Grading Teams In the 2019 SEC Baseball Tournament

Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (SEC Photo)

The SEC Baseball Tournament is now but a recent memory as all eyes have turned to the NCAA Tourney. However, just for fun 14Powers.com grades each of the 12 team’s performance in the 2019 SEC Baseball Tournament.

Vanderbilt: A

JJ BledayVanderbilt won its third SEC Baseball Tournament Championship in its history with an amazing 11-10 comeback win over Ole Miss on Sunday. The Commodores were trailing 9-1 early in the game but got things together on the mound and at the plate. The Commodores did a little of everything in the tourney. The Vandy Boys had blowout wins over Auburn (11-1) and LSU (13-4). Then there was the 1-0 pitching duel with Mississippi State on Thursday. The Commodores are the No. 2 national seed and will face Ohio State on Friday in the Nashville Regional. With the 4-0 tourney record for 2019 the Commodores are now have 47–35 all-time record in the tournament.

Ole Miss: A

The Rebels had an incredible tournament. While they fell short in the championship, they probably gained more from the tournament than any over team, NCAA seeding wise. Ole Miss went 4-2 in the tourney, playing games six days in the row. Entering the tournament they had a 33-23 record. Now that record is up to a more respectable 37-25. The Rebels ran into a buzz saw in the championship game but still nearly left with a trophy. It was a fine showing by head coach Mike Bianco, his staff and players. The Rebels will host in the first weekend of the NCAA. If they win their regional they will likely head to Arkansas the next weekend. Ole Miss now has a 42-37 all-time record in the tourney.

Georgia: A-

Georgia started the tournament with a couple of very Georgia like low scoring victories, beating A&M 2-0 and then Arkansas 3-1. Earning a day off on Friday, it looked like the Bulldogs were destined for the title game on Sunday. However, on Saturday they ran into the very hard playing Ole Miss Rebels and fell 5-3 after leading early in the game. All-in-all, a 2-1 record in the SEC Tournament did not hurt the Bulldogs quest for a top 8 NCAA baseball tournament national seed. They are the overall No. 4 national seed and will host Mercer on Friday. Georgia is now 28-44 all-time in the SEC Baseball Tourney.

LSU: A-

LSU and its hoard of fans certainly made some noise in the tournament. The Tigers finished with a 3-2 tourney record. Like Ole Miss, they played every day on up to running into the very good Vanderbilt team. The 17-inning historic Wednesday marathon loss to Mississippi State probably did in the Tiger’s chances of winning the tournament. They did win two more games after that game but the toll that 17-inning game took on the Tiger’s pitching eventually caught up with them against Vandy. It was an admirable performance by the Tigers. LSU will host the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. If they win their regional they could travel to Georgia for a Super Regional. LSU is now 83-42 all-time in the SEC Baseball Tourney with a commanding lead of 12 tourney titles.

Arkansas: B

Arkansas is another team that suffered its demise to the scrappy Ole Miss bunch. Getting a Tuesday bye, the Hogs took care of business on Wednesday beating the Rebels 5-3. On Thursday, however, the Razorbacks fell to the tough pitching of Georgia, 3-1. On Friday it was a re-match with Ole Miss and this team it was the Rebels that prevailed in a close one, 3-2. The Hogs finished the series 1-2. The losing showing in the SEC Tourney didn’t hurt the Razorback’s NCAA seeding. The Hogs earned the No. 5 National Seed in the NCAA tourney. They host Central Connecticut on Friday and could potential host Ole Miss for a Super Regional. Arkansas is now 28-35 all-time in the SEC Tourney.

Mississippi State: B

Mississippi State pitcher

MSU finished the tourney with a 1-2 record. They were the other team that had the misfortune of getting stuck in that 17-inning late night Wednesday contest but they won it. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs couldn’t get things going on Thursday against Vanderbilt, falling 1-0. Then they had the unluckiness of running into the very team they had beaten just two nights before, LSU. The Tigers had survived to play again thanks to a ridiculous, yet comical, home plate 2-run walk-off wild pitch scoring play the day prior against Auburn. Had it been Auburn instead of LSU on Friday things might have been very different but that’s baseball. State is now 65-53 all-time in the SEC Baseball Tournament.

Auburn: B-

Auburn made a scrappy showing in the SEC Tourney edging a solid Tennessee squad in the first game, 5-3. In game two though, they ran into that Vanderbilt machine, falling 11-1. On Friday in one of the most pitiful, ridiculous endings in college baseball, the Tigers allowed 2 run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lose to LSU 4-3. Thank God the Tigers won their first game in the SEC Tourney. They probably would have made the Big Baseball Dance without it. They will be the No. 3 seed in the Atlanta Regional and play Coastal Carolina on Friday. Auburn is now 33-45 all-time in the SEC Tournament.

Texas A&M: B-

Texas A&M won on Tuesday, defeating Florida by one run. On Wednesday the Aggies had the misfortune of playing Georgia while the Bulldogs still had ace pitchers to use. One Thursday the Aggies were shutout by Georgia, 2-1. It was a long drive back to College Station for A&M fans. A&M may have had improved seeding with more success in the SEC Tourney. They will travel to West Virginia as a No. 3 seed and face No. 2 seed Duke on Friday. Texas A&M is now 13-10 all-time in the SEC Tourney.

South Carolina: C

South Carolina took an early lead over LSU but couldn’t hold on to it, falling 8-6. Of course, it was a single elimination on Tuesday so it ended the Gamecock’s season. Going one and done is no fun but the Gamecocks at least put on a good show. The extra practice and game experience should bode well for the once powerful program. The Gamecocks are 28–45 all-time in the SEC Baseball Tournament.

Tennessee: C

The Vols were a big disappointment in the tourney falling to Auburn 5-3 on Tuesday in the initial single elimination round. Tennessee has had outstanding pitching this season and most expected better things from the Vols. Things are looking up for the program, however, the Vols are back in the NCAA for the first time in over a decade. They will be in the Chapel Hill Regional and face the Liberty Flames on Friday. Tennessee is now 25–25 all-time in the SEC Tournament.

Missouri: C

Missouri basically laid an egg the last two weeks of SEC baseball (Tourney included). They were swept at home in their final SEC regular season series and then head to the NCAA tourney and lose on the first day and lose 2-1 to Ole Miss. This gives Mizzou and sparkling 34-22 record to present to the selection committee. Result? No NCAA again for Missouri. A win over Florida in that last series and at least one SEC tourney win and things might have been much different. The Tigers are now 2-10 in the SEC Tourney all-time.

Florida: C

The Gators were the team that made the quickest exit from the SEC Baseball Tournament. They fell to Texas A&M 8-7 in 10 innings in a muggy morning game. The Gators are will continue their NCAA run. The aforementioned sweep of Missouri in Columbia in the final week of the regular season was likely what got Florida in the tourney. The Gators will face Dallas Baptist on Friday in the Lubbock Regional. Florida is now 57-62 all-time in the SEC Baseball Tournament.

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