USC Gamecocks Baseball

March 14, 2013

SEC baseball preview

Here’s a quick glance at the 14 teams as conference play begins, with the teams listed in order of where Baseball America predicted in the preseason that they would finish.

Here’s a quick glance at the 14 teams as conference play begins, with the teams listed in order of where Baseball America predicted in the preseason that they would finish.

EASTERN DIVISION

VANDERBILT

Record: 16-2

National rank: No. 2

Key players: P Kevin Ziomek, OF Connor Harrell

Note: The talent-laden Commodores remain the league’s odds-on favorite to finish the season in Omaha.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Record: 15-2

National rank: No. 5

Key players: 1B LB Dantzler, P Tyler Webb

Note: With the Gamecocks’ pedigree, it’s hard to count them out from making another deep NCAA tournament run.

KENTUCKY

Record: 14-2

National rank: No. 10

Key players: OF Austin Cousino, P Corey Littrell

Note: This program is beginning to make a little noise on the national scene.

FLORIDA

Record: 8-10

National rank: NA

Key players: P Jonathon Crawford, 2B Casey Turgeon

Note: After three consecutive CWS appearances, the wheels appear to have fallen off the Gators’ wagon.

GEORGIA

Record: 8-9

National rank: NA

Key players: SS Kyle Farmer, OF Hunter Cole

Note: Inconsistency has marked the Bulldogs’ start, with losses to Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Belmont, Georgia State and Georgia Southern.

TENNESSEE

Record: 9-7

National rank: NA

Key players: P Zach Godley, 2B Will Maddox

Note: After a slow start, the Volunteers have bounced back to win five games in a row. The real test starts now.

MISSOURI

Record: 5-7

National rank: NA

Key players: C Dylan Kelly, P Rob Zastryzny

Note: The Tigers enter their first SEC season after having four early games cancelled because of bad weather.

WESTERN DIVISION

ARKANSAS

Record: 13-5

National rank: No. 15

Key players: P Ryne Stanek, P Barrett Astin

Note: The Razorbacks have won six in a row after a tough tournament in Arizona, where they lost all four games.

MISSISSIPPI STATE

Record: 18-2

National rank: No. 13

Key players: OF Hunter Renfroe, P Jacob Lindgren

Note: The Bulldogs began with 17 consecutive wins before two losses to Central Arkansas.

LSU

Record: 16-1

National rank: No. 7

Key players: OF Raph Rhymes, P Ryan Eades

Note: The Tigers look to be in the middle of the national championship chase with another loaded roster.

MISSISSIPPI

Record: 18-1

National rank: No. 6

Key players: P Bobby Wahl, C Stuart Turner

Note: Only a loss to Memphis has marred a blistering start for the resurgent Rebels.

TEXAS A&M

Record: 11-7

National rank: NA

Key players: P Daniel Mengden, SS Mikey Reynolds

Note: Transitioning to the SEC after making the NCAA tournament the past six seasons out of the Big 12.

AUBURN

Record: 13-3

National rank: NA

Key players: OF Ryan Tella, P Michael O’Neal

Note: The Tigers have heated up with seven consecutive wins entering SEC play.

ALABAMA

Record: 9-8

National rank: NA

Key players: P Jon Keller, C Brett Booth

Note: It appears another long season is in store for the Crimson Tide. This isn’t football.

Compiled by Neil White

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