Wednesday, May 22, 2024

College Baseball Month

For the next month, we'll be doing a fair amount of college baseball coverage.  The SEC Tournament is underway in Hoover, Alabama.  The double-elimination games start today with the following matchups (all times Central) (Baseball America rankings in parentheses):

9:30 A.M.  (2) Kentucky v. Louisiana St.
30 minutes after the first game:  (5) Arkansas v. S. Carolina
4:30 P.M.:  (1) Tennessee v. Vanderbilt
30 minutes after the third game:  (4) Texas A & M v. (14) Mississippi St.

So far, Kentucky trails 11-0 in the bottom of the 8th, as LSU has already hit two grand slams.  Not a great start for the Number-2 team in the nation.

49 comments:

  1. LSU run rules Kentucky, 11-0 in 8 innings. Tigers move on to the winners' bracket, UK will await the loser of Arkansas and South Carolina.

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  2. South Carolina edges Arkansas 6 to 5, and the Razorbacks are forced into the losers' bracket along with UK.

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  3. Vandy, which has struggled over the last six weeks, drubs Tennessee 13 to 4, thereby making Commodore fans very happy.

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  4. In the nightcap, Mississippi State beats Texas A & M 5 to 3. So today's matchups look like this:

    LOSER'S BRACKET:
    9:30 A.M.: (2) Kentucky v. (5) Arkansas
    30 minutes after: (1) Tennessee v. (4) Texas A & M

    WINNER'S BRACKET:
    4:30 P.M.: S. Carolina v. Louisiana St.
    30 minutes after: (14) Mississippi St. v. Vanderbilt

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    1. Mississippi State is Vandy's bete noire, so that's an unfortunate draw for the Commodores.

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  5. The SEC Baseball Tournament is the final SEC event in which the University of Texas will not participate, and thus -- for me -- it represents the final real SEC Championship. There will still be a group of teams that call themselves the SEC next year, of course, but it won't be the same. I don't yet know if it will be better or worse -- but it will be very different.

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  6. It's strange to see a big-time SEC event start at 9:30 in the morning, but SEC baseball games take forever, and they would be there late into the night if they didn't start so early.

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  7. Kentucky jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Arkansas fought back. The Cats currently lead 6-4 in the top of the 7th.

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  8. In the bottom of the 7th, the Cats whack a two-run homer to go up 8-4.

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  9. I think it's funny that both UT and UK got really good at baseball once they saw that Vandy could win the College World Series.

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  10. UK tacks on an insurance run and leads Arkansas 9-4 after 7.

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  11. Arkansas homers in the top of the 8th, and UK now leads 9-5.

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  12. I'm listening to songs from 1977, and just realized that there was only 15 years between the release of "Don't Stop Thinking about Tomorrow," by Fleetwood Mac, and the decision of the Clinton campaign to use that song in 1992. So I took a look at the top songs from 2009 to see if any of them would work now. The closest one I found was "Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus.

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    1. That Fleetwood Mac song felt ancient to me in 1992, but I guess it didn't to the 55-year-olds then. Good point.

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  13. Cats still lead 9-5 going into the bottom of the 8th.

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  14. With two outs in the top of the 9th, Arkansas homers to make the score 9-6.

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  15. Cats win:

    9 runs, 10 hits, 0 errors for Kentucky.
    6 runs, 9 hits, 3 errors for Arkansas.

    The Coach Cal fans are eliminated, while Kentucky will play the loser of South Carolina and LSU tomorrow at 2 PM Central.

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  16. Now we have Tennessee and Texas A & M. Vols are the home team. A & M wearing maroon caps with a plate white T, which doesn't work for me.

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  17. Tennessee's baseball team basically gives almost the exact same energy as the bad guys in The Karate Kid.

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  18. I'm happy that the SEC is wrapping up in Hoover, Alabama. To me, Birmingham has always been the spiritual home of the SEC. That's where they played the first SEC football playoff in 1992. That's where they restarted the SEC basketball tournament in 1979. The football playoff moved to Atlanta, and these days the basketball tournament is in Nashville. But Birmingham still has the baseball tournament, which makes me happy.

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  19. It's 89 degrees in Hoover with 55 percent humidity, which is the Birmingham I remember.

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  20. TAMU homers to go up 1-0 in the top of the 3d.

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  21. Tennessee gets a run in the bottom of the 3d, but the inning ends on a 1-3-2 double play. 1-1 after 3.

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  22. The scrappy Vols scratch out another run, and they now lead 2-1 after 4. And yes, it took 31 minutes to play the 4th inning.

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  23. Tennessee got another run in the bottom of the 5th, but the Aggies respond with a homer in the top of the 6th. UT leads 3-2.

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  24. In the bottom of the 7th, the Vols blast a three-run homer to go up 6-2.

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  25. TAMU scores in the top of the 8th, and the UT leads 6-3. I just want to point out that UK and Arkansas started at 9:30 AM, and it is now 4:02 PM, and the second game of the day is not completed.

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  26. Almost exactly seven hours after Kentucky and Arkansas started, Tennessee closes out Texas A & M 7 to 4, and the Aggies are eliminated. Kentucky awaits the loser of South Carolina and LSU, while Tennessee awaits the loser of Mississippi State and Vandy.

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  27. Now we have LSU and South Carolina in the Winners' Bracket.

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  28. South Carolina is the 10 seed in this tournament, and LSU is the 11th seed. But whoever wins this game will automatically advance to the semi-finals on Saturday, while the loser will get another chance in an elimination game against Kentucky.

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  29. In the night session, LSU beat South Carolina 11 to 10, and Vandy beat Mississippi State 4 to 3. The games finished as 12:30 A.M. Central. So it took the SEC roughly 15 hours to play four baseball games.

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  30. Today we have two elimination games:

    3 P.M. Central: (2) Kentucky v. S. Carolina
    30 minutes after: (1) Tennessee v. (14) Mississippi St.

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  31. On Saturday, the UK/SC winner will play LSU in one semi-final, and the UT/MSU winner will play Vandy in the other semi-final. The final will be on Sunday at 2 PM Central.

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  32. South Carolina is wearing its home uniforms that feature a black pinstripe, black caps, and a white SC logo. I think that's a fantastic uniform.

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  33. I am rooting yesterday for Kentucky and Mississippi State, and I'm excited to learn who won.

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  34. Here's what happened Friday and Saturday:

    South Carolina 6, Kentucky 5 (Kentucky eliminated)
    Tennessee 6, Mississippi St. 5 (Mississippi St. eliminated)

    SEMI-FINALS:
    Louisiana St. 12, S. Carolina 11 (10 innings)
    Tennessee 6, Vanderbilt 4

    So today's final -- the last championship ever in the real SEC -- is between LSU and Tennessee.

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  35. Tennessee leads 4-1 in the bottom of the 8th. I'm watching the Indy 500, which was delayed for several hours by rain and lightning, and which is now in the 99th lap.

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  36. In the bottom of the 9th, LSU gets a double, a double, and an error. The score is now 4-3 for the Vols, there are two outs and a runner on second. This tournament has been fantastic.

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  37. With the tying run on second, UT gets back-to-back strikeouts to win the 2024 SEC Tournament. Congratulations to the Vols.

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  38. Alabama wins the final SEC Football Playoff
    Auburn wins the final SEC Men's Basketball Tournament.
    Tennessee wins the final SEC Baseball Tournament.

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  39. Speaking of finals, we should note that Birmingham-Southern College -- which will cease to exist on May 31 -- has qualified for the Division III College World Series. So the Birmingham-Southern baseball team will be playing for a school that no longer exists.

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  40. That just leaves the NCAA Baseball Tournament. We will get the draw tomorrow, and then we'll be in the final stages of the last year for college sports as we have known it. No more Pac-12, no more SEC without Texas, and salaried players going forward. It's been a great run, and I hope that college sports fans in the future enjoy the games as much as we did in the past.

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  41. They have announced the 16 regional sites for the NCAA Baseball Tournament. The sites and the host schools are listed below:

    Athens, Ga. (Georgia)
    Chapel Hill, N.C. (N. Carolina)
    Charlottesville, Va. (Virginia)
    Clemson, S.C. (Clemson)
    College Station, Tex. (Texas A & M)
    Corvallis, Ore. (Oregon St.)
    Fayetteville, Ark. (Arkansas)
    Greenville, N.C. (E. Carolina)
    Knoxville, Tenn. (Tennessee)
    Lexington, Ky. (Kentucky)
    Norman, Okla. (Oklahoma)
    Raleigh, N.C. (N. Carolina St.)
    Santa Barbara, Calif. (UC Santa Barbara)
    Stillwater, Okla. (Oklahoma St.)
    Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida St.)
    Tucson, Ariz. (Arizona)

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  42. McCracken County drubs Tilghman 8-0 to win the First Region Baseball Championship for the 10th year in a row.

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  43. Auburn defeats Florida State to win the Men's NCAA Golf Championship. Last week, Stanford won the women's golf title.

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  44. WKU went 36-22. "After being picked to finish fifth in the Conference USA preseason poll, head coach Marc Rardin and the Hilltoppers claimed the No. 3 spot in the league standings at the conclusion of the 2024 season, their best finish since joining CUSA in 2015. WKU earned 36 wins, the ninth-most in program history and the most since the 2009 season. Since taking the helm in the 2023 season, Rardin has led the Tops to back-to-back 30-plus win seasons for the first time since 2010-11."

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