Mother Nature made her presence well known once again on Friday in the form of rainfall, disrupting SEC play in Athens, Georgia and Gainesville, Florida. As such, the South Carolina-Auburn and Florida-Georgia match-ups will be postponed until Saturday afternoon for a pair of doubleheaders.
Nonetheless, play resumed as usual for each of the remaining five SEC match-ups. Ole Miss responded from Thursday’s loss to LSU by way of a 5-1 victory on Friday night, while Arkansas jumped on Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede early to help secure a 6-2 victory against the No. 13 ranked Commodores.
Alabama continued their winning ways and maintained their position at the helm of the SEC standings with an 8-5 victory at Tennessee, while action west of the Mississippi River saw the No. 23 ranked Kentucky Wildcats grab a 6-3 victory over Texas A&M and the Mississippi State Bulldogs claim a 3-2 decision in 11 innings over Missouri.
Without further a do, below is a recap of each of the seven SEC match-ups from Friday.
SEC Baseball Scores
(6) South Carolina at Auburn (PPD)
Friday’s weekend opener between the No. 6 ranked South Carolina and Auburn was postponed due to rain, setting up a doubleheader on Saturday at Plainsman Park, with the first game slated for 11:00 a.m. and the second to follow at 4:00 p.m.
Both South Carolina and Auburn will look to rebound this weekend, but only one will come out with a favorable outcome. Coming into the weekend series, the Gamecocks have lost four in a row, having dropped two games against Florida last weekend and a pair of midweek contests against Charleston Southern and The Citadel this week. As for Auburn, the Tigers have dropped their last three games, two having come against Alabama last weekend and a midweek game at Samford.
Despite the recent shortcomings of both teams, the Gamecocks have had the upper hand in match-ups between the two programs, as they have registered eight straight victories against the Tigers, who have not won a series against the Gamecocks since 1997.
(8) LSU 1, (10) Ole Miss 5
After Aaron Nola outdueled Chris Ellis in Thursday’s weekend opener to grab the 4-3 victory for LSU, the Ole Miss Rebels responded on Friday by evening the series with the Tigers.
The Tigers tied Friday’s contest at 1-1 in the top of the third, but the Rebels’ Christian Trent buckled down and turned in quite the strong outing, tossing seven innings of one run (no earned) ball and fanning five batters. The Rebels’ offense responded with a run in the bottom half of the third and tacked on three more unanswered runs over the fourth and seventh frames.
Auston Bousfield led the way on offense, going 4-for-4 with three RBI, while Austin Anderson and Will Allen contributed with a pair of RBIs. Behind Trent followed Scott Weathersby, who tossed two perfect innings of relief (four strikeouts) to close out the ball game and seal the 5-1 victory for the Rebels.
(13) Vanderbilt 2, Arkansas 6
The Razorbacks struck early on Friday, plating four runs in the bottom of the first off of Commodores’ staff ace Tyler Beede, three of which came on a three-run home run by Eric Fisher – his sixth of the season and fourth in his last five games.
Arkansas’ Trey Killian tossed 6 2/3 innings of work, surrendering two unearned runs and striking out three for his second victory of the season, whereas Vanderbilt’s Beede continued his recent struggles, earning his fifth loss after surrendering six runs on 10 hits over seven frames.
(15) Alabama 8, Tennessee 5
The Alabama offense jumped on Tennessee’s Nick Williams in Friday evening’s 8-5 series opener at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, wherein the Vols’ right-hander was charged with eight runs on 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings of work. On offense, the Crimson Tide displayed a balanced attack, as seven of nine starters collected at least one hit, highlighted by Casey Hughston’s two RBI and Will Haynie’s solo shot in the fifth.
Will Maddox got things going for Tennessee in the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot to put the Vols on the board, sparking a late-game rally that saw the Vols plate three runs in the seventh and another in the eighth. However, the damage had already been done, as Thomas Burrows entered in the eighth for Alabama, retiring all five batters he faced to end the game and secure his seventh save of the season, as well as the 8-5 victory.
(19) Florida vs. Georgia (PPD)
Much like that of the South Carolina-Auburn opener, the weekend opener between No. 19 ranked Florida and Georgia was postponed due to rain on Friday, pushing back play until Saturday afternoon. As such, Saturday will feature a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m., to be followed by the originally billed nightcap at 7:00 p.m.
Georgia took last year’s series against the Gators in Athens, snapping a streak of six consecutive regular season series losses to Florida. The Gators are coming off of a 7-1 midweek victory at Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday, whereas the Bulldogs are fresh off a 4-1 loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday after having grabbed their weekend series against Tennessee at home.
(23) Kentucky 6, Texas A&M 3
Kentucky broke open a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth with a Ka’ai Tom RBI single and two-run base knocker by Thomas Bernal (who opened the game with a two-run single), putting the Wildcats up by three heading into the bottom half of the inning.
After tossing eight innings of three-run ball, A.J. Reed deferred to Kyle Cody in the bottom of the ninth, as the sophomore right-hander retired the side for his fourth save of the season and secured the 6-3 victory for the Wildcats.
Mississippi State 3, Missouri 2
Both Mississippi State and Missouri received strong performances from their bullpens on Friday, good enough to hold each other’s offense in line into extra innings. After Trevor Fitts departed in the third, Jacob Lindgren struck out seven over 3.0 innings of one-run ball, to be followed by 5 1/3 scoreless innings from Jonathan Holder.
Much was the same for the Tigers, as starter Brett Graves worked seven innings of two-run ball before deferring to Keaton Steele, who had struck out seven over four innings before giving up the go-ahead (and eventual game-winning) RBI single to C.T. Bradford in the top of the 11th. Holder retired the side in the bottom of the frame to secure the 3-2 victory for the Bulldogs.