Monday, May 24, 2021

College Baseball

Tennessee took two out of three in South Carolina on the last weekend of the season, so the battle for the SEC East came down to whether Vanderbilt could sweep Kentucky in Nashville.  A three-game sweep would leave the Dores one-half game ahead of Tennessee; taking two of three would leave Vandy one-half game behind.  (Vandy only played 29 conference games because of a rainout against Alabama).

On Thursday night, Vandy won 4-2 thanks to a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th.  And on Friday, Vandy rolled to an easy 8-2 victory.  So when Vandy lead 4-2 going into the 9th on Saturday, you had to like their chances for the sweep.  But it was not to be.  Down to their last strike, the Wildcats whacked a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to take a 5-4 lead, and hung on for a 7-5 victory.  So the final standings for the SEC look like this:

(4) Tennessee:  20-10
(3) Vanderbilt:  19-10
(13) Florida:  17-13
S. Carolina:  16-14
Georgia:  13-17
Kentucky:  12-18
Missouri:  8-22

(1) Arkansas:  22-8
(8) Mississippi St:  20-10
(12) Mississippi:  18-12
Louisiana St:  13-17
Alabama:  12-17
Auburn:  10-20
Texas A & M:  9-21

As we head into conference tournaments, here's the D-1 Top Ten.  It will be nuts in Omaha if the College World Series comes down to Arkansas v. Texas.  Or Vanderbilt v. Tennessee:

1.  Arkansas:  42-10
2.  Texas:  40-13
3.  Vanderbilt:  39-13
4.  Tennessee:  42-14
5.  Texas Tech:  35-13
6.  Arizona:  38-14
7.  Notre Dame:  29-10
8.  Mississippi St:  40-13
9.  Stanford:  31-13
10.  Oregon:  35-13


  1. After fighting hard against Vandy, UK goes out quickly in the SEC Tournament, losing 4-1 to Florida.

  2. OK, so the SEC Tournament is underway in Hoover, Alabama. The SEC is limiting attendance pursuant to some policy totally different from the schools, many of which have been playing before full houses for weeks.

  3. Missouri and Texas A & M were not eligible for the tournament at all, since they came in last place in their respective divisions. Since I don't regard them as full SEC members anyway, that's not an issue for me.

  4. On Tuesday, to get the field from 12 down to 8, they played four single-elimination games (seeding in parentheses):

    (6) Florida 4, (11) Kentucky 1 (Kentucky eliminated)
    (10) Alabama 9, (7) S. Carolina 3 (S. Carolina eliminated)
    (8) Georgia 4, (9) Louisiana St. 1 (Louisiana St. eliminated)
    (5) Mississippi 7, (12) Auburn 4 (Auburn eliminated)

  5. Now that the field is down to eight, those eight teams started a double-elimination tournament yesterday. Here's what happened:

    (6) Florida 13, (3) Mississippi St. 1
    (10) Alabama 3, (2) Tennessee 2 (11 innings)
    (1) Arkansas 11, (8) Georgia 2
    (4) Vanderbilt 5, (5) Mississippi 4

    Vandy was down 4-3 going into the bottom of the 9th, but scored two runs to walk it off.

  6. So Mississippi State and Tennessee are now playing an elimination game. In the top of the 5th, the Vols lead 5-1.

  7. The SEC basketball tournament, the SEC football playoff, and the SEC baseball tournament all got going in Birmingham. Once the football playoff became a big success, it moved to Atlanta. The basketball tournament spent a lot of time in Atlanta, but is now mostly in Nashville. As college baseball becomes more popular in the South, it will be interesting to see if Hoover can keep this event.

  8. Tennessee beats Mississippi State 12-2 in a game called after 8 innings for the 10-run rule. Mississippi State is eliminated after losing by 13-1 and 12-2.

  9. Next up, Georgia is playing Ole Miss, and the Rebels are wearing their cool powder blue uniforms.

  10. Mississippi beats Georgia 4-0, and the Bulldogs are eliminated.

  11. Florida beats Alabama 7-2, and the Tide will face Tennessee in an elimination game tomorrow.

  12. Here are the final scores from Thursday (seeding in parentheses):

    (2) Tennessee 12, (3) Mississippi St. 2 (Mississippi St. eliminated)
    (5) Mississippi 4, (8) Georgia 0 (Georgia eliminated)
    (6) Florida 7, (10) Alabama 2
    (1) Arkansas 6, (4) Vanderbilt 4

    Florida and Arkansas advance to the semi-finals, which are single-elimination. Today, Alabama and Tennessee will play for the right to play in the semi-finals, while Vanderbilt and Ole Miss will do the same.

  13. So Vanderbilt is still alive in this tournament?

  14. One item on my bucket list is to visit Jackson, Tennessee for the OVC Baseball Tournament. This year four teams qualified: (1) SEMO, (2) Murray, (3) Morehead, and (4) Austin Peay. In Game 1 yesterday, SEMO beat Austin Peay 11-8. Then Murray and Morehead had to stop playing in the middle of a 6-6 tie due to weather. They picked up again this morning. Murray won in the bottom of the 13th when Morehead threw away a bunted ball, and the runner for Murray came all the way from first to score. Final score: Murray 8, Morehead 7

  15. So SEMO will now play Murray in the winners bracket, and APSU will play Morehead in an elimination game.

  16. Meanwhile, in Hoover, Tennessee crushed Alabama 11-0 in only 7 innings. That's the second mercy-rule win in a row for the Vols. Alabama is eliminated.

  17. Vandy, which is clearly leaking oil down the stretch, trails Ole Miss 2-0 going into the bottom of the second. Vandy's two pitching aces appear to be burned out, and their hitting just isn't championship caliber. The Dores will still be dangerous if they can get a top-8 seed, which would give them home field advantage all the way to the College World Series. But right now they don't look as good as Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, or Ole Miss.

  18. Ole Miss rolls over Vandy 4-1, as Vandy has completely stopped hitting. The Dores are eliminated, and will wait to see if they get a top-8 seed.

  19. Murray led SEMO 5-2 with two outs in the bottom of the 8th, then this happened:

    Three run homer to tie the game.

    Murray then changed pitchers, and this happened:

    Single. SEMO leads 6-5.

  20. And that run, scored with the help of catcher's interference, was the difference. SEMO wins 6-5. Murray will now await the winner of the elimination game between Austin Peay and Morehead State.

  21. Meanwhile, the C-USA Tournament has been taking place in Ruston, Louisiana, where LaTech is hosting. Here's what has happened so far:

    Wednesday, May 26:
    (4) Old Dominion 11, (5) Florida Atlantic 2
    (8) Middle Tennessee 7, (1) Charlotte 2
    (2) Louisiana Tech 7, (7) Tex-San Antonio 6 (12 innings)
    (3) So. Mississippi 11, (6) W. Kentucky 1 (8 innings)

  22. Thursday, May 27:
    (5) Florida Atlantic 9, (1) Charlotte 8 (Charlotte eliminated)
    (4) Old Dominion 10, (8) Middle Tennessee 6
    (6) W. Kentucky 10, (7) Tex-San Antonio 9 (10 innings) (Tex-San Antonio eliminated)
    (3) So. Mississippi 4, (2) Louisiana Tech 1

    So by Thursday, the number-1 seed was out, and the number-2 seed had a loss.

  23. Today the C-USA has two more elimination games: MTSU v. FAU, and WKU v. LaTech.

    1. 14-4, LaTech. Doubtful the Tops will get a top-8 seed in the NCAA tournament.

    2. Friday, May 28:
      (5) Florida Atlantic 14, (8) Middle Tennessee 8 (MTSU eliminated)
      (2) Louisiana Tech 14, (6) W. Kentucky 4 (8 innings) (WKU eliminated)

  24. In the OVC yesterday, Austin Peay beat Morehead 3-1 to eliminate the number-three seed. Today, Murray beat beat Austin Peay 7-6 in 11 innings to knock out the Governors. And Murray is up 9-1 on SEMO in the top of the 9th. Assuming that the Racers win that game, Murray and SEMO will meet in a single-elimination game tomorrow for the title.

  25. In the SEC semi-finals, Tennessee beat Florida 4-0 and Arkansas beat Ole Miss 3-2. So Tennessee and Arkansas -- who played three thrilling games just a few weeks ago, will meet for the SEC title tomorrow.

  26. Murray defeats SEMO 10-1. So the Racers will play SEMO tomorrow for a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

  27. I'd be more interested in live blogging a replay of the 76ers' 132-103 win over the Wizards to take a 3-0 lead in their NBA round-of-16 series than I would be to watch Tennessee v. Arkansas. However, kind of more than anything else in the world at this moment, I would like to leave right now for Jackson, Tennessee, and arrive just in time to see first pitch of the OVC championship.

  28. Well, dang: SEMO 10, Murray State 1.

  29. Someday, Eric, you and I will get to Jackson for the OVC Tournament. It was exciting this year -- at least until the final. Congratulations to SEMO!

    1. Also, don't forget the golf and cigarettes. I need to take some lessons before then.

  30. In the C-USA, Old Dominion beat La Tech 7-5 in 10 innings to win that championship.

  31. Arkansas beat Tennessee 7-2 to take the SEC Tournament. The Razorbacks, who have been ranked number one in the nation for most of the year, complete the double of winning the SEC Regular Season title and the Tournament Title.

  32. In the ACC, Duke was the number-9 seed, but rolled through the tournament without a loss -- beating NCSU 3-0 in the final to win the title.

  33. The NCAA has announced the 16 Regional Hosts:

    Austin, Tex. (U. of Texas)
    Columbia, S.C. (U. of S. Carolina)
    Eugene, Ore. (U. of Oregon)
    Fayetteville, Ark. (U. of Arkansas)
    Fort Worth, Tex. (Texas Christian U.)
    Greenville, N.C. (E. Carolina U.)
    Knoxville, Tenn. (U. of Tennessee)
    Lubbock, Tex. (Texas Tech U.)
    Nashville, Tenn. (Vanderbilt U.)
    Oxford, Miss. (U. of Mississippi)
    Ruston, La. (Louisiana Tech U.)
    South Bend, Ind. (U. of Notre Dame)
    Stanford, Calif. (Stanford U.)
    Starkville, Miss. (Mississippi St. U.)
    Tucson, Ariz. (U. of Arizona)

    We will get the whole draw, as well as the seedings, at 11 AM Central Time tomorrow.