The 2015 SEC Baseball Tournament is underway at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Alabama. The top four teams, led by top overall seed LSU, received byes to the second round. The other eight qualifying squads can join them with victories Tuesday.
Along with being the top seed, the Tigers also enter the tournament as the reigning champions. They edged Florida 2-0 in the championship game last spring. A rematch of that game is possible in the third round if both sides take care of business Wednesday.
But first, their opponents for Round 2 must be determined. Let's check out all of the key information for Round 1, which will be updated throughout the day. That's followed by a recap of the action as each game goes final.
Tuesday Schedule and Results
|2015 SEC Baseball Tournament: Tuesday Scores|
|1||No. 6 Ole Miss vs. No. 11 Alabama||6-1 Alabama|
|2||No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 10 South Carolina||5-1 Missouri|
|3||No. 8 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Auburn||6-3 Auburn|
|4||No. 5 Arkansas vs. No. 12 Tennessee||2-1 Arkansas|
For a complete tournament schedule, visit the SEC's official site.
|1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round||Semifinals||Final|
|(6) Ole Miss||Game 5 Loser|
|(11) Alabama||(11) Alabama||Game 6 Loser|
|(3) Texas A&M||Game 9 Winner||Game 11 Winner|
|(7) Missouri||Game 7 Loser||Game 11 Loser||Game 13 Winner|
|(10) USC||(7) Missouri||Game 8 Loser|
|(8) Kentucky||Game 5 Winner||TBD|
|(9) Auburn||(9) Auburn||Game 6 Winner||Game 10 Winner||Game 12 Winner|
|(1) LSU||Game 12 Loser||Game 14 Winner|
|(5) Arkansas||Game 7 Winner|
|(12) Tennessee||(5) Arkansas||Game 8 Winner|
Day 1 Recap
Alabama 6, Ole Miss 1
Geoffrey Bramblett, who pitched for Hoover High School, tossed a gem for the Crimson Tide in his hometown as they scored a 6-1 win over Ole Miss. He pitched a complete game, giving up nine hits and one run while striking out 10 Rebels.
The game was scoreless through four innings before the Tide took a 2-1 lead in the fifth. Then, they were able to break it open with a two-out rally in the seventh that yielded the other four runs.
Alabama had a runner on third with two out. An RBI single by Mikey White started a string of six straight batters to reach base. The Tide led 6-1 by the time the dust settled, and they never looked back en route to the second round.
Ole Miss had a chance to rally in each of the final two innings. The Rebels got the first two runners on in the eighth before a pair of strikeouts ended the threat. Then, in the ninth, the inning was extended by an Alabama error but once again they couldn't make them pay.
Errol Robinson had the only RBI for Ole Miss. Scott Weathersby gave up three runs in six innings in a losing effort on the mound.
D.C. Reeves of the Tuscaloosa News highlighted the much needed outing from Bramblett:
Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.com provided insight on what the result means for Ole Miss:
Alabama advances to face third-seeded Texas A&M Wednesday. The tournament moves into the double-elimination phase starting in the second round. The Tide must at least make a deep run to have a chance at the postseason.
First pitch against the Aggies is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET.
Missouri 5, South Carolina 1
Missouri cruised past South Carolina to reach the double-elimination portion of the tournament with a 5-1 victory on Tuesday. Reggie McClain pitched six innings on one-run ball while giving up just five hits and striking out four to pick up the win.
The top two hitters in the Tigers' order went a combined 0-for-7 but every other member of the lineup got at least one hit for a well-rounded attack. Zach Lavy drove in two runs while Trey Harris notched three hits in four at-bats with a run batted in.
DC Arendas picked up the only RBI for South Carolina. Jack Wynkoop gave up four runs in seven innings in a losing effort on the mound.
Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.com notes the loss is likely to bring an end to the Gamecocks' extended postseason streak:
Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch passed along comments from Tigers coach Tim Jamieson about how far his team has come:
Missouri advances to face Vanderbilt, the No. 2 seed, in the second game tomorrow. The Tigers still find themselves on the tournament bubble despite today's victory. A win over the Commodores would go a long way to lock up a spot.
The good news is the double-elimination format would give them another chance to score a marquee win, even if they come up short against a strong Vandy squad.
Auburn 6, Kentucky 3
The Tigers used a quality start by Cole Lipscomb and hot bats to get past Kentucky on Tuesday, advancing to take on the nation's No. 1 team in LSU.
Lipscomb went 7.2 innings, gave up just two earned runs on four hits and struck out nine to earn the win.
Catcher Blake Logan was behind the plate for Lipscomb's masterful pitching performance, and spoke highly of his team afterwards:
Auburn's cleanup hitter Daniel Robert certainly played his role well in the victory. Robert had three hits in five official at-bats and drove in two runs, giving him 37 RBI for the season.
Stats guru Scott Scroggins highlighted how much of a tear Robert has been on lately:
In matching up with LSU on Wednesday, Auburn will need Robert and everyone else in the lineup to be at their best.
It's a bit unrealistic to expect Auburn to produce like they did against Kentucky with 14 hits, but the underdogs must capitalize on any opportunities they might get with runners in scoring position.
Although just about anything can happen in baseball on a given day, LSU bats .322 as a team. Auburn just sent out its best hurler in Lipscomb to beat Kentucky, so defeating the top seed will be an even taller task.
Arkansas 2, Tennessee 1
Tuesday's nightcap concluded in dramatic fashion, as the Razorbacks got a walk-off double from shortstop Michael Bernal to knock out the Volunteers.
The top three hitters in Tennessee's batting order failed to reach base once, which stagnated its offense. For Arkansas, it was a matter of being unable to execute with runners on base—until the very end of course.
Stranding 15 runners on base isn't exactly a winning formula, yet head coach Dave Van Horn's bunch managed to pull it out.
"It's great - I can't say we didn't expect to do this coming in here," said Bernal after the game, per SECSports.com. "We are playing for it all. For us to win in the last inning, maybe a little later than we wanted to, but we are happy. We are excited to keep going."
Van Horn praised the performance of his starting pitcher Trey Killian, who lasted 7.2 innings and gave up just one run on four hits with five strikeouts and no walks, per Razorback Baseball:
In facing Florida on Wednesday, Arkansas can take comfort in its similar offensive firepower to the Gators, but the Razorbacks are at a significant disadvantage in pitching. Florida boasts a 3.35 team ERA, while the Razorbacks are at 4.05 in the statistic.
The two clubs do lead the conference in fielding percentage—Florida leads at .985 to .978—so it ought to be a compelling defensive test for both sides.
If one had to give an edge to either team, it'd have to be the Gators because of their superior pitching. Arkansas' ability to handle adversity as it did against Tennessee should keep the game close, though.