team on a second half roll, unloaded on Arkansas in the first game of the post season winning 9-1. The Bulldogs continued that momentum beating top seeded LSU 3-2 on Wednesday. Kentucky then dropped MSU into the loser’s bracket on Thursday after winning 5-1.
Call it LSU’s chance for revenge or MSU’s chance to prove their win over the Tigers was not a fluke, either way the two teams will meet on Friday for the right to play Kentucky in the Bracket One semifinal.
Arkansas, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Auburn were all middle of the pack teams throughout the season and remained such during their quick appearances in the tournament.
The Hogs could not capitalize on momentum from sweeping Tennessee in their final week of play nor could they provide run support for their top two pitchers, D.J. Baxendale and Ryne Stanek. Both pitchers took losses while only receiving one run of support in 18 innings of play.
Georgia was two and done after facing Vanderbilt and Auburn. Ole Miss bounced the Razorbacks on Wednesday and had the misfortune of playing Kentucky in their first game and LSU in their elimination game.
LSU, Mississippi State, and South Carolina are all in the loser’s bracket with only the promise of one game left before being eliminated.
By evening’s end Vanderbilt or Florida will join Kentucky in the winner’s bracket with breathing room for the remainder of the tournament.
The SEC heavy weights are still throwing their weight around but MSU and Vanderbilt have opportunities to win as dramatic underdogs.
Mississippi State 9, Arkansas 1
Kentucky 2, Ole Miss 0
Florida 6, Auburn 1
Vanderbilt, 4, Georgia 1
Ole Miss 2, Arkansas 0
Mississippi State 3, LSU 2
Auburn 3, Georgia 2
Vanderbilt 3, South Carolina 2
South Carolina 3, Auburn 0
Kentucky 5, Mississippi State 1
LSU 11, Ole Miss 2
LSU vs. Mississippi State
South Carolina vs. Loser of Vanderbilt vs. Florida
Kentucky vs. Winner of LSU vs. Mississippi State
Winner of Vanderbilt vs. Florida vs. loser of USC vs. loser of Vanderbilt vs. Florida
Team Records in 2012 SEC Tournament:
Ole Miss 1-2
South Carolina 1-1
Mississippi State 2-1
*All records before Florida vs. Vanderbilt, final game of day three action
** LSU andSouth Carolina received first round byes
*** The SEC Tournament is double elimination
2012 SEC Tournament Seeds:
No. 1 LSU
No. 2 South Carolina
No. 3 Florida
No. 4 Kentucky
No. 5 Vanderbilt
No. 6 Arkansas
No. 7 Mississippi State
No. 8 Georgia
No. 9 Ole Miss
No. 10 Auburn
Topics: Arkansas Razorbacks, Baseball, College Baseball, D.J. Baxendale, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky Wildcats, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Ryne Stanek, Schedules, Scores, Vanderbilt