Easter weekend brought some of the best SEC baseball matchups of the 2023 season.
It was a weekend filled with upsets, surprising performances, and chances for teams to prove their worth against the big dogs.
Here are the results from the fourth week of SEC play:
Series results over Easter weekend.
Highlights include LSU/USC getting the rubber game rained out, UF taking their first series over UT since 2018, and the two Bulldogs getting their first conference series wins. pic.twitter.com/8MkunsxjsR
— SEC Baseball (@SECbaseball) April 10, 2023
No. 1 LSU @ No. 6 South Carolina
This was arguably the most intriguing matchup to watch over the weekend. With LSU carrying two of the most feared bats in the country in Dylan Crews (.525 avg.) and Tommy White and a pitcher in Paul Skenes who runs his fastball up to 100 mph, this would be South Carolina’s toughest test yet.
In the first game, the Gamecocks passed with flying colors after battling through the elements in an hour rain delay. Freshman infielder Ethan Petry belted two home runs and drove in eight as South Carolina defeated LSU, 13-5.
The Gamecocks held control over No. 1 LSU for a majority of both games but would split the series 1-1 as the rubber match was canceled due to rain.
No. 3 Florida @ No. 11 Tennessee
With a 3-0 record in SEC play, the Florida Gators headed to Rocky Top for a matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers.
In game one, it was all Florida. On the mound, Florida combined for 18 strikeouts. starting pitcher Brandon Sprout was dominant, tossing 5 2/3 innings. He gave up just one run on nine strikeouts while Philip Abner collected six and Brandon Neely added three more.
This was accompanied by back-to-back home runs from Josh Rivera and BT Riopelle who would combine for four of the six runs scored by the Gators en route to a 6-1 victory.
Game two was the same recipe for the Gators. Six of their nine runs came off of home runs. They finished with four for the night, including back-to-back homers from Wyatt Langford and Jac Caglianone in the fourth inning. The Gators win 9-3 and clinch the series.
Game three was a momentum builder for the Volunteers. Griffin Merritt would lead the orange and white with three hits and a career-high six RBIs on the day. His walk-off three-run blast put the run rule into effect in the eighth inning.
The Vols collected 18 walks at the plate and would jump on Gator pitcher Jac Caglianone in the first inning to get into the Gator bullpen.
On the Tennessee side of the mound, starter Drew Bream put forth his best start in conference play. He put together seven innings while tying a career-high with 10 strikeouts.
No. 4 Vanderbilt @ Missouri
The Vanderbilt Commodores battled with the Missouri Tigers. In game one, both teams would go blow for blow. Both teams scored a pair of runs in the first inning and held each other until the fourth when Chris Maldonado poked a grounder up the middle to bring home two runs and give Vanderbilt a 3-1 advantage.
The game would get chippy again in the eighth inning when Ty Wilsmeyer came through with his first home run of the season making it a 7-6 game.
Missouri punched back in game two to end Vandy’s 13-game win streak. Starter Rorik Maltrud went seven innings striking out seven to hold a 4-2 deficit into the eighth inning. Senior infielder Matt Garcia was the hero for Mizzou, coming up with a clutch one-out line drive single in the bottom of the ninth plating two runs to cap off a 5-4 win.
Game three proved why Vanderbilt is ranked fourth in the nation. The Commodores clinched the series with a 5-0 shutout of the Tigers, backed by a stellar pitching performance from Devin Futrell. He gave the Commodores 7.1 shutout innings and recorded six strikeouts while holding Missouri to five hits.
Last week’s pitcher of the week spins another gem today. https://t.co/LWExWHxkPw
— SEC Baseball (@SECbaseball) April 8, 2023
At the plate, Vanderbilt flew out of the gates as RJ Schreck launched his team-leading eighth home run on the season. Schrek led Vandy on the day with two hits, two RBIs and three runs scored, while RJ Austin drove in three runs as well.
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) April 8, 2023
Notable SEC Series Results:
- Unranked Georgia wins the series 2-1 over No. 10 Kentucky
- No. 5 Arkansas fends off Ole Miss to win its series 2-1
- Mississippi State gets its first SEC series win 2-1 over Alabama
4 weekends down, here are your SEC standings. pic.twitter.com/3XZPhCaYoa
— SEC Baseball (@SECbaseball) April 10, 2023