Thursday, May 26, 2022

College Baseball Update

Tonight is the first time all year that I'm watching college baseball over MLB, and I'll mostly prioritize college baseball from now until the end of the College World Series.  I'm watching the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama, where Tennessee is crushing Vandy 6-0 after 3.  Here were the final standings in the SEC (conference games only) (Baseball America rankings in parentheses):

East:
(1) Tennessee:  25-5
Florida:  15-15
Georgia:  15-15
Vanderbilt:  14-16
S. Carolina:  13-17
Kentucky:  12-18
Missouri:  10-20

West:
(3) Texas A & M:  19-11
(11) Arkansas:  18-12
Louisiana St:  17-13
(20)  Auburn:  16-13
Mississippi:  14-16
Alabama:  12-17
Mississippi St:  9-21

Here's the Baseball America top 20 going into the Conference Tournaments.  Remember back in 2014 and 2015, when Vandy met UVA in the final of the College World Series two years in a row?  Look who the top two teams are now, and you'll understand a lot about the life of the upper South:

1.  Tennessee:  49-7
2.  Virginia Tech:  40-11
3.  Texas A & M:  35-17
4.  Stanford:  37-14
5.  Miami of Fla:  39-16
6.  Louisville:  38-16-1
7.  Oregon St:  41-13
8.  Texas Christian:  35-18
9.  Maryland:  44-10
10.  Gonzaga:  34-15
11.  Arkansas:  38-16
12.  Texas Tech:  36-18
13.  Oklahoma St:  36-18
14.  Notre Dame:  33-13
15.  Texas St:  44-11
16.  So. Mississippi:  41-14
17.  Virginia:  36-15
18.  UCLA:  35-20
19.  Oklahoma:  33-20
20.  Auburn:  37-18

Tennessee is the best team in the country -- by a lot -- and I think they're probably the best college baseball team I've seen since Roger Clemens was pitching for Texas back in the early 1980's.  They may not go all the way, but a loss for Tennessee would be as if UK's basketball team had lost in 1996.  The Vols are that good.

35 comments:

  1. Missouri has now been in the SEC for 10 football seasons, which is amazing to me. Here's how every team in the East has done against Mizzou:

    Georgia: 9-1
    Kentucky: 6-4
    Tennessee: 5-5
    Florida: 5-5
    S. Carolina: 5-5
    Vandy: 3-7

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  2. I would point out that Vandy was a great power in college baseball until they changed their logo. I've rarely seen any logo that gives off a stronger sense of defeat than the new Vandy logo.

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  3. Eight teams made the double-elimination rounds of the SEC tournament, seeded as follows: (1) Tennessee, (2) Texas A & M, (3) Arkansas, (4) LSU, (7) Florida, (8) Vandy, (11) Alabama, and (12) Kentucky.

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  4. Here's what has happened in the double-elimination rounds so far:

    Alabama 4, Arkansas 3
    Texas A & M 10, Florida 0 (7 innings)
    Now Tennessee leads Vandy 8-1 in the bottom of the 6th.

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  5. Unlike Florida, Vandy wasn't subject to the Mercy Rule -- the Dores got to play a full 9-inning game. But they were crushed 10-1 by a spectacular Tennessee team.

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  6. In the nightcap, LSU beat UK 11-6.

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  7. So Florida is scheduled to play Arkansas in an elimination game at 9:30 AM Central. That will be followed by an elimination game between UK and Vandy.

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  8. In the top of the 5th, Florida leads Arkansas 2-0. After days of rain, it is now bright and sunny in Birmingham.

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  9. Arkansas went into the top of the 9th trailing 7-2, but since then the Razorbacks have scored on a passed ball and whacked a two-run homer. So Florida still leads with two outs in the 9th, but the score is now Florida 7, Arkansas 5.

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  10. The next Arkansas batter grounds out to second, and Florida wins 7-5. Arkansas is eliminated.

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  11. Next up: Kentucky v. Vanderbilt.

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  12. In the top of the first, Vandy manages to turn three walks and a double into zero runs. The score is Vandy zero, the Wildcats coming up to bat.

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  13. UK strings together three hits in the bottom of the 1st to take a 1-0 lead. Vandy seems to have very little pitching this year.

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  14. Vandy puts together a walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1 after one and one-half innings.

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  15. Vandy's had runners all over the place, but keeps hitting into double plays. Meanwhile, in the bottom of the 4th, UK gets a single, an infield single, a walk (to load the bases), and another infield single to take a 2-1 lead. The Cats still have the bases loaded and there's only one out.

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  16. UK gets a sacrifice fly, and the Cats now lead 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth.

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  17. Vandy finally escapes the bottom of the 4th, and UK leads 3-1 after 4. I thought Vandy had a lot of luck in their run to the final last year, but they haven't had much luck this year.

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  18. Vandy gets a 2-out double (Vandy's third double of the game) and a walk. A passed ball puts runners on second and third. But a strikeout ends the inning. Cats lead 3-1 after 4 1/2. This is not going to be Vandy's day.

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  19. UK starts off the top of the 5th with a double, follows up with a single to make the score 4-1, and then gets another single to send Vandy's starter to the showers. Vandy doesn't have any pitching left -- the Dores have been getting hammered for weeks -- so UK has a great chance to blow the game open.

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  20. UK doesn't exactly blow the game open, but they do get another run to go up 5-1 after 5.

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  21. UK finally gets the flood of runs they've been threatening to get all day. The Cats pick up five runs in the bottom of the 7th, and cruise to an easy 10-2 victory.

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  22. Vandy is eliminated. The Dores were swept in their last series of the regular season. After beating Ole Miss 3-1 to advance in the SEC Tournament, they were crushed 10-1 by Tennessee and 10-2 by UK. Vandy may yet make the NCAA Tournament, but if so they won't be there very long.

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  23. So in the battle between two failed logos, UK's broken K prevails over Vandy's mournful V.

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  24. In the winner's bracket on Friday night, Texas A & M beat Alabama 12-8, and Tennessee beat LSU 5-2.

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  25. In the loser's bracket on Saturday, Florida eliminated Alabama with an 11-6 victory, and UK eliminated LSU with a 7-2 victory.

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  26. That set up the two semi-finals yesterday. In the first semi-final, Florida stunned TAMU with an easy 9-0 win. In the nightcap, UT crushed UK 12-2. So far, in three SEC Tournament games, UT has outscored the opposition 27-5.

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  27. So the SEC Championship game today -- at 2 PM Central -- will feature the number-1 seed Tennessee (52-7) and the number-7 seed Florida (39-21).

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  28. The big stadium in Hoover is absolutely packed, mostly with Tennessee fans. No score after four innings.

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  29. Tennessee gets a bases loaded double with two outs in the top of the 5th, and the Vols now lead 4-0.

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  30. Tennessee jumped out to a 7-0 lead after 6, and rolled home with an easy 8-5 win.

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  31. WKU's baseball season is over. The Hilltoppers went 18-36. They lost their last six Conf-USA games of the season, including a closing sweep at the Nick in Bowling Green by Old Dominion.

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