SEC Weekend Preview (3/21-3/23)

Texas A&M vs. Florida
FRIDAY (6:35 p.m. CT)

FLORIDA Fr. RHP Logan Shore (1-1, 0.68 ERA) vs TEXAS A&M Jr. RHP Daniel Mengden (2-3, 3.12 ERA)

SATURDAY (2:50 p.m. CT)

Florida So. RHP Eric Hanhold (3-1, 1.93 ERA) vs Texas A&M So. RHP Grayson Long (2-0, 0.26 ERA)

SUNDAY (1:05 p.m. CT)

Florida TBA vs Texas A&M Fr. LHP Tyler Stubblefield (3-1, 1.84 ERA)

 After going 1-3 in their own tournament against Illinois and Florida Gulf Coast, the Gators have won 8 of 9, including 2 of 3 against Arkansas last weekend. Texas A&M comes off a disappointing weekend at Auburn and I look for the Aggies to settle down a bit this weekend. I’m giving them the slight nod to take the series.

Series prediction: Texas A&M 2-1

Kentucky vs. South Carolina

FRIDAY (6:30 p.m. ET)
SOUTH CAROLINA Jr. LHP Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 3.14 ERA) vs KENTUCKY Jr. LHP A.J. Reed (3-1, 1.91 ERA)

SATURDAY (2 p.m. ET) [FSN/E3] South Carolina So. LHP Jack Wynkoop (4-0, 1.84 ERA) vs Kentucky Jr. RHP Chandler Shepherd (4-0, 2.41 ERA)

SUNDAY (1 p.m. ET)

South Carolina Fr. RHP Wil Crowe (4-0, 1.10 ERA) vs Kentucky Jr. RHP Andrew Nelson (1-0, 1.99 ERA)

South Carolina has looked like the #1 team in the country to me from day one. Nothing but wins, many of them of the shutout variety. The Gamecocks looked briefly human last weekend on the verge of dropping the first two games of the series but a furious 9th inning comeback led the way for them to defeat a very good Ole Miss team and win the series in a doubleheader last Saturday. Kentucky is a tough team but I’ll be surprised if SC doesn’t walk away from Lexington with two wins.

Series prediction: South Carolina 2-1

Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt

FRIDAY (6:30 p.m. CT) [CSS/E3] VANDERBILT Jr. RHP Tyler Beede (4-1, 0.84 ERA) vs MISS. STATE R-So. RHP Preston Brown (2-0, 0.75 ERA)

SATURDAY (7:30 p.m. CT) [ESPNU/E3] Vanderbilt  Jr. LHP Jared Miller (5-0, 0.57 ERA) vs Miss. State R-Jr. LHP Ross Mitchell (3-1, 1.50 ERA)

SUNDAY (1:30 p.m. CT)

Vanderbilt So. RHP Tyler Ferguson (3-0, 1.63 ERA) vs Miss. State Jr. RHP Trevor Fitts (2-0, 3.55 ERA)

Vanderbilt brings arguably the best pitching staff in the nation to Starkville in a series where runs will likely be hard to come by. Tyler Ferguson is Vandy’s #3 starter and his ERA is 1.63. That’s just not fair. The Bulldogs have had a shakeup of their own in the rotation, with Preston Brown getting the Friday nod and Ross Mitchell moving from the bullpen to starting rotation after a brilliant complete game win at Georgia last weekend. The pitching depth on both sides should put on a show.

Series prediction: Vanderbilt 2-1

Arkansas vs. Alabama

FRIDAY (6:35 p.m. CT)
ALABAMA Jr. RHP Spencer Turnbull (2-1, 0.31 ERA) vs ARKANSAS Jr. LHP Jalen Beeks (3-2, 1.15 ERA)

SATURDAY (2:05 p.m. CT) Alabama Jr. LHP Justin Kamplain (2-2, 3.67 ERA) vs Arkansas So. RHP Trey Killian (0-3, 3.06 ERA)

SUNDAY (1:05 p.m. CT) [CST] Alabama Jr. LHP Jon Keller (4-0, 1.63 ERA) vs Arkansas TBA

Spencer Turnbull has been dynamic this season and gives the Tide a slight edge in the opener, but going on the road in the SEC is always quite a task. Arkansas continues to struggle mightily at the plate in their losses (1 total run in 2 losses at Florida last weekend) but I have a feeling they scratch enough across to take the series at Baum.

Series prediction: Arkansas 2-1

Tennessee vs. Auburn

FRIDAY (6 p.m. ET)
AUBURN Sr. RHP Dillon Ortman (4-1, 1.83 ERA) vs TENNESSEE Sr. RHP Nick Williams (3-1, 1.48 ERA)

SATURDAY (4 p.m. ET) [CSS/E3] Auburn Fr. RHP Keegan Thompson (4-0, 0.69 ERA) at Tennessee Fr. RHP Hunter Martin (2-0, 0.73 ERA)

SUNDAY (2 p.m. ET) Auburn R-So. RHP Justin Camp (1-2, 2.90 ERA) vs Tennessee So. RHP Andrew Lee (2-0, 3.46 ERA)

Two of the most surprising stories of the SEC season square off this weekend in Knoxville. The Vols have done everything and then some to compile an 18-2 overall record thus far. On the other hand, after getting off to a rough start Auburn has won 9 of 10 and things are looking up. Tennessee is the better team, however, and packs an offensive punch to go with a very high quality pitching staff. Auburn has been tough as of late but Tennessee gets it done this weekend.

Series prediction: Tennessee 3-0

LSU vs. Georgia

FRIDAY (7 p.m. CT) [CST] GEORGIA So. LHP Ryan Lawlor (2-1, 4.50 ERA) vs LSU Jr. RHP Aaron Nola (4-0, 0.27 ERA)

SATURDAY (6:30 p.m. CT) [CST] Georgia Fr. RHP Robert Tyler (1-1, 2.13 ERA) vs LSU Fr. LHP Jared Poche’ (4-1, 2.22 ERA)

SUNDAY (Noon CT) Georgia Sr. LHP Patrick Boling (2-2, 3.33 ERA) vs LSU TBA

Under new head coach Scott Stricklin at least Georgia has shown some signs of life and have won most of the games they are supposed to win so far. A winning overall record is a nice start for Stricklin to this point as he tries to rebuild a program that’s at the bottom of the SEC. All signs, however, point to an LSU sweep in Baton Rouge. Aaron Nola for my money is as good of a pitcher as you’ll find in college baseball and the Tigers have all the necessary tools to put these games away early.

Series prediction: LSU 3-0

Ole Miss vs. Mizzou

FRIDAY (6:30 p.m. CT) MISSOURI Jr. RHP Brett Graves (3-1, 1.30 ERA) vs OLE MISS Jr. RHP Chris Ellis (3-0, 0.82 ERA)

SATURDAY (1:30 p.m. CT) Missouri Jr. RHP John Miles (2-1, 5.76 ERA) vs Ole Miss So. LHP Christian Trent (2-0, 3.48 ERA)

SUNDAY (1:30 p.m. CT) Missouri So. RHP Eric Anderson (0-2, 2.77 ERA) vs Ole Miss Jr. RHP Sam Smith (3-1, 1.84 ERA)

Ole Miss has gotten off to a very impressive start to the season, probably even better than most of their fans would have even expected. The Rebels were hard luck losers in Columbia last weekend after blowing a 4-1 lead with 2 outs in the 9th, but going toe to toe with South Carolina on the road showed just how talented this group really can be. Mizzou limps into the series with just an 11-9 overall record. If they can come away from Oxford with a win this weekend color me surprised.

Series prediction: Ole Miss 3-0