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Jonathan’s Journal
May 3, 2002


LSU, Alabama, and South Carolina all had great weeks last week, each sweeping their SEC opponent. LSU held Arkansas scoreless Friday and Saturday and finished off the sweep of the Hogs on Sunday. The Crimson Tide had a fabulous weekend, taking all three games from their in-state rival Auburn. South Carolina won Friday’s game over Kentucky and after a rainout on Saturday, finished the weekend with two wins over the Cats on Sunday. Surprisingly, Tennessee went into Oxford and took two of three games from Mississippi. The Vols won on Friday and Saturday easily before the Rebels took Sunday’s game with ease. Florida played all but one inning of great baseball last weekend, but that one bad inning cost them a sweep. After giving up six runs in the 9th inning on Sunday, the Gators came away with two of three games from Georgia in Gainesville. Mississippi State had a good weekend, taking two of three from Vanderbilt though they probably had their best chance for a sweep this season in Nashville.

South Carolina 14-6 35-10
Florida 13-8 32-13
Georgia 12-9 26-17
Tennessee 8-13 23-23
Vanderbilt 4-15 19-21
Kentucky 3-18 14-28
Alabama 16-5 39-7
Mississippi 13-8 34-11
LSU 12-8 31-15
Mississippi State 11-9 27-16-1
Auburn 9-12 27-19
Arkansas 7-11 24-19

There were no major changes in the standings following last week’s series. South Carolina was able to gain one game on Florida and two on the Georgia Bulldogs since USC swept while UF was taking two of three from UGA. Tennessee kept themselves in the race for the SEC Tournament by taking two of three from the Rebels. A very good finish to the season will still be needed to get the Vols in though. Vanderbilt and Kentucky have still not shown any hope of making a run for the Tournament. Meanwhile, in the West, Alabama gained even more ground on Mississippi this week by sweeping the in-state rival Tigers. Since LSU swept and Mississippi State won just two of three, the Tigers gained one game over the Bulldogs. Auburn is now battling Arkansas and Tennessee for what will likely be the eighth and final spot in the SEC Tournament.

There is only one true marquee-series this weekend, that being the Mississippi at South Carolina series. Florida and Mississippi State is also a matchup of two tournament-bound teams. The other four series are matchups of teams fighting to gain ground and grab the highest seed possible in the tournaments to come. Alabama must travel to a Georgia team that lost two of three to Florida and only won the one game by scoring six runs in the 9th inning on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Tide is coming off a sweep and a big emotional-high. Vanderbilt is traveling to Auburn, and the Tigers badly need a sweep this weekend to get back on track. If they were to have a bad week this weekend, they could fall out of the SEC Tournament. Kentucky travels to Arkansas, and the Hogs still have a shot at the SEC Tournament. So while the Hogs try to win, they’ll also be rooting for Vandy. LSU will take on Tennessee in Knoxville this weekend. Both teams are coming off excellent weekends. Tennessee is still another two good weekends away from entering the SEC Tournament while LSU is just 1/2 game behind Mississippi in the standings.

Alabama at Georgia
Vanderbilt at Auburn
Kentucky at Arkansas
LSU at Tennessee
Mississippi at South Carolina
Florida at Mississippi St

Here’s a rating of this weekend’s series from best to worst and what to look for this weekend:
Mississippi at South Carolina: The Rebels need to have a good weekend to stay ahead of LSU while South Carolina appears to have a chance to gain some more ground on the home turf this weekend. Look for these games to be low-scoring and close. My Pick: Gamecocks 2-1.
Florida at Mississippi State: Both the Dawgs and Gators are coming off 2-1 series victories, but both teams also feel they should have swept their opponents last weekend. The Gators are still a game behind USC, while the Dawgs need to gain ground on LSU and Mississippi, who are both on the road this week. Look for a blowout to each team and one close game. My Pick: Dawgs 2-1.
Alabama at Georgia: Bama is cruising right now and appears to have the West title locked up. Meanwhile, UGA is coming off a series loss to UF and needs to make some noise against this top-5 competition at home. The Dawgs are 2 games back of USC and 1 back of UF. Look for all the games to be close but Bama to come out on top. My Pick: Tide 2-1.
LSU at Tennessee: Tennessee is trying to make a last-minute run at the conference tournament, while the Tigers have positioned themselves to make a run at hosting a regional. The series is crucial to both of these teams. Look for UT to keep it rolling for at least one more weekend. My Pick: Vols 2-1.
Vanderbilt at Auburn: The Tigers are trying to hang on to that eighth and final SEC Tournament slot, while the Dores are playing for next season. After last weekend’s bad performance, the Tigers need to win some games this weekend. Look for the Tiger bats to come alive. My Pick: Tigers 3-0.
Kentucky at Arkansas: Kentucky’s season might as well have been over several weeks ago. Arkansas is still hanging in the race for the final SEC Tournament slot. A home series against poor competition is a good way to make up ground quickly. Look for Arkansas to win but come up short once. My Pick: Hogs 2-1.


Here’s a look at how the eight teams would be seeded in the SEC Tournament if the season was over prior to this weekend’s games. The top two teams from each divison are taken and then the next best four teams overall.

1 Alabama 4 Mississippi 2 South Carolina 3 Florida
8 Auburn 5 LSU 7 Mississippi State 6 Georgia

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