After a weekend that saw Vanderbilt deal our beloved Rebels their first sweep of the season, Ole Miss dropped from the 5th seed to the 9th seed in the SEC Tournament. This matches them up with the Wildcats of Kentucky, a team who is reeling off a sweep of their own. Kentucky was swept by Mississippi State who is also in the top half of the bracket and will open against Arkansas. The Rebels and Wildcats met three times in April with UK winning the Friday and Sunday matchups. Despite losing the Friday contest, Ole Miss was in the game all night and fell 3-2 after an 8th inning RBI single by Cameron Flynn. That is good news for the Rebels as Bobby Wahl is just a few timely hits away from winning every game he starts. More on this game tomorrow.
#6 Arkansas (16-14) vs. #7 Mississippi State (16-14)
Both teams are coming off sweeps, Arkansas downed lowly Tennessee on the road and the Bulldogs took out Kentucky in Starkville in short order. They played a three game set in Starkville back in March with UA winning the series, but losing on Friday 11-2. Mississippi State has won 11 of their last 15 conference games and will look to ride ace Chris Stratton into the winners bracket. Game time is roughly set for 1:00 on Tuesday.
#3 Florida (18-12) vs. #10 Auburn (13-17)
The orange and blue flocks will continue as these two wrapped up a series yesterday only to be paired up on Tuesday. Florida beat Auburn by a combined score of 16-1 to start the series with Auburn stealing the finale 5-4. The Tigers managed just 3 hits against Hudson Randall on Friday and will need a better outing from Jon Luke Jacobs if they are to have any chance at playing South Carolina on Wednesday.
#5 Vanderbilt (16-14) vs. #8 Georgia (14-15)
On two different paths, Georgia and Vanderbilt will be the 5-8 matchup. Vanderbilt has won their last 5 conference games (LSU and Ole Miss), while Georgia lost 2 of 3 to hopeless Alabama over the weekend. Vandy took 2 of 3 from Georgia in Nashville with the 3 games being decided by a combined 4 runs. Georgia won the Friday contest 1-0 behind a four pitcher ensemble led by Alex Wood. This will be the night cap come Tuesday and is seemingly the least predictable game of the day.
#1 LSU (19-11) and #2 South Carolina (18-11) earned byes.
Without the new bracket format, Ole Miss would have lost out on tournament play for the second consecutive year. The good news is that we are in it and have been given a chance bring everything together come tournament time. The Rebels have the 2nd most hits in the SEC and have the 6th best ERA in the league. This is the time when they need to bring it all together and turn those statistics into victories. More coverage on the opener against Kentucky tomorrow.