Eight of the top 18 teams in this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll are from the SEC. Florida is No. 1, Texas A&M is No. 2, Vanderbilt is No. 4, Ole Miss is No. 9, South Carolina is No. 10, LSU is No. 13, Mississippi State is No. 16 and Arkansas is No. 18.
• SEC players leading the nation entering this week: Tennessee’s Jordan Rodgers - RBI (36) and RBI per game (1.89); Vanderbilt’s Jason Delay - sacrifice flies (6); Tennessee’s Jeff Moberg - runs per game (1.75); Missouri’s Reggie McClain - fewest walks allowed per nine innings (0.22).
• SEC teams have combined for a 194-50-1 (.794) non-conference record, which is best among all conferences.
• SEC teams leading the nation entering this week: Florida leads the nation with a .955 winning percentage (21-1); Texas A&M is tied for the national lead (Tulane and Nebraska) with five shutouts; Vanderbilt leads the country in strikeouts per nine innings (11.1) and is tied with Oregon State with 12 triples.
Player of the Week: John Jones, South Carolina
• South Carolina’s John Jones hit .409 to help the Gamecocks to five victories this past week including a series sweep against No. 13 Arkansas. Jones hit .500 (7-for-14) vs. Arkansas with a pair of game-winning home runs. • He opened the series going 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and a RBI in the 10-6 win. He followed that up with a two-run homer to break a 2-2 tied in the 6-2 win over Arkansas on Saturday. Jones capped the weekend off going 3-for-5 with a double and a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning that lifted Carolina to an 8-6 victory vs. the Razorbacks. Jones’ five RBIs in Sunday’s contest was a career-high as well. • Jones leads the SEC in batting average (.422) and is tied for the league lead with six home runs and 57 total bases. He ranks third in RBIs (31), third in onbase percentage (.515), fourth in slugging percentage (.687).
Pitcher of the Week: Dakota Hudson, Mississippi State
• Mississippi State’s Dakota Hudson was the only SEC pitcher on the opening weekend of conference play to pitch at least eight innings with fewer than three runs allowed (1 unearned run). The right hander limited No. 2 Vanderbilt to just one run total (unearned), holding Commodore batters to a .129 average. • Hudson recorded a new career-high with nine innings pitched and had eight strikeouts, just one shy of his career high in the Bulldogs’ win over Vanderbilt on Friday. • Hudson allowed zero extra-base hits against a team that entered the game 16th nationally with a .493 slugging percentage, helping MSU to its first series win at Vanderbilt since 2002.
Freshman of the Week: Chandler Taylor, Alabama
• Chandler Taylor helped lead Alabama to its first series win vs. LSU in Baton Rouge since 1996. Taylor contributed a team-high 11 total bases for the week while leading the team in slugging percentage at .733. • Taylor also knocked his team-leading third and fourth home runs in his first career SEC series. He finished Saturday’s doubleheader sweep batting .333 (3-9) with a double, home run, two RBI and one run scored to help the Tide earn its first series win in Baton Rouge since 1996. • Taylor’s ninth-inning homer in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader provided a pair of insurance runs in the 6-0 shutout win.
Current Hitting Streaks (min. 10 games)
Anfernee Grier, Auburn 21^
Antoine Duplantis, LSU 19
Alex Destino, South Carolina 14
Gunnar McNeil, Kentucky 14
Evan White, Kentucky 12
Season Long Hitting Streaks (min. 10 games)
Anfernee Grier, Auburn 20*
Antoine Duplantis, LSU 19*
Alex Destino, South Carolina 14*
Jacob Robson, Mississippi State 14
Gunnar McNeil, Kentucky 14*
|Feb. 19th||Cincinnati at LSU||11,906|
|Feb. 20||Cincinnati at LSU||11,573|
|Feb. 20||Central Michigan at Arkansas||11,341|
|Feb. 27||Sacramento State at LSU||11,094|
|March 19||Alabama at LSU [DH-2]||10,806|
|Feb. 26||Sacramento State at LSU||10,754|
Information provided by SEC Sports Information.
Copyright WAFB 2016. All rights reserved.