SEC Baseball Tournament 2012: Breakdown of Opening-Round Action

Sam Richmond@srichmond93Correspondent IMay 22, 2012


The 2012 SEC Baseball Tournament is underway. Let's take a look at the results from the early action and preview the rest of the first-round games.

Ole Miss vs. Kentucky

No. 4 Kentucky took on and defeated No. 9 Ole Miss 2-0 in the opening game on Tuesday. UK starting pitcher AJ Reed threw 5.2 innings, ceding five hits and striking out three.

He also helped his own cause by hitting a solo shot off Ole Miss starter Bobby Wahl in the fourth inning. The other Wildcat run was plated on a Cameron Flynn single in the sixth inning.

Kentucky will receive a bye on Wednesday. Ole Miss plays on Wednesday against the losing team of the Arkansas and Mississippi State contest.

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas

Ryne Stanek (6-3, 2.96 ERA) started for the No. 6 Razorbacks, facing off against the No.7 Bulldogs and starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff (0-2 and 3.46 ERA). 

Pitching has been Mississippi State's (34-21) strong suit all season as they finished with a 2.64 team ERA, the lowest in the SEC. The team has struggled to hit, though, batting only .253, which ranks 11th in the conference. Arkansas (39-17) entered the game as a more balanced team, finishing fifth in batting average and third in league ERA.

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Update: Mississippi State has won, 9-1.

Auburn vs. Florida

The first night game (5:30 p.m. on Tuesday) of the tournament features the No. 3 Gators against the No. 11 Tigers.

Florida (40-16) won the tournament last season and because of its great hitting (66 home runs) has a very good chance of repeating.

But Auburn (30-26) will look to upset Florida early, just as they did on the last day of the regular season when they defeated the Gators 5-4.  

Facing the potent offense of Florida, Auburn will definitely need starter Jon Luke Jacobs (5-3 and 3.75 ERA) to be at his best for them to pull it off.

Update: Florida has won, 6-1.

Georgia vs. Vanderbilt

The No. 5 Commodores (29-25) will face off against the No. 8 Bulldogs (31-24) in the final first-round game. Georgia will send ace pitcher Alex Wood (7-2 and 2.58 ERA) to the mound, while Vanderbilt will start Drew VerHagen (5-2 and 3.63 ERA).

The Bulldogs will look to exact revenge against the team that defeated them 10-0 in the opening round of last year's tournament. But as great as Wood is, it will be tough. Vanderbilt has been playing fantastic lately, winning 10 of its last 12 games.

Update: Vanderbilt has won, 4-1.

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