Day 3 of the SEC baseball tournament actually leaked into Day 4 thanks to the back-and-forth extra-inning thriller between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Not only did the Bulldogs lose in heartbreaking fashion, but they have to turn right back around and play all over again Friday against the top-seeded Florida Gators. Hope they plan on napping on the bus on the way back and forth from the hotel.
Before digging into some Day 4 predictions, it is worth looking at some of the Day 3 scores:
|No. 2 Ole Miss||No. 6 Vanderbilt||7-2|
|No. 1 Florida||No. 4 South Carolina||7-2|
|No. 3 LSU||No. 7 Arkansas||7-2|
|No. 9 Kentucky||No. 5 Mississippi State||7-6|
SEC Digital Network
Now that we know what set up the Friday showdowns, here is a look at the two-game slate on tap for baseball fans in Day 4 of the SEC tournament:
|No. 2 Ole Miss vs. No. 7 Arkansas||4 p.m.||CSS/ESPN3|
|No. 1 Florida vs. No. 5 Mississippi State||7 p.m.||CSS/ESPN3|
SEC Digital Network
Florida shows why it is the No. 1 seed
Florida actually lost its first game of the SEC tournament to No. 9 Kentucky Wednesday, but it looked much more like the No. 1 seed it is Thursday in a win over South Carolina. A loss would have sent the Gators home much earlier than they planned.
Nine of the 11 players to play for Florida reached base safely against South Carolina, and head coach Kevin O’Sullivan discussed as much after the contest, via Sean Cartell of SEC Digital Network:
That was a well played game by both sides. It was a clean game on both sides. We were just fortunate there to score a couple two-out runs. We just put some good at bats together. We have kind of won that way the whole year. We got contributions from everyone up and down the lineup. We just played fairly clean but it was a good game by both teams.
Getting timely hits is key in postseason play, and Florida will get more of the same against a Mississippi State pitching staff that has to be absolutely exhausted.
Friday will be the fourth straight day the Bulldogs play, and Thursday’s game didn’t end until well after midnight. The top seed will be ready to feast on those tired arms.
Ole Miss’ bullpen carries it to victory
Arkansas actually beat Ole Miss 2-1 Wednesday, but the Rebels will enact some revenge during Day 4 of the tournament.
The primary reason we have faith in Ole Miss is its bullpen, which has been incredible lately. In fact, it has only allowed three earned runs in its last 18.2 innings of work and has carried this team down the stretch of the season.
So many postseason games come down to nail-biting finishes, and the Rebels’ pitchers at the back end will come through when needed Friday. What’s more, there is a lot at stake right now, as Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game noted:
Just a really nice overall performance by #RebsBSB today, up 7-2 in the 9th. Ole Miss playing like a team with a national seed on the line.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogersPG) May 22, 2014
The Rebels also got timely hitting with runners in scoring position Thursday, so there is some offensive momentum on their side as well. Look for them to keep their season alive with a solid performance on the mound and at the plate.
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