SEC Baseball Race Tight As AU Prepares For Leader

It was another wild weekend of baseball in the SEC as the race draws tighter and tighter at the halfway mark of the conference schedule.

Currently 10 teams stand within three games of the overall conference lead with the Florida Gators holding the top spot at the moment following a series victory over Alabama in Gainesville.

The biggest movers of the weekend came in Knoxville and Baton Rouge as the Tennessee Vols and LSU Tigers made up ground on the pack despite both losing on Friday night. Arkansas defeated Tennessee and ace Luke Hochevar on Friday for its ninth-straight victory since losing a series to Auburn, but the Vols answered back to win both Saturday and Sunday to claim the series win. For LSU Friday night's loss was the fifth consecutive loss in the conference, but the Fighting Tigers avoided losing their fourth consecutive series with wins on Saturday and Sunday. The following is a recap of the weekend action:

Friday Night

Auburn 8, Kentucky 4
Florida 9, Alabama 8
Georgia 5, Mississippi State 1
Ole Miss 14, LSU 8
Arkansas 4, Tennessee 1
Vanderbilt 11, South Carolina 3

Saturday's Games

Kentucky 6, Auburn 2
Florida 7, Alabama 4
Mississippi State 6, Georgia 0
LSU 7, Ole Miss 6
Tennessee 8, Arkansas 2
Vanderbilt 2, South Carolina 1

Sunday's Games

Auburn 4, Kentucky 3
Alabama 9, Florida 6
Georgia 6, Mississippi State 3
LSU 5, Ole Miss 1
Tennessee 4, Arkansas 3
South Carolina 7, Vanderbilt 4

Tennessee starter Luke Hochevar lost for the first time in conference play on Friday, but the Vols won the series against Arkansas to pull within a half-game of division leading Florida.

SEC Standings

Western Division
Alabama 9-6 26-12
Auburn 8-7 25-14
Arkansas 8-7 30-8
Miss State 7-7 23-10
LSU 7-8 26-12
Ole Miss 7-8 24-12

Eastern Division
Florida 10-5 27-9
Tennessee 9-5 25-10
USC 9-6 29-8
Vanderbilt 7-8 23-11
Georgia 5-9 20-15
Kentucky 2-12 18-16

This Weekend's Match-ups
Florida at Auburn
South Carolina at Alabama
LSU at Arkansas
Georgia at Ole Miss
Kentucky at Mississippi State
Tennessee at Vanderbilt

The Gators coming to Auburn on Friday should mean a fired-up group of players on both sides of the diamond as Auburn's Tommy Slater coached at Florida last season before coming back to Auburn.

Facing the top team in the league should have everyone ready to go this weekend. Slater said he's glad to have a week devoid of non-conference games just to let his team rest after a challenging stretch of three road series in four weeks.

"I know the Florida club real well, obviously, and they are very, very good," Slater said. "They are in first place in our league and can really swing the bats. They've got more depth of arms this year than we had a year ago and in my opinion the best-coached team in the league as well.

"Any team coached by Pat McMahon is going to be good in every phase of the game. We'll really have our hands full and work cut out for us. It's a good week for us to not have any mid-week games. We've been on the road a lot and we're tired."


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