Rounding Second

The Southeastern Conference portion of the season is at its midpoint. Fifteen games played; fifteen games left to be played.

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Ole Miss is 7-8 in SEC play, thanks to a series finale win at Georgia Saturday. The Rebels, 24-12 overall, won 8-3, a true must-win if they were not to dig themselves a deeper hole than they already have.

At 5-4 after two wins against No. 1 ranked Florida only two weeks before, the Rebels have struggled finding league wins since then. One at Kentucky and one at Georgia were it.

Now things get even more interesting with more "local" games, beginning with Mississippi State in the annual non-conference encounter Tuesday night. In Pearl at Trustmark Park, home of the Atlanta Braves AA team, the Mississippi Braves, the Rebels and Bulldogs play for the Governor's Cup.

Then the Rebels host Arkansas for Grove Bowl weekend. That starts the second half of SEC play. Ole Miss has been in this situation before and moved on to great success. Both the 2005 and 2006 teams were 7-8 in league play before hosting NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals against Texas and Miami respectively.

The SEC Standings

Kentucky of the SEC East and LSU of the SEC West share the overall lead at 11-4. After that, the league is bunched up tightly.

Florida is 9-6, while South Carolina and Arkansas are 8-7. Ole Miss is in the 7-8 group, along with three other teams – Auburn, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Vanderbilt is 6-9, Mississippi State is 5-10, Alabama is 4-11.

Ten of the SEC's 12 baseball teams will advance to Hoover, Ala., for the conference tournament in late May. The qualifying number of teams was eight until this season when it was increased by an additional two.

In addition to Arkansas at Ole Miss, this weekend's matchups are Tennessee at Mississippi State, Georgia at Florida, LSU at Kentucky, South Carolina at Auburn, and Vanderbilt at Alabama.

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