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Check Swing: SEC Baseball - Week 2

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Let’s take a look around the SEC at the first two weeks of action and hey, did you know that THE Mississippi State University has the nicest ballpark in America?

I mean just look at it.
Kendall Rodgers/D1 Baseball

Welcome to Check Swing, the newest, freshest and most poplar source for weekly SEC baseball recaps this side of the Mississippi. Starting today, we (I) will post weekly recaps of all the baseball action across the Southeastern Conference. We (I) plan on providing a complete snapshot of the entire conference and (don’t) apologize for any (all) bias that may sway the writer’s (my) opinion in any way. All posted rankings are from D1Baseball.com because I like their rankings is the best and Kendall Rodgers is good people. Please leave a comment if you think otherwise so we can discuss further.

ONWARD AND FORWARD

ALABAMA (7-2)

After winning both of their first two weekend series of the season, the Crimson Tide are looking to ride their two midweek W’s versus North Alabama into the first road trip of 2019. The Tide face South Alabama (4-2) for a three-game series, the host Jaguars having taken one of three games from then #14 Clemson (now #23). This weekend will be a solid test for the Alabama pitching staff that has thrown two shutout games in 2019 and has held opposing lineups to less than four runs in six of their nine games thus far.

#16 ARKANSAS (6-1)

The Razorbacks started off 2019 winning 5 of their first games, only slipping up in the final game of a series in Los Angeles versus the University of Southern California (3-4). A nice midweek victory over Memphis should have Arkansas ready to roll for home stand against Stony Brook (3-3). The Seawolves offense is led by junior Mike Wilson who has 3 HRs on the season and will surely be looking to add a few more notches on his belt against an SEC contender this weekend.

#21 AUBURN (6-2)

Butch Thompson’s Tigers roll into this weekend looking for their first sweep of the season against visiting Cincinnati (1-6), after taking just two from a home opener against Georgia Southern and a trip down to Orlando to face 2017 Football National Champions UCF. The Bearcats have already played in two extra innings games this year and are 1-1 in such games so I wouldn’t expect Cincy to roll over easy in a close contest.

#7 FLORIDA (6-4)

Sweeping the season opener versus Long Beach State, the Gators have experienced a fairly rough early season patch losing three of their last four midweek games against the Directional Floridas (North, South and Central), the lone win came versus Jacksonville. This weekend the Gators host Winthrop (3-3), who will likely deploy pitchers Zach Peek and Nate Pawelczyk, 16 and 13 strikeouts through 12 innings pitched, respectively, in effort to topple one of the nation’s top teams early.

#9 GEORGIA (7-1)

In Statesboro, GA, the other Bulldogs are looking to make a statement sweep versus a team that Auburn was only able to wrestle two from earlier this season, Georgia Southern. Georgia has scored 10 or more runs in 5 of 8 games so far this season, so the Eagles have the tall task of cooling off that offense if they want to take a game in Athens.

KENTUCKY (4-3)

The Wildcats have started their season with one of the tougher early slates in the conference, coming off a road trip to #3 Texas Tech (6-1) where the Red Raiders took all three games, outscoring Kentucky 35-15. Looking to stay in the win column after two midweek victories, the Wildcats host Canisus (3-4) for the weekend.

#2 LSU (8-0)

LSU rolls into the third weekend of the season with one of two unbeaten records in the conference, but will see their first real test in Austin, TX this weekend where they will take on the #22 Longhorns (6-2) for a series. The magic number for the Tigers this season seems to be 17, since the squad has managed to tally that many runs in three games through the first nine of the season. Clearly this team has some firepower.

#12 MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-1)

HOW BOUT THAT NEW DUDE, HOO BOY they need to relocate the College World Series to Starkville ASAP, simply as a courtesy to the participating squads, I mean c’mon, the place is unbelievable. The Dawgs head down to Frisco, TX for the Frisco College Baseball Classic, where they will face Sam Houston St (5-2), #3 Texas Tech, and Nebraska (3-5). All eyes will be on the Saturday afternoon game when State faces Texas Tech, an early matchup of two CWS hopefuls.

MISSOURI (5-4)

Coming into the weekend off of a series win last weekend over Rhode Island and a win on Tuesday night, the Tigers don’t host anyone but head to Conway, Arkansas for two games. The opponents are Central Arkansas (3-6) and South Dakota St (3-4) on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

#10 OLE MISS (5-2)

After winning last weekend’s series against Tulane (7-2), they invite Long Beach St in for three, but their biggest contest of the next week will be Wednesday when #14 East Carolina (5-2) comes to town.

SOUTH CAROLINA (7-1)

The Gamecocks dropped their season opener but have now won 7 straight and will look to stay hot going into a series versus #23 Clemson (6-1). Friday’s game is a road trip to Clemson, with the second being a neutral site game in Greenville and game three back in Columbia. A series win for South Carolina would be quite the early season statement for a team looking to make noise early in the East.

TENNESSEE (9-0)

Boasting the other undefeated record in the SEC, Tennessee has rolled through their first nine games throwing six shutouts and just one game allowing multiple runs. The Volunteers are taking a trip down to Pensacola this weekend for the Cox Diamond Invitational, where they will face North Florida (7-3), Louisiana Monroe (3-4) and Western Kentucky (6-2).

TEXAS A AND M (8-2)

Rattling off seven straight wins to start 2019, the Aggies dropped their Wednesday night game against Incarnate Word (7-2) as well as the final game of the series against UIC (1-5). This weekend’s slate for A and M is a full one where they head down to the Shriners College Classic where they will see two ranked teams in #18 TCU (5-2) and #15 Baylor (7-0) as well as Houston (4-3).

#1 VANDERBILT (6-2)

The top team in the country has hit a couple snags so far in 2019, putting the #1 ranking in jeopardy come Monday’s rankings. Their most recent loss against Austin Peay (3-4) came on Wednesday night in a 10-inning affair where Vanderbilt just couldn’t convert baserunners to runs, producing only six runs on 12 hits. The Commodores will be looking to bounce back this weekend when they host Dayton (1-3-1, apparently the tie came in a game that was called for darkness? Didn’t know that Dayton was still in the year 1890) for three games.

Check back next week to take a look at all the action across the SEC!