SEC Tournament: Thoughts From Two Days In Hoover

Mitchell Kilkenny

Day 3 in the SEC Tournament should be dynamite. Thursday will likely feature starts by all of Casey Mize, Jackson Kowar, Mitchell Kilkinney, and Blaine Knight – all top 100 prospects in this year’s MLB Draft. Kowar and Knight will face off in the late game that likely won’t start til after 10 p.m. local in Hoover.
texas a&m
The Aggies have really changed the conversation in the last 2 days. Most were wondering if the Aggies would make the NCAA field after going 2-7 in their last 9 SEC games. But after wins over Vandy and UGA to start this tournament, the Ags are a likely two-seed and on the outside edges of hosting talk. A&M needs wins over Auburn today and the winner of the Arkansas/Florida game for there to be a chance.
If A&M is a two-seed, you definitely don’t want them mucking up your regional like they did to Houston last year.
Tommy Mace has solidified himself as Florida’s #3 pitcher with two quality starts in the last week. Wednesday against LSU, Mace went 7 IP, 3H, 3R (1 ER) with 4 Ks and a walk. His size, movement, and 3 pitches will do well in the rotation behind Brady Singer and Kowar.
In other news, Singer announced on the SEC Network Wednesday night that he’s not available this weekend. This is due to a hamstring injury – the same injury that forced him to skip his start last weekend in Starkville. He’ll throw a bullpen on Saturday and will return to the rotation for the regional.
Auburn has sprinted out of the gates in Hoover and beaten Kentucky and Ole Miss to give their hosting chances a serious boost. The Tigers have inched back to 12 in the RPI, 8 in the SOS and have 19 wins over top 50 programs (tied for 3rd-best in the country).
Casey Mize is still available for Auburn – I think we’ll likely see him today vs. Texas A&M. In March, Mize tossed 7.1 innings and allowed one run on five hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts against the Aggies.

Random Notes

Raise your hand if you thought we’d see two-seed Ole Miss and three-seed Georgia playing today in the loser’s bracket. Nah, me either … Arkansas and Florida play today in the nightcap after the teams combined for 9 errors yesterday … Arkansas hit 2 homers last night to get to 81 on the year and into a tie for 3rd nationally. Florida is just 1 back at 80 home runs … LSU faces South Carolina today – in the 3 previous games in Columbia, the Cocks scored 30 runs on the Tigers … Carolina’s first pitch will be less than 12 hours after the conclusion of their last game. The Graveyard Gamecocks have played past 1 a.m. each of the last 2 days and now find themselves readying for a 1 p.m. CT start.
My predictions
National seeds: Florida, Arkansas, Ole Miss
Hosts: Auburn, Georgia
Two-seeds: Texas A&M, South Carolina
Three-seeds: LSU, Mississippi State, Vandy
First-four out: Kentucky

Ryan is a “since birth” fan of LSU and the SEC.
He misses Mike Shula, Curly Hallman, and Jim McElwain’s teeth. Ryan asked his prom date out at Waffle House.

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