Day 1 from Hoover, Ala. at the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament is in the books.
Until Vanderbilt put up 10 runs and run-ruled Georgia in the final game Wednesday, seven was the magic number of the day as Alabama, Florida and South Carolina all scored seven runs in their wins.
Four more games are on the slate for Thursday, but weather threatens action. Check our twitter feed for information on the games, or call the SEC at 855-SEC-INFO (855-732-4636) for updates regarding potential weather delays.
Game 1: Mississippi State vs. Arkansas, 9:30 a.m. CT Losers Bracket
At this time of year, you dont really have to say a lot, said head coach Dave Van Horn after Arkansas loss to Alabama on Wednesday. The kids know whats at stake.
And thats a Thursday elimination game against Mississippi State at 9:30 a.m. CT. The second-seeded Razorbacks took 2-of-3 from the Bulldogs this season and will send D.J. Baxendale to the mound. The sophomore is 8-2 with a 1.62 ERA.
Mississippi State will use sophomore Nick Routt Thursday. Routt is 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA this year. He gave up eight hits in three innings on April 16 to Arkansas and gave us six runs in the loss.
Game 2: Auburn vs. Georgia, 30 minutes after Game 1 Losers Bracket
Win, or go home. Those words hold extra meaning on Thursday when Auburn and Georgia play. While most of the SEC teams here in Hoover will leave and prepare for the NCAA Tournament, the loser here will not play baseball again this year.
To qualify for the NCAA Tournament a team must be above .500 overall. Since Georgia is under .500 and a loss would put Auburn at .500, neither will qualify for future play if it loses.
Georgia will send sophomore Alex Wood to the mound who is 4-7 this season with a 4.80 ERA. Wood threw seven innings against Auburn on May 6 and gave up just one earned run, but took the loss.
Auburn will rely on junior Derek Varnadore Thursday. Varnadore is 6-2 with a 3.75 ERA this season and threw a complete-game shutout on May 7 against the Bulldogs.
Auburn scored three runs early on South Carolina, but were held to just three hits in the final eight innings of its opening-round game. Georgia was run-ruled in the opening round by Vanderbilt and mustered just one hit. Whichever teams wins Thursday will have to wake up the bats.
Game 3: Alabama vs. Florida, 4:30 p.m. CT Winners Bracket
In 14 starts this season, Alabama junior Adam Morgan is 5-5 with a 3.89 ERA. If the Crimson Tide get a start from him on Thursday like the one Nathan Kilcrease provided Wednesday, the team could upset the No. 3 seed, Florida.
Morgan took a loss against Florida this season after allowing five runs in 6 13 innings.
Sophomore Hudson Randall will start for Florida. Randall is 8-3 with a 2.45 ERA this season and threw 6 13 innings of four-hit baseball on April 22, and allowed no earned runs to beat Alabama.
Florida has played Alabama 17 times in SEC Tournament history, more than any other team. Alabama is ahead in the all-time SEC Tournament series, 10-7.
Game 4: Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina, 30 minutes after Game 3 Winners Bracket
The final game of the day on Thursday will feature two national powerhouse teams. Back in mid-April, South Carolina took the season-series from Vanderbilt, 2-1.
The Gamecocks will send freshman Forrest Koumas to the mound. Koumas is 6-0 with a 3.05 ERA in nine starts this season. He threw against Vanderbilt in April, going 5 13 innings and allowed three runs and five hits. He did not factor into the decision.
Vanderbilt will send Second Team All-SEC Pitcher Sonny Gray to counter Koumas. Gray is 9-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts and has struck out 105 batters in 95 13 innings of work. On April 15 Gray lost to South Carolina and Michael Roth in a pitchers duel.