THE MOST TO GAIN
- LSU: The Tigers head to Hoover still very much on the NCAA Tournament bullpen, but a win — possibly two — would go a long way toward punching their ticket into the field of 64. A one-and-done showing would make for a sweaty wait until Selection Monday.
- Ole Miss: The Rebels finished the regular season on an absolute tear, winning seven of their last eight to grab a share of the SEC West title. Mike Bianco and Co. now have a chance to land a national seed if they can make a nice run in Hoover.
THE MOST TO LOSE
- Kentucky/Texas A&M: Both were in contention to host weeks ago and have top-25 RPIs, but finishing 13-17 in SEC play seem to have both Kentucky and Texas A&M on the bubble going into Hoover. Their seasons are eerily reminiscent of the 2011 LSU team that got left out of the NCAA Tournament, and according to D1Baseball’s latest projections, the Wildcats and Aggies join LSU among the “last five teams in” the field.
- 3B Jonathan India (Florida) | The SEC Player of the Year has cooled off a bit since his 24-game hitting streak came to an end, but he still led the league in slugging percentage (.730) and on-base percentage (.506) while finishing third in home runs (16), total bases (130) and batting average (.365).
- 3B Luke Heyer (Kentucky) | Sometimes you have to take Kentucky’s home run numbers with a grain of salt because of the band box they play in, but Heyer is a legit All-SEC slugger at the hot corner. He and teammate Kyle Cottam tied for the SEC lead with 18 home runs apiece.
- OF Carlos Cortes (South Carolina) | The slugging outfielder got off to an absolutely dreadful start to the season, but he’s gotten red hot as the Gamecocks vaulted up the SEC standings down the stretch run. He hammered LSU pitching earlier this season, and he’s on their side of the bracket in Hoover.
- Brady Singer (Florida) | Whoever emerges from the LSU-Mississippi State game will likely have to deal with the SEC Pitcher of the Year. Singer led the SEC in wins (10) and ERA (2.25) as the ace of a juggernaut ball club and allowed three runs or fewer in 12 of his 13 starts this season.
- Casey Mize (Auburn) | The presumptive No. 1 pick in next month’s MLB Draft has lost his last two times out, but the filthy right-hander is must-see television each and every time he takes the hill. Mize struck out 133 batters against 10 walks in 95 innings.
- Michael Plassmeyer (Missouri) | Missouri is on the outside looking in as far as an NCAA Tournament bid because of its dismal 12-18 SEC record, but the lefty has been nasty all season with 103 strikeouts, which is second in the league trailing only Mize. Missouri is on LSU’s side of the bracket, and LSU wouldn’t be in a hurry to see Plassmeyer again in any type of elimination game.
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